Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (February 22, 1857 – January 1, 1894) was a German physicist who clarified and expanded the electromagnetic theory of light that had been put forth by Maxwell. He was the first to satisfactorily demonstrate the existence of electromagnetic waves by building an apparatus to produce and detect VHF or UHF radio waves.
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- The rigour of science requires that we distinguish well the undraped figure of Nature itself from the gay-coloured vesture with which we clothe her at our pleasure.
- It is not particularly satisfactory to see equations set forth as direct results of observation and experiment, where we used to get long mathematical deductions as apparent proofs of them. Nevertheless, I believe that we cannot, without deceiving ourselves, extract much more from known facts than is asserted in the papers referred to. If we wish to lend more color to the theory, there is nothing to prevent us from supplementing all this and aiding our powers of imagination by concrete representations of the various conceptions as to the nature of electric polarisation, the electric current, etc.
- Electric Waves: Being Researches on the Propagation of Electric Action with Finite Velocity Through Space (1900), p. 28
Quotes about Hertz
- If the idea of physical reality had ceased to be purely atomic, it still remained for the time being purely mechanistic; people still tried to explain all events as the motion of inert masses; indeed no other way of looking at things seemed conceivable. Then came the great change, which will be associated for all time with the names of Faraday, Clerk Maxwell, and Hertz.
- Albert Einstein, "Clerk Maxwell's Influence on the Evolution of the Idea of Physical Reality" in Essays in Science (1934)