Karl Herzfeld - Physicists, Life Achievements and Family

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Karl Herzfeld's Personal Details

Karl F

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 24, 1892
Died onJune 3, 1978
NationalityAustrian
FamousScientists, Physicists
Universities
  • University of Vienna
  • University of Göttingen
Birth PlaceVienna
GenderMale
Sun SignPisces
Born inVienna
Famous asPhysicist
Died at Age86

// Famous Scientists

Karl Herzfeld's photo

Who is Karl Herzfeld?

Karl Herzfeld’s rise through the scientific community can best be described as ‘meteoric.’ From a child attending several of Germany’s most prestigious schools to studying under one of the world’s most prolific physicist known to date, Herzfeld’s passion for science was cultivated early on in life, thus becoming his prime focus through the course of it. Over the length of sixty years of his career, Karl managed to contribute numerous findings to the field of physics, receiving overwhelming praise and admiration for his respect. In addition to his work in the sciences, he also served in the military—first as a soldier, then as a researcher. After becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen, Karl spent much of his later years lecturing at several American universities, including Fordham University and the University of Michigan. During this time, he managed to publish over 130 articles, as well as fourteen books, covering a number of topics which interested Herzfeld, including the mechanisms of sound absorption in gases, liquids, and solids and the foundations of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Additionally, he had great interest in philosophy, evident by his time spent at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., where he would serve as a professor until his death. To know more about his life and works read on

// Famous Physicists

Childhood and Early Life

Karl Ferdinand Herzfeld was born on February 24, 1892 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary to Dr. Charles August and Camilla Herzfeld. As a child, he attended several prominent schools around Vienna.

From 1902-1910, he was a student at ‘Schottes Gymnasium’. The school, managed by the ‘Benedictine Order of the Roman Catholic Church’, helped develop his interest in science.

At eighteen, he began collegiate studies at the ‘University of Vienna’, studying physics and chemistry from 1910-1912.

He continued his studies at the ‘University of Zurich’, as well as ‘ETH Zurich’. It is here where he met physicist Otto Stern, who would help Karl develop a greater understanding of thermodynamics.

In 1913, he spent a year at the ‘University of Gottingen’, studying under Albert Einstein.Herzfeld completed his doctorate studies at the ‘University of Vienna’.

Career

Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I in 1914, acquiring the position of First Lieutenant of Artillery.

After returning home in 1920, he accepted a job as a faculty member for the ‘University of Munich’. He worked in the school’s physicochemical laboratory, developing a strong interest in theoretical physics.

In 1925, his book on kinetic theory, ‘Kinetische Theorie der Wärme’ (Kinetic Theory of Heat) was published. It would become a graduate-level textbook used in numerous German universities.

In 1926, he relocated to the United States, accepting a visiting professorship at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, becoming a physics professor after one year. Herzfeld did substantial research with associate professor Francis O. Rice.

Their 1928 collaborative paper, Dispersion and absorption of high-frequency sound waves, examined the purpose of molecular vibrations in transferring energy between ultrasonic waves and gas molecules.

During the early 1930s, he developed a relationship with chemist H.M. Smallwood, resulting in two contributions for Hugh S. Taylor’s ‘A Treatise on Physical Chemistry: The kinetic theory of gases and liquids’ and ‘Imperfect gases and the liquid state’ in 1931.

Herzfeld collaborated with fellow colleagues Maria Goeppert-Mayer and James Franck during 1934-41. His work with Mayer would result in the publication of two articles: on the states of aggregation in the ‘Journal of Chemical Physics’ and on the theory of fusion in ‘Physical Review’.

His collaboration alongside Franck produced two more: ‘An attempted theory of photosynthesis’ in the ‘Journal of Chemical Physics’ and ‘Contributions to a theory of photosynthesis’ for the ‘Journal of Physical Chemistry’.

In 1936, he took a job at ‘The Catholic University of America’ as a professor of physics and chairman of the Physics department. After becoming naturalized citizen, he worked for the military during World War II as a consultant.

During the latter part of the 1940s, Herzfeld shifted his focus toward quantum-mechanical calculations on the electronic structure of polyatomic molecules.

In 1959, Herzfeld collaborated with physics professor, Theodore A. Litovitz on the book, ‘Absorption and Dispersion of Ultrasonic Waves’, which abridged Herzfeld’s theories on ultrasonics.

In 1961, he regained his position as Chairman of Physics at the ‘Catholic University of America’.

In 1964, he was awarded the US Navy’s ‘Meritorious Service Citation’ for his services during World War II as a consultant on mine warfare.

In 1966, what would be one of Herzfeld’s last scientific articles was published in ‘The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America’, summarizing fifty years of progression in physical ultrasonics.

He was conferred the title of professor emeritus at the ‘Catholic University’ in 1969, and continued to serve in this capacity until his death.

Major Works

He served as head of the ‘Committee on Mine Advisory’, focusing on the scientific concerns of mine warfare during WWII on the side of the U.S. Throughout his tenure with the military he researched on structure of matter and application of statistical mechanics.

