German physicist, born July 20, 1879 in Ludwigshafen. Jakob studied electrical engineering at the Technical University of München where he graduated in 1903. From 1903 until 1906 he was an assistant to O. Knoblauch at the Laboratory for Technical Physics. After working in the electrical industry Jakob joined the "Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt" at Berlin-Charlottenburg in 1910, where he started his career in thermodynamics and heat transfer. He conducted a large amount of important works in these fields, covering such areas as steam and air at high pressure, devices for measuring thermal conductivity, the mechanisms of boiling and condensation, flow in pipes and nozzles, and others.
In 1936 he emigrated to the United States, where he became a research professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and consultant in heat transfer for the Armour Research Foundation. In 1952, three years before his sudden death, he was awarded the Worchester Reed Warner Medal by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
His long years of research resulted in significant contributions to the literature of the profession; nearly 500 books, articles, reviews and discussions have been published.