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Nils Gustaf Dalén

Dalén, Nils Gustaf, 1869–1937, Swedish engineer. Dalén joined the Gas Accumulator Company (later reorganized as the Swedish Gas Accumulator Company and known as AGA) in 1901 and remained with the company until he died in 1937. He was awarded the 1912 Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of technology for illuminating lighthouses and buoys. Dalén worked with acetylene gas, which throws an extremely bright white light but is highly explosive. He invented Agamassan, a substrate that absorbs acetylene and allows it to be safely transported, stored, and used commercially. The invention revolutionized maritime navigation, enabling lighthouses to operate more effectively and to be located remotely.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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