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"From Immigrant to Inventor : Michael Pupin Remembered": VHS

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Micheal Pupin remembered


This is a film about Michael ldvorsky Pupin, a Serbian-American inventor, a great educator, professor of Columbia University, an applied physicist, an important social figure in America at his time.  He was one of the great shining stars in the history of American science.

The film was produced after his famous book "From Immigrant to Inventor"  which received Pulitzer prize in 1924.  Columbia University collaborated in the production of this film.  This is the story of a little Serbian herder of cattle in the village of ldvor, province of Banat near Belgrade, of how he ran away from school at fifteen and came to America and worked his way on farms and in factories, and finally won himself an education and became one of the greatest scientists in an age of great scientists.

Pupin was best known for his contributions to applied physics, primarily telephone and telegraph transmission, although he contributed to applied medicine by his work in xray fluoroscopy and his method of decreasing the duration of exposure to x-rays.  Pupin discovered the Pupin coil, which extended the range of long-distance telephony; and a means of overcoming static resistance to wireless telegraphy.

When the discovery of the x-rays was announced by Roentgen in December 1895, Pupin was among the first to construct an x-ray tube, and he actually obtained the first roentgenogram in America on January 2, 1896.  After the first trial, Pupin decided to try to find a way to reduce the length of patients exposure to x-ray.  Using a fluorescent screen placed on top of the photographic plate, he reduced the exposure time to a few seconds.  This original trial involved a surgical case in which the patient's hand was filled with buckshot.  This was the first case in America to be aided by an x-ray picture.  The x-rays act on the fluorescent screen, which radiates the x-rays, which in turn act on the photographic plate.  This was the discovery of the secondary x-ray radiation.  Pupin discovered Sonar, a method of detecting enemy U-Boats in the Atlantic during WWI, which harassed allied ships on sea.  The Sonar discovery was a request from President Wilson.

Pupin received many awards and decorations for his service to science; these included five medals and 18 honorary degrees.  In addition, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and contributed much to funding of the American Mathematical Society and the American Physical Society and to the formation of the National Research Council.  He was advisor to the Yugoslavian delegation to the Paris Peace conference in 1919, which contributed significantly to the formation of former Yugoslavia.  Pupin was an eloquent speaker with a poetic imagination and an extraordinary personality.  His scientific addresses always carried the basic theme of idealism in science, and he never failed to stress idealism in life.

Pupin died of kidney failure on March 12,1935, in New York City.  He was honored on a stamp issued in 1979 by Yugoslavia.  After his death in 1935 Columbia University named his laboratory "Pupin Physics Laboratory".  Twenty-eight American scientist researching in Pupin Physics Laboratory received the Nobel prize.  The preliminary scientific investigations for the first atomic bomb in America, took place in Pupin Physics Laboratory (so called the Manhattan Project).

This film "From Immigrant to Inventor" is a tribute to.  Michael ldvorsky Pupin for his contribution to America and the world.