Photo of Peter C. Goldmark

Peter C. Goldmark

  • National Medal of Science
  • Engineering

For contributions to the development of the communication sciences for education, entertainment, culture and human service.

He led to a music revolution. Peter C. Goldmark’s contribution was less rock and roll and more groove — perfecting the grooves that give records their rich sound.

Goldmark developed the long-playing phonograph record, known as an LP, which is defined by its 33 1/3 revolutions per minute. The record revolutionized the recording industry.

With a team at CBS Laboratories, Goldmark developed the perfect groove in 1948, with a width of only 0.003 of an inch, improving an earlier version of the record that had wider .01 inch grooves on 78 revolutions-per-minute records. The difference meant six of the older records could be compressed into one 33 ⅓ revolutions-per-minute LP record.

It wasn’t the only milestone he made in the world of communication. Goldmark also created the first color television system for commercial use, first demonstrated in 1940. Goldmark used rotating three-color disks in his system, approved by the Federal Communications Commission in 1950. The system was often used in closed-circuit televisions for industry, medical institutions and school operations.

By Christina Ayala