Heinrich Hertz – Uncovering the Secret in Electromagnetic Waves

Heinrich Hertz was a brilliant scientist that was fascinated in electromagnetism. In a series of researches, he uncovered a secret behind the invisible waves that would add into the many laws of physics known today.

He was a man who strived to uncover the secret of physics. Many of his theories will be continued and perfected by great minds of science, and all of them still held up until today.

The Scientist’s Family

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Heinrich Hertz was born in Hamburg, Germany on February 22nd, 1857. He had 5 siblings, and he was the eldest of them all.

His father was a lawyer, who later became a senator and his mother was a physician’s daughter. The family had a strong Lutheran faith, which he was raised in.

The Start of His Education

His family pushed for his education. At the age of six, he attended a famous private school ran by Friedrich Wichard Lange.

Unlike other private schools at that time, religion didn’t get in the way of education. This school operated strictly and children were pushed to overcome obstacles by working hard.

His brilliance put him on the top of his class. With a natural skill in drafting and drawing, he wanted to become an engineer. At the age of 11, his mother decided to get him drafting lessons at a technical college.

Beginning His Scientific Journey

Unfortunately, universities required him to learn Latin and Greek, which Lange’s school didn’t teach. That was why he left his private school to seek language, science and mathematics homeschooling.

This was easy for him, as he was also talented in languages. His tutor, Professor Redslob, even recommended him to get a major in oriental languages.

Heinrich Hertz was a hard worker, often learning and experimenting outside his lessons. He made and operated complex scientific apparatuses, which he then used for his experiments.

Rising In the Physics Community

After successfully studying in Munich as a physicist, he moved to the University of Berlin to have a bigger room for experiments; attaining many prizes and eventually a doctorate in physics.

At that university, he will become the man who proved Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism. That theory has been disputed over many years, and this same theory would pave him a path to his most famous discovery: radio waves.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

With Maxwell’s electromagnetism theory as his base, he discovered a new form of waves, radio waves. From here, he discovered the electromagnetic spectrum which physicist will use till this day.

Although it was a major breakthrough, he never thought of any use for the radio waves. He never took any advantage over his discovery, and just wanted to discover its mysteries.

Other than radio waves and the electromagnetic spectrum, he discovered the photoelectric effect and the quantum world. This theory would later be explained by Einstein, which earned him the 1921 physics Nobel Prize.

An Early End

At 35 years old, Heinrich Hertz was suffering from severe illness. In January 1st, 1894 he died at the age of 36 in Bonn. His name was forever remembered and honored as the unit of frequency.

 

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