- Category : Physicist
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 5/2 - Heretical / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Prevention 2
German physicist, known for his work in determining the structure of molecules, in particular free radicals. He won the Nobel Prize in 1971 for chemistry. One of Herzberg’s most important works is the three-volume "Molecular Spectra and Molecular Structure," 1939-1966.
His father died when he was 10, leaving his mother to support him and his brother. She immigrated to the United States where she worked as a housekeeper and sent small amounts of money back to her sons. As a child Herzberg was interested in astronomy and applied to study at Hamburg Observatory. Because of the family’s money problems, however, he was discouraged from pursuing his passion.
During high school, he immersed himself in mathematics, physics and chemistry and caught the attention of the physics teacher, Herr Hillers, who took him under his wing. In 1924, aided by a private scholarship, Herzberg began his studies at the Technical University.
By 1928 he had earned his Doctor of Engineering Physics degree and had published 12 papers. He went on to do his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Gottingen and spent a second post-doctoral year at the University of Bristol. He took a position as a lecturer at the Darmstadt Institute of Technology in 1930, but five years later fled Nazi Germany with his Jewish wife. They settled in Canada where he took a position with the University of Saskatchewan, later moving to the U.S. to work at Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin.
In 1929, he married Luise Oettinger and had two children. His wife died in 1971. Herzberg died March 3, 1999 in Ottawa, Canada.