Nokia Bell Labs (formerly named AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Telephone Laboratories) is an industrial research and scientific development company owned by Finnish company Nokia. Its headquarters are located in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Other laboratories are located around the world (with some in the United States). Bell Labs has its origins in the complex past of the Bell System.
In the late 19th century, the laboratory began as the Western Electric Engineering Department and was located at 463 West Street in New York City. In 1925, after years of conducting research and development under Western Electric, the Engineering Department was reformed into Bell Telephone Laboratories and under the shared ownership of American Telephone & Telegraph Company and Western Electric.
Researchers working at Bell Labs are credited with the development of radio astronomy, the transistor, the laser, the photovoltaic cell, the charge-coupled device (CCD), information theory, the Unix operating system, and the programming languages C, C++, and S. Nine Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work completed at Bell Laboratories.
|Nokia Bell Labs|
Bell Labs logo since Nokia's acquisition in 2016
Bell Labs headquarters in Murray Hill, New Jersey, in 2007 (formerly Lucent's head office)
|Subsidiary of Nokia|
|Industry||Telecommunication, Information technology, Material science|
|Founded||1925 (as Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.)|
|Headquarters||Murray Hill, New Jersey, U.S.|
Western Electric (1925–83)
In 1880, when the French government awarded Alexander Graham Bell the Volta Prize of 50,000 francs (approximately US$10,000 at that time; about $270,000 in current dollars) for the invention of the telephone, he used the award to fund the Volta Laboratory (Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory) in Washington, D.C. in collaboration with Sumner Tainter and Bell's cousin Chichester Bell. The laboratory was variously known as the Volta Bureau, the Bell Carriage House, the Bell Laboratory and the Volta Laboratory.
It focused on the analysis, recording, and transmission of sound. Bell used his considerable profits from the laboratory for further research and education to permit the "[increased] diffusion of knowledge relating to the deaf": resulting in the founding of the Volta Bureau (c. 1887) which was located at Bell's father's house at 1527 35th Street N.W. in Washington, D.C. Its carriage house became their headquarters in 1889.
After the invention of the telephone, Bell maintained a relatively distant role with the Bell System as a whole, but continued to pursue his own personal research interests.
The Bell Patent Association was formed by Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Sanders, and Gardiner Hubbard when filing the first patents for the telephone in 1876.
Bell Telephone Company, the first telephone company, was formed a year later. It later became a part of the American Bell Telephone Company.
American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T) and its own subsidiary company, took control of American Bell and the Bell System by 1889.
In 1896, Western Electric bought property at 463 West Street to station their manufacturers and engineers who had been supplying AT&T with their product. This included everything from telephones, telephone exchange switches, and transmission equipment.
In 1925, Bell Laboratories was developed to better consolidate the research activities of the Bell System. Ownership was evenly split between Western Electric and AT&T. Throughout the next decade the AT&T Research and Development branch moved into West Street.
Bell Labs also carried out consulting work for the Bell Telephone Company, U.S. government work, and a few workers were assigned to basic research. The first president of research at Bell Labs was Frank B. Jewett who stayed there until 1940.
By the early 1940s, Bell Labs engineers and scientists had begun to move to other locations away from the congestion and environmental distractions of New York City, and in 1967 Bell Laboratories headquarters was officially relocated to Murray Hill, New Jersey.
Among the later Bell Laboratories locations in New Jersey were Holmdel, Crawford Hill, the Deal Test Site, Freehold, Lincroft, Long Branch, Middletown, Neptune, Princeton, Piscataway, Red Bank, Chester, and Whippany. Of these, Murray Hill and Crawford Hill remain in existence (the Piscataway and Red Bank locations were transferred to and are now operated by Telcordia Technologies and the Whippany site was purchased by Bayer).
The largest grouping of people in the company was in Illinois, at Naperville-Lisle, in the Chicago area, which had the largest concentration of employees (about 11,000) prior to 2001. There also were groups of employees in Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; North Andover, Massachusetts; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Reading, Pennsylvania; and Breinigsville, Pennsylvania; Burlington, North Carolina (1950s–1970s, moved to Greensboro 1980s) and Westminster, Colorado. Since 2001, many of the former locations have been scaled down or closed.
The Holmdel site, a 1.9 million square foot structure set on 473 acres, was closed in 2007. The mirrored-glass building was designed by Eero Saarinen. In August 2013, Somerset Development bought the building, intending to redevelop it into a mixed commercial and residential project. A 2012 article expressed doubt on the success of the newly named Bell Works site however several large tenants had announced plans to move in through 2016 and 2017 
Bell Laboratories was, and is, regarded by many as the premier research facility of its type, developing a wide range of revolutionary technologies, including radio astronomy, the transistor, the laser, information theory, the operating system Unix, the programming languages C and C++, solar cells, the CCD, floating-gate MOSFET, and a whole host of optical, wireless and wired communications technologies and systems.
