Apparatuses for Trapping and Accelerating Neutral Particles
Patent No. 3,710,279
Non-destructive Optical Trap for Biological Particles and Method of Doing Same
Patent No. 4,893,886
While at Bell Labs, Ashkin invented optical trapping, a process that traps small particles such as atoms, molecules, and macroscopic particles by using laser light. The technique uses radiation pressure force on particles arising from the momentum of the incident light. The process has allowed the study of small particles in many fields. It had a major impact on biological science and led to the study of molecular motors, DNA, and other biological molecules. Other applications continue to be developed.
Donald Bitzer, Robert Willson, Gene Slottow (1921-1989)
Gaseous Display and Memory Apparatus
Patent No. 3,559,190
In the mid-1960s, Don Bitzer and Gene Slottow, faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and graduate student Robert Willson, worked together to create the first plasma display. A new display was needed for the PLATO computerized learning system that had been created by Bitzer because traditional displays had no inherent memory, lacked high brightness and contrast, and flickered. Today, plasma displays are known for their accurate color reproduction, high contrast ratios, wide viewing angle and large screen refresh rates.
Equipment for Use with Hand Held Motion Picture Cameras
Patent No. 4,017,168
Steadicam® Camera Stabilizer
Brown invented the Steadicam® camera stabilizer, ushering in new technology that enhanced movie and television production by allowing directors to obtain shots that were previously thought impossible. His invention is a body-mounted stabilization device so camera operators can move freely while filming remains smooth. Among many other inventions, Brown also created the Skycam system that changed how sporting events are filmed by allowing moving aerial views.
Biometric Personal Identification System Based on Iris Analysis
Patent No. 5,291,560
John Daugman invented iris recognition biometric algorithms for identifying persons reliably and rapidly using the random texture visible in the iris of an eye. Encoded iris patterns yield much entropy, enabling recognition with confidence levels high enough to search national-sized databases efficiently, and at speeds of millions per second per CPU core. Daugman’s algorithms are used worldwide, mainly in national ID programs, at airport immigration control, in access control, and in watch-lists, including terrorist tracking.
Leonard Flom, Aran Safir (1926-2007)
Iris Recognition System
Patent No. 4,641,349
Leonard Flom and Aran Safir patented their idea for an iris identification system in 1987, basing it on the fact that no two irides are alike. Their idea involved illuminating the eye, obtaining an image of the iris, and comparing that image with stored data. Today, iris recognition is considered to be the most accurate in the field of biometric identification based on physical or behavioral characteristics. The appeal of iris recognition lies in its speed, ease of use, high level of accuracy, and non-contact.
Irwin Jacobs, Andrew Viterbi
Spread Spectrum Multiple Access Communication System Using Satellite or Terrestrial Repeaters
Patent No. 4,901,307
System and Method for Generating Signal Waveforms in a CDMA Cellular Telephone System
Patent No. 5,103,459
Jacobs and Viterbi, two of Qualcomm’s co-founders, were major contributors to code division multiple access (CDMA) technology that is used in cellular telephone networks. CDMA now supports over 1.6 billion subscribers in developing and developed countries with voice and high speed Internet access. It was standardized for North America in 1993. Jacobs served as CEO of Qualcomm until 2005 and as chairman of the board of directors until 2009. Upon Viterbi’s retirement from Qualcomm, he founded The Viterbi Group, and he is also Presidential Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California.
Coordinated Transmission for Two-Pair Digital Subscriber Lines
Patent No. 5,181,198
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
While working at Bellcore, Lechleider was the first person who demonstrated the feasibility of sending broadband signals over copper. His work turned the existing copper wire phone network into a high-speed broadband delivery instrument, allowing for transmission of data at equal rates in both directions. He also suggested that larger amount of data could be sent in one direction and smaller amounts in the other, which came to be called asymmetric DSL, or ADSL, the standard used today in much of the world’s DSL connections.
Samuel Alderson (1914 - 2005)
Human Equivalent Dummy
Patent No. 3,010,223
Crash Test Dummy
Alderson was a pioneer in developing the crash-test dummy, a full-scale anthropomorphic test device. The crash-test dummy has provided automotive engineers with valuable information, enabling them to design more effective safety features including seat belts and air bags. From its beginnings of use in the automotive industry, dummies have gone on to provide valuable data in all kinds of development and testing, from aircraft to medical technology.
John Birden (1918 - 2011), Ken Jordan (1921 - 2008)
Patent No. 2,913,510
Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG)
Birden and Jordan were working at Monsanto’s Mound Laboratory when they developed the RTG, a self-contained power source that obtains its power from radioactive decay. RTGs have powered most of the exploration vehicles the United States has launched into deep space, where the sun’s intensity is not sufficient to generate electricity with solar cells and steady, reliable power is needed in unmanned situations.
Alfred Loomis (1887 - 1975)
Long Range Navigation System
Patent No. 2,884,628
Long Range Navigation System (LORAN)
Attorney and investment banker Alfred Loomis is known as one of the great amateur scientists of the 20th century. He established a personal laboratory near his mansion in Tuxedo Park, New York where he created many inventions. Among his many innovations was LORAN (LOng RAnge Navigation), a radio navigation system for a marine or flight navigator to determine a vessel’s location. LORAN remained an essential tool until the introduction of the Global Positioning System in the 1990s.
Robert Moog (1934 - 2005)
Electronic High-Pass and Low-Pass Filters Employing the Base to Emitter Diode Resistor for Bi-Polar Transistors
Patent No. 3,475,623
In 1964, Moog introduced the first complete voltage controlled modular synthesizer, an instrument capable of producing a wide variety of electronic sounds. The Moog synthesizer helped revolutionize the face of music by giving artists and composers the capability to create a brand new palette of sounds. Composer Wendy Carlos was one of the first to usher the synthesizer into the spotlight with the 1968 Switched-On Bach album. Since then, countless performers and composers have utilized the original Moog synthesizer and the Minimoog®, a smaller, portable version of the original instrument.
Grote Reber (1911 - 2002)
Patent No. 2,519,603
Reber, a pioneering radio astronomer, built the first substantial radio telescope dedicated to astronomy. Radio astronomy allows for the detection of objects and phenomena not possible with optical astronomy, utilizing a radio receiver that can amplify faint cosmic signals, making the waves strong enough to be recorded and charted.