A maser is a device that produces coherent electromagnetic waves through amplification by stimulated emission. The first maser was built by Charles H. Townes, James P. Gordon, H. J. Zeiger at Columbia University in 1953. Townes, Nikolay Basov and Alexander Prokhorov were awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for theoretical work leading to the maser. Masers are used as the timekeeping device in atomic clocks, as low-noise microwave amplifiers in radio telescopes and deep space spacecraft communication ground stations. Modern masers can be designed to generate electromagnetic waves at not only microwave frequencies but radio and infrared frequencies. For this reason Charles Townes suggested replacing "microwave" with the word "molecular" as the first word in the acronym maser; the laser works by the same principle as the maser, but produces higher frequency coherent radiation at visible wavelengths. The maser was the forerunner of the laser, inspiring theoretical work by Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow that led to the invention of the laser in 1960.
When the coherent optical oscillator was first imagined in 1957, it was called the "optical maser". This was changed to laser for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation". Gordon Gould is credited with creating this acronym in 1957; the theoretical principles governing the operation of a maser were first described by Joseph Weber of the University of Maryland at the Electron Tube Research Conference in 1952 in Ottawa, with a summary published in the June 1953 Transactions of the Institute of Radio Engineers Professional Group on Electron Devices, by Nikolay Basov and Alexander Prokhorov from Lebedev Institute of Physics at an All-Union Conference on Radio-Spectroscopy held by the USSR Academy of Sciences in May 1952, subsequently published in October 1954. Independently, Charles Hard Townes, James P. Gordon, H. J. Zeiger built the first ammonia maser at Columbia University in 1953; this device used stimulated emission in a stream of energized ammonia molecules to produce amplification of microwaves at a frequency of about 24.0 gigahertz.
Townes worked with Arthur L. Schawlow to describe the principle of the optical maser, or laser, of which Theodore H. Maiman created the first working model in 1960. For their research in the field of stimulated emission, Townes and Prokhorov were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964; the maser is based on the principle of stimulated emission proposed by Albert Einstein in 1917. When atoms have been induced into an excited energy state, they can amplify radiation at a frequency particular to the element or molecule used as the masing medium. By putting such an amplifying medium in a resonant cavity, feedback is created that can produce coherent radiation. Atomic beam masers Ammonia maser Free electron maser Hydrogen maser Gas masers Rubidium maser Liquid-dye and chemical laser Solid state masers Ruby maser Whispering-gallery modes iron-sapphire maser Dual noble gas maser In 2012, a research team from the National Physical Laboratory and Imperial College London developed a solid-state maser that operated at room temperature by using optically pumped, pentacene-doped p-Terphenyl as the amplifier medium.
It produced pulses of maser emission lasting for a few hundred microseconds. In 2018, a research team from Imperial College London and University College London demonstrated continuous-wave maser oscillation using synthetic diamonds containing Nitrogen-Vacancy defects. Masers serve as high precision frequency references; these "atomic frequency standards" are one of the many forms of atomic clocks. They are used as low-noise microwave amplifiers in radio telescopes; as of 2012, the most important type of maser is the hydrogen maser, used as an atomic frequency standard. Together with other kinds of atomic clocks, these help make up the International Atomic Time standard; this is the international time scale coordinated by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Norman Ramsey and his colleagues first conceived of the maser as a timing standard. More recent masers are identical to their original design. Maser oscillations rely on the stimulated emission between two hyperfine energy levels of atomic hydrogen.
Here is a brief description of how they work: First, a beam of atomic hydrogen is produced. This is done by submitting the gas at low pressure to a high-frequency radio wave discharge; the next step is "state selection"—in order to get some stimulated emission, it is necessary to create a population inversion of the atoms. This is done in a way, similar to the famous Stern–Gerlach experiment. After passing through an aperture and a magnetic field, many of the atoms in the beam are left in the upper energy level of the lasing transition. From this state, the atoms can emit some microwave radiation. A high Q factor microwave cavity confines the microwaves and reinjects them into the atom beam; the stimulated emission amplifies the microwaves on each pass through the beam. This combination of amplification and feedback is; the resonant frequency of the microwave cavity is tuned to the frequency of the hyperfine energy transition of hydrogen: 1,420,405,752 hertz. A small fraction of the signal in the microwave cavity is coupled into a coaxial cable and sent to a coherent radio receiver.
