What Is Hertz in Electricity?


The hertz is a familiar unit in the measurement of electricity--as common a word at home supply stores as amp or volt. Like some other units of measure, the hertz (abbreviated Hz) was named after an accomplished scientist.


  • A hertz is an international measure of electrical frequency, with 1 Hz being one cycle per second.

Heinrich Hertz

  • According to IEEE.org, Heinrich Hertz (1857 - 1894) was born in Hamburg, Germany, and received his doctoral degree in physics in 1880.

Maxwell's Theory

  • In the mid-19th century, James Clerk Maxwell, a British scientist, theorized that the interaction of magnetic and electrical fields produces electromagnetic waves. Some scientists and engineers questioned the theory's validity.

Hertz's Experiments

  • Hertz's experiments on radio waves confirmed Maxwell's theories about electromagnetic waves and the electromagnetic spectrum.

International Variations


  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Thomas
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