Herzberg, Gerhard

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Herzberg, Gerhard Gender: M
born on 25 December 1904 at 04:00 (= 04:00 AM )
Place Hamburg, Germany, 53n33, 9e59
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 02°55' s_mo.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 03°29 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 09°44'


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..

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • business associate/partner relationship with Born, Max (born 11 December 1882)
  • business associate/partner relationship with Polanyi, John (born 23 January 1929). Notes: Working in his lab


  • Social : Begin a program of study 1924 (Started at the technical university)
  • Social : End a program of study 1928 (Doctorate of Engineering Physics)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1929 (Luise Oettinger)
  • Work : New Job 1930 (Darmstadt Institute of Technology)
  • Family : Change residence 1935 (Fled to Canada to avoid persecution)
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1939 (Three volumes of "Molecular Spectra and Molecular Structure," 27 years to complete)
  • Death of Mate 1971 (Luise died)
  • Work : Prize 1971 (Nobel Prize for Chemistry)

Source Notes

John McKay-Clements quotes Shelaugh Kendle from him by phone. His data was not published during his lifetime.


  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive (PhD)
  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Age 10 when dad died)
  • Family : Childhood : Memories Bad (Mom immigrated to U.S. to support kids)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (42 years with Luise)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs
  • Vocation : Education : Public speaker (Lecturer)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (University professor)
  • Vocation : Engineer : Other Engineer (Physics engineer)
  • Vocation : Science : Physics (Noted)
  • Notable : Awards : Nobel prize (Chemistry)