Who Is Oleg Losev?

Oleg Losev
Олег Лосев

Oleg Vladimirovich Losev (Russian: Олег Владимирович Лосев) was none other than the first person to record his findings in regards to Light Emitting Diodes (LED). Though he only lived to be 39 years old, May 10, 1903 – January 22, 1942, he had an impressive resume. Unfortunately for him, for Russia, and for electronic advances the Russian government did not take him seriously.

Oleg discovered that a carborundum (silicone/carbon compound) point-contact junction (cat’s whisker) diode used in crystal radios produced light when current was passed through it. Thus was the first LED. Oleg published his findings in a Russian Magazine in 1927but the LED was not a practical electronic component until 1962.

Mr. Losev also conducted experiments with negative resistance in semiconductor junctions and built the first solid-state amplifiers, oscillators, and superheterodyne radio receivers 25 years before the transistor was invented.

Just think of how much more advanced not only Amateur radio but all other radio services might be today if Oleg Losev had been taken seriously in his time. It just makes me wonder what our ham shacks would look like today.

In 1895, Alexander Stephanovich Popov built an improved version of a coherer-based radio receiver designed by Oliver Ledge. It proved to be a good lightning detector. Whether or not he used it in conjunction with a spark gap transmitter to demonstrate the transmission of a radio signal between two buildings on March 24, 1896 (Marconi did a public demonstration in September 1896) seems to be questionable. To this day Russia says that Popov, a Russian, was the inventor of the radio. One thing that can not be argued is that Oleg Vladimirovich Losev, a Russian, was the inventor of the LED.


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