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Jaroslav Heyrovsky

Jaroslav HeyrovskyBorn: 20-Dec-1890
Birthplace: Prague, Austria-Hungary
Died: 27-Mar-1967
Location of death: Prague, Czechoslovakia
Cause of death: Illness
Remains: Buried, Vysehradsky Hrbitov, Prague, Czechia

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist, Inventor

Nationality: Czechia
Executive summary: Polarography

Military service: Austrian Army, 1914-18

Czech electrochemist Jaroslav Heyrovsky studied under Sir William Ramsay at University College London, and on 10 February 1922 discovered an ingenious new electroanalytical technique, now called polarography. In brief, electric current is measured as a function of the applied potential as it passes through an electrolysis cell. The mechanism for measuring consists of a potentiometer, which adjusts the potential; a galvanometer for measuring the current; and a cell containing two electrodes. Allowing qualitative or quantitative analyses, polarography is used in chemistry to explicate solutions of reducible or oxidizable substances. Over the decades after his discovery, Heyrovsky traveled the civilized world, explaining, demonstrating, and popularizing his technique and equipment, and in 1959 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He was founder and director of the Central Polarographic Institute in Prague, which was renamed in his honor at his retirement in 1964.

Father: Leopold Heyrovsky (professor of law)
Mother: Clara Hanl
Brother: Leopold (entomologist)
Wife: Marie Koranová (m. 1926, one daughter, one son)
Daughter: Jitka
Son: Michael (electrochemist)

    High School: Akademicke Gymnasium, Prague (1909)
    University: University of Prague (attended)
    University: BSc, University College London (1913)
    Scholar: University College London (1913-14)
    University: PhD, University of Prague (1918)
    University: DSc, University College London (1921)
    Teacher: Analytical Chemistry, University of Prague (1921-26)
    Professor: Physical Chemistry, University of Prague (1926-54)
    Administrator: Heyrovsky Polarographic Institute, Prague (1950-64)

    Czechoslovakian State Prize, First Grade 1951
    Order of the Czechoslovak Republic 1955
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1959
    Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member, 1933
    International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Vice President, 1951-55
    German Academy of Science Corresponding Member, 1955
    Hungarian Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 1955
    Indian Academy of Sciences Foreign Fellow, 1955
    German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Foreign Member, 1956
    Polish Academy of Sciences 1962
    Royal Danish Academy of Sciences 1962
    Czech Ancestry
    Lunar Crater Heyrovsky (39.6 S, 95.3 W, 16 km. diameter)

Author of books:
Practical Polarography: An Introduction for Chemistry Students (1951)
Principles of Polarography (1958)


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