The Hamburg Television Tower is officially named the Heinrich-Hertz-Turm (Turm=Tower) in honour of
the Hamburg born physicist. It is by far the highest tower in Hamburg.
The architects were Fritz Trautwein and Fritz Leonhard. It was built between 1965 and 1968
as the telecommunications tower of the Deutsche Bundespost (German Federal Mail).
It has an overall height of 279·80 m, whereby the conical concrete shaft ends 204 m above the ground. At a height of 128-132 m there is a two-storeyed viewing platform and restaurant. Above this at a height of 150 m, projecting further out from the shaft, is the operations platform, and further above this six smaller antenna platforms. The NDR (North German Broadcasting) broadcasts its Second and Third radio programmes and the private television companies Sat1 and RTL broadcast their television programmes from here.
The tower stands as an elegant landmark in the north west corner of Planten un Blomen (Public Gardens) and, from the park, is reached via a footbridge over Renzelstraße. Two high speed lifts take the visitor to the viewing platform, (with two self-service restaurants), in roughly 30 seconds. From here one has a magnificent panoramic view over the entire city with the Alster lakes, the river Elbe and Port of Hamburg, and further afield towards Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony. The restaurant above the viewing platform revolves a full 360° once every hour.
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (22.02.1857, Hamburg - 1.01.1894, Bonn). Heinrich Hertz was born to a Jewish father, who had converted to Christianity. He was one of the most outstanding physicists of the 19th century. He was the German physicist who was the first to broadcast and receive radio waves.
He received a comprehensive education in the humanities and natural sciences, and received his Ph. D. magna cum laude from the University of Berlin in 1880, where he studied under Hermann von Helmholz. In 1883 he began his studies of the electromagnetic theory of James Clark Maxwell. He became professor of experimental physics at the Karlsruhe Polytechnic at the age of 28. Between 1885 and 1889, while he was professor of physics at the Karlsruhe Polytechnic, he produced electromagnetic waves in the laboratory and measured their length and velosity. He showed that the nature of their vibration and their suseptibility to reflection and refraction were the same as those of light and heat waves. As a result he established beyond any doubt that light and heat are electromagnetic radiation. In 1889, Hertz was appointed professor of physics at the University of Bonn, where he continued his research on the discharge of electricity in rarefied gases. His scientific papers were translated into English and published in three volumes:
Electric Waves (1893), Miscellaneous Papers (1896), and Principles of Mechanics (1899).
He died at the early age of 37 after a long illness.
A school is named after him: Heinrich-Hertz-Grundschule, Poßmoorweg 22, 22301 Hamburg, and a street: Heinrich-Hertz-Straße, 22083/22085 Hamburg.
His is one of the 56 portraits, in relief, of eminent citizens of Hamburg, on the columns in the entrance hall of the Rathaus (Town Hall). His was one of the six out of seven "Jewish" portraits removed by the Nazis, but which has since been replaced.
Gustav Ludwig Hertz (22.07.1887, Hamburg - 30.10.1975, East Berlin). He was a nephew of Heinrich Hertz. He was the German physicist who, with James Franck, received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1925 for work that confirmed the theory that energy can be absorbed by an atom only in definite amounts. He studied at the universities of Göttingen, Munich, and Berlin, and was appointed an assistant in physics at the University of Berlin in 1913, where he began to work with Franck. Their experiments showed that when an electron strikes an atom, it must possess a certain minimum energy in order to displace another electron from the atom. This energy is called an ionization potential and varies for different elements. Their measurements showed that the distinct wavelengths of light emitted by each element corresponds to the series of possible energy states for the atoms of that element. This had been foreseen by Niels Bohr, who utilized the quantum theory to explain the nature of the atom.
In 1925 Gustav Hertz was appointed professor of physics at the University of Halle and in 1928 professor of physics at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. In 1932 he devised a method of separating the isotopes of neon.
Gustav Hertz was engaged in research in the Soviet Union from 1945 until 1954. He returned to East Germany in 1954 and was professor of physics and director of the Physics Institute in Leipzig until 1961.