(August 31, 1821 – September 8, 1894)
Hermann von Helmholtz was an erudite researcher, as well as one of the most versatile scientists. He fascinated his contemporaries with works which spanned the entire fields of science (as they existed in his lifetime). Although he trained as a medical doctor in order to fulfill his father’s wishes, his proficiencies in physical sciences were such that he published acclaimed treatises (in physics and mathematics) while still an undergraduate. From mechanics to heat, and from acoustics to electromagnetism, no major branch of physics escaped his intrusion. The same applies to anatomy and physiology: where his pioneering works in neurology and optics still receive praises. He even delved into astronomy, meteorology, geology, 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 several students, among whom are: Max Planck, Heinrich Hertz, Albert Michelson and Arthur Webster. His reputation was such that researchers (in various fields) sought his collaborations in both academic and industrial projects. He also won many awards and prizes during these decades. In appreciation to his contributions, the Helmholtz Machine, Helmholtz Equation, Helmholtz Theorem, Helmholtz Coil, Helmholtz Resonance, etc., were named after him. He is also the eponym of the 11573 Helmholtz asteroid, the Helmholtz crater on mars, as well as the 110-kilometer-wide Helmholtz lunar impact crater (which straddles the two craters named after Jean Boussingault and George von Neumayer).