Today, 155 years ago, Heinrich Hertz was born. Google celebrates by turning their logo into a frequency wave…
Hertz was a German physicist who, in 1886, was the first to conclusively prove the existence of electromagnetic waves, an essential step toward the inventions of the telegraph, radio, television, and more.
He had little awareness of the magnitude of his contributions, however. After participating in the discovery of the photoelectric effect, he remarked, “It’s of no use whatsoever.” And when asked what he imagined his insights might result in, he answered, “Nothing, I guess.”
Despite his pessimism, his experiments came to explain reflection, refraction, polarization, interference, and velocity of electric waves — all words and concepts that I have no understanding of, but that I’m very glad other people spend their lives studing.
(Subject knowledge simulated via Wikipedia)