RadioProfile | Gustav Hertz: fundamental physicist in the confirmation of quantum theory

Gustav Hertz was born on July 22, 1887.

The work of the Nobel Prize-winning German physicist was instrumental in confirming quantum theory.

Gustav Ludwig Hertz was born in Hamburg, Germany, and was the nephew of the renowned discoverer of electromagnetic waves, Heinrich Hertz.

He studied physics at the Humboldt University in Berlin and began his career as a research assistant at the faculty’s Institute for Physics.

Shortly after graduating he began to study the impact of electrons with his colleague James Franck, both obtained great recognition in 1914 for carrying out the famous “Franck and Hertz Experiment”.

The pair of physicists can confirm that atoms only absorb specific amounts of energy.

The experiment met the initial goal of testing the quantization of the energy levels of electrons in atoms.

However, he also exceeded his own expectations, since he broke Bohr’s atomic model and supported Max Planck’s formulations on quantum mechanics.

The Franck and Hertz experiment became a fundamental test for the confirmation of quantum theory and launched Gustav Hertz to the top of his career.

But his investigations were put on hold with the outbreak of the First World War. Hertz was sent to the front lines and seriously wounded in action.

He was able to recover and return to work after the war. In 1925 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics together with Franck for his most outstanding experiment.

Hertz made more valuable contributions to physics, working both alone and jointly, and published outstanding papers on the quantitative exchange of energy between electrons and atoms, as well as on the separation of isotopes.

With the outbreak of World War II, he moved to the Soviet Union and there he continued his scientific career for ten years.

In 1961 he withdrew from research and returned to Germany. He was awarded by the German Physical Society and is an honorary member of distinguished European academies.

He died on October 30, 1975 in Berlin.

Gustav Hertz was born on July 22, 1887. The story is also news. RadioProfile

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