Jochen Büttner

TOPOI Research Group Leader
Department I
Dipl. Phys.
1. November 2012 to 31. Dezember 2018

Jochen Büttner currently investigates processes of innovation in the ancient world. A particular focus lies on the question which role knowledge played in these processes and, how in turn, innovation influenced the formation of theoretical bodies of knowledge.

He retains his longstanding interest in early modern mechanics. His main research theme in this area regards the role of so called 'challenging objects' as mediators between practical and theoretical knowledge in the early modern period.

Jochen Büttner has long been concerned with the use, theoretically as well as practically, of new electronic media in the history of science and, more generally, in the humanities. In this context, he has collaborated in, designed and directed a number of projects.

Selected publications: 

Büttner, J. (2017). Shooting with ink. In M. Valleriani (Ed.), The structures of practical knowledge (pp. 115-166). Cham: Springer.


Hansen, S., Renn, J., Klimscha, F., Büttner, J., Helwing, B., & Kruse, S. (2016). The digital atlas of innovations: a research program on innovations in prehistory and antiquity. eTopoi: Journal for Ancient Studies, Special Volume 6: Space and Knowledge, 777-818.


Büttner, J., & Renn, J. (2016). The early history of weighing technology from the perspective of a theory of innovation. eTopoi: Journal for Ancient Studies, Special Volume 6: Space and Knowledge, 757-776.


Büttner, J. (2013). La leva, la bilancia e una meravigliosa dimostrazione. In G. Di Pasquale, & C. Parisi Presicce (Eds.), Archimede: arte e scienza dell' invenzione; Roma, Musei Capitolini, 31 maggio 2013 - 12 gennaio 2014 (Giunti, pp. 86-91). Firenze.


Büttner, J. (2013). The lever, the balance and a beautiful proof. In G. Di Pasquale, & C. Parisi Presicce (Eds.), Archimedes: the art and science of invention; Rome, Musei Capitolini, 31 May 2013 - 12 January 2014 (pp. 85-91). Firenze: Giunti.

Teaching activities
Fall 2011
TU BerlinAstronomisches Wissen im Wandel: Von der Nebra Himmelsscheibe zum kopernikanischen System
Spring 2012
TU BerlinDie Entstehung einer Wissenschaft: Vom altägyptischen Transportschlitten zur Newtonschen Mechanik
Fall 2010
IU BloomingtonAstronomical Knowledge; From the Nebra Sky Disk to the Copernican System