VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Jim West. Portrait of the American acoustic engineer James Edward West (born 1931) in his laboratory at Bell Labs, USA. West joined Bell Labs after graduating in 1957. Together with another Bell Labs engineer, Gerhard Sessler, he invented the foil electret microphone in 1962. This allows the conversion of sound waves into electrical signals with high fidelity. In 2001, about 90% of microphones used this technology. West has received numerous awards for his work on acoustics, including the Acoustical Society of America's Silver Medal (1995). Photographed in 1999.
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