The wavy blue, red, yellow, and green logo on Google’s homepage today is in honor of Heinrich Rudolph Hertz. The German physicist, who was instrumental in the discovery of electromagnetic and radio waves, was born on this date 155 years ago.
The Google Doodle is somewhat unique, as Google’s name doesn’t appear in the logo. Rather, you only see the multi-colored wave scrolling in a simple animated GIF until you click on the logo and are taken to Google’s search results.
Hertz is credited as being the first person to prove the existence of electromagnetic waves. By building a basic device, Hertz became the first person to broadcast and receive radio waves, which inspired the invention of the wireless telegraph, radio, and eventually television and radar, and paved the way for many of the communication and wireless devices we now use every day. The hertz (Hz) unit of frequency is named after him.
Google regularly pays tribute to the scientists and inventors who have made big contributions to our modern society. In the past, Google has honored the likes of geology pioneer Nicolas Steno, microchip inventor Robert Noyce, photography inventor Louis Daguerre, vitamin C discoverer Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, and the father of genetics Gregor Mendel, to name just a few from the past 12 months.