Joseph Maria Pernter
Scientist, b. at Neumark, Tyrol, 15 March, 1848; d. at Arco, 20 Dec., 1908. He entered the Society of Jesus after graduation from the Gymnasia at Bozen and Meran. For a time he acted as professor of physics at Kalocsa and Kalksburg. In 1877 he was obliged to leave the order, on account of an ailment in his head. He then studied physics at the University of Vienna and received the doctor's degree. After entering the Central Institute as volunteer in October, 1878, Pernter became assistant in 1880, and adjunct in 1884; in 1885 he also began to act as a privatdozent at the university. In 1890 he was called to the University of Innsbruck in the capacity of extraordinary professor, and in 1893 was appointed ordinary professor of cosmic physics. At Innsbruck he began a number of works including papers on the conditions of wind, humidity, radiation, and meteorological optics. In his most important work "Atmospherische Optik", he collected all published treatises and also supplied original papers necessary to complete certain subjects. Unfortunately he died before he had finished this valuable publication. His German translation of Abercromby's work, "The weather", is also noteworthy.
In 1897 Pernter became professor at the University of Vienna, and director of the Central Meteorological Institute. He reorganized the institute and extended it considerably, increasing the staff from fifteen to thirty-one. He made it possible for the institute to take part in balloon ascents for scientific purposes. A laboratory, a printing office, a reading room, etc., were added, also a bureau for seismic observations. Instruments for recording earth tremors were set up, and the institute supervised the network of stations for the study of earthquakes, its name being changed to "Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik". He introduced various improvements in practical weather forecasting, such as the free delivery of forecasts in the summer to all telegraph stations. During his directorate were introduced the experiments on so-called "weather-shooting", as a prevention of the dangers due to hail. These experiments created considerable excitement in the agricultural circles of Austria and Italy. Pernter examined the matter carefully and fearlessly, and came to a conclusion that proved to be the deathblow of this practice.
He was kind towards his subordinates and interested in their welfare. It will take some time before a full appreciation is had of all that he accomplished for the institute. The most important of his numerous political papers is "Voraussetzungslose Forschung, freie Wissenschaft und Katholizismus", published during the Mommsen agitation. In this essay he sought to prove the possibility of combining strict religious faith with exact research. Pernter was also one of the founders of the "Leo-Gesellschaft" in Vienna and of the branch at Innsbruck. These societies have suffered a great loss, because he took an active part as long as he could in all their work and propaganda. During the last years of his life he was a victim to sclerosis of the arteries, which especially affected his heart. He suffered very much through weakness of the heart, difficulty of breathing, and occasional fainting spells. He was also depressed by the sickness and death of his beloved young daughter and of his wife. These numerous blows combined to hasten his end.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online