Vita Ferdinand Braun

Karl Ferdinand Braun 1909 (© Wikimedia Commons)

Karl Ferdinand Braun

* June 06, 1850, in Fulda (Germany)
† April 20, 1918, in Brooklyn/New York (USA)

Ferdinand Braun was an experimental physicist during the period of Wilhelmian Germany. He worked on thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and electrical instruments. Ferdinand Braun discovered the rectifier effect in semiconductors, built the first cathode-ray tube oscilloscope and developed a crystal detector for wireless telegraphy. For this invention, he received the Nobel Prize for physics, together with Marconi. Braun decisively supported the activities to establish engineering sciences at universities. He was not only a scientist but also a co-founder of the company "Telefunken", where he brought his research results into application. In this way, Ferdinand Braun was also a pioneer in the field of technology transfer.

1868 - 1872 University studies at Marburg and Berlin
1870 - 1874 Research assistant in Berlin and Würzburg
1874 - 1877 High-school teacher in Leipzig
rectifier effect in semiconductors (1874)
1877 - 1880 Senior lecturer (professor) in Marburg
1880 - 1883 Senior lecturer (professor) in Strasbourg
1883 - 1885 Professor at the University of Karlsruhe
electrical pyrometer (1884)
1885 - 1895 Professor at the University of Tübingen
planned and established the Physical Institute (1885 - 1889)
Le Chatelier-Braun principle; the Braun electrometer (1887)
1895 - 1918 Professor at the University of Strasbourg
demonstration of the first cathode-ray oscilloscope (1897)
wireless telegraphy (1898)
founded Telefunken company in Berlin (1903)
president of the university (1905)
development of the first crystal radio receiver (1906)
Nobel Prize for physics for "contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy" (1909)
journey to New York City on behalf of the German Reich (1914)

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