Karl Ferdinand Braun - Inventors, Timeline and Childhood

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Karl Ferdinand Braun's Personal Details

Karl Ferdinand Braun was a German physicist and inventor who received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1909

InformationDetail
BirthdayJune 6, 1850
Died onApril 20, 1918
NationalityGerman
FamousInventors, Physicists, Inventors & Discoverers, Physicists
SpousesAmelie Buhler
Universities
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
  • University of Marburg
Discoveries / Inventions
  • Cathode Ray Tube
  • Cat's Whisker Diode
Birth PlaceFulda, Electorate of Hessen, Germany
GenderMale
FatherJohan Konrad Braun
MotherFranziska Gohring Braun
Sun SignGemini
Born inFulda, Electorate of Hessen, Germany
Famous asGerman Physicist & Inventor
Died at Age67

// Famous Physicists

Karl Ferdinand Braun's photo

Who is Karl Ferdinand Braun?

Karl Ferdinand Braun was a German physicist and inventor who received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1909. He shared the prize with another inventor and scientist Guglielmo Marconi. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in the development of the technologies used in television and radio. He became interested in experimenting with wireless telegraphy at an early age. The distance that could be covered by the wireless technology developed by Marconi was about 15 kilometers only. The antenna was connected directly to the power circuit of the transmitter. Braun developed an antenna that could increase the distance by many more kilometers over which wireless transmissions could be made. He is also famous for the creation of the Cathode Ray Tube or CRT used in the design of TV screens and computer monitors later. He designed ways to control the cathode rays by changing the voltage to obtain a definite pattern on the fluorescent screen which had not been possible earlier. The oscilloscope was also his invention which is used in electrical and electronic laboratories as an instrument for measuring different electrical parameters. He also invented the first ‘cat’s whisker diode’ which led to the invention of crystal receivers for radios.

// Famous Inventors

Childhood & Early Life

Karl Ferdinand Braun was born on June 6, 1850 in Fulda, Germany to Johan Konrad Braun and Franziska Gohring Braun. He was the fourth child of his parents.

He did his initial education at the local grammar school in Fulda.

After completing high school he studied chemistry and mathematics at the ‘University of Marburg’.

He completed his PhD in physics in 1872 from the ‘University of Berlin’.

Thereafter he worked as a graduate assistant at the Wurzburg University.

Career

In 1874 Karl Ferdinand Braun discovered that point-contact semiconductors were able to rectify electrical currents from alternating to direct current.

In 1874 he became a member of the teaching faculty at the ‘St. Thomas Gymnasium’ in Leipzig.

He was appointed an ‘Extraordinary Professor of Theoretical Physics’ at the Marburg University in 1877.

He joined the Strasbourg University also as an ‘Extraordinary Professor of Physics’ in 1880.

He joined the ‘Polytechnic School’ in Karlsruhe in 1883 to teach physics.

He was invited to build a new ‘Physics Institute’ by the ‘University of Tubingen’ in 1885.

In 1895 he returned to become a professor of physics at the ‘University of Strasbourg’ and also became the director of the ‘Physical Institute’ at the university.

He built the first Cathode Ray Tube or CRT in 1897 and also the CRT oscilloscope. For almost one century CRTs were used in TV sets and computer monitors until they were replaced by flat-screen LCD screens, LED screens and finally Plasma screens in the 21st century.

He became a member of a group of scientists who were working on the development of wireless and radio technology in 1897.

He became fully dedicated to solving the problems in wireless telegraphy in 1898 and continued to work on the issue for the next few years.

In 1898 he discovered the ‘cat’s whisker diode’ or crystal rectifier that could transform alternating current to direct current. This helped to increase the distance over which wireless devices could work.

He applied for many patents on his designs related to wireless telegraphy in 1899.

He had started experimenting with wireless telegraphy when he was with the Strasbourg University and was able to connect to the city of Mutzig 42 kilometers away very soon by wireless telegraphy. On September 24, 1900 he was able to set up a wireless telegraphy connection between Cuxhaven in the North Sea coast and the island of Heligoland about 62 kilometers away. Wireless communications between Cuxhaven and light vessels plying on the Elbe River also became possible during this time with his help.

He was instrumental in the execution of the first trans-Atlantic wireless transmission in 1901 which led to the setting up of the wireless telegraphy industry.

In 1902 he was successful in receiving messages with the help of the ‘inclined beam antenna’.

The ‘phased array antenna’ was discovered by him in 1905. This was a combination of three antennas arranged one behind the other for transmitting a directional signal. The radar and the smart antennas were developed later with this technology.

Before the start of the First World War, he was called to the US in 1914 to stand as witness in favor of the wireless station operated by the ‘Atlantic Communication Company’ in Sayville, New York against a law suit filed by the ‘American Marconi Corporation’ which was owned by the British Government.

He could not go back to Germany as the First World War had broken out by then and the US government had joined the war. He was allowed to move about freely inside Brooklyn, New York. He could not carry out any more experiments as he did not have access to any laboratory in New York. He stayed in the house of one of his sons, Konrad till his death.

Major Works

His patented theories have been published in the books titled as ‘Electro Telegraphy by means of Condensers and Induction Coils’ and ‘Wireless Electro Transmission of Signals over Surfaces’.

