Jaroslav Heyrovský (1890 – 1967) was a professor of physical chemistry at Charles University in Prague. He published his work on electrolysis with a dropping mercury electrode (DME) in 1922 and in 1925 together with his Japanese collaborator Masuzo Shikata constructed a device registering the dependence of direct current on voltage using the DME electrode, which they termed, polarography. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1959 for his “discovery and development of polarography.”
Jaroslav Heyrovský; NTM
Polarography is an analytical method, which allows quantitative and qualitative analysis of the compounds in a solution simultaneously. The polarographic device is an apparatus used in the electrochemical analysis of presence and concentration of unknown reducible or oxidizable substances. In general, polarography is a technique in which the electric potential is varied in a regular manner between two sets of electrodes (indicator and reference) submersed in an electrolytic solution. The resulting polarization curve shows “waves.” The height of the wave indicates the concentration of the dissolved substance, while the position of the wave shows the kind of substances analysed.
The original polarographic apparatus was devised by Prof. Jaroslav Heyrovský, in cooperation with his Japanese student M. Shikata in 1924. It is one of five devices manufactured by technicians Metoděj Ineman and František Peták in the Physical Institute workshop. These five were the only existing polarography units until the year 1929 when V. and J. Nejedlý designed the first electrically propelled model; NTM
Nobel prize for discovery of polarography.
Gold Nobel plaque awarded to Prof. Jaroslav Heyrovský in 1959. The front side features the portrait of Alfred Nobel. The statue of a woman reminiscent of the goddess Isis occupies the reverse. She is appearing from the clouds, holding the cornucopia in her right hand. The Genius of Science stands by her side lifting the veil from her face; Academy of Sciences (MÚA)