Hedy Lamarr was a famous Viennese immigrant who was most recognized for her acting and modeling in Hollywood but who also, with the help of George Antheil, invented "frequency hopping" for use in Torpedoes in World War Two. The idea was to make a "player piano" like mechanism that allowed controller and torpedo to simultaneously hop radio frequencies to avoid jamming and countermeasures by nazi U-Boats. The idea was considered convoluted and too complicated by the US government and scrapped.

Three years after their patent ran out in 1962, the US government used her idea in their blockade of Cuba.

Now there are over 1200 patents listed that deal with "Spread Spectrum" technology and it is used in satellites, missiles, air-planes, wireless services and even Internet applications.

Hedy Lamarr received an award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation for her contributions to science and humanity. She died on January 19th, 2000 having never received a penny for her invention.

With vivid blue eyes and raven hair, she was also billed as "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World", but that seems to pale in comparison to her scientific accomplishments.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.