In 1924, Bell Labs physicist Walter A. Shewhart proposed the control chart as a method to determine when a process was in a state of statistical control. Shewhart's methods were the basis for statistical process control (SPC): the use of statistically based tools and techniques to manage and improve processes. This was the origin of the modern quality movement, including Six Sigma.
In 1927, a Bell team headed by Herbert E. Ives successfully transmitted long-distance 128-line television images of Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover from Washington to New York. In 1928 the thermal noise in a resistor was first measured by John B. Johnson, and Harry Nyquist provided the theoretical analysis; this is now termed Johnson noise. During the 1920s, the one-time pad cipher was invented by Gilbert Vernam and Joseph Mauborgne at the laboratories. Bell Labs' Claude Shannon later proved that it is unbreakable.
In 1931, a foundation for radio astronomy was laid by Karl Jansky during his work investigating the origins of static on long-distance shortwave communications. He discovered that radio waves were being emitted from the center of the galaxy. In 1931 and 1932, experimental high fidelity, long playing, and even stereophonic recordings were made by the labs of the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski. In 1933, stereo signals were transmitted live from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. In 1937, the vocoder, an electronic speech compression device, or codec, and the Voder, the first electronic speech synthesizer, were developed and demonstrated by Homer Dudley, the Voder being demonstrated at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Bell researcher Clinton Davisson shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with George Paget Thomson for the discovery of electron diffraction, which helped lay the foundation for solid-state electronics.
In the early 1940s, the photovoltaic cell was developed by Russell Ohl. In 1943, Bell developed SIGSALY, the first digital scrambled speech transmission system, used by the Allies in World War II. The British wartime codebreaker Alan Turing visited the labs at this time, working on speech encryption and meeting Claude Shannon.
Bell Labs Quality Assurance Department gave the world and the United States such statisticians as Walter A. Shewhart, W. Edwards Deming, Harold F. Dodge, George D. Edwards, Harry Romig, R. L. Jones, Paul Olmstead, E.G.D. Paterson, and Mary N. Torrey. During World War II, Emergency Technical Committee – Quality Control, drawn mainly from Bell Labs' statisticians, was instrumental in advancing Army and Navy ammunition acceptance and material sampling procedures.
In 1947, the transistor, probably the most important invention developed by Bell Laboratories, was invented by John Bardeen, Walter Houser Brattain, and William Bradford Shockley (and who subsequently shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956). In 1947, Richard Hamming invented Hamming codes for error detection and correction. For patent reasons, the result was not published until 1950. In 1948, "A Mathematical Theory of Communication", one of the founding works in information theory, was published by Claude Shannon in the Bell System Technical Journal. It built in part on earlier work in the field by Bell researchers Harry Nyquist and Ralph Hartley, but it greatly extended these. Bell Labs also introduced a series of increasingly complex calculators through the decade. Shannon was also the founder of modern cryptography with his 1949 paper Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems.
The 1950s also saw developmental activity based upon information theory. The central development was binary code systems. Efforts concentrated more precisely on the Laboratories' prime mission of supporting the Bell System with engineering advances including N-carrier, TD Microwave radio relay, Direct Distance Dialing, E-repeaters, Wire spring relays, and improved switching systems. Maurice Karnaugh, in 1953, developed the Karnaugh map as a tool to facilitate management of Boolean algebraic expressions. In 1954, the first modern solar cell was invented at Bell Laboratories. As for the spectacular side of the business, in 1956 TAT-1, the first transatlantic telephone cable was laid between Scotland and Newfoundland, in a joint effort by AT&T, Bell Laboratories, and British and Canadian telephone companies. A year later, in 1957, MUSIC, one of the first computer programs to play electronic music, was created by Max Mathews. New greedy algorithms developed by Robert C. Prim and Joseph Kruskal, revolutionized computer network design. In 1958, the laser was first described, in a technical paper by Arthur Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes.
In December 1960, Ali Javan and his associates William Bennett and Donald Heriot successfully operated the first gas laser, the first continuous-light laser, operating at an unprecedented accuracy and color purity. Also in 1960, Dawon Kahng and Martin Atalla invented the metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET); the MOSFET has achieved electronic hegemony and sustains the large-scale integrated circuits (LSIs) underlying today's information society. In 1962, the electret microphone was invented by Gerhard M. Sessler and James Edward Maceo West. Also in 1962, John R. Pierce's vision of communications satellites was realized by the launch of Telstar. In 1964, the Carbon dioxide laser was invented by Kumar Patel. In 1965, Penzias and Wilson discovered the cosmic microwave background, for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978. Frank W. Sinden, Edward E. Zajac, Kenneth C. Knowlton, and A. Michael Noll made computer-animated movies during the early to mid-1960s. Ken C. Knowlton invented the computer animation language BEFLIX. The first digital computer art was created in 1962 by Noll. In 1966, Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), a key technology in wireless services, was developed and patented by R. W. Chang. In 1968, Molecular beam epitaxy was developed by J.R. Arthur and A.Y. Cho; molecular beam epitaxy allows semiconductor chips and laser matrices to be manufactured one atomic layer at a time. In 1969, Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson created the computer operating system UNIX for the support of telecommunication switching systems as well as general purpose computing. From 1969 to 1971, Aaron Marcus, the first graphic designer involved with computer graphics, researched, designed, and programmed a prototype interactive page-layout system for the Picturephone. In 1969, the charge-coupled device (CCD) was invented by Willard Boyle and George E. Smith, for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009. In the 1960s, the New York City site was sold and became the Westbeth Artists Community complex.
