Irving Langmuir

  • From:

    General Electric Research Laboratory │ Schenectady, New York

  • Year:

    1934

  • Subject:

    Chemistry

  • Award:

    Franklin

  • Citation:

    For atomic hydrogen in arc welding.

Born in 1881 in Brooklyn, New York, Irving Langmuir was educated in the public schools of New York and Paris, France. He attended Columbia University School of Mines as an undergraduate, and earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Gottingen in Germany, where he studied under Nobel laureate Walther Nernst.

In 1909, Langmuir took a position at the General Electric Research Laboratory, where he remained throughout his career. 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. While at G.E., Langmuir received 63 patents and was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, as well as numerous other honors.

Information as of 1934