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Scientist Katharine Burr Blodgett, Class of 1917, Featured on Podcast

June 28, 2024
Katharine Burr Blodgett
Katharine Burr Blodgett demonstrating equipment in the lab. Photo courtesy the Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 90-105, Science Service Records, Image No. SIA2007-0282

A recent episode of the podcast "That's One for the History Books" shines the spotlight on 1917 alumna Katharine Burr Blodgett. Following her graduation from Bryn Mawr, where she majored in physics and mathematics, she earned her master's at the University of Chicago and later became the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in physics from Cambridge University

She went to work at General Electric as a research scientist, where she invented "invisible" non-reflective glass by layering monomolecular films onto glass. The innovative material revolutionized the film industry and was used during World War II on submarine periscopes and airplane spy cameras. She also invented a gauge to measure coatings on glass. Over the course of her scientific career, she obtained eight U.S. patents. 

The episode is only nine minutes long, so take a break from whatever you are doing and learn more about the life of this pioneering Mawrter!

Listen to the Podcast