On the 11th of May 1820 he took his doctor's degree; in the same year he qualified as Privatdozent at the university of Erlangen.
His earlier papers were mostly concerned with crystallography, and the reputation they gained him led to his appointment as Privatdozent at Konigsberg, where in 1828 he became extraordinary, and in 1829 ordinary, professor of mineralogy and physics.
1832), became in 1858 Privatdozent, and in 1863 extraordinary professor of mathematics at Halle.
In 1847 he began to act as Privatdozent in the university, and founded with Reinhardt the Archiv fiir pathologische Anatomie and Physiologic, which, after his collaborator's death in 1852, he carried on alone, and in 1848 he went as a member of a government commission to investigate an outbreak of typhus in upper Silesia.
In 1867 he became privatdozent in Berlin University, and in the following year was chosen professor of physics at the Zurich Polytechnic: then, after a year or two at Wurzburg, he was called in 1872 to Strassburg, where he took a great part in the organization of the new university, and was largely concerned in the erection of the Physical Institute.