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Allvar Gullstrand (1862-1930)
  1. L F Haas

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    Gullstrand studied medicine at the University of Uppsala, graduated in 1887, and in 1894 became professor of ophthalmology. From his student days his career was devoted to the study of “dioptrics”, that is, the study of the human eye as a transparent system of lenses for the collection and refraction of light. He invented a number of ophthalmological instruments. Among his contributions were the correction of astigmatism using cylindrical lenses, the localisation of paralysed ocular muscles, and in 1889 he invented a photographic technique for measuring the degree of corneal astigmatism. In 1911 Gullstrand expanded Hermann von Helmholtz's theory on the structure of the lens in accommodation. His most important technical achievement was in 1910, with the improvement of the ophthalmoscope, which had been invented by Helmholtz in 1851. This improvement was the precursor to the slit lamp Gullstrand invented in 1911. In that same year he received the Nobel prize for physiology and medicine. Gullstrand died in Uppsala in 1930. Sweden honoured him philatelically in 1971 as a Nobel laureate (Stanley Gibbons no 671, Scott no 1910). He is shown with Wilhelm Wien, who received the Nobel prize for physics in the same year.