The microwave signal coming out of the maser is weak. The frequency of the
Hughes Aircraft Company
The Hughes Aircraft Company was a major American aerospace and defense contractor founded in 1932 by Howard Hughes in Glendale, California as a division of Hughes Tool Company. The company was known for producing, among other products, the Hughes H-4 Hercules Spruce Goose aircraft, the atmospheric entry probe carried by the Galileo spacecraft, the AIM-4 Falcon guided missile. Hughes Aircraft was acquired by General Motors from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1985 and was put under the umbrella of Hughes Electronics, now known as DirecTV, until GM sold its assets to Raytheon in 1997. During World War II the company built several prototype aircraft at Hughes Airport; these included the famous Hughes H-4 Hercules, better known by the public's nickname for it, the Spruce Goose, the H-1 racer, D-2, the XF-11. However the plant's hangars at Hughes Airport, location of present-day Playa Vista in the Westside of Los Angeles, were used as a branch plant for the construction of other companies' designs.
At the start of the war Hughes Aircraft had only four full-time employees—by the end the number was 80,000. During the war, the company was awarded contracts to build B-25 struts, centrifugal cannons, machine gun feed chutes. Hughes Aircraft was one of many aerospace and defense companies which flourished in Southern California during and after World War II and was at one time the largest employer in the area. Yet, employment had dropped to 800 by 1947. By the summer of 1947 certain politicians had become concerned about Hughes' alleged mismanagement of the Spruce Goose and the XF-11 photo reconnaissance plane project, they formed a special committee to investigate Hughes which culminated in a much-followed Senate investigation, one of the first to be televised to the public. Despite a critical committee report, Hughes was cleared; the company expanded into the booming electronics field employing 3,300 Ph. D.s. Hughes hired Ira Eaker, Harold L. George, Tex Thornton to run the company. By 1953, the company employed 17,000 had a $600,000,000 in government contracts.
In 1948 Hughes created a new division of the Aerospace Group. Two Hughes engineers, Simon Ramo and Dean Wooldridge, had new ideas on the packaging of electronics to make complete fire control systems, their MA-1 system combined signals from the aircraft's radar with a digital computer to automatically guide the interceptor aircraft into the proper position for firing missiles. At the same time other teams were working with the newly formed US Air Force on air-to-air missiles, delivering the AIM-4 Falcon known as the F-98; the MA-1/Falcon package, with several upgrades, was the primary interceptor weapon system of the USAF for many years, lasting into the 1980s. Ramo and Wooldridge, having failed to reach an agreement with Howard Hughes regarding management problems, resigned in September 1953 and founded the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation to join Thompson Products to form the Thompson-Ramo-Wooldridge based in Canoga Park, with Hughes leasing space for nuclear research programs (present day West Hills.
The company became TRW in another aerospace company and a major competitor to Hughes Aircraft. In 1951 Hughes Aircraft Co. built a missile plant in Arizona. The construction of this plant, wrote David Leighton, in the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, was due to "Howard Hughes’ long-held fear that his plant in Culver City, was vulnerable to enemy attack because it was on the Pacific Coast." By the end of that year, the U. S. Air Force had purchased the property but allowed the company to continue to run day to day operations of the site; this Tucson plant is still in operation under the ownership of Raytheon Co. Howard Hughes donated Hughes Aircraft to the newly formed Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1953 as a way of avoiding taxes on its huge income; the next year, L. A. "Pat" Hyland was hired as general manager of Hughes Aircraft. Under Hyland's guidance, the Aerospace Group continued to diversify and become massively profitable, became a primary focus of the company; the company developed radar systems, electro-optical systems, the first working laser, aircraft computer systems, missile systems, ion-propulsion engines, many other advanced technologies.
