Gullstrand, Allvar


Allvar Gullstrand (1862–1930) was a Swedish ophthalmologist and Nobel Prize laureate (1911), who worked out the mathematical basis of astigmatism, and used mathematical methods to solve a number of other complex problems in geometrical optics. Gullstrand presented his doctoral dissertation at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, but spent the majority of his career at Uppsala University, becoming professor of ophthalmology there in 1894. From 1914 to 1927 he held a personal professorship in physical and physiological optics freed from all teaching duties.

Keywords: Allvar Gullstrand; astigmatism; optics; ophthalmology; mathematics; Nobel Prize; Uppsala University

Figure 1.

Portrait of Allvar Gullstrand from the Hagströmer medico‐historical library, Karolinska Institutet. Copyright © Hagströmerbiblioteket, reproduced with permission.

Figure 2.

Prototype of the reflex‐less ophthalmoscope developed in Uppsala around 1910, courtesy of the museum of medical history in Uppsala, Sweden.


Further Reading

Berg F (1965) Oftalmologin i Sverige under 1800‐talet. Uppsala: Lärdomshistoriska samfundet.

Berg F (1968) Gullstrand, Allvar. Svenskt biografiskt lexicon 87 and Gripenstedt‐Gustav IV Adolf. Stockholm: Norstedts.

Gullstrand A (1967) Biography. Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1901–1921. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Company.

Ravin JG (1999) Gullstrand, Einstein and the Nobel Prize. Archives of Opthalmology vol. 117: 670–672.

Tengroth B (1997) Allvar Gullstrand: Sveriges första nobelpristagare i fysiologi eller medicin. Förhandlingar från XVI Nordiska medicinhistoriska kongressen. S. 77–84.

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Ljungstrom, Olof, and Normark, Daniel(Apr 2011) Gullstrand, Allvar. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002809]