Are The Waves Wrong On The Hertz Google Logo?

Feb 22, 2012 • 8:30 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under

Today on Google's home page is a special logo for Heinrich Rudolf Hertz. Hertz was born a 155 years ago and Google wanted people to remember him and his contributions to the world.

Here is the logo:

Heinrich Rudolf Hertz Google Wave Logo

It is basically an animated gif.

The wave logo represents electromagnetic waves. Hertz was the first to prove they indeed exist. He proved they exist in 1887 when he ran an experiment to measure the waves and their distance traveled.

What is interesting is that a person, Eric Hanson, in the Google Webmaster Help forums is claiming the Google Logo doesn't accurately represent the wave patterns and structure that Hertz was responsible for proving back in 1887. Eric said:

Hertz described sound frequencies which are strictly sinusoidal in nature, for a company that has so much to do with the sciences, I wonder why the wave for today' Google Doodle is clearly erroneous as it relates to the type of waves that Hertz described.

This stuff is beyond me but even if it isn't the wave Hertz is responsible for proving - who cares, the point is to get the message out about his contributions to the world.

Hertz was born today 155 years ago in Hamburg, German and died at the young age of 36 on January 1, 1894. He died from an infection and was buried Ohlsdorf, Hamburg at the Jewish cemetery. For more about Hertz, see his Wikipedia page.

Forum discussion at Google Blogoscoped Forums and Google Webmaster Help.

Update: Google posted this on their Google+ page:

We're making waves with our doodle for Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, the German physicist who proved the existence of electromagnetic waves and whose research contributed to the invention of television and radio. For those of you who remember your high school physics, you'll know he's also the namesake of the unit hertz (Hz), which measures frequency. Visit the homepage to see it in action.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: February 21, 2012



02/22/2012 01:53 pm

If the Google image is incorrect, then the world will stop rotating, the sun will burn out, and we will all perish. Thanks, Google, for getting the electro-waves all wrong.


02/22/2012 02:11 pm

You are right Barry but Google made a mistake. Hertz (car rental) is an Adwords advertiser and their algo thought that it's the same family so they gave a boost to Heinrich Rudolf Hertz.


02/22/2012 02:29 pm

It's interesting what sort of wave formation you can create by overlapping multiple  sinusoidal waves at different frequencies, amplitudes and phases. For my degree I wrote some software to work out how to emulate shapes like the Google logo by overlapping just sine waves.  The software provided data to design SAW devices:  If I was still sharp  I could make a device to generate the Google Wave (pun intended).


02/22/2012 03:40 pm

I found this article because I was wondering if I was the only one who immediately thought - those are elipses. Easy to draw with basic software but still a terrible graphic. Google couldn't find anyone with the math skills to make sine waves?


02/22/2012 03:48 pm

I guess they aren't teaching math anymore in high school, because my first reaction was much like yours - what do those shapes have to do with sine waves?  Nuthin!


02/22/2012 03:50 pm

You still have time - Fourier's birthday is coming up soon!


02/22/2012 05:45 pm

Pure sine waves should look like a uncoiled spring from side on. Stretching the spring changes the frequency. If you want to get really deep, imagine turning the spring 90 degrees - all you would see is a circle. And there you have the phase. Tada!

Sheldon Campbell

02/22/2012 07:33 pm

Good grief, people! Have some you never noticed that their doodles are usually shaped to resemble their logo?  Talk about nitpicky!


02/23/2012 11:51 am

indeed sheldon.  im not against intelligence but when it gets in the way of adaptation and progress, then its a problem.  have some fun you geeky scientist types :D


02/23/2012 03:40 pm

Just worry when  geeky scientist types start playing in your world

blog comments powered by Disqus