Irving Langmuir
Irving Langmuir

Celebrity Profile

Name: Irving Langmuir
Occupation: Chemist
Gender: Male
Birth Day: January 31, 1881
Death Date: Aug 16, 1957 (age 76)
Age: Aged 76
Country: United States
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius

Social Accounts

Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
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Irving Langmuir

Irving Langmuir was born on January 31, 1881 in United States (76 years old). Irving Langmuir is a Chemist, zodiac sign: Aquarius. Find out Irving Langmuirnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


He helped invent the high vacuum tube after doing conducting research on light bulbs and diffusion pumps.

Does Irving Langmuir Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Irving Langmuir died on Aug 16, 1957 (age 76).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He attended the Columbia University School of Mines before earning his Ph.D. degree in 1906 under Nobel laureate Walther Nernst in Göttingen.

Biography Timeline


Irving Langmuir was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 31 January 1881. He was the third of the four children of Charles Langmuir and Sadie, née Comings. During his childhood, Langmuir's parents encouraged him to carefully observe nature and to keep a detailed record of his various observations. When Irving was eleven, it was discovered that he had poor eyesight. When this problem was corrected, details that had previously eluded him were revealed, and his interest in the complications of nature was heightened.


Langmuir attended several schools and institutes in America and Paris (1892–1895) before graduating high school from Chestnut Hill Academy (1898), an elite private school located in the affluent Chestnut Hill area in Philadelphia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgical engineering (Met.E.) from the Columbia University School of Mines in 1903. He earned his PhD in 1906 under Friedrich Dolezalek in Göttingen, for research done using the "Nernst glower", an electric lamp invented by Nernst. His doctoral thesis was entitled "On the Partial Recombination of Dissolved Gases During Cooling." He later did postgraduate work in chemistry. Langmuir then taught at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, until 1909, when he began working at the General Electric research laboratory (Schenectady, New York).


Langmuir was married to Marion Mersereau (1883–1971) in 1912 with whom he adopted two children: Kenneth and Barbara. After a short illness, he died in Woods Hole, Massachusetts from a heart attack on 16 August 1957. His obituary ran on the front page of The New York Times.


In 1917, he published a paper on the chemistry of oil films that later became the basis for the award of the 1932 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Langmuir theorized that oils consisting of an aliphatic chain with a hydrophilic end group (perhaps an alcohol or acid) were oriented as a film one molecule thick upon the surface of water, with the hydrophilic group down in the water and the hydrophobic chains clumped together on the surface. The thickness of the film could be easily determined from the known volume and area of the oil, which allowed investigation of the molecular configuration before spectroscopic techniques were available.


Langmuir was president of the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1923.


He introduced the concept of electron temperature and in 1924 invented the diagnostic method for measuring both temperature and density with an electrostatic probe, now called a Langmuir probe and commonly used in plasma physics. The current of a biased probe tip is measured as a function of bias voltage to determine the local plasma temperature and density. He also discovered atomic hydrogen, which he put to use by inventing the atomic hydrogen welding process; the first plasma weld ever made. Plasma welding has since been developed into gas tungsten arc welding.


Based on his work at General Electric, John B. Taylor developed a detector ionizing beams of alkali metals, called nowadays the Langmuir-Taylor detector. In 1927, he was one of the participants of the fifth Solvay Conference on Physics that took place at the International Solvay Institute for Physics in Belgium.


He joined Katharine B. Blodgett to study thin films and surface adsorption. They introduced the concept of a monolayer (a layer of material one molecule thick) and the two-dimensional physics which describe such a surface. In 1932 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his discoveries and investigations in surface chemistry." In 1938, Langmuir's scientific interests began to turn to atmospheric science and meteorology. One of his first ventures, although tangentially related, was a refutation of the claim of entomologist Charles H. T. Townsend that the deer botfly flew at speeds of over 800 miles per hour. Langmuir estimated the fly's speed at 25 miles per hour.


In 1953 Langmuir coined the term "pathological science", describing research conducted with accordance to the scientific method, but tainted by unconscious bias or subjective effects. This is in contrast to pseudoscience, which has no pretense of following the scientific method. In his original speech, he presented ESP and flying saucers as examples of pathological science; since then, the label has been applied to polywater and cold fusion.


His house in Schenectady, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Family Life

Irving married Marion Mersereau in 1912.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Irving Langmuir is 141 years, 8 months and 0 days old. Irving Langmuir will celebrate 142nd birthday on a Tuesday 31st of January 2023. Below we countdown to Irving Langmuir upcoming birthday.


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