The'Electronic Properties Information Center' of the United States was hosted at the Hughes Culver City library in the 1970s. EPIC published the multi-volume Handbook of Electronic Materials as public documents. Nobel Laureates Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann had Hughes connections: Feynman would hold weekly seminars at Hughes Research Laboratories. Greg Jarvis and Ronald McNair, two of the astronauts on the last flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger, were Hughes alumni. Hughes Aircraft Ground Systems Group was located in California; the facility was 3 million square feet and included manufacturing, offices, a Munson road test course. It designed developed and produced the Air Defense Systems that replaced the Semi Automatic Defense Ground Environment in the United States with the Joint Surveillance System AN/FYQ-93 including NORAD with Joint Tactical Information Distribution System and provided defense systems and air traffic control systems around the world; these systems are massive and at its peak Ground Systems Group employed 15,000 people and generated revenue in excess of $1 billion per year.
They were the largest revenue producer and with its massive systems engineering division coordinated the inclusion of
Nature is a British multidisciplinary scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869. It is one of the most recognizable scientific journals in the world, was ranked the world's most cited scientific journal by the Science Edition of the 2010 Journal Citation Reports and is ascribed an impact factor of 40.137, making it one of the world's top academic journals. It is one of the few remaining academic journals that publishes original research across a wide range of scientific fields. Research scientists are the primary audience for the journal, but summaries and accompanying articles are intended to make many of the most important papers understandable to scientists in other fields and the educated public. Towards the front of each issue are editorials and feature articles on issues of general interest to scientists, including current affairs, science funding, scientific ethics and research breakthroughs. There are sections on books and short science fiction stories; the remainder of the journal consists of research papers, which are dense and technical.
Because of strict limits on the length of papers the printed text is a summary of the work in question with many details relegated to accompanying supplementary material on the journal's website. There are many fields of research in which important new advances and original research are published as either articles or letters in Nature; the papers that have been published in this journal are internationally acclaimed for maintaining high research standards. Fewer than 8% of submitted papers are accepted for publication. In 2007 Nature received the Prince of Asturias Award for Humanity; the enormous progress in science and mathematics during the 19th century was recorded in journals written in German or French, as well as in English. Britain underwent enormous technological and industrial changes and advances in the latter half of the 19th century. In English the most respected scientific journals of this time were the refereed journals of the Royal Society, which had published many of the great works from Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday through to early works from Charles Darwin.
In addition, during this period, the number of popular science periodicals doubled from the 1850s to the 1860s. According to the editors of these popular science magazines, the publications were designed to serve as "organs of science", in essence, a means of connecting the public to the scientific world. Nature, first created in 1869, was not the first magazine of its kind in Britain. One journal to precede Nature was Recreative Science: A Record and Remembrancer of Intellectual Observation, created in 1859, began as a natural history magazine and progressed to include more physical observational science and technical subjects and less natural history; the journal's name changed from its original title to Intellectual Observer: A Review of Natural History, Microscopic Research, Recreative Science and later to the Student and Intellectual Observer of Science and Art. While Recreative Science had attempted to include more physical sciences such as astronomy and archaeology, the Intellectual Observer broadened itself further to include literature and art as well.
Similar to Recreative Science was the scientific journal Popular Science Review, created in 1862, which covered different fields of science by creating subsections titled "Scientific Summary" or "Quarterly Retrospect", with book reviews and commentary on the latest scientific works and publications. Two other journals produced in England prior to the development of Nature were the Quarterly Journal of Science and Scientific Opinion, established in 1864 and 1868, respectively; the journal most related to Nature in its editorship and format was The Reader, created in 1864. These similar journals all failed; the Popular Science Review survived longest, lasting 20 years and ending its publication in 1881. The Quarterly Journal, after undergoing a number of editorial changes, ceased publication in 1885; the Reader terminated in 1867, Scientific Opinion lasted a mere 2 years, until June 1870. Not long after the conclusion of The Reader, a former editor, Norman Lockyer, decided to create a new scientific journal titled Nature, taking its name from a line by William Wordsworth: "To the solid ground of nature trusts the Mind that builds for aye".
