ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND
(June 5, 1900 Budapest - February 9, 1979 London)
Nobel Prize for Physics, for his invention annd development of holographic method
Dennis Gabor considered himself to be an electrical engineer and inventor. His life work, and the people who were in connection with him, prove that he was a genius. He possessed sufficient background to enable him through his inventions to reach as high as the Olympus of science, the Nobel Prize. He was an outstanding physicist, who also applied the mathematical methods of higher levels. He could work on menial, precise engineering projects, which did not require flying. He was a Swedish tennis champion and could sing all the famous opera arias in their original language. As a lover of literature and a witty companion, he dazzled his friends with torrents of jokes from Pest.
The Gabor family lived in an elegant house in the new district of Budapest. The small boy, according to the custom at that time, walked daily with the maid to Városliget, the Town Park nearby. There was a lot to see. Through the fence of the zoo, he could see the unsteady camels, the long-necked giraffe. He gazed at the screaming and spinning girls on the merry-go-round among the showmen. All at once, a buzzing small aeroplane swished away very low above the park. The little boy looked up suddenly and could see even the red shawl of the pilot, who was waving with his gloved hands to the onlookers in the park. Something flashed in his mind; he turned on his heels at once, and ran right home. The abandoned maid shouted after him in vain "Master, Master where are you running ? Wait!"
Dennis Gabor reached his room out of breath. He started drawing right away. The work was ready by the time the maid stepped Into the room, "Look what I invented!" he exclaimed, pointing at his drawing. “These are small aeroplanes here; on each of them on electric engine drives the propeller. This is a wire, connected to o pole, and it prevents the aeroplanes from flying away, but allows them to fly around, around, Ii their airscrews are spinning. These are real machines, not fake aeroplanes as the ones on the merry-go-round! " said he with excitement. "You will see, If my invention will be accepted, you can circle on it with your mustachioed soldier!"
That evening, his father helped him to draft his plan for the invention. Dennis Gabor was 10 years old when he gave his first patent to the Hungarian Royal Potent Office, and on November 14, 1911 he received a licence number 54.703 for his aeroplane merry-go-round. After this event the family created a small laboratory for him, and it did not disappoint them. 61 followed his first potent more. The essential idea for most of his inventions emerged from his mind with similar rapidity. The fundamental theme of holography, for instance, came to his mind while playing tennis on a wonderful Easter day, in 1974. Naturally, his brain hod been working for a time on the problem of taking a picture with electron beams.
62 patents of Dennis Gabor today are the public property of humankind.
The potent Is o limited monopoly within time and region. The region, the country where it was issued, and the time of patent protection endures while the reserve Fees ore paid, for a maximum of twenty years His first patent expired in 1930, and his lost one on information storage and computing usage of holography, expired in 1997. The patent law consists of the inventor and the patentee's rights. At the moment of discovery, the inventor, who legally is a natural person, is in command of the work and the rights. The inventor can transfer the rights of the patent to anybody, but the inventor’ s rights as personal rights are valid forever and therefore con not be transmitted
Dennis Gabor was a lonely inventor. Only 14 % of his inventions depended upon a contributor, and in two cases, the contributor is Peter Gabor. These were connected to glass manufacture.
Besides his inventions counting as milestones in the history of technology, and his creative activity, he left his philosophical thoughts on the future of human kind for us as a heritage. Dennis Gabor warned us " Human society became what it is now because of the ability of humans to invent."
His famous saying was that the future does not need to be foretold but invented! In his book titled "The invention of the future" (l 963) he draws our attention to the approaching dangers of our civilisation.
"Our civilisation faces three dangers today. The first one is destruction caused by nuclear war. The second is overpopulation. The third is boredom caused by free time."