From Immigrant to Inventor
By: Michael Pupin
Scribner's Sons, 1923
From Immigrant to Inventor provides the modern reader with glimpse into the life and experiences of an immigrant to the United States in the late 19th century. Pupin's goal in the book was to describe the great expansion of the sciences, especially physics, in the United States around beginning of the 20th century, but he spends a vast majority of the book giving his life story to prove to the reader his authority on the subject.
This book contains two types of passages - passages describing events in Pupin's life and passages describing the scientific concepts he studied. The passages describing events provide a fascinating story of the life and trials of an immigrant in a new land. The passages describing scientific concepts lost me completely - and I really tried to understand! I finished the book and still could not give a definition of what it was that Pupin had invented. I knew it had something to do with electromagnetic theory and radios and telephones, but that was the extent of my understanding. So, I went to my trusty friend, www.wikipedia.com, and found this: "Pupin is best known for his landmark theory of modern electrical filters and for his numerous patents, including a means of greatly extending the range of long-distance telephone communication by placing loading coils (of wire) at predetermined intervals along the transmitting wire (known as pupinization)." Hmmm.