First owned and published by Alexander Macmillan, Nature was similar to its predecessors in its attempt to "provide cultivated readers with an accessible forum for reading about advances in scientific knowledge." Janet Browne has proposed that "far more than any other science journal of the period, Nature was conceived and raised to serve polemic purpose." Many of the early editions of Nature consisted of articles written by members of a group that called itself the X Club, a group of scientists known for having liberal and somewhat controversial scientific beliefs relative to the time period. Initiated by Thomas Henry Huxley, the group consisted of such important scientists as Joseph Dalton Hooker, Herbert Spencer, John Tyndall, along with another five scientists and mathematicians, it was in part its scientific liberality that made Nature a longer-lasti
International Business Machines Corporation is an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company and was renamed "International Business Machines" in 1924. IBM produces and sells computer hardware and software, provides hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. IBM is a major research organization, holding the record for most U. S. patents generated by a business for 26 consecutive years. Inventions by IBM include the automated teller machine, the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the SQL programming language, the UPC barcode, dynamic random-access memory; the IBM mainframe, exemplified by the System/360, was the dominant computing platform during the 1960s and 1970s. IBM has continually shifted business operations by focusing on higher-value, more profitable markets.
This includes spinning off printer manufacturer Lexmark in 1991 and the sale of personal computer and x86-based server businesses to Lenovo, acquiring companies such as PwC Consulting, SPSS, The Weather Company, Red Hat. In 2014, IBM announced that it would go "fabless", continuing to design semiconductors, but offloading manufacturing to GlobalFoundries. Nicknamed Big Blue, IBM is one of 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the world's largest employers, with over 380,000 employees, known as "IBMers". At least 70% of IBMers are based outside the United States, the country with the largest number of IBMers is India. IBM employees have been awarded five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards, ten National Medals of Technology and five National Medals of Science. In the 1880s, technologies emerged that would form the core of International Business Machines. Julius E. Pitrap patented the computing scale in 1885. On June 16, 1911, their four companies were amalgamated in New York State by Charles Ranlett Flint forming a fifth company, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company based in Endicott, New York.
The five companies had offices and plants in Endicott and Binghamton, New York. C.. They manufactured machinery for sale and lease, ranging from commercial scales and industrial time recorders and cheese slicers, to tabulators and punched cards. Thomas J. Watson, Sr. fired from the National Cash Register Company by John Henry Patterson, called on Flint and, in 1914, was offered a position at CTR. Watson joined CTR as General Manager 11 months was made President when court cases relating to his time at NCR were resolved. Having learned Patterson's pioneering business practices, Watson proceeded to put the stamp of NCR onto CTR's companies, he implemented sales conventions, "generous sales incentives, a focus on customer service, an insistence on well-groomed, dark-suited salesmen and had an evangelical fervor for instilling company pride and loyalty in every worker". His favorite slogan, "THINK", became a mantra for each company's employees. During Watson's first four years, revenues reached $9 million and the company's operations expanded to Europe, South America and Australia.
Watson never liked the clumsy hyphenated name "Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company" and on February 14, 1924 chose to replace it with the more expansive title "International Business Machines". By 1933 most of the subsidiaries had been merged into one company, IBM. In 1937, IBM's tabulating equipment enabled organizations to process unprecedented amounts of data, its clients including the U. S. Government, during its first effort to maintain the employment records for 26 million people pursuant to the Social Security Act, the tracking of persecuted groups by Hitler's Third Reich through the German subsidiary Dehomag. In 1949, Thomas Watson, Sr. created IBM World Trade Corporation, a subsidiary of IBM focused on foreign operations. In 1952, he stepped down after 40 years at the company helm, his son Thomas Watson, Jr. was named president. In 1956, the company demonstrated the first practical example of artificial intelligence when Arthur L. Samuel of IBM's Poughkeepsie, New York, laboratory programmed an IBM 704 not to play checkers but "learn" from its own experience.
