Czech inventors

Jaroslav Heyrovský


Jaroslav HeyrovskýJaroslav Heyrovský Jaroslav Heyrovský was a Czech chemist and inventor. Heyrovský was the inventor of the polarographic method, father of electroanalytical chemistry, and recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1959.

Jaroslav Heyrovský was born in Prague on 20th December, 1890. He obtained his early education at secondary school till 1909 when he began his study of chemistry, physics and mathematics at the Czech Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague. From 1910 to 1914 he continued his studies at University College, London, under Professors Sir William Ramsay, W.C.Mc.C. Lewis and F.G. Donnan, taking his B.Sc. degree in 1913. He was particularly interested in working with Professor Donnan, on electrochemistry.

The first polarograph which became a model for commercial instrumentsThe first polarograph which became a model for commercial instrumentsHeyrovský'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. Polarography is an instrumental method of chemical analysis used for qualitative and quantitative determinations of reducible or oxidizable substances. Heyrovský's instrument measures the current that flows when a predetermined potential is applied to two electrodes immersed in the solution to be analyzed. Within 10 years of the demonstration of the first polarograph (1924) the method was in common use. Heyrovský's monograph Polarographie appeared in 1941.

Jaroslav Heyrovský having received the Nobel Prize from the Swedish kingJaroslav Heyrovský having received the Nobel Prize from the Swedish king In 1950 the Professor was appointed Director of the newly established Polarographic Institute which has been incorporated into the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences since 1952.

Jaroslav Heyrovský died on March 27, 1967. He was interred in the Vysehrad cemetery in Prague.