The 1970s and 1980s saw more and more computer-related inventions at the Bell Laboratories as part of the personal computing revolution. In 1972, Dennis Ritchie developed the compiled programming language C as a replacement for the interpreted language B which was then used in a worse is better rewrite of UNIX. Also, the language AWK was designed and implemented by Alfred Aho, Peter Weinberger, and Brian Kernighan of Bell Laboratories. In 1972, Marc Rochkind invented the Source Code Control System.
In 1970, A. Michael Noll invented a tactile, force-feedback system, coupled with interactive stereoscopic computer display. In 1971, an improved task priority system for computerized telephone exchange switching systems for telephone traffic was invented by Erna Schneider Hoover, who received one of the first software patents for it. In 1976, Optical fiber systems were first tested in Georgia and in 1980, the first single-chip 32-bit microprocessor, the Bellmac 32A was demonstrated. It went into production in 1982.
The 1970s also saw a major central office technology evolve from crossbar electromechanical relay-based technology and discrete transistor logic to Bell Labs-developed thick film hybrid and transistor–transistor logic (TTL), stored program-controlled switching systems; 1A/#4 TOLL Electronic Switching Systems (ESS) and 2A Local Central Offices produced at the Bell Labs Naperville and Western Electric Lisle, Illinois facilities. This technology evolution dramatically reduced floor space needs. The new ESS also came with its own diagnostic software that needed only a switchman and several frame technicians to maintain. The technology was often touted in the Bell Labs Technical Journals and Western Electric magazine (WE People).
In 1980, the TDMA and CDMA digital cellular telephone technology was patented. In 1982, Fractional quantum Hall effect was discovered by Horst Störmer and former Bell Laboratories researchers Robert B. Laughlin and Daniel C. Tsui; they consequently won a Nobel Prize in 1998 for the discovery. In 1985, the programming language C++ had its first commercial release. Bjarne Stroustrup started developing C++ at Bell Laboratories in 1979 as an extension to the original C language.
In 1984, the first photoconductive antennas for picosecond electromagnetic radiation were demonstrated by Auston and others. This type of antenna became an important component in terahertz time-domain spectroscopy. In 1984, Karmarkar's algorithm for linear programming was developed by mathematician Narendra Karmarkar. Also in 1984, a divestiture agreement signed in 1982 with the American Federal government forced the break-up of AT&T: Bellcore (now Telcordia Technologies) was split off from Bell Laboratories to provide the same R&D functions for the newly created local exchange carriers. AT&T also was limited to using the Bell trademark only in association with Bell Laboratories. Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. became a wholly owned company of the new AT&T Technologies unit, the former Western Electric. The 5ESS Switch was developed during this transition. In 1985, laser cooling was used to slow and manipulate atoms by Steven Chu and team. In 1985, the modeling language A Mathematical Programming Language AMPL was developed by Robert Fourer, David M. Gay and Brian Kernighan at Bell Laboratories. Also in 1985, Bell Laboratories was awarded the National Medal of Technology "For contribution over decades to modern communication systems". During the 1980s, the operating system Plan 9 from Bell Labs was developed extending the UNIX model. Also, the Radiodrum, an electronic music instrument played in three space dimensions was invented. In 1988, TAT-8 became the first transatlantic fiber-optic cable. Bell Labs in Freehold, NJ developed the 1.3-micron fiber, cable, splicing, laser detector, and 280 Mbit/s repeater for 40,000 telephone-call capacity.
Arthur Ashkin invented optical tweezers that grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with their laser beam fingers. A major breakthrough came in 1987, when Ashkin used the tweezers to capture living bacteria without harming them. He immediately began studying biological systems and optical tweezers are now widely used to investigate the machinery of life.
In 1991, the 56K modem technology was patented by Nuri Dağdeviren and his team. In 1994, the quantum cascade laser was invented by Federico Capasso, Alfred Cho, Jerome Faist and their collaborators. Also in 1994, Peter Shor devised his quantum factorization algorithm. In 1996, SCALPEL electron lithography, which prints features atoms wide on microchips, was invented by Lloyd Harriott and his team. The operating system Inferno, an update of Plan 9, was created by Dennis Ritchie with others, using the then-new concurrent programming language Limbo. A high performance database engine (Dali) was developed which became DataBlitz in its product form.
