Gerhard Herzberg Biography
(Physical Chemist, Physicist)
Birthday: December 25, 1904 (Capricorn)
Born In: Hamburg, Imperial Germany
Gerhard Herzberg was a Germany-born Canadian physicist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering work in molecular spectroscopy in which he used the absorption of light by molecules and atoms to discover their geometrical patterns and electronic structures. He was born in Germany but fled from Germany when the Nazis came to power to avoid persecution because of his Jewish wife. His wife was a spectroscopist and collaborated with him during his early experiments. He was a brilliant scientist who sometimes designed his own spectroscopic methods to explain the structures of polyatomic and diatomic molecules, free radicals and astronomical objects which was difficult to obtain by any other method. Though he was a physicist, his work was of immense value to the field of physical chemistry and quantum mechanics as they dealt with the energy states and the internal geometry of molecules. He was the first Canadian to receive the Nobel Prize. Though he was asked to retire when he reached the age of sixty-five, he refused to do so, and was promoted to Professor Emeritus. He carried on with his research work for full-time as long he was fit and healthy till the time he died.