(August 31, 1821 – September 8, 1894)

Hermann von Helmholtz was an erudite researcher; and as well, among the most versatile scientists ever. He awed his contemporaries with works which spanned the entire fields of science (as they existed in his lifetime). Although he qualified as a medical doctor in order to fulfill his father’s ambitions, his proficiencies in physical sciences were such that he published acclaimed disquisitions (in both physics and mathematics), while still an undergraduate. From mechanics to magnetism; or from acoustics to heat — and down to waves, no branch of physics escaped his intrusion. The same goes for anatomy, physiology and ophthalmology: where his probes in neurology and optics still receive praises. He even delved into astronomy, meteorology, geography, psychology and philosophy. With so many areas of interest, buoyed by unquenchable desire to explore, the second half of 19th century saw him serving as professor in various institutes. In each capacity, he outputted numerous works and mentored students, including: Max Planck, Heinrich Hertz, Albert Michelson, Arthur Webster and Wilhelm Wien. His reputation was such that various researchers sought his partnership in both academic and industrial projects. He also won many prizes during these decades. In appreciation for his contributions, several concepts, such as: Helmholtz’s Theorems, Helmholtz Equation, Helmholtz Reciprocity, Helmholtz Resonance, Helmholtz Machine and Helmholtz Coil were named after him. He is also the eponym of the 11573 Helmholtz asteroid, the 112-kilometer-wide Helmholtz Martian crater, as well as the 110-kilometer-wide Helmholtz lunar crater: which straddles both Jean Boussingault and George von Neumayer craters.


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