In 1957, the FORTRAN scientific programming language was developed. In 1961, IBM developed the SABRE reservation system for American Airlines and introduced the successful Selectric typewriter. In 1963, IBM employees and computers helped. A year it moved its corporate headquarters from New York City to Armonk, New York; the latter half of the 1960s saw IBM continue its support of space exploration, participating in the 1965 Gemini flights, 1966 Saturn flights and 1969 lunar mission. On April 7, 1964, IBM announced the first computer system family, the IBM System/360, it spanned the complete range of commercial and scientific applications from large to small, allowing companies for the first time to upgrade to models with greater computing capability without having to rewrite their applications. It was followed by the IBM System/370 in 1970. Together the
Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time. It is referred to as temporal frequency, which emphasizes the contrast to spatial frequency and angular frequency; the period is the duration of time of one cycle in a repeating event, so the period is the reciprocal of the frequency. For example: if a newborn baby's heart beats at a frequency of 120 times a minute, its period—the time interval between beats—is half a second. Frequency is an important parameter used in science and engineering to specify the rate of oscillatory and vibratory phenomena, such as mechanical vibrations, audio signals, radio waves, light. For cyclical processes, such as rotation, oscillations, or waves, frequency is defined as a number of cycles per unit time. In physics and engineering disciplines, such as optics and radio, frequency is denoted by a Latin letter f or by the Greek letter ν or ν; the relation between the frequency and the period T of a repeating event or oscillation is given by f = 1 T.
The SI derived unit of frequency is the hertz, named after the German physicist Heinrich Hertz. One hertz means. If a TV has a refresh rate of 1 hertz the TV's screen will change its picture once a second. A previous name for this unit was cycles per second; the SI unit for period is the second. A traditional unit of measure used with rotating mechanical devices is revolutions per minute, abbreviated r/min or rpm. 60 rpm equals one hertz. As a matter of convenience and slower waves, such as ocean surface waves, tend to be described by wave period rather than frequency. Short and fast waves, like audio and radio, are described by their frequency instead of period; these used conversions are listed below: Angular frequency denoted by the Greek letter ω, is defined as the rate of change of angular displacement, θ, or the rate of change of the phase of a sinusoidal waveform, or as the rate of change of the argument to the sine function: y = sin = sin = sin d θ d t = ω = 2 π f Angular frequency is measured in radians per second but, for discrete-time signals, can be expressed as radians per sampling interval, a dimensionless quantity.
Angular frequency is larger than regular frequency by a factor of 2π. Spatial frequency is analogous to temporal frequency, but the time axis is replaced by one or more spatial displacement axes. E.g.: y = sin = sin d θ d x = k Wavenumber, k, is the spatial frequency analogue of angular temporal frequency and is measured in radians per meter. In the case of more than one spatial dimension, wavenumber is a vector quantity. For periodic waves in nondispersive media, frequency has an inverse relationship to the wavelength, λ. In dispersive media, the frequency f of a sinusoidal wave is equal to the phase velocity v of the wave divided by the wavelength λ of the wave: f = v λ. In the special case of electromagnetic waves moving through a vacuum v = c, where c is the speed of light in a vacuum, this expression becomes: f = c λ; when waves from a monochrome source travel from one medium to another, their frequency remains the same—only their wavelength and speed change. Measurement of frequency can done in the following ways, Calculating the frequency of a repeating event is accomplished by counting the number of times that event occurs within a specific time period dividing the count by the length of the time period.
