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Guglielmo Marconi, Marchese

Marconi, Guglielmo, Marchese (gōlyĕlˈmō märkāˈzā märkôˈnē) [key], 1874–1937, Italian physicist, celebrated for his development of wireless telegraphy (see radio). In the field of electromagnetic waves he correlated and improved inventions of H. R. Hertz, Édouard Branly, and other scientists and invented a practical antenna. Experimenting with homemade apparatus, in 1895 he sent long-wave signals over a distance of more than a mile. He patented his system in England (1896) and organized a wireless telegraph company (1897) to develop its commercial applications. In 1899 he transmitted signals across the English Channel and in 1901 received in St. John's, N.L., the first transatlantic wireless signals, sent from his station at Poldhu, Cornwall. After World War I he concentrated on short waves, and c.1930 turned his attention to microwaves. He received, jointly with K. F. Braun, the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics for work in wireless telegraphy.

See biographies by his daughter, D. P. Marconi (1962), D. Gunston (1965), and W. P. Jolly (1972).

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

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