In 1996, AT&T spun off Bell Laboratories, along with most of its equipment manufacturing business, into a new company named Lucent Technologies. AT&T retained a small number of researchers who made up the staff of the newly created AT&T Labs.
2000 was an active year for the Laboratories, in which DNA machine prototypes were developed; progressive geometry compression algorithm made widespread 3-D communication practical; the first electrically powered organic laser invented; a large-scale map of cosmic dark matter was compiled, and the F-15 (material), an organic material that makes plastic transistors possible, was invented.
In 2002, physicist Jan Hendrik Schön was fired after his work was found to contain fraudulent data. It was the first known case of fraud at Bell Labs.
In 2005, Jeong H. Kim, former President of Lucent's Optical Network Group, returned from academia to become the President of Bell Laboratories.
In April 2006, Bell Laboratories' parent company, Lucent Technologies, signed a merger agreement with Alcatel. On 1 December 2006, the merged company, Alcatel-Lucent, began operations. This deal raised concerns in the United States, where Bell Laboratories works on defense contracts. A separate company, LGS Innovations, with an American board was set up to manage Bell Laboratories' and Lucent's sensitive U.S. government contracts.
In December 2007, it was announced that the former Lucent Bell Laboratories and the former Alcatel Research and Innovation would be merged into one organization under the name of Bell Laboratories. This is the first period of growth following many years during which Bell Laboratories progressively lost manpower due to layoffs and spin-offs making the company shut down for a short period of time.
As of July 2008, however, only four scientists remained in physics research, according to a report by the scientific journal Nature.
On 28 August 2008, Alcatel-Lucent announced it was pulling out of basic science, material physics, and semiconductor research, and it will instead focus on more immediately marketable areas, including networking, high-speed electronics, wireless networks, nanotechnology and software.
Gee Rittenhouse, former Head of Research, returned from his position as Chief Operating Officer of Alcatel-Lucent's Software, Services, and Solutions business in February 2013, to become the 12th President of Bell Labs.
On 4 November 2013, Alcatel-Lucent announced the appointment of Marcus Weldon as President of Bell Labs. His stated charter was to return Bell Labs to the forefront of innovation in Information and communications technology by focusing on solving the key industry challenges, as was the case in the great Bell Labs innovation eras in the past.
In July 2014, Bell Labs announced it had broken "the broadband Internet speed record" with a new technology dubbed XG-FAST that promises 10 gigabits per second transmission speeds.
In 2014, Eric Betzig shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in super-resolved fluorescence microscopy which he began pursuing while at Bell Labs in the Semiconductor Physics Research Department.
In September 2016, Nokia Bell Labs, along with Technische Universität Berlin Deutsche Telekom T-Labs and the Technical University of Munich achieved a data rate of one terabit per second by improving transmission capacity and spectral efficiency in an optical communications field trial with a new modulation technique.
|Period||Name of President||Lifetime|
|13||2013–||Marcus Weldon||b. 1968|
|11||2005–2013||Jeong Hun Kim||b. 1961|
|10||2001–2005||Bill O’Shea||b. 1957|
|9||1999–2001||Arun Netravali||b. 1946|
|8||1995–1999||Dan Stanzione||b. 1945|
|7||1991–1995||John Sullivan Mayo||b. 1930|
|6||1979–1991||Ian Munro Ross||1927–2013|
|5||1973–1979||William Oliver Baker||1915–2005|
|4||1959–1973||James Brown Fisk||1910–1981|
|1||1925–1940||Frank Baldwin Jewett||1879–1949|
Nine Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work completed at Bell Laboratories.
The Turing Award has been won four times by Bell Labs researchers.