For example, if 71 events occur within 15 seconds the frequency is: f = 71 15 s ≈ 4.73 Hz If the number of counts is not large, it is more accurate to measure the time interval for a predetermined number of occurrences, rather than the number of occurrences within a specified time. The latter method introduces a random error into the count of between zero and one count, so on average half a count; this is called gating error and causes an average error in the calculated frequency of Δ f = 1 2 T
Electrical engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the study and application of electricity and electromagnetism. This field first became an identifiable occupation in the half of the 19th century after commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, electric power distribution and use. Subsequently and recording media made electronics part of daily life; the invention of the transistor, the integrated circuit, brought down the cost of electronics to the point they can be used in any household object. Electrical engineering has now divided into a wide range of fields including electronics, digital computers, computer engineering, power engineering, telecommunications, control systems, radio-frequency engineering, signal processing and microelectronics. Many of these disciplines overlap with other engineering branches, spanning a huge number of specializations such as hardware engineering, power electronics and waves, microwave engineering, electrochemistry, renewable energies, electrical materials science, much more.
See glossary of electrical and electronics engineering. Electrical engineers hold a degree in electrical engineering or electronic engineering. Practising engineers may be members of a professional body; such bodies include the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Electrical engineers work in a wide range of industries and the skills required are variable; these range from basic circuit theory to the management skills required of a project manager. The tools and equipment that an individual engineer may need are variable, ranging from a simple voltmeter to a top end analyzer to sophisticated design and manufacturing software. Electricity has been a subject of scientific interest since at least the early 17th century. William Gilbert was a prominent early electrical scientist, was the first to draw a clear distinction between magnetism and static electricity, he is credited with establishing the term "electricity". He designed the versorium: a device that detects the presence of statically charged objects.
In 1762 Swedish professor Johan Carl Wilcke invented a device named electrophorus that produced a static electric charge. By 1800 Alessandro Volta had developed the voltaic pile, a forerunner of the electric battery In the 19th century, research into the subject started to intensify. Notable developments in this century include the work of Hans Christian Ørsted who discovered in 1820 that an electric current produces a magnetic field that will deflect a compass needle, of William Sturgeon who, in 1825 invented the electromagnet, of Joseph Henry and Edward Davy who invented the electrical relay in 1835, of Georg Ohm, who in 1827 quantified the relationship between the electric current and potential difference in a conductor, of Michael Faraday, of James Clerk Maxwell, who in 1873 published a unified theory of electricity and magnetism in his treatise Electricity and Magnetism. In 1782 Georges-Louis Le Sage developed and presented in Berlin the world's first form of electric telegraphy, using 24 different wires, one for each letter of the alphabet.
This telegraph connected two rooms. It was an electrostatic telegraph. In 1795, Francisco Salva Campillo proposed an electrostatic telegraph system. Between 1803-1804, he worked on electrical telegraphy and in 1804, he presented his report at the Royal Academy of Natural Sciences and Arts of Barcelona. Salva’s electrolyte telegraph system was innovative though it was influenced by and based upon two new discoveries made in Europe in 1800 – Alessandro Volta’s electric battery for generating an electric current and William Nicholson and Anthony Carlyle’s electrolysis of water. Electrical telegraphy may be considered the first example of electrical engineering. Electrical engineering became a profession in the 19th century. Practitioners had created a global electric telegraph network and the first professional electrical engineering institutions were founded in the UK and USA to support the new discipline. Francis Ronalds created an electric telegraph system in 1816 and documented his vision of how the world could be transformed by electricity.
Over 50 years he joined the new Society of Telegraph Engineers where he was regarded by other members as the first of their cohort. By the end of the 19th century, the world had been forever changed by the rapid communication made possible by the engineering development of land-lines, submarine cables, from about 1890, wireless telegraphy. Practical applications and advances in such fields created an increasing need for standardised units of measure, they led to the international standardization of the units volt, coulomb, ohm and henry. This was achieved at an international conference in Chicago in 1893; the publication of these standards formed the basis of future advances in standardisation in various industries, in many countries, the definitions were recognized in relevant legislation. During these years, the study of electricity was considered to be a subfield of physics since the early electrical technology was considered electromechanical in nature; the Technische Universität Darmstadt founded the world's first department of electrical engineering in 1882.
