Cady, Walter Guyton

Cady, Walter Guyton
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b. 10 December 1874 Providence, Rhode Island, USA
d. 9 December 1974 Providence, Rhode Island, USA
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American physicist renowned for his pioneering work on piezo-electricity.
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After obtaining BSc and MSc degrees in physics at Brown University in 1896 and 1897, respectively, Cady went to Berlin, obtaining his PhD in 1900. Returning to the USA he initially worked for the US Coast and Geodetic Survey, but in 1902 he took up a post at the Wesleyan University, Connecticut, remaining as Professor of Physics from 1907 until his retirement in 1946. During the First World War he became interested in piezo-electricity as a result of attending a meeting on techniques for detecting submarines, and after the war he continued to work on the use of piezo-electricity as a transducer for generating sonar beams. In the process he discovered that piezo-electric materials, such as quartz, exhibited high-stability electrical resonance, and in 1921 he produced the first working piezo-electric resonator. This idea was subsequently taken up by George Washington Pierce and others, resulting in very stable oscillators and narrow-band filters that are widely used in the 1990s in radio communications, electronic clocks and watches.
Internationally known for his work, Cady retired from his professorship in 1946, but he continued to work for the US Navy. From 1951 to 1955 he was a consultant and research associate at the California Institute of Technology, after which he returned to Providence to continue research at Brown, filing his last patent (one of over fifty) at the age of 93 years.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
President, Institute of Radio Engineers 1932. London Physical Society Duddell Medal. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Morris N.Liebmann Memorial Prize 1928.
Bibliography
28 January 1920, US patent no. 1,450,246 (piezo-electric resonator).
1921, "The piezo-electric resonator", Physical Review 17:531. 1946, Piezoelectricity, New York: McGraw Hill (his classic work).
Further Reading
B.Jaffe, W.R.Cooke \& H.Jaffe, 1971, Piezoelectric Ceramics.
KF

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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