Gustav Ludwig Hertz
Overview
 
Gustav Ludwig Hertz was a German experimental physicist and Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 winner, and a nephew of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was a German physicist who clarified and expanded the electromagnetic theory of light that had been put forth by Maxwell...

.
Hertz was born in Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 and studied at the Georg-August University of Göttingen
Georg-August University of Göttingen
The University of Göttingen , known informally as Georgia Augusta, is a university in the city of Göttingen, Germany.Founded in 1734 by King George II of Great Britain and the Elector of Hanover, it opened for classes in 1737. The University of Göttingen soon grew in size and popularity...

 (1906-1907), the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich , commonly known as the University of Munich or LMU, is a university in Munich, Germany...

 (1907-1908), and the Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin
The Humboldt University of Berlin is Berlin's oldest university, founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, whose university model has strongly influenced other European and Western universities...

 (1908-1911). He received his doctorate in 1911 under Heinrich Leopold Rubens
Heinrich Rubens
Heinrich Rubens was a German physicist.He played a direct role in the genesis of the quantum theory, providing the experimental results that pushed Max Planck to provide the first quantum hypothesis.He also combined scientific ideas to create the Rubens' tube.-External links:*...

.

From 1911 to 1914, Hertz was an assistant to Rubens at the University of Berlin. It was during this time that Hertz and James Franck
James Franck
James Franck was a German Jewish physicist and Nobel laureate.-Biography:Franck was born to Jacob Franck and Rebecca Nachum Drucker. Franck completed his Ph.D...

 performed experiments on inelastic electron collisions in gases, known as the Franck–Hertz experiments
Franck-Hertz experiment
The Franck–Hertz experiment was a physics experiment that provided support for the Bohr model of the atom, a precursor to quantum mechanics. In 1914, the German physicists James Franck and Gustav Ludwig Hertz sought to experimentally probe the energy levels of the atom...

, and for which they received the Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

 in 1925.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Hertz served in the military from 1914.
Encyclopedia
Gustav Ludwig Hertz was a German experimental physicist and Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 winner, and a nephew of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was a German physicist who clarified and expanded the electromagnetic theory of light that had been put forth by Maxwell...

.

Biography

Hertz was born in Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 and studied at the Georg-August University of Göttingen
Georg-August University of Göttingen
The University of Göttingen , known informally as Georgia Augusta, is a university in the city of Göttingen, Germany.Founded in 1734 by King George II of Great Britain and the Elector of Hanover, it opened for classes in 1737. The University of Göttingen soon grew in size and popularity...

 (1906-1907), the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich , commonly known as the University of Munich or LMU, is a university in Munich, Germany...

 (1907-1908), and the Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin
The Humboldt University of Berlin is Berlin's oldest university, founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, whose university model has strongly influenced other European and Western universities...

 (1908-1911). He received his doctorate in 1911 under Heinrich Leopold Rubens
Heinrich Rubens
Heinrich Rubens was a German physicist.He played a direct role in the genesis of the quantum theory, providing the experimental results that pushed Max Planck to provide the first quantum hypothesis.He also combined scientific ideas to create the Rubens' tube.-External links:*...

.

From 1911 to 1914, Hertz was an assistant to Rubens at the University of Berlin. It was during this time that Hertz and James Franck
James Franck
James Franck was a German Jewish physicist and Nobel laureate.-Biography:Franck was born to Jacob Franck and Rebecca Nachum Drucker. Franck completed his Ph.D...

 performed experiments on inelastic electron collisions in gases, known as the Franck–Hertz experiments
Franck-Hertz experiment
The Franck–Hertz experiment was a physics experiment that provided support for the Bohr model of the atom, a precursor to quantum mechanics. In 1914, the German physicists James Franck and Gustav Ludwig Hertz sought to experimentally probe the energy levels of the atom...

, and for which they received the Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and...

 in 1925.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Hertz served in the military from 1914. He was seriously wounded in 1915. In 1917, he returned to the University of Berlin as a Privatdozent
Privatdozent
Privatdozent or Private lecturer is a title conferred in some European university systems, especially in German-speaking countries, for someone who pursues an academic career and holds all formal qualifications to become a tenured university professor...

. In 1920, he took a job as a research physicist at the Philips Incandescent Lamp Factory in Eindhoven, which he held until 1925.

