Illustration of Diode bridge

1896 Diode bridge

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Karol Pollak electromagnetism Illustration of Diode bridge

Diode bridge

Karol Pollak invented the diode bridge also known as the Graetz bridge or the bridge rectifier. An arrangement of diodes that permit current in only one direction converts alternating current into direct current.

Graetz bridge

Leo Graetz popularized Pollak’s bridge and was German instead of Polish assuming that had anything to do with it.

Surplus bridge

My father once showed me one and I held it in my hand not as a component of a circuit but as a work of sculpture with a hidden purpose that was no longer needed.

This was the first circuit that I understood. The simplicity of arranging one-way flows in an elegant pattern appealed to me.

See also in The book of science:

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