Awards & Achievements

This eminent physicist received the Mendel Medal in 1931 from ‘Villanova University’ and seven years later he was presented with the ‘Sechi Medal’ by ‘Georgetown University’.

Personal Life & Legacy

He met his future wife, Regina Flannery at ‘Catholic University’ and they married on June 9, 1938.

On June 3, 1978, at the age of 86, this renowned scientist passed away

// Pisces Celebrities

Karl Herzfeld biography timelines

  • // 24th Feb 1892
    Karl Ferdinand Herzfeld was born on February 24, 1892 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary to Dr. Charles August and Camilla Herzfeld. As a child, he attended several prominent schools around Vienna.
  • // 1902 To 1910
    From 1902-1910, he was a student at ‘Schottes Gymnasium’. The school, managed by the ‘Benedictine Order of the Roman Catholic Church’, helped develop his interest in science.
  • // 1910 To 1912
    At eighteen, he began collegiate studies at the ‘University of Vienna’, studying physics and chemistry from 1910-1912.
  • // 1913
    In 1913, he spent a year at the ‘University of Gottingen’, studying under Albert Einstein.Herzfeld completed his doctorate studies at the ‘University of Vienna’.
  • // 1914
    Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I in 1914, acquiring the position of First Lieutenant of Artillery.
  • // 1920
    After returning home in 1920, he accepted a job as a faculty member for the ‘University of Munich’. He worked in the school’s physicochemical laboratory, developing a strong interest in theoretical physics.
  • // 1925
    In 1925, his book on kinetic theory, ‘Kinetische Theorie der Wärme’ (Kinetic Theory of Heat) was published. It would become a graduate-level textbook used in numerous German universities.
  • // 1926
    In 1926, he relocated to the United States, accepting a visiting professorship at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, becoming a physics professor after one year. Herzfeld did substantial research with associate professor Francis O. Rice.
  • // 1928
    Their 1928 collaborative paper, Dispersion and absorption of high-frequency sound waves, examined the purpose of molecular vibrations in transferring energy between ultrasonic waves and gas molecules.
  • // 1931
    During the early 1930s, he developed a relationship with chemist H.M. Smallwood, resulting in two contributions for Hugh S. Taylor’s ‘A Treatise on Physical Chemistry: The kinetic theory of gases and liquids’ and ‘Imperfect gases and the liquid state’ in 1931.
  • // 1931
    This eminent physicist received the Mendel Medal in 1931 from ‘Villanova University’ and seven years later he was presented with the ‘Sechi Medal’ by ‘Georgetown University’.
  • // 1934 To 1941
    Herzfeld collaborated with fellow colleagues Maria Goeppert-Mayer and James Franck during 1934-41. His work with Mayer would result in the publication of two articles: on the states of aggregation in the ‘Journal of Chemical Physics’ and on the theory of fusion in ‘Physical Review’.
  • // 1936
    In 1936, he took a job at ‘The Catholic University of America’ as a professor of physics and chairman of the Physics department. After becoming naturalized citizen, he worked for the military during World War II as a consultant.
  • // 9th Jun 1938
    He met his future wife, Regina Flannery at ‘Catholic University’ and they married on June 9, 1938.
  • // 1959
    In 1959, Herzfeld collaborated with physics professor, Theodore A. Litovitz on the book, ‘Absorption and Dispersion of Ultrasonic Waves’, which abridged Herzfeld’s theories on ultrasonics.
  • // 1961
    In 1961, he regained his position as Chairman of Physics at the ‘Catholic University of America’.
  • // 1964
    In 1964, he was awarded the US Navy’s ‘Meritorious Service Citation’ for his services during World War II as a consultant on mine warfare.
  • // 1966
    In 1966, what would be one of Herzfeld’s last scientific articles was published in ‘The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America’, summarizing fifty years of progression in physical ultrasonics.
  • // 1969
    He was conferred the title of professor emeritus at the ‘Catholic University’ in 1969, and continued to serve in this capacity until his death.
  • // 3rd Jun 1978
    On June 3, 1978, at the age of 86, this renowned scientist passed away

// Famous Austrian

Karl Herzfeld's FAQ

  • What is Karl Herzfeld birthday?

    Karl Herzfeld was born at 1892-02-24

  • When was Karl Herzfeld died?

    Karl Herzfeld was died at 1978-06-03

  • Where was Karl Herzfeld died?

    Karl Herzfeld was died in Washington, D.C.

  • Which age was Karl Herzfeld died?

    Karl Herzfeld was died at age 86

  • Where is Karl Herzfeld's birth place?

    Karl Herzfeld was born in Vienna

  • What is Karl Herzfeld nationalities?

    Karl Herzfeld's nationalities is Austrian

  • What was Karl Herzfeld universities?

    Karl Herzfeld studied at University of Vienna, University of Göttingen

  • What is Karl Herzfeld's sun sign?

    Karl Herzfeld is Pisces

  • How famous is Karl Herzfeld?

    Karl Herzfeld is famouse as Physicist