Irving Langmuir
                                         1881 to 1957

                              Inventor of the gas filled incandescent lamp

  • 1906 - 1909 - first professional position as instructor of chemistry
  • 1932 - awarded Nobel Prize for Chemistry at General Electric where he worked for the rest of his life
  • 1912 - invented high-vacuum electron tube
  • 1913 - invented gas-filled incandescent lamp
  • 1939 - 1945 (World War II) - worked as a key advisor in wartime scientific research

     Irving Langmuir was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 31, 1881. Langmuir was educated in the public schools of New York and also in Paris, France. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the Columbia University School of Mines and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Gottingen in Germany. His first professional position was as an instructor of chemistry at Stevens Institute in Hoboken, New Jersey, from 1906 to 1909.

     From there he moved to the General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady, New York. What began as a summer job blossomed into a career with the company that lasted the rest of his life. While at General Electric, Langmuir received 63 patents and was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, as well as numerous other honors. His initial research at General Electric involved low-pressure chemical reactions and the study of the emission of electrons by hot filaments in a vacuum. This work led directly to the invention of the high-vacuum electron tube in 1912 and the gas-filled incandescent lamp in 1913. Langmuir was responsible for many basic scientific discoveries, which played a strong role in the development of commercial electrical products as well as in military and general scientific areas. He made major contributions to atomic theory and the understanding of atomic structure. His experiments with oil films on water resulted in the development of two-dimensional or surface chemistry.

      In World War II, Langmuir was one of the key advisers in the national defense and wartime scientific research programs, contributing to the development of radar for use by the British and United States armed. Langmuir died at the age of 76 on August 16, 1957.

Links References

Electricty and Electrical Equipment
History and Different Types of Lightbulbs
Many Other Accomplishments of Irving Langmuir
Early Incandescent Lamps

Made By:  Ben Ostrow