In March 1874, he travelled to the United States, after discontinuing his studies owing to financial constraints. The initial days in the US for this scientist were pretty difficult. He then engaged in some unskilled jobs to support himself and at the same time learned different languages.
In 1879, he qualified for a Bachelor’s degree in arts at the ‘Columbia College’, and joined the institute to pursue his graduation.
He completed his Bachelor’s degree in the year 1883 and the same year he gained a US citizenship.
He then, went on to study Physics and Electrical engineering at the ‘University of Cambridge’, situated in England, as well as the ‘University of Berlin’, Germany.
At Berlin, his mentor was the renowned German physicist Herman von Helmholtz and under the latter’s guidance Pupin completed his Ph.D. dissertation called ‘Osmotic Pressure and Its Relationship to Free Energy’.
In 1889, he joined the ‘Columbia College School of Mines’, as a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Soon after, he was promoted to the post of an associate professor in the institute.
He invented the devise called ‘Pupin coil’ in 1894, which enhanced the range of distant telephonic communication. He patented this invention and had acquired several exclusive rights to safeguard it.
In 1896, this physicist discovered that the atoms which come into contact with X-rays, in turn release secondary X-rays.
The scientist's observation related to alternating currents was his first path-breaking work which met with enormous success.
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He was appointed as the professor of electro-mechanics in the year 1901, at the ‘Columbia College’, and the same year, the ‘American Telephone and Telegraph Company’ and a few individuals from Germany bought the patent rights of Pupin’s Long distance telephony. This earned the scientist a huge amount of money.
In 1911, he was elected as a representative of the Kingdom of Serbia in New York.
In the year 1923, he authored his autobiography titled ‘From Immigrant to Inventor’ for which he even received a prize the following year.
This book’s Serbian edition appeared in the year 1929, which was titled ‘Od pašnjaka do naučenjaka’ (From pastures to scientist).
In 1931, he was appointed as the professor emeritus at the ‘Columbia University’.
He was engaged in various works such as establishing organization for immigrants and improving border relations between Serbia, Yugoslavia and the United States.
He was also actively engaged with the Serb émigré who resided in the United States, and founded the ‘Serbian National Defense Council of America’ and was its president as well.
Pupin was associated with the ‘Serbian Academy of Science’, ‘New York Academy of Science and the ‘French Academy of Science’.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1888, he married Sarah Catharine Jackson, who belonged to New York. The couple were blessed with a daughter, whom they named Barbara.
Throughout his career, he had written a number of literary pieces such as articles and scientific theories. Some of his authored books are ‘The New Reformation’ and ‘Romance of the Machines’.
On 12th March 1935, this eminent scientist breathed his last in New York .His grave is located in the ‘Woodlawn Cemetery’, Bronx.
The physical laboratories building of the ‘Columbia University’ has been named after this physicist as the ‘Pupin Hall’.