|Arno Allan Penzias||Discovered background radiation, with Robert W. Wilson, originating from the Big Bang and won the Nobel Prize in 1978 for the discovery.|
|Arthur Ashkin||Has been considered as the father of the topical field of optical tweezers, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018.|
|Bishnu Atal||Developed new speech processing and encoding algorithms, including fundamental work on linear prediction of speech and the development of code-excited linear prediction (CELP) speech encoding, the basis for all speech communication codecs in mobile and Internet voice communications.|
|Bjarne Stroustrup||Was the head of Bell Labs Large-scale Programming Research department, from its creation until late 2002 and created the C++ programming language.|
|Brian Kernighan||Helped create Unix, AWK, AMPL, and The C Programming Language (book)|
|Claire F. Gmachl||Developed novel designs for solid-state lasers leading to advances in the development of quantum cascade lasers.|
|Claude Shannon||Founded information theory with the publishing of A Mathematical Theory of Communication in 1948. He is perhaps equally well known for founding both digital computer and digital circuit design theory in 1937, when, as a 21-year-old master's degree student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he wrote his thesis demonstrating that electrical applications of Boolean algebra could construct any logical, numerical relationship. Shannon contributed to the field of cryptanalysis for national defense during World War II, including his basic work on codebreaking and secure telecommunications. For two months early in 1943, Shannon came into contact with the leading British cryptanalyst and mathematician Alan Turing. Shannon and Turing met at teatime in the cafeteria. Turing showed Shannon his 1936 paper that defined what is now known as the "Universal Turing machine"; this impressed Shannon, as many of its ideas complemented his own.|
|Clinton Davisson||Davisson and Lester Germer performed an experiment showing that electrons were diffracted at the surface of a crystal of nickel. This celebrated Davisson-Germer experiment confirmed the de Broglie hypothesis that particles of matter have a wave-like nature, which is a central tenet of quantum mechanics. Their observation of diffraction allowed the first measurement of a wavelength for electrons. He shared the Nobel Prize in 1937 with George Paget Thomson, who independently discovered electron diffraction at about the same time as Davisson.|
|Corinna Cortes||Head of Google Research, New York.|
|Daniel Tsui||Along with Robert Laughlin and Horst Störmer discovered new form of quantum fluid.|
|David A. B. Miller|
|Dennis Ritchie||Created the C programming language and, with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the Unix operating system.|
|Donald Cox||Received the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal (1993)|
|Elizabeth Bailey||Worked in technical programming at Bell Laboratories from 1960 to 1972, before transferring to the economic research section from 1972 to 1977.|
|Eric Betzig||An American physicist who worked to develop the field of fluorescence microscopy and photoactivated localization microscopy. He was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy" along with Stefan Hell and fellow Cornell alumnus William E. Moerner.|
|Eric Schmidt||Did a complete re-write with Mike Lesk of Lex, a program to generate lexical analysers for the Unix computer operating system.|
|Erna Schneider Hoover||Invented the computerized telephone switching method.|
|Esther M. Conwell||Studied effects of high electric fields on electron transport in semiconductors, member of the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.|
|Evelyn Hu||Pioneer in the fabrication of nanoscale electronic and photonic devices.|
|George E. Smith||Led research into novel lasers and semiconductor devices. During his tenure, Smith was awarded dozens of patents and eventually headed the VLSI device department. George E. Smith shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics with Willard Boyle for "the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor, which has become an electronic eye in almost all areas of photography".|
|Gil Amelio||Amelio was on the team that demonstrated the first working charge-coupled device (CCD). Worked at Fairchild Semiconductor, and the semiconductor division of Rockwell International but is best remembered as a CEO of National Semiconductor and Apple Inc.|
|Harvey Fletcher||"father of stereophonic sound". As Director of Research at Bell Labs, he oversaw research in electrical sound recording, including more than 100 stereo recordings with conductor Leopold Stokowski in 1931–1932.|
|Horst Ludwig Störmer||Along with Robert Laughlin and Daniel Tsui discovered new form of quantum fluid.|
|John Hopcroft||Received the Turing Award jointly with Robert Tarjan in 1986 for fundamental achievements in the design and analysis of algorithms and data structures.|
|Ingrid Daubechies||Developed the orthogonal Daubechies wavelet and the biorthogonal Cohen–Daubechies–Feauveau wavelet. She is best known for her work with wavelets in image compression and digital cinema.|
|Jessie MacWilliams||Developed the MacWilliams identities in coding theory.|
|John Mashey||Worked on the PWB/UNIX operating system at Bell Labs from 1973 to 1983, authoring the PWB shell, also known as the "Mashey Shell".|
|John M. Chambers||Developed the statistical programming language S which is the forerunner to R.|
|John Bardeen||With William Shockley and Walter Brattain, the three scientists invented the point-contact transistor in 1947 and were jointly awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics.|
|Jon Hall||Executive Director of Linux International,|
|Ken Thompson||designed and implemented the original Unix operating system. He also invented the B programming language, the direct predecessor to the C programming language, and was one of the creators and early developers of the Plan 9 operating systems. Since 2006, Thompson has worked at Google, where he co-invented the Go programming language.|
|Laurie Spiegel||Electronic musician and engineer known for developing the algorithmic composition software Music Mouse.|
|Margaret H. Wright||Pioneer in numerical computing and mathematical optimization, head of the Scientific Computing Research Department and Bell Labs Fellow, president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.|
