Allvar Gullstrand

Allvar Gullstrand
Born (1862-06-05)5 June 1862
Landskrona, Sweden
Died 28 July 1930(1930-07-28) (aged 68)
Stockholm, Sweden
Nationality Sweden
Awards Björkénska priset (1906)
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1911)
Scientific career
Fields Ophthalmology
Institutions University of Uppsala

Allvar Gullstrand (5 June 1862 – 28 July 1930) was a Swedish ophthalmologist and optician.


Born at Landskrona, Sweden, Gullstrand was professor (1894–1927) successively of eye therapy and of optics at the University of Uppsala. He applied the methods of physical mathematics to the study of optical images and of the refraction of light in the eye. For this work, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1911.

Gullstrand is noted also for his research on astigmatism[1] and for improving the ophthalmoscope and corrective lenses for use after removal of a cataract from the eye.

He was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1905, and served on the Academy's Prize Committee for Physics. While serving on the committee, he used his position to block Einstein from receiving a Nobel Prize in Physics for his theory of relativity, which Allvar believed to be wrong.[2]

Gullstrand married Signe Breitholtz (1862–1946) in 1885 and died in Stockholm, where he was interred at Norra begravningsplatsen.


  1. Gullstrand, Allvar (1890) Skand. Arch. f. Physiol.; and (1901) Arch. f. Ophth., 53, pp. 2, 185.
  2. Ravin, James G. (1999). "Gullstrand, Einstein, and the Nobel Prize". Arch Ophthalmol. 117 (5): 670–672. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.5.670.


  • A. Gullstrand (1904) "Zur Kenntnis der Kreispunkte", Acta Mathematica 29:59–100.
  • Nobel biography
  • Nobel lecture
  • A Gullstrand, Speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1911
  • Maximilian Herzberger (1960) "Allvar Gullstrand", Journal of Modern Optics 7:237–41.
  • Ian R. Porteous (2001) Geometric Differentiation, pp 201,205,271,285, Cambridge University Press ISBN 0-521-00264-8 .
  • Frank Tsai (2009) Who was Allvar Gullstrand from Pearls in Ophthalmology.
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