Georg Bekesy

Picture of Georg Bekesy

Date of Birth: 06/03/1899

Age: 73

Place of birth: Budapest

Citizenship: Hungary


Bekes, GEORGE (B & # 233; k & # 233; sy, Georg von) (1899-1972), Hungarian-American physicist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Prize 1961.

Born June 3, 1899 in Budapest, in the diplomat`s family. Senior Bekesy worked in several European countries, so the initial formation of Georg was in Munich schools, Constantinople, Budapest and Zurich. In 1916 he entered the University of Bern. In 1918 he joined the army, and then resumed his studies in the University of Budapest. In 1923 he defended his doctoral dissertation. After graduation, he joined the Ministry of Post office, where he worked until 1946. A year trained at the Central Laboratory of Siemens and Halske AG (Berlin), which was considered at the time one of the main centers of development of telecommunications.

His work in the research laboratory of the Ministry of Communications is to improve newly installed in Hungary, international telephony. Soon it was found that the weakest link is the phone of the membrane, greatly distorting signals. Bekesy began to study the structure of the human ear, and soon became a regular at the local morgue, being present at the opening. By the mid-1920s, the structure of the ear was already well known. The main challenge facing the scientist, was the decision of a purely mechanical problem as the main membrane vibrates under the influence of sound pressure on the ear drum. At that time it was believed that the mechanical properties of the ear tissue after death are changing very quickly, so that it seemed impossible to study the properties of the inner ear on the corpses. Bekesy showed that all of the changes occurring in the inner ear, associated with dehydration, ie, it is possible to study the mechanical properties of the inner ear, placing it in a moist environment.

There are four theories of perception ear sounds of different heights. The first asserted that the sound vibrations cause a portion of the membrane; According to the second theory, the sound generated traveling wave; third theory also insisted on the wave, but it was assumed that a standing wave, and finally, the fourth theory adherents believed that oscillates the entire membrane.

Bekesy Experiments have shown that the correct assumption in almost all theories.

He has developed a model membrane of rubber, which clearly demonstrated that the membrane fluctuations occur on the type of the traveling wave. certain frequency wave vibrates all parts of the membrane, but the one stronger than the other vibrates. The higher the frequency of the sound, the closer to the middle ear is vibrating portion. According to information of the auditory nerve to the brain, which can recognize the sounds of different heights.

In 1939 he became a professor at the Department of Experimental Physics at the University of Budapest. In 1946 he emigrated to Sweden, where he worked for a year at the Karolinska Institute and the Technical Institute in Stockholm. During this time he created a new type of audiometer.

In 1947 he went to the US, where he continued his studies at Harvard University laboratory. As a result, he was able to build a mechanical model of the inner ear. At the end of 1950 it is completely recreated the picture biomechanics of the cochlea, which greatly advanced the otohirurgiyu, allowing surgeons to implant artificial eardrums.

In 1961 Bekesy received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for the discovery of physical stimulation mechanisms in the cochlea."

Since 1966 and until his death he worked at the University of Hawaii.

In addition to the Nobel Prize was awarded Denker in Otology (1931) Shambhala Prize in Otology (1950), Leibniz Medal of the Berlin Academy of Sciences (1937), the Academy of Budapest Sciences Award (1946), medals Howard Crosby Warren society of experimental psychology (1955) gold medal of the American society otologic (1957), gold medal of the Acoustical society of America (1961).

Honorary Doctor of the Universities of Munster and Bern.