Hedy Lamarr – Inventor

Site Engineering Jobs posted an interesting article 9 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Engineers, which includes the fact that Dolph Lundgrun holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and was studying at MIT before entering acting.

Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock also studied Electrical Engineering.

But the most wonderful tidbit of info was noted by several commentators.

Blue writes:

Hedy Lamarr co-invent a frequency hopping spread spectrum device. Her break thru in Frequency hopping is employed in WiFi, Blue tooth and both cellular and wireless phones among other things.

And GePop astutely adds:

Although she did not hold a degree, Hedy Lamarr was a self-taught engineer who held the patent for frequency-hopping spread-spectrum technology which, among other things, has given us Blue Tooth [sic] today. She attempted to join the National Inventors Council [but] was rejected on the grounds that, of course, it was preposterous that a female actor could ever be smart enough to join their august ranks. [emphasis added]


The excellent in-depth article in IQ.Intel

Unhappy being pigeonholed due to her looks, the “most beautiful woman in the world” set out to develop a secret communication system that would take down Nazi submarines.

Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) is a method of transmitting radio signals by rapidly switching a carrier among many frequency channels, using a pseudorandom sequence known to both transmitter and receiver. It is used as a multiple access method in the frequency-hopping code division multiple access (FH-CDMA) scheme.

FHSS is a wireless technology that spreads its signal over rapidly changing frequencies. Each available frequency band is divided into sub-frequencies. Signals rapidly change (“hop”) among these in a pre-determined order. Interference at a specific frequency will only affect the signal during that short interval. FHSS can, however, cause interference with adjacent direct-sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) systems. A sub-type of FHSS used in Bluetooth wireless data transfer is adaptive frequency hopping spread spectrum (AFH).




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