Awards & Achievements

Karl Ferdinand Braun was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1909 for his path-breaking discovery work in wireless telegraphy and television technology and inventions.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Amelie Buhler in 1883 while working at the Polytechnic school in Karlsruhe.

He had two sons and two daughters from this marriage.

Karl Ferdinand Braun died on April 20, 1918 in Brooklyn New York, United States, before the end of the First World War.

// Famous Physicists

Karl Ferdinand Braun awards

YearNameAward

Other

Nobel Prize in Physics (1909)

Karl Ferdinand Braun biography timelines

  • // 6th Jun 1850
    Karl Ferdinand Braun was born on June 6, 1850 in Fulda, Germany to Johan Konrad Braun and Franziska Gohring Braun. He was the fourth child of his parents.
  • // 1872
    He completed his PhD in physics in 1872 from the ‘University of Berlin’.
  • // 1874
    In 1874 Karl Ferdinand Braun discovered that point-contact semiconductors were able to rectify electrical currents from alternating to direct current.
  • // 1874
    In 1874 he became a member of the teaching faculty at the ‘St. Thomas Gymnasium’ in Leipzig.
  • // 1877
    He was appointed an ‘Extraordinary Professor of Theoretical Physics’ at the Marburg University in 1877.
  • // 1880
    He joined the Strasbourg University also as an ‘Extraordinary Professor of Physics’ in 1880.
  • // 1883
    He joined the ‘Polytechnic School’ in Karlsruhe in 1883 to teach physics.
  • // 1883
    He married Amelie Buhler in 1883 while working at the Polytechnic school in Karlsruhe.
  • // 1885
    He was invited to build a new ‘Physics Institute’ by the ‘University of Tubingen’ in 1885.
  • // 1895
    In 1895 he returned to become a professor of physics at the ‘University of Strasbourg’ and also became the director of the ‘Physical Institute’ at the university.
  • // 1897
    He built the first Cathode Ray Tube or CRT in 1897 and also the CRT oscilloscope. For almost one century CRTs were used in TV sets and computer monitors until they were replaced by flat-screen LCD screens, LED screens and finally Plasma screens in the 21st century.
  • // 1897
    He became a member of a group of scientists who were working on the development of wireless and radio technology in 1897.
  • // 1898
    He became fully dedicated to solving the problems in wireless telegraphy in 1898 and continued to work on the issue for the next few years.
  • // 1898
    In 1898 he discovered the ‘cat’s whisker diode’ or crystal rectifier that could transform alternating current to direct current. This helped to increase the distance over which wireless devices could work.
  • // 1899
    He applied for many patents on his designs related to wireless telegraphy in 1899.
  • // 24th Sep 1900
    He had started experimenting with wireless telegraphy when he was with the Strasbourg University and was able to connect to the city of Mutzig 42 kilometers away very soon by wireless telegraphy. On September 24, 1900 he was able to set up a wireless telegraphy connection between Cuxhaven in the North Sea coast and the island of Heligoland about 62 kilometers away. Wireless communications between Cuxhaven and light vessels plying on the Elbe River also became possible during this time with his help.
  • // 1901
    He was instrumental in the execution of the first trans-Atlantic wireless transmission in 1901 which led to the setting up of the wireless telegraphy industry.
  • // 1902
    In 1902 he was successful in receiving messages with the help of the ‘inclined beam antenna’.
  • // 1905
    The ‘phased array antenna’ was discovered by him in 1905. This was a combination of three antennas arranged one behind the other for transmitting a directional signal. The radar and the smart antennas were developed later with this technology.
  • // 1909
    Karl Ferdinand Braun was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1909 for his path-breaking discovery work in wireless telegraphy and television technology and inventions.
  • // 1914
    Before the start of the First World War, he was called to the US in 1914 to stand as witness in favor of the wireless station operated by the ‘Atlantic Communication Company’ in Sayville, New York against a law suit filed by the ‘American Marconi Corporation’ which was owned by the British Government.
  • // 20th Apr 1918
    Karl Ferdinand Braun died on April 20, 1918 in Brooklyn New York, United States, before the end of the First World War.

// Famous Inventors & Discoverers

Karl Ferdinand Braun's FAQ

  • What is Karl Ferdinand Braun birthday?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun was born at 1850-06-06

  • When was Karl Ferdinand Braun died?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun was died at 1918-04-20

  • Where was Karl Ferdinand Braun died?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun was died in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

  • Which age was Karl Ferdinand Braun died?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun was died at age 67

  • Where is Karl Ferdinand Braun's birth place?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun was born in Fulda, Electorate of Hessen, Germany

  • What is Karl Ferdinand Braun nationalities?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun's nationalities is German

  • Who is Karl Ferdinand Braun spouses?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun's spouses is Amelie Buhler

  • What was Karl Ferdinand Braun universities?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun studied at Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Marburg

  • What is Karl Ferdinand Braun's inventions/discoveries?

    Cathode Ray Tube, Cat's Whisker Diode was invented (or discovered) by Karl Ferdinand Braun

  • Who is Karl Ferdinand Braun's father?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun's father is Johan Konrad Braun

  • Who is Karl Ferdinand Braun's mother?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun's mother is Franziska Gohring Braun

  • What is Karl Ferdinand Braun's sun sign?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun is Gemini

  • How famous is Karl Ferdinand Braun?

    Karl Ferdinand Braun is famouse as German Physicist & Inventor