Transfixing Google Doodle Celebrates Waves

Blame Google if you find yourself staring at your screen, unable to remember what you were about to search for on the internet. Today's Google Doodle celebrates the 155th birthday of German physicist Heinrich Hertz, whose experiments with electromagnetic waves paved the way for the radio -- and everything wireless you've ever used.

Now that's a Google Wave I can get behind. The never-ending wave gif on the front page of Google is really cool to watch, yes, but the pioneering scientific work it celebrates is even cooler. Heinrich Hertz was the first person to definitively prove that electromagnetic waves existed. Imagine a world in which we didn't know about electromagnetic waves. You definitely wouldn't be reading this blog. the horror! How did he do it? By setting up a makeshift radio transmission in his lab. His work was so important that the unit for the frequency of waves, was named after him. One Hertz equals one unit per cycle.

The craziest part about Hertz's life, though, is that while he loved the science, he didn't see any practical applications for his work. He died at 36, so he never lived to see his enormous impact on the world. The Guardian has a nice write-up on Hertz's life if you're interested in learning more. [Google]