|Max Mathews||wrote MUSIC, the first widely used program for sound generation, in 1957.|
|Narendra Karmarkar||Developed Karmarkar's algorithm.|
|Osamu Fujimura||Japanese physicist, phonetician and linguist, recognized as one of the pioneers of speech science. Invented the C/D model of speech articulation.|
|Persi Diaconis||Known for tackling mathematical problems involving randomness and randomization, such as coin flipping and shuffling playing cards.|
|Philip Warren Anderson||In 1977 Anderson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his investigations into the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems, which allowed for the development of electronic switching and memory devices in computers.|
|Phyllis Fox||Co-wrote the DYNAMO simulation programming language, principal author of the first LISP manual, and developed the PORT Mathematical Subroutine Library.|
|Richard Hamming||Created a family of mathematical error-correcting code, which are called Hamming codes. Programmed one of the earliest computers, the IBM 650, and with Ruth A. Weiss developed the L2 programming language, one of the earliest computer languages, in 1956.|
|Robert Laughlin||Along with Horst Störmer and Daniel Tsui discovered new form of quantum fluid.|
|Rob Pike||A member of the Unix team and was involved in the creation of the Plan 9 and Inferno operating systems, as well as the Limbo programming language. Co-authored the books The Unix Programming Environment and The Practice of Programming with Brian Kernighan. Co-created the UTF-8 character encoding standard with Ken Thompson, the Blit graphical terminal with Bart Locanthi Jr. and the sam and acme text editors. Pike has worked at Google, where he co-created the Go and Sawzall programming languages.|
|Robert Tarjan||Received the Turing Award jointly with John Hopcroft in 1986 for fundamental achievements in the design and analysis of algorithms and data structures.|
|Robert W. Wilson||Discovered background radiation, with Arno Allan Penzias, originating from the Big Bang and won the Nobel Prize in 1978 for that.|
|Steve Bourne||Created the Bourne shell, the adb debugger and authored the book The Unix System. He also served as president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) (2000-2002), was made a fellow of the ACM (2005), received the ACM Presidential Award (2008) and the Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award (2017).|
|Steven Chu||known for his research at Bell Labs and Stanford University in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997, along with his scientific colleagues Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips.|
|Steven Cundiff||Was instrumental in the development of the first frequency comb that led to one half of the 2005 Nobel prize. Also made significant contributions to the ultrafast dynamics of semiconductor nanostructures, including the 2014 discovery of the dropleton quasi-particle.|
|Stuart Feldman||Creator of the computer software program make for UNIX systems. He was also an author of the first Fortran 77 compiler, and he was part of the original group at Bell Labs that created the Unix operating system.|
|Trevor Hastie||Known for his contributions to applied statistics, especially in the field of machine learning, data mining, and bioinformatics.|
|Zhenan Bao||Development of the first all plastic transistor, or organic field-effect transistors which allows for its use in electronic paper.|
|Walter Houser Brattain||With fellow scientists John Bardeen and William Shockley, invented the point-contact transistor in December, 1947. They shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention.|
|Willard Boyle||share the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics with George E. Smith for "the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor, which has become an electronic eye in almost all areas of photography".|
|William B. Snow||made major contributions to acoustics from 1923–1940. Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), received its Gold Medal Award in 1968.|
|William Shockley||With John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, the three scientists invented the point-contact transistor in 1947 and were jointly awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics.|
|Yann LeCun||Recognized as a founding father of convolutional neural networks and for work on optical character recognition and computer vision. He received the Turing Award in 2018 with Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio for their work in deep learning.|
|Yoshua Bengio||He received the Turing Award in 2018 with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun for their work in deep learning.|
|Edward Lawry Norton||Famous for the Norton's theorem.|
|Maurice Karnaugh||Famous for the Karnaugh map.|
|Warren P. Mason||Founder of distributed element circuits, inventor of the GT quartz crystal, and many discoveries and inventions in ultrasonics and acoustics.|
|Sharon Haynie||Developed DuPont's bio-3G product line and adhesives to close wounds.|
On May 20, 2014, Bell Labs announced the Bell Labs Prize, a competition for innovators to offer proposals in information and communication technologies, with cash awards of up to $100,000 for the grand prize.
The Murray Hill campus features a 3000 square foot exhibit, the Bell Labs Technology Showcase, showcasing the technological discoveries and developments at Bell Labs. The exhibit is located just off the main lobby and is open to the public.
Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (French pronunciation: [alkatɛl lysɛnt]) was a French global telecommunications equipment company, headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. It was formed in 2006 by the merger of France-based Alcatel and U.S.-based Lucent, the latter being the successor of AT&T's Western Electric.The company focused on fixed, mobile and converged networking hardware, IP technologies, software and services, with operations in more than 130 countries. It had been named Industry Group Leader for Technology Hardware & Equipment sector in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices review and listed in the 2014 Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators for the 4th consecutive year. Alcatel-Lucent also owned Bell Laboratories, one of the largest research and development facilities in the communications industry, whose employees have been awarded eight Nobel Prizes and the company holds in excess of 29,000 patents.
