Great Minds & Great Prizes – Challenge Yourself in the Quiz

Great Minds from the past - Great Minds today. Volume Three: Heinrich Hertz

Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was a German physicist who was born 1857 in Hamburg and died early in 1894 in Bonn. In 1886, he was the first to generate and detect electromagnetic waves in experiments and is thus considered to be their discoverer. In his honor, the international unit for frequency was named Hertz (abbreviated with the unit symbol Hz).

Hertz came from a distinguished Hanseatic family. His father Gustav Ferdinand Hertz (1827-1914) held a doctorate in law, was a judge from 1877, and was senator and president of the Hamburg judicial administration from 1887 to 1904.

Hertz studied mathematics and physics at Technical University Munich. At the age of 23, Hertz earned his doctorate with a thesis on the rotation of metal spheres in a magnetic field at Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Berlin and remained for two years as a research and lecture assistant to Hermann von Helmholtz, where he began to investigate the physical nature of cathode rays.

In 1886, Hertz was the first to succeed in experimentally generating and detecting free electromagnetic waves. On November 13, 1886, he succeeded in experimentally generating electromagnetic waves and transmitting them from a transmitter to a receiver.


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