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John Zeleny

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John Zeleny
Born(1872-03-26)March 26, 1872[1]
DiedJune 19, 1951 (aged 79)[2]
New Haven, Connecticut
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota (B.S. 1892, Ph.D. 1906)
University of Cambridge (B.A. 1899)
Yale University (M.A., 1915)
Known forZeleny electroscope
ion mobility
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Minnesota
Yale University
Doctoral advisorHenry T. Eddy
Other academic advisorsJ. J. Thomson

John Zeleny (March 26, 1872 – June 19, 1951) was an American physicist who in 1911 invented the Zeleny electroscope. He also studied the effect of an electric field on a liquid meniscus. His work is seen by some as a beginning to emergent technologies like liquid metal ion sources and electrospraying and electrospinning.[3][4]

Zeleny was born in Racine, Wisconsin, of Czech descent. His parents were both emigrants from Moravia.[5] He attended the University of Minnesota (B.S., 1892), followed by Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A., 1899), the University of Minnesota (PhD, 1906), and Yale University (M.A., 1915).[1] Zeleny began his teaching career at the University of Minnesota after earning his B.A. in 1892. In 1915, he joined the faculty at Yale, where he was chairman of the physics department and director of graduate studies in physics until his retirement in 1940.[6]


  1. ^ a b Venn, John (2011). Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900. Cambridge University Press. p. 627. ISBN 978-1-108-03616-0. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  2. ^ Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2012
  3. ^ Zeleny, John (1914). "The electrical discharge from liquid points, and a hydrostatic method of measuring the electric intensity at their surfaces". Physical Review. 3 (2): 69–91. Bibcode:1914PhRv....3...69Z. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.3.69.
  4. ^ Zeleny, John (1917). "Instability of electrified liquid surfaces". Physical Review. 10 (1): 1–6. Bibcode:1917PhRv...10....1Z. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.10.1.
  5. ^ 1920 United States Federal Census
  6. ^ "Noted Racine-Born Physicist, John Zeleny, 79, Dies at Yale". The Journal Times. Racine, Wisconsin. June 21, 1951. p. 4. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
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John Zeleny
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