JACOBI, MORITZ (Moses) HERMANN (1801–1874), German physicist and architect. Born in Potsdam, he – like his brother the mathematician Karl Gustav Jacob *Jacobi – was converted to Christianity. Jacobi practiced architecture at Koenigsberg until appointed professor of architecture at the Russian University in Dorpat, Estonia. In 1837 he was invited to St. Petersburg, where he became a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, later state advisor, and was ennobled. In 1838 Jacobi, who was particularly interested in electricity, invented the galvano-plastic process of electrotyping. In 1839 he managed to produce molds faced with graphite which could conduct electricity. He also studied the practical use of electromagnetism for driving machinery (electrically driven boat), and experimented with the electric arc.


E.T. Bell, Men of Mathematics (1937), 327–39.

[Grete Leibowitz]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.