Adolf Fick
Adolf Fick (1829–1901)
Born3 September 1829
Died21 August 1901(1901-08-21) (aged 71)
Alma materUniversity of Marburg
Known forFick's laws of diffusion
Fick principle
Imbert–Fick law
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Zurich
University of Würzburg
ThesisTractatur de errore optico quodam asymetria bulbi oculi effecto (1851)
Doctoral advisorFranz Ludwig Fick[1]
Doctoral studentsJohann Jakob Müller[1]
He is the brother of Franz Ludwig Fick. He is the uncle of Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick who invented the contact lens.[2]

Adolf Eugen Fick (3 September 1829 – 21 August 1901) was a German-born physician and physiologist.

Early life and education

Fick began his work in the formal study of mathematics and physics before realising an aptitude for medicine. He then earned his doctorate in medicine from the University of Marburg in 1851. As a fresh medical graduate, he began his work as a prosector.[3] He died in Flanders at age 71.


In 1855, he introduced Fick's laws of diffusion, which govern the diffusion of a gas across a fluid membrane. In 1870, he was the first to measure cardiac output, using what is now called the Fick principle.

Fick managed to double-publish his law of diffusion, as it applied equally to physiology and physics. His work led to the development of the direct Fick method for measuring cardiac output.


Fick's nephew, Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick, invented the contact lens.[2]