On 3 November 2016, Nokia completed the acquisition of the company and it was merged into their Nokia Networks division. Bell Labs was still maintained as an independent subsidiary of Nokia. The Alcatel-Lucent brand has been replaced by Nokia, but it still survives under Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE), the enterprise division of Alcatel-Lucent that was sold to China Huaxin in 2014.Alfred Y. Cho
Alfred Yi Cho (Chinese: 卓以和; pinyin: Zhuó Yǐhé; born July 10, 1937) is the Adjunct Vice President of Semiconductor Research at Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs. He is known as the "father of molecular beam epitaxy"; a technique he developed at that facility in the late 1960s. He is also the co-inventor, with Federico Capasso of quantum cascade lasers at Bell Labs in 1994.Arun Netravali
Arun N. Netravali (born 26 May 1946 in Mumbai, India) is an Indian-American computer engineer credited with contributions in digital technology including HDTV. He conducted research in digital compression, signal processing and other fields. Netravali was the ninth President of Bell Laboratories and has served as Lucent's Chief Technology Officer and Chief Network Architect. He received his undergraduate degree from IIT Bombay, India, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Rice University in Houston, Texas, all in electrical engineering. Several global universities, including the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne, Switzerland, have honored him with honorary doctorates.
Netravali led Bell Labs research and development of high definition television (HDTV) and is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the development of digital video technology. He is the author of over 170 technical papers, 70 patents, and three books in the areas of picture processing, digital television, and computer networks.
Netravali is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Tau Beta Phi and Sigma Xi. He is also an IEEE fellow. He has received awards including the Marconi Prize, the Padma Bhushan Award from the Indian government, the National Medal of Technology from President George W. Bush, the Computers & Communications Prize, the Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the IEEE Kilby Medal, the IEEE Frederik Philips Award, and the National Association of Software and Services Companies in India Medal.
Prior to joining Bell Labs, Netravali was an adjunct Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at Bell Labs, he taught at City College of New York, Columbia University, and Rutgers University.Bell Labs Holmdel Complex
The Bell Labs Holmdel Complex, in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, United States, functioned for forty-four years as a research and development facility, initially for the Bell System and later Bell Labs.
The centerpiece of the campus is an Eero Saarinen designed structure that served as the home to over 6,000 engineers and researchers. This modernist building, dubbed "The Biggest Mirror Ever" by Architectural Forum, due to its mirror box exterior, was the site of at least one Nobel Prize discovery, the laser cooling work of Steven Chu. The building has undergone renovations into a multi-purpose living and working space, dubbed Bell Works by its redevelopers. Since 2013 it has been operated by Somerset Development, who redeveloped the building into a mixed-use office for high-tech startup companies. The complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.Bell System Technical Journal
The Bell System Technical Journal was a periodical publication by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in New York devoted to the scientific and engineering aspects of electrical communication. It was published under this name from 1922 until 1983, when the breakup of the Bell System placed various parts of the system into separate companies.
After the restructuring of the Bell Laboratories in 1984, the Bell System Technical Journal was renamed to AT&T Bell Laboratories Technical Journal. From 1985 to 1996 it was published under the title AT&T Technical Journal.
In 1996, the journal was revamped under the name Bell Labs Technical Journal as the in-house scientific journal for scientists of Nokia Bell Labs, and is published yearly by the IEEE society.Bernard M. Oliver
Bernard M. Oliver (May 27, 1916 – November 23, 1995), also known as Barney Oliver, was a scientist who made contributions in many fields, including radar, television, and computers. He was the founder and director of Hewlett Packard (HP) laboratories until his retirement in 1981. He is also a recognized pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Oliver was president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 1965. In 1986, Oliver was a National Medal of Science recipient for Engineering Science and on February 11, 2004 it was announced that Oliver had been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.Brian Kernighan
Brian Wilson Kernighan (; born January 1, 1942) is a Canadian computer scientist.
He worked at Bell Labs and contributed to the development of Unix alongside Unix creators Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie.
Kernighan's name became widely known through co-authorship of the first book on the C programming language with Dennis Ritchie. Kernighan affirmed that he had no part in the design of the C language ("it's entirely Dennis Ritchie's work"). He authored many Unix programs, including ditroff.
Kernighan is coauthor of the AWK and AMPL programming languages. The "K" of K&R C and the "K" in AWK both stand for "Kernighan".
In collaboration with Shen Lin he devised well-known heuristics for two NP-complete optimization problems: graph partitioning and the travelling salesman problem. In a display of authorial equity, the former is usually called the Kernighan–Lin algorithm, while the latter is known as the Lin–Kernighan heuristic.
Kernighan has been a Professor in the Computer Science Department of Princeton University since 2000. He is also the Undergraduate Department Representative.Dennis Ritchie
Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (September 9, 1941 – c. October 12, 2011) was an American computer scientist, Computer Programmer and Mathematician. He created the C programming language and, with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the Unix operating system and B programming language. Ritchie and Thompson were awarded the Turing Award from the ACM in 1983, the Hamming Medal from the IEEE in 1990 and the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in 1999. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007. He was the "R" in K&R C, and commonly known by his username dmr.Erna Schneider Hoover
Dr. Erna Schneider Hoover (born June 19, 1926) is an American mathematician notable for inventing a computerized telephone switching method which "revolutionized modern communication" according to several reports. It prevented system overloads by monitoring call center traffic and prioritizing tasks on phone switching systems to enable more robust service during peak calling times. At Bell Laboratories where she worked for over 32 years, Hoover was described as an important pioneer for women in the field of computer technology.George E. Smith
George Elwood Smith (born May 10, 1930) is an American scientist, applied physicist, and co-inventor of the charge-coupled device (CCD). He was awarded a one-quarter share in the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor, which has become an electronic eye in almost all areas of photography". In 2017, Smith was announced as one of four winners of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, for his contribution to the creation of digital imaging sensors.Horst Ludwig Störmer
Horst Ludwig Störmer (born April 6, 1949) is a German-born American physicist, Nobel laureate and emeritus professor at Columbia University.