Career

In 1925, Hertz became ordinarius professor and director of the Physics Institute of the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. In 1928 he became ordinarius professor of experimental physics and director of the Physics Institute of the Berlin Technische Hochschule
Technical University of Berlin
The Technische Universität Berlin is a research university located in Berlin, Germany. Translating the name into English is discouraged by the university, however paraphrasing as Berlin Institute of Technology is recommended by the university if necessary .The TU Berlin was founded...

 (BTH) in Berlin-Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg is a locality of Berlin within the borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, named after Queen consort Sophia Charlotte...

. While there, he developed an isotope separation technique via gaseous diffusion. Since Hertz was an officer during World War I, he was temporarily protected from National Socialist policies and the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service
Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service
The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service , also known as Civil Service Law, Civil Service Restoration Act, and Law to Re-establish the Civil Service, was a law passed by the National Socialist regime on April 7, 1933, two months after Adolf...

, but eventually the policies and laws became more stringent, and at the end of 1934, he was forced to resign his position at BTH, as he was classified as a “second degree part-Jew”. He then took a position at Siemens
Siemens
Siemens may refer toSiemens, a German family name carried by generations of telecommunications industrialists, including:* Werner von Siemens , inventor, founder of Siemens AG...

, as director of Research Laboratory II. While there, he continued his work on atomic physics
Atomic physics
Atomic physics is the field of physics that studies atoms as an isolated system of electrons and an atomic nucleus. It is primarily concerned with the arrangement of electrons around the nucleus and...

 and ultrasound
Ultrasound
Ultrasound is cyclic sound pressure with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing. Ultrasound is thus not separated from "normal" sound based on differences in physical properties, only the fact that humans cannot hear it. Although this limit varies from person to person, it is...

, but he eventually discontinued his work on isotope separation. He held this position until he departed for the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in 1945.

The Soviet Union

Hertz, who was concerned for his safety and was looking like his partner to the Nobel prize win Franck to move to the USA or any other place out of Germany, Manfred von Ardenne
Manfred von Ardenne
Manfred von Ardenne was a German research and applied physicist and inventor. He took out approximately 600 patents in fields including electron microscopy, medical technology, nuclear technology, plasma physics, and radio and television technology...

, director of his private laboratory Forschungslaboratorium für Elektronenphysik, Peter Adolf Thiessen
Peter Adolf Thiessen
Peter Adolf Thiessen was a German physical chemist. He voluntarily went to the Soviet Union at the close of World War II, and he received high Soviet decorations and the Stalin Prize for contributions to the Soviet atomic bomb project.-Education:Thiessen was born in Schweidnitz .From 1919 to...

, ordinarius professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin
The Humboldt University of Berlin is Berlin's oldest university, founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin by the liberal Prussian educational reformer and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt, whose university model has strongly influenced other European and Western universities...

 and director of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institut für physikalische Chemie und Elektrochemie (KWIPC) in Berlin-Dahlem
Dahlem (Berlin)
Dahlem is a locality of the Steglitz-Zehlendorf borough in southwestern Berlin. Until Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it was a part of the former borough of Zehlendorf. Dahlem is one of the most affluent parts of the city and home to the main campus of the Free University of Berlin with the...

, and Max Volmer
Max Volmer
Max Volmer was a German physical chemist, who made important contributions in electrochemistry, in particular on electrode kinetics. He co-developed the Butler–Volmer equation. Volmer held the chair and directorship of the Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry Institute of the Technische...

, ordinarius professor and director of the Physical Chemistry Institute at the Berlin Technische Hochschule
Technical University of Berlin
The Technische Universität Berlin is a research university located in Berlin, Germany. Translating the name into English is discouraged by the university, however paraphrasing as Berlin Institute of Technology is recommended by the university if necessary .The TU Berlin was founded...

