Feb 3, 2015

Oleg Losev > The Ignored Genius > Father of LED

When I first ventured to search the origin of LEDs,  I found many articles stating different origins, inventions moving towards the LED as we know it. However, one name, Oleg Losev, always comes up as the ignored genius of Russia -  the first researcher to describe LED in its true form, some 100 years before the American 'invention' of LED.


Before Losev, in 1907, Henry J. Round, one of Marconi’s assistants published a short note in Electrical World reporting a “bright glow” from a carborundum diode. However, he did not publish any follow-up research on this.

Many discussions on the origin of the LED, term Round as the father of the LED idea, and Losev as the true inventor.

There are great many articles on this, but one that stands out clearly is the one by NIKOLAY ZHELUDEV , The life and times of the LED — a 100-year history.

Some excerpts on Oleg Losev from this article really make us feel sorry for the state of communications in the earlier times, and the state of non-recognition of talent.

"young and extremely talented scientist who spent his working life as a technician in several Soviet radio laboratories, eventually dying of hunger in 1942 during the blockade of Leningrad, at the age of 39"

"Losev was a lonely scientist who left no disciples and never had a co-author. Being born into the noble family of a Russian Imperial Army officer was not exactly a good starting point in Bolshevik Russia, where people of such descent were banned from the career ladder. A self-made scientist who attended a few university courses but never formally completed his education, Losev was eventually awarded a PhD without a formal thesis by the Ioffe Institute in 1938. The happiest and most productive years of his research work were spent at the Nizhniy Novgorod Radio Laboratory before he moved to Leningrad where, after years of hardship, he eventually found himself a position as a humble technician at the Leningrad Medical Institute"

 (Read it here)

Oleg Losev will always be remembered - He stays with us in our laptops, mobiles, and what not!