Dalén, Nils Gustaf

Dalén, Nils Gustaf,

1869–1937, Swedish engineer. Dalén joined the Gas Accumulator Company (later reorganized as the Swedish Gas Accumulator Company and known as AGA) in 1901 and remained with the company until he died in 1937. He was awarded the 1912 Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of technology for illuminating lighthouses and buoys. Dalén worked with acetyleneacetylene
or ethyne
, HC≡CH, a colorless gas. It melts at −80.8°C; and boils at −84.0°C;. Offensive odors often noted in commercial acetylene are due to impurities. Acetylene forms explosive mixtures with oxygen or air.
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 gas, which throws an extremely bright white light but is highly explosive. He invented Agamassan, a substrate that absorbs acetylene and allows it to be safely transported, stored, and used commercially. The invention revolutionized maritime navigation, enabling lighthouses to operate more effectively and to be located remotely.

Dalen, Nils Gustaf


Born Nov. 30. 1869, in Stenstorp; died Dec. 9, 1937, in Stockholm. Swedish engineer and inventor.

Dalen graduated from the Polytechnical Institute in Zurich. In 1906 he was the chief engineer and after 1909 the director of the Gas Accumulator Company. He perfected the design of gas turbines and other machines. Dalen invented a device for automatically igniting and extinguishing a flame, a device used in beacons and elsewhere. He received the Nobel Prize in 1912.