Irving Langmuir Biography
Birthday: January 31, 1881 (Aquarius)
Born In: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Irving Langmuir was an American chemist and physicist who won the 1932 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in surface chemistry, becoming the first industrial chemist to receive this honor. Though his research was primarily focused on surface chemistry, he was also famous for his works in other scientific areas like atomic structure, surface phenomena in a vacuum, atmospheric science, and chemical reactions, thermal effects, and electrical discharges in gases. He is also credited to have popularized Gilbert N. Lewis's cubical atom theory and Walther Kossel's chemical bonding theory through his well known article ‘The Arrangement of Electrons in Atoms and Molecules.’ Born as the son of inquisitive, nature loving parents, he was encouraged to be curious and observant from a young age. An intelligent boy, he performed well in school and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgical engineering (Met.E.) from the Columbia University School of Mines. He began working at the General Electric research laboratory after completing his doctorate and made many valuable contributions to the development of incandescent light bulbs. He also investigated thermionic emission and further research in the field ultimately led to the invention of a fast and efficient vacuum pump.