The first electrical engineering degree program was started at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the physics department
The RCA Corporation was a major American electronics company, founded as the Radio Corporation of America in 1919. It was a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric. An innovative and progressive company, RCA was the dominant electronics and communications firm in the United States for over five decades. RCA was at the forefront of the mushrooming radio industry in the early 1920s, as a major manufacturer of radio receivers, the exclusive manufacturer of the first superheterodyne models. RCA created the first American radio network, the National Broadcasting Company; the company was a pioneer in the introduction and development of television, both black-and-white and color. During this period, RCA was identified with the leadership of David Sarnoff, he was general manager at the company's founding, became president in 1930, remained active, as chairman of the board, until the end of 1969. RCA's impregnable stature began to weaken in the mid-1970s, as it attempted to diversify and expand into a multifaceted conglomerate.
The company suffered enormous financial losses in the mainframe computer industry and other failed projects such as the CED videodisc. In 1986, RCA was reacquired by General Electric, which over the next few years liquidated most of the corporation's assets. Today, RCA exists as a brand name only. RCA originated as a reorganization of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America. In 1897, the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company, was founded in London to promote the radio inventions of Guglielmo Marconi; as part of worldwide expansion, in 1899 American Marconi was organized as a subsidiary company, holding the rights to use the Marconi patents in the United States and Cuba. In 1912 it took over the assets of the bankrupt United Wireless Telegraph Company, from that point forward it had been the dominant radio communications company in the United States. With the entry of the United States into World War One in April 1917, the government took over most civilian radio stations, to use them for the war effort.
Although the overall U. S. government plan was to restore civilian ownership of the seized radio stations once the war ended, many Navy officials hoped to retain a monopoly on radio communication after the war. Defying instructions to the contrary, the Navy began purchasing large numbers of stations outright. With the conclusion of the conflict, Congress turned down the Navy's efforts to have peacetime control of the radio industry, instructed the Navy to make plans to return the commercial stations it controlled, including the ones it had improperly purchased, to the original owners. Due to national security considerations, the Navy was concerned about returning the high-powered international stations to American Marconi, since a majority of its stock was in foreign hands, the British largely controlled the international undersea cables; this concern was increased by the announcement in late 1918 of the formation of the Pan-American Wireless Telegraph and Telephone Company, a joint venture between American Marconi and the Federal Telegraph Company, with plans to set up service between the United States and South America.
The Navy had installed a high-powered Alexanderson alternator, built by General Electric, at the American Marconi transmitter site in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It proved to be superior for transatlantic transmissions to the spark transmitters, traditionally used by the Marconi companies. Marconi officials were so impressed by the capabilities of the Alexanderson alternators that they began making preparations to adopt them as their standard transmitters for international communication. A tentative plan made with General Electric proposed that over a two-year period the Marconi companies would purchase most of GE's alternator production. However, this proposal was met with disapproval, on national security grounds, by the U. S. Navy, concerned that this would guarantee British domination of international radio communication; the Navy, claiming it was acting with the support of President Wilson, looked for an alternative that would result in an "all-American" company taking over the American Marconi assets.
In April 1919 two naval officers, Admiral H. G. Bullard and Commander S. C. Hooper, met with GE's president, Owen D. Young, asking that he suspend the pending alternator sales to the Marconi companies; this move would leave General Electric without a buyer for its transmitters, so the officers proposed that GE purchase American Marconi, use the assets to form its own radio communications subsidiary. Young consented to this proposal, effective November 20, 1919, transformed American Marconi into the Radio Corporation of America; the new company was promoted as being a patriotic gesture. RCA's incorporation papers required that its officers needed to be U. S. citizens, with a majority of its stock held by Americans. RCA retained most of the American Marconi staff, although Owen Young became the new company's head as the chairman of the board. Former American Marconi vice president and general manager E. J. Nally become RCA's first president. Nally's term ended on December 31, 1922, he was succeeded the next day by Major General James G. Harbord.