Richard Bolt

Richard Henry Bolt, better known as Richard Bolt or Dick Bolt, ( born April 22, 1911 in Beijing, China, † January 13, 2002 in Boston, Massachusetts ) was an American professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the main area acoustics. He was one of the founders of the company Bolt, Beranek and Newman ( BBN Technologies also ), the ARPANET, a predecessor of the Internet built.

Early life

Bolt was born in Beijing as a child of two medical missionaries. His family returned in 1916 returned to America and settled in California. Bolt graduated 1928, the Berkeley High School in California and then went to college. Then visited Bolt the Graduate School and completed his studies in architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Already during his studies Bolt developed a strong interest in acoustics.

Immediately after his graduation in 1933, he married Katherine Mary Smith. The couple took a honeymoon trip to Europe. As part of this honeymoon joined Bolt acquaintance with a number of scientists and lived for this time in Berlin. The honeymoon was extended by ten months Bolt learned German and dealt with the acoustics.

Return to Berkeley

In 1934 he returned to the United States and received approval from the University of Berkeley to complete his Master of Arts degree in physics. In 1939 he received his doctorate and joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT ) in order to complete his research in sound transmission. He spent several decades working as a physics professor at MIT and made ​​a significant contribution to the early Internet technologies.


In 1948, Bolt teamed up with other professors of MIT. Together with Leo Beranek and Newman, Robert founded the technology consulting firm BBN Technologies, which greatly in the development of the ARPANET ( predecessor of the Internet) was involved.

BBN further worked on projects such as the audio analysis of the JFK assassination `s that " 18.5 minutes gap "on the Nixon tapes ( Watergate ) and to improve the sound quality in concert halls.

In later years (1963 ) BBN designed the first modem to a communication between multiple computers allow. BBN was also involved in the co-development of the e- mail technology. In 1971, the " @" symbol for e -mail addresses was introduced by the BBN researcher Ray Tomlinson.


Richard Bolt left in 1976 to retire.