Afolf Knop, German geologist, mineralogist and crystallographer, studied mathematics, chemistry, geology and mineralogy at the University of Goettingen. From 1849 he was a teacher at the vocational school at Chemnitz. He was awarded the degree Doctor of Philosophy (Dr phil) in Leipzig in 1852. In 1857 he was appointed associate professor in geology and mineralogy at the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, where he was promoted to full professor in 1863. In 1866 he was appointed professor of geology and mineralogy at the Polytechnische Hochschule in Karlsruhe and became director of the Grand Ducal Natural History Cabinet in 1878. He published over 60 papers between 1849 and 1894, many of them on the rocks and minerals of the volcanic Kaiserstuhl Mountains in Germany. He may have visited the Northern Cape and German South West Africa (now Namibia) around 1860, for in a paper, "Ueber die Kupfererz-Lagerstaetten von Klein-Namaqualand und Damaraland..." in the Neues Jahrbuch fuer Mineralogie, Geologie und Palaeontologie (Stuttgart, 1861) he provided an excellent and very early description of the geology, mineralogy and chemistry of the copper ores in the Matchless mine, west of Windhoek. Many years later he published a second paper relating to southern Africa, in the Bericht ueber die Versammlung des Oberrheinischen Geologischen Vereins, Karlruhe (1889-1890), dealing with the rocks and minerals occurring in the diamond mines of Jagersfontein, in the Free State.
Knop was the author of several books on geological and crystallographical topics, all written in German: Molekularconstitution und wachsthum der krystalle (Leipzig, 1867), Studien ueber stoffwandlung in Mineralreiche... (Leipzig, 1873), a textbook on crystallography titled System der Anorganographie (Leipzig, 1876), and Der Kaiserstuhl im Bresgau, eine natuurwissenschaftliche studie (Leipzig, 1892). A cerium-rich variety of perovskite is named knopite after him.