Chemiker, Nobelpreis für Chemie 1932
When Thomas Edison patented his light bulb in 1880, he presented research with a new challenge, as chemists and physicists then endeavoured to improve Edison’s bulb. A great deal of money was made with the new odourless lamp which replaced the smoky, oxygen-consuming gas lamps. Langmuir also fully focuses his efforts on refining the lamp.
He obtained his doctorate on the subject under Walther Nernst in Germany in 1906 and then carried out research at General Electric in Schenectady, which Edison himself found-ed in 1890. The expertise that Langmuir brings from Europe is extremely welcome. He optimises the vacuum technology which enables the production of improved light bulbs and radio tubes, and focuses on surface chemistry.
In March 1930, he returns to Germany to give a lecture at Harnack House as part of Fritz Haber’s colloquium on his current specialist field: "The Chemical and Electrical Properties of Absorbed Layers of Tungsten."