, had made a pact. The pact was a pledge that whoever first made contact with the Russians would speak for the rest. The objectives of their pact were threefold: (1) Prevent plunder of their institutes, (2) Continue their work with minimal interruption, and (3) Protect themselves from prosecution for any political acts of the past. Before the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Thiessen, a member of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, had Communist contacts. On 27 April 1945, Thiessen arrived at von Ardenne’s institute in an armored vehicle with a major of the Soviet Army, who was also a leading Soviet chemist. All four of the pact members were taken to the Soviet Union. Hertz was made head of Institute G, in Agudseri (Agudzery),about 10 km southeast of Sukhumi
Sukhumi
Sukhumi is the capital of Abkhazia, a disputed region on the Black Sea coast. The city suffered heavily during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict in the early 1990s.-Naming:...

 and a suburb of Gul’rips (Gulrip’shi). Topics assigned to Gustav Hertz’s Institute G included: (1) Separation of isotopes by diffusion in a flow of inert gases, for which Gustav Hertz was the leader, (2) Development of a condensation pump, for which Justus Mühlenpfordt
Justus Mühlenpfordt
Justus Mühlenpfordt was a German nuclear physicist. He received his doctorate from the Technische Hochschule Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig, in 1936. He then worked in Gustav Hertz’s laboratory at Siemens. In 1945, he was sent to Institute G, near Sukhumi and under the directorship of Hertz, to...

 was the leader, (3) Design and build a mass spectrometer for determining the isotopic composition of uranium, for which Werner Schütze was the leader, (4) Development of frameless (ceramic) diffusion partitions for filters, for which Reinhold Reichmann was the leader, and (5) Development of a theory of stability and control of a diffusion cascade, for which Heinz Barwich
Heinz Barwich
Heinz Barwich was a German nuclear physicist. He was deputy director of the Siemens Research Laboratory II in Berlin. At the close of World War II, he went to the Soviet Union for ten years to work on the Soviet atomic bomb project, for which he received a Stalin Prize...

 was the leader; Barwich had been deputy to Hertz at Siemens. Other members of Institute G were Werner Hartmann
Werner Hartmann (physicist)
Werner Hartmann was a German physicist who introduced microelectronics into East Germany. He studied physics at the Technische Hochschule Berlin and worked at Siemens before joining Fernseh GmbH...

 and Karl-Franz Zühlke. Von Ardenne was made head of Institute A, Goals of Manfred von Ardenne’s Institute A included: (1) Electromagnetic separation of isotopes, for which von Ardenne was the leader, (2) Techniques for manufacturing porous barriers for isotope separation, for which Peter Adolf Thiessen was the leader, and (3) Molecular techniques for separation of uranium isotopes, for which Max Steenbeck
Max Steenbeck
Max Christian Theodor Steenbeck was a German physicist who worked at the Siemens-Schuckertwerke in his early career, during which time he invented the betatron in 1934. He was taken to the Soviet Union after World War II , and he contributed to the Soviet atomic bomb project...

 was the leader. In his first meeting with Lavrentij Beria
Lavrentiy Beria
Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria was a Georgian Soviet politician and state security administrator, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus under Joseph Stalin during World War II, and Deputy Premier in the postwar years ....

, von Ardenne was asked to participate in building the bomb, but von Ardenne quickly realized that participation would prohibit his repatriation to Germany, so he suggested isotope enrichment as an objective, which was agreed to. By the end of the 1940s, nearly 300 Germans were working at the institute, and they were not the total work force. Institute A was used as the basis for the Sukhumi Physical-Technical Institute in Sinop, a suburb of Sukhumi
Sukhumi
Sukhumi is the capital of Abkhazia, a disputed region on the Black Sea coast. The city suffered heavily during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict in the early 1990s.-Naming:...

. Volmer went to the Nauchno-Issledovatel’skij Institut-9 (NII-9, Scientific Research Institute No. 9), in Moscow; he was given a design bureau to work on the production of heavy water
Heavy water
Heavy water is water highly enriched in the hydrogen isotope deuterium; e.g., heavy water used in CANDU reactors is 99.75% enriched by hydrogen atom-fraction...

. In Institute A, Thiessen became leader for developing techniques for manufacturing porous barriers for isotope separation.

In 1949, six German scientists, including Hertz, Thiessen, and Barwich were called in for consultation at Sverdlovsk-44
Novouralsk
Novouralsk is a closed town in Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia. Population: The town, formerly known as Sverdlovsk-44, is situated on the eastern side of the Ural mountain range, about north of Yekaterinburg...

