Willem Einthoven

Infobox Scientist
name = Willem Einthoven



image_size = 180px
caption = Willem Einthoven in 1906
birth_date = May 21, 1860
birth_place = Semarang
death_date = September 29, 1927
death_place = Leiden, Netherlands
nationality = Netherlands
field =Physiology
work_institutions = University of Leiden
alma_mater = University of Utrecht
known_for = electrocardiogram
prizes = Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1924
Willem Einthoven (Semarang, May 21, 1860 – Leiden, September 29, 1927) was a Dutch doctor and physiologist. He invented the first practical electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) in 1903 and received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1924 for it.

Einthoven was born in Semarang on Java in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). His father, a medical doctor, died when Einthoven was a child. His mother returned to the Netherlands with her children in 1870 and settled in Utrecht. In 1885, Einthoven received a medical degree from the University of Utrecht. He became a professor at the University of Leiden in 1886.

Before Einthoven's time, it was known that the beating of the heart produced electrical currents, but the instruments of the time could not accurately measure this phenomenon without placing electrodes directly on the heart. Beginning in 1901, Einthoven completed a series of prototypes of a string galvanometer. This device used a very thin filament of conductive wire passing between very strong electromagnets. When a current passed through the filament, the electromagnetic field would cause the string to move. A light shining on the string would cast a shadow on a moving roll of photographic paper, thus forming a continuous curve showing the movement of the string. The original machine required water cooling for the powerful electromagnets, required 5 people to operate it and weighed some 600 lb. This device increased the sensitivity of the standard galvanometer so that the electrical activity of the heart could be measured despite the insulation of flesh and bones.

Although later technological advances brought about better and more portable EKG devices, much of the terminology used in describing an EKG originated with Einthoven. His assignment of the letters P, Q, R, S and T to the various deflections is still used. The term "Einthoven's triangle" is named for him. It refers to the imaginary inverted equilateral triangle centered on the chest and the points being the standard leads on the arms and leg.

After his development of the string galvanometer, Einthoven went on to describe the electrocardiographic features of a number of cardiovascular disorders. Later in life, Einthoven turned his attention to the study of acoustics.

He died in Leiden in the Netherlands and is buried in the graveyard of the Reformed Church at 6 Haarlemmerstraatweg in Oegstgeest [Van Ditzhuijzen, Jeannette (September 9 2005). "Bijna vergeten waren ze, de rustplaatsen van roemruchte voorvaderen". Trouw (Dutch newspaper), p. 9 of supplement.] .

ee also

* Electrocardiogram
* String galvanometer

References and further reading

*"Nobel Lectures, Physiology or Medicine 1922-1941", Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1965.
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External links

* The Einthoven Foundation Cardiology Information Portal [http://www.einthoven.nl/Einthoven-algemeen/einthoven_historical_pictures.html Historical pictures]
* [http://nobelprize.org/medicine/laureates/1924/index.html Nobel prize citation]
* [http://library.med.utah.edu/kw/ecg/ecg_outline/Lesson1/lead_dia.html Einthoven's triangle]
* [http://vlp.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/library/search?-display=full&-max=25&-op_author=all&author=Einthoven&-table=vl_literature&-error= Bibliography] in the Virtual Laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
* Museum Boerhaave [http://www.museumboerhaave.nl/ONDERWIJS/VOORTGEZET/2defase/ANW/pdf/nobelprijswinnaars.pdf Negen Nederlandse Nobelprijswinnaars]
* A.M. Luyendijk-Elshout, [http://www.inghist.nl/Onderzoek/Projecten/BWN/lemmata/bwn2/einthoven "Einthoven, Willem (1860-1927)"] , in Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland.
* Biography [http://www.kb.nl/hkc/nobel/einthoven/einthoven.html "Willem Einthoven (1860-1927)"] at the National Library of the Netherlands
* [http://www.cardiologyjournal.org/darmowy_pdf.phtml?indeks=93&indeks_art=1210&VSID=aa11e2d3b9d24acd6e335af0e5fee5bb Willem Einthoven (1860–1927): Father of electrocardiography] .Moukabary, T. Cardiology Journal. 2007, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 316–317 Copyright © 2007 Via Medical ISSN 1897–559.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Willem Einthoven — 1906 Willem Einthoven (* 21. Mai 1860 in Semarang (Indonesien); † 29. September[1] 1927 in Leiden) war ein niederländischer Arzt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Willem Einthoven — en 1906. Nombre …   Wikipedia Español

  • Willem Einthoven — en 1906 Willem Einthoven (21 mai 1860 à Semarang, Indes orientales néerlandaises 29 septembre 1927 à Leyde, Pays Bas …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Willem Einthoven — (n. Semarang el 21 de mayo de 1860 † Leiden, Holanda, 28 de septiembre de 1927). Médico holandés. Hijo de un médico militar, nació circunstancialmente en 1860, en la colonia holandesa de Java, hoy Indonesia. Tr …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Willem Einthoven — noun Dutch physiologist who devised the first electrocardiograph (1860 1927) • Syn: ↑Einthoven • Instance Hypernyms: ↑physiologist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Willem Einthoven — electrocardiograph …   Inventors, Inventions

  • Medizinnobelpreis 1924: Willem Einthoven —   Der niederländische Physiologe entdeckte den Mechanismus des Elektrokardiogramms, wofür er den Nobelpreis erhielt.    Biografie   Willem Einthoven, * Semarang (Java) 21. 5. 1860, ✝ Leiden (Niederlande) 29. 9. 1927; 1885 Promotion und Berufung… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Einthoven — Willem Einthoven 1906 Willem Einthoven (* 21. Mai 1860 in Semarang, Indonesien; † 28. September 1927 in Leiden) war ein niederländischer Arzt. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Familie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Willem — ist eine niederländisch/flämische (nach der Aussprache teils auch norddeutsche) Variante von Wilhelm und bezeichnet mit Vornamen: Willem Barents (um 1550–1597), niederländischer Seefahrer und Entdecker Willem Boerdam (1883–1966), niederländischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Willem — hace referencia a: Pieter Willem Botha, presidente de Sudáfrica. Willem Einthoven, médico holandés, premio Nobel de Medicina en 1924. Bernhard Willem Holtrop, alias Willem, es un dibujante satírica holandes, nacido en Ermelo aux Pays Bas en 1941 …   Wikipedia Español


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