Thursday, April 2, 2020

Sister Tarpley: Black History Month Continues

Dr. Henry Sampson’s discovery was an important part of what led to mobile phones eventually. (Courtesy photo)

The 2020 theme is: “African Americans and the Vote”, Recognizes the struggle for voting rights among both Black men and Black women throughout American history.

Every day I am amazed; as I am sure Dr. Sampson is, of the improvements to the mobile phone and its many uses.

When I traveled to Hong Kong, China, it seems that everybody there had a mobile phone and no house phone; now all that you have to do in the United States is look around you and you will see the majority of people, adults, and children of every race, creed, and color with their own mobile phone.

I love to tell my version of how Dr. Sampson came up with the idea of the mobile phone. One day he was trying to get in touch with his wife, who had left home to go shopping, to no avail.

After several hours, he thought to himself, I can do better than this! And, he invented the Gamma-Electric Cell and the “mobile phone” was born. From that point on he talked to his wife whenever he had a need to communicate with her, and now all he has to do is text her!

More than forth-eight years ago, Dr. Henry T. Sampson invented the “gamma-electric cell”, which pertains to Nuclear Reactor use, using math and science. According to Dr. Sampson, the Gamma Electric Cell was patented on July 6, 1971, Patent No. 3,591,860, which produces stable high-voltage output and current to detect radiation in the ground.

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in 1956. He went on to the University of California, Los Angeles where he graduated with a Master of Science (MS) Degree in Engineering in 1961; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, an MS Degree in Nuclear Engineering in 1965, and a Ph.D. in 1967.

Mobile Communications took a big step forward in 1983 with the invention of the Cellular System regulating the portable telephones, which use radio waves to transmit and receive audio signals.
Before this time, mobile telephone service in the United States, consisting mainly of car phones, and they were extremely limited because metropolitan areas had only one antenna for these purposes.
In addition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assigned only 12 to 24 frequencies to each area, which meant that only that many calls could occur at a time.

These limitations often meant a wait of up to 30 minutes for a dial tone and a five to ten-year waiting list just to acquire the service. With the invention of cellular phone service in 1983, personal communications no longer depended on wires.

In the 1990s it would become possible to connect to the Internet from virtually anywhere in the world using a portable computer and a cellular modem with satellite service. Technologies that developed from different fields, such as personal communications, computation and space exploration often worked together to serve the constantly evolving human needs of the information age.

He also pioneered a study of internal ballistics of solid rocket motors using high-speed photography. And, he was a producer of documentary films on early Black filmmakers and films.

Some of Dr. Sampson’s Awards and Honors: Fellow of US Navy, 1962-1964. Atomic Energy Commission, 1964-1967; the Black Image Award from Aerospace Corp, 198; Blacks in Engineering, Applied Science; Education Award and Los Angeles Council of Black Professional Engineers, 1983.

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