January 31, 1881 in Brooklyn, New York
August 16, 1957 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts at age 76.
Claim to Fame:
- Greatly improved the light bulb by replacing the vacuum with inert nitrogen or argon and twisting the tungsten filament into a tight coil.
- Developed the high vacuum electron tube.
- Isolated atomic hydrogen and created the process of hydrogen welding.
- Coined the term plasma for the fourth state of matter.
- Contributed to atomic theory by proposing that atoms try to complete their outer shells with eight electrons (the octet rule).
- During World War II, he worked to develop aircraft wing de-icing techniques and smokescreens. This lead to his work in weather control and cloud seeding with dry ice and silver iodide.
- 1929 President of the American Chemical Society.
- 1932 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Dr. Katherine B. Blodgett. He was the first non-academic chemist to be awarded the prize. The work was primarily about monolayers and surface absorption and created an entirely new discipline of thin film chemistry.
- 1943 President of American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Mount Langmuir (elevation 8,156 ft) in Alaska is named after him.