Today would have been the 110th birthday of the brilliant Dennis Gabor. Born Dénes Gábor, of Jewish-Hungarian parents, Bertalan and Adrienne Gabor, in Budapest on June 5, 1900. His father, Bertalan, was the director of a mining company. He studied electrical engineering, but his life-long passion, physics, started early at age 15. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1971
In 1927, after joining Siemens & Halske AG, he made his first successful invention: the high pressure quartz mercury lamp with superheated vapour and the molybdenum tape seal, since used in millions of street lamps. This was his “very first exercise in serendipity” (quote/unquote), which is the art of looking for something, then finding something else. The reason: he had set out to ‘find’ a cadmium lamp, but that experiment ended in him inventing the mercury lamp!
The Nobel Prize in Physics, bestowed on him in 1971, was for his invention of holography. (He received his first patent for his holographic experiments at the age of 11). Mr Gábor died in February 1979.
The following are quotes by Dennis Gabor:
— Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.
— The most important and urgent problems of the technology of today are no longer the satisfactions of the primary needs or of archetypal wishes, but the reparation of the evils and damages by the technology of yesterday.