|Died||December 3, 1977 (aged 68)|
Stanford, California, United States
|Alma mater||Oxford University, D.Phil.|
|Awards||Duddell Medal and Prize (1955)|
Stuart Ballantine Medal (1960)
IEEE Medal of Honor(1973)
National Medal of Science (1974)
Rudolf Kompfner (May 16, 1909 – December 3, 1977) was an Austrian-born inventor, physicist and architect, best known as the inventor of the traveling-wave tube (TWT).
Kompfner was born in Vienna to Jewish parents. He was originally trained as an architect and after receiving his university degree in 1933 he moved to England (due to the rise of anti-Semitism), where he worked as an architect until 1941. He had a strong interest in physics and electronics, and after being briefly detained by the British at the start of World War II he was recruited to work in a secret microwave vacuum tube research program at the University of Birmingham. While there, Kompfner invented the TWT in 1943. After the war he became a British citizen, continued working for the Admiralty as a scientist, and also studied physics at the University of Oxford, receiving his D.Phil. in 1951.
In 1965, he received an honorary doctorate from the Vienna University of Technology.