October 30, 1975 – Death of Gustav Hertz, Nobel Prize winner for his research on the passage of electrons through a gas

Experimento Franck-Hertz

He began his studies at the Johanneum school (Hamburg) and later at the universities of Göttingen, Munich and Berlin until graduating in Physics in 1911.

He obtained a position as a research assistant at the Physics Institute of the Friedrich Wilhelm University (Berlin) in 1913. Together with another scientist, James Franck, they carried out research on the impact of electrons that led them, in 1914, to carry out his famous experiment that confirmed and supported Bohr's atomic model and opened the doors to quantum mechanics formulated by Max Planck.

Just as he was researching and quantifying the ionization potential of various gases, World War I begins and he has to go to the front lines. In 1915, he is seriously injured.

He continues with his studies and demonstrated the quantitative relationships between the series of spectral lines and the energy loss of electrons when colliding with atoms.

In 1925, he and James Franck received the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discoveries on the passage of electrons through a gas. In addition, he received the Max Planck Medal from the German Physical Society.

He returns to Berlin with the aim of rebuilding the Physics Institute. During this time, he is the director and responsible for the discovery of a method to separate neon isotopes using a diffusion cascade.

After World War II, in 1945, he moved to the Soviet Union, where he worked as head of a research laboratory until 1954, when he rose to the position of director of the Institute of Physics at Karl Marx University in Leipzig (Germany).

In 1961, he was named Professor Emeritus and retired, living between Leipzig and Berlin.

If you want to know more about this scientist, click on the following link: Gustav Ludwig Hertz

Access to the best


on Energy and Environment
Go to resources