Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was born on this day in 1845. He was a German physicist who produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known today as X-rays or Röntgen rays. He earned the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. In honour of his accomplishments, in 2004 the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) named element 111, roentgenium, a radioactive element with multiple unstable isotopes.
Otto Wallach was born on this date by 1847. He was a German chemist and recipient of the 1910 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on alicyclic compounds.
Jaroslav Heyrovský died on this date in 1967. He was a Czech chemist and inventor. Heyrovský was the inventor of the polarographic method, father of the electroanalytical method, and recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1959. His main field of work was polarography. Jaroslav Heyrovský was born in Prague on December 20, 1890, the fifth child of Leopold Heyrovský, Professor of Roman Law at the Charles University in Prague, and his wife Clara, née Hanl von Kirchtreu. He obtained his early education at secondary school until 1909 when he began his study of chemistry, physics, and mathematics at the Charles University in Prague. From 1910 to 1914 he continued his studies at University College, London, under Professors Sir William Ramsay, W. C. McC. Lewis, and F. G. Donnan taking his BSc degree in 1913. He was particularly interested in working with Professor Donnan, on electrochemistry. During the First World War Heyrovský worked in a military hospital as a dispensing chemist and radiologist, which enabled him to continue his studies and to take his PhD degree in Prague in 1918 and DSc in London in 1921. Heyrovský started his university career as an assistant to Professor B. Brauner in the Institute of Analytical Chemistry of the Charles University, Prague; he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1922 and in 1926 he became the University’s first Professor of Physical Chemistry. Heyrovský’s invention of the polarographic method dates from 1922 and he concentrated his whole further scientific activity on the development of this new branch of electrochemistry. He formed a school of Czech polarographers in the University and was himself at the forefront of polarographic research. In 1950 Heyrovský was appointed Director of the newly established Polarographic Institute which has since been incorporated into the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences since 1952.