, which was responsible for uranium enrichment. The plant, smaller than the American Oak Ridge gaseous diffusion plant
K-25
K-25 is a former uranium enrichment facility of the Manhattan Project which used the gaseous diffusion method. The plant is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on the southwestern end of the Oak Ridge Reservation.-History:...

, was getting only a little over half of the expected 90% or higher enrichment.

After 1950, Hertz moved to Moscow. In 1951, Hertz was awarded a Stalin Prize, second class, with Barwich. In that year, James Franck and Hertz were jointly awarded the Max Planck Medal
Max Planck medal
The Max Planck medal is an award for extraordinary achievements in theoretical physics. It is awarded annually by the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft , the world's largest organization of physicists.-List of recipients:...

 by the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
The Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft is the world's largest organization of physicists. The DPG's worldwide membership is cited as 60,000, as of 2011...

. Hertz remained in the Soviet Union until 1955.

Upon return from the Soviet Union, Hertz became ordinarius professor at the University of Leipzig
University of Leipzig
The University of Leipzig , located in Leipzig in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, is one of the oldest universities in the world and the second-oldest university in Germany...

. From 1955 to 1967, he was also the chairman of the Physical Society of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (GDR); he was honorary chairman from 1967 to 1975.

Personal life

In 1919, Hertz married Ellen née Dihlmann, who died in 1941. They had two sons, Carl Hellmuth Hertz
Carl Hellmuth Hertz
For the Stage Magician, see Carl Hertz.Carl Hellmuth Hertz was the son of Gustav Ludwig Hertz.During the World War II he served as a soldier for Nazi Germany. He was captured by USA troops and brought overseas...

 and Johannes Hertz, both are physicists.

Scientific memberships

Hertz was a Member of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, Corresponding Member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences, an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, a Member of the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

Publications

  • J. Franck and G. Hertz Über Zusammenstöße zwischen Elektronen und Molekülen des Quecksilberdampfes und die Ionisierungsspannung desselben, Verh. Dtsch. Phys. Ges. 16 457–467 (1914).
  • Gustav Hertz Über das ultrarote Adsorptionsspektrum der Kohlensäure in seiner Abhängigkeit von Druck und Partialdruck. (Dissertation). (Vieweg Braunschweig, 1911)
  • Gustav Hertz (editor) Lehrbuch der Kernphysik I-III (Teubner, 1961–1966)
  • Gustav Hertz (editor) Grundlagen und Arbeitsmethoden der Kernphysik (Akademie Verlag, 1957)
  • Gustav Hertz Gustav Hertz in der Entwicklung der modernen Physik (Akademie Verlag, 1967)

See also

  • Electron diffraction
    Electron diffraction
    Electron diffraction refers to the wave nature of electrons. However, from a technical or practical point of view, it may be regarded as a technique used to study matter by firing electrons at a sample and observing the resulting interference pattern...

  • Electric glow discharge
    Electric glow discharge
    An electric glow discharge is a plasma formed by the passage of current at 100 V to several kV through a gas, often argon or another noble gas. It is found in products such as neon lamps and plasma-screen televisions, and is used in plasma physics and analytical chemistry.-Basic operating...

  • Franck-Hertz experiment
    Franck-Hertz experiment
    The Franck–Hertz experiment was a physics experiment that provided support for the Bohr model of the atom, a precursor to quantum mechanics. In 1914, the German physicists James Franck and Gustav Ludwig Hertz sought to experimentally probe the energy levels of the atom...

  • Plasma window
    Plasma window
    The plasma window is a technology that fills a volume of space with plasma confined by a magnetic field...

  • Vacuum tube
    Vacuum tube
    In electronics, a vacuum tube, electron tube , or thermionic valve , reduced to simply "tube" or "valve" in everyday parlance, is a device that relies on the flow of electric current through a vacuum...

  • Scattering
    Scattering
    Scattering is a general physical process where some forms of radiation, such as light, sound, or moving particles, are forced to deviate from a straight trajectory by one or more localized non-uniformities in the medium through which they pass. In conventional use, this also includes deviation of...

  • Russian Alsos
    Russian Alsos
    The Russian Alsos was an operation which took place in early 1945 in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia, and whose objectives were the exploitation of German atomic related facilities, intellectual materials, materiel resources, and scientific personnel for the benefit of the Soviet atomic bomb...


External links

  • Hertz – Nobel Biography.
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