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Willem Einthoven

( Nederlands physiologist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1924)

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Biography Willem Einthoven
May 21, 1860, Mr.. - September 28, 1927
Nederlands physiologist Willem Einthoven was born in Semarang on Java island (Netherlands East India, at present - Indonesia), the family physician and Louise Jacob Einthoven Einthoven (De Vogel). Bill was the third of six children in the family. When he was six years old, his father died, and in 1870. family returned to the Netherlands, Mr.. Utrecht. Here E. graduated from high school in 1879. entered the Medical Faculty of Utrecht University. A great lover of sports, E. was president of the Union of gymnasts and fencers, and founded a student club rowing in Utrecht. Even in his student years he published a paper concerning the functions of the elbow and shoulder joints, based on observations he had received during the exercises wrist injury. In 1885, Mr.. E. dissertation deals with the stereoscope, through differentiation of colors, and received his doctorate. In the same year at age 25, he was appointed professor of physiology at Leiden University and held this position until his death.
Despite the fact that E. was to become a doctor, a physiologist, he is seriously interested in physics. As an assistant to an ophthalmologist Herman Snellen and physiologist F. Donders, he studied the physical properties of light and their effect on the eye muscles. He has extensive experience in developing the most advanced devices to measure physiological processes.
Electrophysiology - the science of electrical phenomena occurring in the process of vital activity. In 1880, Mr.. was recognized that the reduction of heart is accompanied by electrical phenomena, but the only way to register the 'heart currents', was the direct imposition of electrodes on the exposed heart. In 1887, Mr.. English physiologist Waller in August found that changes in potentials arising from the reduction of the heart, can be recorded from electrodes placed on the surface of the body intact animal. Similar currents were recorded using a capillary electrometer - device consisting of a mercury column, rises and falls depending on the change of the electric field. It was written so-called electrocardiogram (ECG), which was very imperfect, because the mercury had high inertia. E. found that with such a record can get an accurate ECG, if making adjustments to it with a rather laborious mathematical calculations.
To avoid such calculations, E. developed a device with which it was possible to accurately record the small fluctuations of electrical potentials. Work on the instrument took him six years, and was created as a result of a string galvanometer. It consisted of very thin quartz wire (so thin that it fluctuated under the influence of air), hold the voltage in a magnetic field. When the wire passed an electric current, it is deflected, depending on the strength of the current. Then her movements were amplified and photographed on a moving belt. Since the wire was very light, it almost instantly react to any changes in the electric field.
The normal ECG consists of several teeth and a set of variations that E. called P, QRS and T. Small dent P reflects the electrical activity of the atria, and rapid high-amplitude QRS complex and slower spike T - the electrical activity of the ventricles. E. also proposed three points of the body, which should impose electrodes. At the same time at the position of electrodes on the right and left hands formed allocating I, on the right arm and left leg - allocating II, and on his left arm and left leg - lead III. These three derivations form an equilateral triangle, and their parameters can determine the angle at which the heart is located in the chest. E. According to the law, the sum of the potentials in lead I and III is equal to the potential in lead II. String galvanometer made a real revolution in the study of heart disease. With this instrument the doctors were able to accurately record the electrical activity of the heart and with the help of registration to establish the characteristic curves of ECG abnormalities.
In 1924, Mr.. E. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the 'discovery of the mechanism of the electrocardiogram'. In his Nobel lecture he gave many examples of ECG rhythm disturbances and their relationship with heart tones. He ended his speech with words of gratitude to other researchers: 'New page in the research of heart disease were discovered not by one man, . and many talented people, . whose works have become known far beyond the borders of their states'.,
. Later string galvanometer was used to record potentials in the nerves and electrical oscillations arising from the muscular contractions
. In one experiment, E. with his son Willem, an electrical engineer, used the string galvanometer for receiving a wireless message from the island of Java. To this end, the strain was selected threads, in which she was a resonance with the wave of the transmitter. Received telegrams then photographed. Later, Bill Jr. Einthoven developed the vacuum string galvanometer, used for wireless. Despite the fact that many scientists visited the laboratory E. continue to apply its techniques in his works, he, unfortunately, has neither a scientific school, nor the followers.
In 1886. E. married his cousin, Frederick Jeanne Louise de Vogel. In the family were born three daughters and one son.
Externally E. was a stocky man of medium height. He was known for a love of jokes, kindness and generosity to friends and colleagues. His latest work, published posthumously, was devoted to the currents of the heart. E. died at Leyden on Sept. 28, 1927
E. was a permanent member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and enjoyed universal respect and honor. He was elected a foreign member of the London Royal Scientific Society. E. was widely known as a lecturer, he frequently lectured in Europe and the United States of America


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Willem Einthoven, photo, biography
Willem Einthoven, photo, biography Willem Einthoven  Nederlands physiologist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1924, photo, biography
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