Eduard Karplus

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Eduard Karplus (b. September 7, 1899 in Hinterbrühl, Austria – d. 1 August 1979 in Belmont, MA, US) (→ WikiData) was an Austrian-born engineer, best known as the inventor of the Variac.

Karplus was born in Hinterbrühl, Austria, the second child of Johann Paul Karplus, a neurophysiologist and psychiatrist, and Valerie von Lieben, a sister of physicist Robert von Lieben.

He graduated from Vienna University of Technology in 1923. From 1923 to 1929, he was employed in the RF laboratories of C. Lorenz AG, Berlin, Germany, where he worked on mobile high-frequency communication equipment.

In 1930, Eduard Karplus joined the engineering staff of General Radio Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he designed and developed measuring instruments, including work on early models of oscilloscopes.

Karplus' best-known invention is the development of the first practical, continuously adjustable variable-ratio autotransformer, which General Radio introduced under the "Variac" brand name (short for "variable AC") in 1933.

In the 1940s and 1950, Karplus continued to work on microwave topics such as signal generators, including the design of the GR-874 hermaphroditic high-frequency connector.

Links

Patents

Instruments

Instrument Description Literature link
419-A Rectifier-Type Wavemeter 1931-11
566-A Wavemeter 1931-10
687-A Oscilloscope 1934 (GR Museum)
720-A Heterodyne Frequency Meter 1945-07
758-A Wavemeter 1940-08
857-A UHF Oscillator 1944-11
874-MR Mixer 1950-05
1021-A UHF Standard-Signal Generator 1950-03
1025-A Swept Frequency Generator 1963-01
1208-A Unit Oscillator 1950-05
1208-B Unit Oscillator 1954-04
1208-C Unit Oscillator 1965-06
1209-A Unit Oscillator 1950-05
1209-B Unit Oscillator 1954-04
1209-C Unit Oscillator 1965-06
1218-A Unit Oscillator 1955-02
1750-A Sweep Drive 1955-04