All of us have learned the word ‘Hertz’ in our school days. It is one of the units used in Physics that relates to electromagnetic radiations. Do you know anything more about it? The SI unit hertz (Hz) was established in the honor of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, the first scientist to prove the existence of electromagnetic waves.
Here are 11 quick facts about the great scientist:
- Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was born in 1857 in Hamburg, Germany into a rich family. His father was a senator.
- Since childhood, Hertz showed an aptitude for sciences as well as languages, learning Latin, Arabic and Sanskrit.
- He was so good at languages that his professor recommended his parents to make him a student of oriental languages.
- Heinrich started his craftsmanship lessons at the age of 11 for his natural talent for making things and drawing.
- When he was drafted into army for a year’s compulsory service, he found it so boring that he once wrote, ‘…day by day I grow more aware of how useless I remain in this world.”
- Hertz had two daughters who never married. So, he has no descendants.
- Hertz also discovered the photoelectric effect which states that a charged object loses its charge faster when exposed to ultraviolet light.
- He never realized the importance and practical implications of his experiments and did not foresee their eventual use in wireless communications.
- He died at the age of 36 of Wegener’s granulomatosis, a disease that cause inflammation of blood vessels.
- The unit hertz was officially accepted in 1930 by the International Electrotechnical Commission for frequency, officially replacing the previous name, “cycles per second” (cps).
- A crater that lies on the far side of the Moon, just behind the eastern limb, is named in his honor.