Alfred Hermann Sommer papers1947-1993
Alfred Hermann Sommer (1909-2003) was a physical chemist who specialized in photoemission research and development. After fleeing from the German Nazi regime and working in London, he immigrated with his family to the United States in 1953. He took a job with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) at its David Sarnoff Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, where he worked until 1974. The collection consists of several of Sommer's articles, publications, and patents.
0.45 Linear Feet
Alfred Hermann Sommer (1909-2003) was a physical chemist who specialized in photoemission research and development. He was born on November 19, 1909, in Frankfurt, Germany, and received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Berlin in 1934. By then, he knew he would have to flee the Nazi regime and take a job in which, by working overtime, he could develop laboratory techniques of interest to English employers. Sommer escaped to London in 1935 and worked with John Logie Baird (1888-1946) in his efforts to develop color television and on photoemissive materials for Electric and Musical Industries Limited (EMI).
Dr. Sommer immigrated with his family to the United States in 1953 and took a job with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) at its David Sarnoff Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, where he worked until 1974, twice winning the company's "Lifetime Achievement" award. He then served as a consultant to Thermo Electron Corporation in Waltham, Massachusetts, until 1990. Dr. Sommer received the Gaede-Langmuir Prize of the American Vacuum Society in 1982 and the gold medal of the International Society for Optical Engineering in 1993, particularly for his work in the development of black-and-white and color television. He died at Longmeadow, Mass., on December 8, 2003.
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of eleven patents awarded to Dr. Sommer between 1956 and 1975. There are also copies of his two primary publications Photoelectric cells (1947) and Photoemissive materials (1968 and 1980), his article "The origin of photoelectronics in the silver-oxygen-cesium photocathode" from the December 1967 issue of RCA Review and the proceedings of a 1993 symposium on photodetectors and power meters.
This collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Alfred Hermann Sommer papers
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- 2022: Angela Schad
Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA