Skip to comments.The woman who made your WiFi work. (RF tech trivia)
Posted on 08/02/2012 6:51:11 AM PDT by Texas Fossil
Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-born American actress. Max Reinhardt called her the most beautiful woman in Europe due to her strikingly dark exotic looks.
Mathematically talented, Lamarr came up with an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary for wireless communication from the pre-computer age to the present day.
The international beauty, along with co-inventor composer George Anthiel, developed a "Secret Communications System" to help combat the Nazis in World War II. By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, the invention formed an unbreakable code to prevent classified messages from being intercepted by enemy personnel.
Lamarr and Anthiel received a secure secret patent in 1941, but the enormous significance of their invention was not realized until decades later. It was first implemented on naval ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis and subsequently emerged in numerous military applications. But most importantly, the "spread spectrum" technology that Lamarr helped to invent would galvanize the digital communications boom, forming the technical backbone that makes cellular phones, fax machines and other wireless operations possible.
There are few women in the tech fields, interesting to see such a beautiful woman made this contribution.
Intersil Semiconductor has a conference room named after her.
“She didn’t build that.” - Obama
In one of Hollywood’s first nude scenes (maybe THE first) she ran naked through the woods :)
Yep, you had to get in the thread pretty early to get that one in.
I read about this years ago and about her idea. A truly remarkable and exceptionally beautiful woman, to boot.
“What the hell are you worried about...this is 1874; you’ll be able to sue her.”
This thread worthless without daguerreotypes!
Technically, what she conceived of (frequency hopping) is different than the direct sequence spread spectrum used for Wi-Fi, but - close enough. Credit where due. Makes you wonder how many of today’s pop culture idols have enough between their ears to come up with a similar idea?
Let’s see...Lady Gaga? Some rapper? Whoever has been acting in all those movies that aren’t worth watching?
More history about frequency hopping.
... Nikola Tesla, the prolific Serbian-American inventor and radio pioneer, filed a U.S. patent, granted on March 17, 1903 which doesnt mention the phrase frequency hopping directly, but certainly alludes to it. Entitled Method of Signaling, the patent describes a system that would enable radio communication without any danger of the signals or messages begin disturbed, intercepted, interfered with in any way.
Teslas patent details a system whereby transmitter and receiver are synchronized and hop between two channels (although the patent notes any number of channels could be used) by altering the carrier frequency in a predetermined sequence to avoid interference. ...
Yes, she was beautiful.
Yes, I had heard about Julia Child’s OAS connection. But not about Heddy.
Over time I have found a good number of FReepers are HAMS. Some like me largely inactive because of computers. But I am still interested in RF technology. (hate cell phones though)
In my prior life in military comms, I ran one of the hottest ‘rigs’ available. A full 50KW CW transmitter with a 640 acre antenna farm. Comms were a wicked 12kHz bandwidth, covering a frequency range from 5MHz (nighttime) up to 24MHz (daytime). Range was thousands of miles. This was all in the 60s and 70s - eventually replaced by satellite.
FYI my mother is a Swede from MN. She took a job in DC because of telegraphy skills she had. She and my father met in the train station in DC as he was preparing to ship to Europe during WWII. They knew each other 2-3 weeks before his ship left. Wrote during war. He had my grandfather send her a train ticket on his way back from Europe. They were married in my grandparents home the night she arrived in TX. That was 66 years ago.
I am not a ham. However I have been doing research on software defined radio in general and the GNU software defined radio in particular. If you like radio and you like computers, just combine them!
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