Related to my previous question When was the division between the troposphere and stratosphere determined?, an important atmospheric feature at this boundary is the Ozone Layer, as shown in the image below:

enter image description here

Image source

Given that the Ozone Layer concentration is very low, according to NASA,

The peak concentration of ozone occurs at an altitude of roughly 32 kilometers (20 miles) above the surface of the Earth. At that altitude, ozone concentration can be as high as 15 parts per million (0.0015 percent).

How was the Ozone Layer discovered?


2 Answers 2


Wikipedia's article isn't quite up to snuff. It's rather short and largely skips over the early history of research regarding the ozone layer. Here's what it has to say about it:

The ozone layer was discovered in 1913 by the French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson.

Not a lot of great information. Here, though, it is stated that Fabry worked closely with Alfred Perot to develop the Fabry-Perot interferometer. Its initial applications were in the field of astrophysics, but later

in 1913 they [Fabry and Buisson] were the first to demonstrate that the ultraviolet absorption in the Earth’s upper atmosphere was due to ozone.

So Fabry took his prior work regarding interferometry and used it to collaborate with Buisson. That said, G. M. B. Dobson was one of the first people to truly explore the ozone layer's properties in detail, using a spectrophotometer to monitor ozone concentrations.


1) The Ozone layer was discovered by a French physicist- Charles Fabry. 2) The properties were explored in details by a British scientist- G. Dobson who developed an instrument [Dobsometer] which could be used to measure stratospheric ozone from ground level. 3) Dobson unit is thus a measure of the density of ozone overhead.

  • $\begingroup$ This answer would become more helpful if its author would amend it (soon!) to state reference-sources and to clarify it. As it stands, there seems here to be a part-contradiction, part-duplication, of the other answer -- but without explaining any basis for this. (Also, it looks as if the instrument adapted by Dobson might have been mis-spelled here - author, please check.) $\endgroup$
    – terry-s
    Sep 23, 2017 at 15:57

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