Sigmund Exner is known for his work in comparative physiology and his studies of perception psychology from a physiological standpoint. He conducted important research on the localization of behavioral functionality in the brain, in particular studies on the functional architecture of the visual cortex. Exner investigated color contrast, hue adaptation, apparent motion, and the sensitivity of retinal regeneration. In 1899, he co-founded the Phonogrammarchiv in Vienna, an archive recording acoustic phenomena for scientific purposes.
Alexander John Ellis was born Alexander John Sharpe on June 14, 1814, in Hoxton, Middlesex, and died in London on October 28, 1890. He studied mathematics and philology at Trinity College Cambridge, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1837. Ellis later became a phonetician, whose work in vocal and musical pitch, speech, and song also influenced the field of musicology. Among his most important contributions were the annotated translation of Hermann von Helmholtz’s On the Sensations of Tone and his development of the notion of cent for musical intervals.
Chladni was a physicist whose work focused on experimental acoustics. He invented the “Chladni figure” and various instruments. Until his death, he continued to travel and present his inventions and findings to a wide audience.
Franz Max Osswald, born in Winterthur, graduated as a mechanical engineer in 1905 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (E.T.H.). In 1924, he installed a laboratory for applied acoustics at E.T.H. After completing his habilitation in 1928, he served as the first acoustician at a polytechnic, teaching as a "Privatdozent." Osswald described his discipline as an indispensable complement to architecture, technology, and hygiene.