He was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Daniel Tsui and Robert Laughlin "for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations" (the fractional quantum Hall effect). He and Tsui were working at Bell Labs at the time of the experiment cited by the Nobel committee.John R. Pierce
John Robinson Pierce (March 27, 1910 – April 2, 2002), was an American engineer and author. He worked extensively in the fields of radio communication, microwave technology, computer music, psychoacoustics, and science fiction. As a sideline to his professional career he wrote science fiction for many years under various names: John Pierce, John R. Pierce, and J. J. Coupling. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he earned his PhD from Caltech, and died in Palo Alto, California from complications of Parkinson's Disease.Ken Thompson
Kenneth Lane Thompson (born February 4, 1943) is an American pioneer of computer science. Having worked at Bell Labs for most of his career, Thompson designed and implemented the original Unix operating system. He also invented the B programming language, the direct predecessor to the C programming language, and was one of the creators and early developers of the Plan 9 operating system. Since 2006, Thompson has worked at Google, where he co-invented the Go programming language.
Other notable contributions included his work on regular expressions and early computer text editors QED and ed, the definition of the UTF-8 encoding, his work on computer chess that included creation of endgame tablebases and the chess machine Belle.Plan 9 from Bell Labs
Plan 9 from Bell Labs is a distributed operating system, originating in the Computing Sciences Research Center (CSRC) at Bell Labs in the mid-1980s, and building on UNIX concepts first developed there in the late 1960s. The final official release was in early 2015.
Under Plan 9, UNIX's "everything is a file" metaphor was to be extended via a pervasive network-centric filesystem, and graphical user interface assumed as a basis for almost all functionality, though retaining a heavily text-centric ideology.
The name Plan 9 from Bell Labs is a reference to the Ed Wood 1959 cult science fiction Z-movie Plan 9 from Outer Space. Also, Glenda, the Plan 9 Bunny, is presumably a reference to Wood's film Glen or Glenda. The system continues to be used and developed by operating system researchers and hobbyists.Robert Woodrow Wilson
Robert Woodrow Wilson (born January 10, 1936) is an American astronomer who, along with Arno Allan Penzias, discovered cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) in 1964. The pair won the 1978 Nobel laureate in physics for their discovery.
While working on a new type of antenna at Bell Labs in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, they found a source of noise in the atmosphere that they could not explain. After removing all potential sources of noise, including pigeon droppings on the antenna, the noise was finally identified as CMB, which served as important corroboration of the Big Bang theory.Rudolf Kompfner
Rudolf Kompfner (May 16, 1909 – December 3, 1977) was an Austrian-born engineer and physicist, best known as the inventor of the traveling-wave tube (TWT).
Kompfner was born in Vienna to Jewish parents. He was originally trained as an architect and after receiving his university degree in 1933 he moved to England (due to the rise of anti-Semitism), where he worked as an architect until 1941. However, he had a strong interest in physics and electronics, and after being briefly detained by the British as an enemy alien at the start of World War II he was recruited to work in a secret microwave vacuum tube research program at the University of Birmingham. While there, Kompfner invented the TWT in 1943. After the war he became a British citizen, continued working for the Admiralty as a scientist, and also studied physics at the University of Oxford, receiving his PhD in 1951.Late that year Kompfner was recruited to Bell Labs in the United States by John R. Pierce, where they together developed the TWT into an important element of the communications age. He received the IEEE Medal of Honor for his invention, and in 1974 received the National Medal of Science.
Kompfner died on December 3, 1977, in Stanford, California.Solomon J. Buchsbaum
Solomon J. Buchsbaum (December 4, 1929 – March 8, 1993) was a Polish American physicist and technologist, best known as chair of the White House Science Council under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and as a senior executive at Bell Laboratories.Willard Boyle
Willard Sterling Boyle, (August 19, 1924 – May 7, 2011) was a Canadian physicist. He was a pioneer in the field of laser technology and co-inventor of the charge-coupled device. As director of Space Science and Exploratory Studies at Bellcomm he helped select lunar landing sites and provided support for the Apollo space program.On October 6, 2009, it was announced that he would share the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor, which has become an electronic eye in almost all areas of photography".He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada — the award's highest level — on June 30, 2010.William O. Baker
William Oliver Baker (July 15, 1915 – October 31, 2005) was president of Bell Labs from 1973 to 1979 and advisor on scientific matters to five United States presidents.