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Nobel Prizes and Laureates


Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1925
James Franck, Gustav Hertz

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Gustav Hertz - Facts

Gustav Ludwig Hertz

Gustav Ludwig Hertz

Born: 22 July 1887, Hamburg, Germany

Died: 30 October 1975, Berlin, East Germany

Affiliation at the time of the award: Halle University, Halle, Germany

Prize motivation: "for their discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom"

Field: atomic physics

Gustav Hertz received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1926.

Prize share: 1/2

Provided a Firm Footing for Future Research

Following Niels Bohr's theory for the structure of the atom, an experiment to verify it was made by James Franck and Gustav Hertz in 1913. A potential difference was applied to a tube containing a low pressure gas. When the current through the tube increased, the potential difference increased until it reached a certain voltage, then it was suddenly reduced. The result gave support for Bohr's theory in which the electrons have only specific discrete energies. The freely moving electrons, could at a certain energy, make the electrons of the gas atom to move to a new orbit.

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