Zoltán Lajos Bay

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Zoltán Lajos Bay
Zoltán Bay (1900-1992) Hungarian physicist.jpg
Born(1900-07-24)July 24, 1900
Gyulavári, Hungary
DiedOctober 4, 1992(1992-10-04) (aged 92)
OccupationPhysicist, inventor
Known forElectron multiplier, radar astronomy, the new definition of a meter (metre)
Gravestone of Zoltán Bay (Gyulavári, Hungary)

Zoltán Lajos Bay (July 24, 1900 in Gyulavári – October 4, 1992 in Washington, D.C.)[1] was a Hungarian physicist, professor, and engineer who developed technologies, including tungsten lamps and microwave devices. He was the leader of the second group to observe radar echoes from the Moon (Moonbounce). From 1930, he worked at the University of Szeged as a professor of theoretical physics.

In 1923 at Tungsram Ltd., a research laboratory was established for improving light sources, mainly electric bulbs.[1] The head of that laboratory was Ignác Pfeifer, whose research staff included Zoltán Bay, along with Tivadar Millner, Imre Bródy, György Szigeti, Ernő Winter, and many others.[1]

György Szigeti worked together with Zoltán Bay on metal-vapor lamps and fluorescent light sources. They received a U.S. patent on "Electroluminescent light sources" which were made of silicon carbide; these light sources were the ancestors of light-emitting diodes (LEDs).[1]

In 1955, Zoltán Bay became head of the Department of Nuclear Physics in the National Bureau of Standards (NBS, called today NIST), where he measured the velocity and frequency of light by a previously unknown measurement method.[2][failed verification] As a result of Bay's research, the 1983 conference of the International Weights and Measures Bureau accepted, as a standard, the definition of a meter (metre)[3] as recommended by Zoltán Bay.

In 1998, the State of Israel recognized him as among the Righteous Among the Nations and listed his name at Yad Vashem as rescuer number 6497.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Fizikai Szemle 1999/5 - Zsolt Bor: OPTICS BY HUNGARIANS" (with Zoltán Bay), József Attila University, Szeged, Hungary, 1999 KFKI-Hungary-Bor
  2. ^ "Zoltán Bay, whose name the Foundation bears" (life), Bay Zoltán Institute of Logistics and Production Engineering (Bay-Logi), Bay Zoltán Foundation for Applied Research, 1994, webpage:BZLogi Biography at Bay Zoltán Foundation.
  3. ^ Resolution 1 of the 17th CGPM (CGPM, 1983), retrieved from BIPM database (BIPM, n.d.) on 24 August 2008.
  4. ^ Zoltán Lajos Bay – his activity to save Jews' lives during the Holocaust, at Yad Vashem website(link appears to be to another Bay family Rozalia Zemlyanskaya-Bay rescuer #8947 of Ukraine)
  5. ^ http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/pdf-drupal/hungary.pdf this is the only correct mention of Zoltán Lajos I found on Yad Vshem website

Further reading[edit]

  • Nagy Ferenc 1993: Bay Zoltán pályája és példája dokumentumokban. Gyűjt., vál., szerk. Nagy Ferenc. Budapest: Better - OMIKK - Püski, 1993. Page 135.

External links[edit]