Coolidge, William D(avid)


Coolidge, William D(avid)

biographical name

(born Oct. 23, 1873, Hudson, Mass., U.S.—died Feb. 3, 1975, Schenectady, N.Y.) U.S. engineer and physical chemist. He taught at MIT (1897, 1901–05) before joining the General Electric Research Laboratory, where in 1908 he perfected a process to render tungsten ductile and therefore more suitable for incandescent lightbulbs. In 1916 he patented a revolutionary X-ray tube capable of producing highly predictable amounts of radiation; it was the prototype of the modern X-ray tube. With Irving Langmuir, he also developed the first successful submarine-detection system.

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