pronounced ZWAWR uh kihn, Vladimir Kosma, pronounced VLAD uh meer KAHZ muh, (1889-1982),
was a Russian-born American physicist and electronics engineer. He was responsible for
many advances in radio, television, and the electron microscope.
Zworykin came to the United States in 1919. In 1920, the Westinghouse Electric Company
hired him as a research engineer for the radio tube department. Zworykin invented the
iconoscope and the kinescope in 1923. The iconoscope was the first successful television
camera tube, and the kinescope was an early version of the television picture tube. While
working at Westinghouse, Zworykin also studied physics at the University of Pittsburgh. He
received a Ph.D. degree from the university in 1926.
In 1929, Zworykin joined the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) as director of electronics
research. There, he improved television technology and helped develop the electron
microscope. He became vice president of RCA in 1947. The U.S. government gave Zworykin the
National Medal of Science, the nation's highest science award, in 1966.
Zworykin was born in Murom, Russia, and graduated from the Petrograd Institute of
Technology in 1912 with a degree in electrical engineering. He then studied in Paris,
where he did research on X rays with the physicist Paul Langevin. Zworykin returned to
Russia when World War I began in 1914.