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