Heinrich Hertz

Heinrich Hertz
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz

(1857-02-22)22 February 1857
Died1 January 1894(1894-01-01) (aged 36)
Alma materUniversity of Munich
University of Berlin
Known forElectromagnetic radiation
Photoelectric effect
Hertz's principle of least curvature
AwardsMatteucci Medal (1888)
Rumford Medal (1890)
Scientific career
Electronic Engineering
InstitutionsUniversity of Kiel
University of Karlsruhe
University of Bonn
Doctoral advisorHermann von Helmholtz
Doctoral studentsVilhelm Bjerknes
Autograph of Heinrich Hertz.png

Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (s/; German: [ˈhaɪ̯nʁɪç ˈhɛɐ̯ts];[1][2] 22 February 1857 – 1 January 1894) was a German physicist who first conclusively proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves theorized by James Clerk Maxwell's electromagnetic theory of light. The unit of frequency, cycle per second, was named the "Hertz" in his honor.[3]


Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was born in 1857 in Hamburg, then a sovereign state of the German Confederation, into a prosperous and cultured Hanseatic family. His father was Gustav Ferdinand Hertz.[4] His mother was Anna Elisabeth Pfefferkorn.

While studying at the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums in Hamburg, Hertz showed an aptitude for sciences as well as languages, learning Arabic and Sanskrit. He studied sciences and engineering in the German cities of Dresden, Munich and Berlin, where he studied under Gustav R. Kirchhoff and Hermann von Helmholtz. In 1880, Hertz obtained his PhD from the University of Berlin, and for the next three years remained for post-doctoral study under Helmholtz, serving as his assistant. In 1883, Hertz took a post as a lecturer in theoretical physics at the University of Kiel. In 1885, Hertz became a full professor at the University of Karlsruhe.

In 1886, Hertz married Elisabeth Doll, the daughter of Dr. Max Doll, a lecturer in geometry at Karlsruhe. They had two daughters: Johanna, born on 20 October 1887 and Mathilde, born on 14 January 1891, who went on to become a notable biologist. During this time Hertz conducted his landmark research into electromagnetic waves.

Hertz took a position of Professor of Physics and Director of the Physics Institute in Bonn on 3 April 1889, a position he held until his death. During this time he worked on theoretical mechanics with his work published in the book Die Prinzipien der Mechanik in neuem Zusammenhange dargestellt (The Principles of Mechanics Presented in a New Form), published posthumously in 1894.


In 1892, Hertz was diagnosed with an infection (after a bout of severe migraines) and underwent operations to treat the illness. He died of granulomatosis with polyangiitis at the age of 36 in Bonn, Germany in 1894, and was buried in the Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Hamburg.[5][6][7][8]

Hertz's wife, Elisabeth Hertz née Doll (1864–1941), did not remarry. Hertz left two daughters, Johanna (1887–1967) and Mathilde (1891–1975). Hertz's daughters never married and he has no descendants.[9]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Heinrich Hertz
Aymar aru: Heinrich Hertz
azərbaycanca: Henrix Hers
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Гайнрых Гэрц
български: Хайнрих Херц
čeština: Heinrich Hertz
Ελληνικά: Χάινριχ Χερτζ
français: Heinrich Hertz
հայերեն: Հենրիխ Հերց
Bahasa Indonesia: Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
қазақша: Генрих Герц
Kiswahili: Heinrich Hertz
Kreyòl ayisyen: Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
lietuvių: Heinrich Hertz
مازِرونی: هنریک هرتز
Bahasa Melayu: Heinrich Hertz
Nederlands: Heinrich Hertz
norsk nynorsk: Heinrich Hertz
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Gers
پنجابی: ہائنرش ہرٹز
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ហែងរីហ ហឺត
Piemontèis: Heinrich Hertz
português: Heinrich Hertz
română: Heinrich Hertz
Runa Simi: Heinrich Hertz
Simple English: Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
slovenščina: Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
татарча/tatarça: Һенрих Һерц
українська: Генріх Герц
Tiếng Việt: Heinrich Hertz
Yorùbá: Heinrich Hertz