Life and Times of Alfred Wegener

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  • Topic: Seafloor spreading, Plate tectonics, Continental drift
  • Pages : 2 (495 words )
  • Download(s) : 170
  • Published : February 24, 2008
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Alfred Wegener was born in Berlin in 1880. His father was a minister who ran an orphanage, Alfred was even brilliant as a young child he took interest in the land textures and topography. He took special interest in Greenland, and always walked, skated, and hiked. This prepared him of what was to come in his future. He studied in Germany and Austria, receiving his PhD in astronomy. But no sooner than he got his PhD he dropped astronomy (in desire for a more interesting department) to study meteorology, the study of weather. Wegener started of flying kites and balloons. He made experiments with his brother Kurt flying these certain things. Then in 1906, the brothers set a world record in an international balloon contest, flying 52 hours straight. That same year he went to Greenland and upon his return he took up a teaching job at the University of Marburg, where he was known for his great lectures.

In 1910, Wegener started studying what would eventually lead to his founding of his great theory. He started to notice the matching coastlines of the Atlantic continents; they looked on maps like a puzzle. Though not first to notice he was first to go into depth and use other evidence such as rock fossils, landforms, and the matching coastlines, it was an idea that would never leave his thoughts. In 1911, he published a textbook on the atmosphere, but at the same time he pursued his studies of the continents. He first went public with the issue in January of 1912, where he told his theory of continental drift. The year 1912 was busy for Wegener: he got married (to the daughter of Germany's leading meteorologist) Else Koppen and he returned to Greenland, making the longest crossing of the ice cap ever made on foot. In 1915 Wegener published his theory of continental drift. The books told the reasonable argument for continental drift, but still were far from believable by the scientists back then. Though some scientists supported him, much more scientists opposed...
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