Scottish physicist and Nobel laureate best known for inventing the cloud chamber. He was a student of the famous physicist J. J. Thompson.
Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of all time, didn't invent the light bulb. He simply improved upon it to create a practical, long-lasting incandescent source of light! The light bulb was first demonstrated in 1878 by British physicist Joseph Swan. The inventor used carbonised paper as a filament and patented the bulb in 1880. The next year, London's Savoy Theatre became the world's first public building to be lit by the electric wonder. Edison's genius was to understand the nature of the bulb and painstaking test hundreds of materials as filaments. After many trials, his group finally arrived at a carbon bamboo filament which would not only make the bulb last longer (1,200 hours) but could also be produced cheaply. They demonstrated their light bulb on 31st December 1979. Edison too filed and received a patent for his electric bulb. Including Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan, there were a total of eight inventors working on the electric bulb at that time. [more...]