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Oliver Heaviside : The Life, Work, and Times of an Electrical Genius of the Victorian Age - Paul J. Nahin

Oliver Heaviside

The Life, Work, and Times of an Electrical Genius of the Victorian Age


Published: 13th November 2002
For Ages: 22+ years old
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
7 to 10 business days
RRP $78.99

This, then, was Oliver Heaviside, a pioneer of modern electrical theory. Born into a low social class of Victorian England and dying in poverty as a recluse, Heaviside (in between) made advances in mathematics, by introducing the operational calculus; in physics, where he formulated the modern-day expressions of Maxwell's Laws of electromagnetism; and in electrical engineering, through his duplex equations. This acclaimed biography is the only one devoted to Oliver Heaviside. Now available in paperback with a new preface by the author, it will appeal to historians of technology and science, as well as to scientists and engineers who wish to learn more about this remarkable man.

How was it that a man who had no formal education after the age of sixteen could apply operational calculus to technological problems in a way that other eminent mathematical physicists had not? Why was a charged layer of the ionosphere named after him? The best way to gain an insight into the life and work of this eccentric genius will be to delve into this delightful book. * International Journal of Electrical Engineering Educators * A good book by a careful, historically minded engineer... A lively, informative narrative of Heaviside's life and work. Nahin has exhaustively resurveyed archives and contemporary sources and is very much at home in historical discussions of Victorian physics. * Isis *

Preface to the Johns Hopkins Edition
Preface to the Original Edition
A Note of Mathematics
A Note of References
A Note on Money
Acknowledgements1 The Origins of Heaviside
( A Description of mid-19th century Victorian England.)
The Man
The Nature of His Work
The Grim World of Heaviside's Youth
Notes and References 2 The Early Years
(The young Heaviside, his family circumstances, and his education.)
The Beginning
A Lucky Marriage
First (and Last) Job
A Lifetime Decision
Tech Note: Where Is the Fault?
Notes and References 3 The First Theory of the Electric Telegraph
(Historical discussion of Professor William Thomson's 1854 diffusion theory, the starting point of Heaviside's work.)
Thomson and Stokes
The Law of Squares
The Atlantic Cable
The Speed of the Current
Phase Distortion
Tech Note: How Thomson Thought Electricity "Soaks" into an Infinitely Long Cable
Notes and References 4 Heaviside's Early Telegraphy Work
(An account of the introduction effects into cable analysis, and the nature of Heaviside's mode of working.)
A Full-Time Student
The Telegraph Papers
The Problem of Signal Rate Assymmetry
A "Mathematical Monster"
Arithmatic Drudgery
Tech Note: Why a Cable Is Slower in One Direction than in the Other
Notes and References 5 The Scienticulist
(An introduction to William Henry Preece, Engineer-in-Chief of the British Post Offics and Heaviside's great nemesis.)
Heaviside's Nemesis
Subdividing the Electric Light
The Age of the "Practical Man"
A Public Debate
Why Preece Prevailed (for a While)
A Clash of Personalities
Preece's Ability
The Telephone Affair
Heavisides Refuses to Be Shackled
Tech Note: Preece's Analysis of the Electric Light
Notes and References 6 Maxwell's Electricity
(The state of knowledge at Maxwell's death om 1879.)
The Men before Maxwell
The Luminiferous Ether
Faraday and Lines of Force
William Thomson
The Displacement Current
Post-script: Just What IsElectricity, Anyway?
Tech Note 1: A Technically Nice, Often Taught, but Historically False "Explanantion" of the Displacement Current
Tech Note 2: Action-at-a-Distance, Fields, and Faraday's Electronic State
Notes and References 7 Heaviside's Electrodynamics
(How Heaviside formulated the field equations and what he did with them.)
The Conversion of a Skeptic
The Electrician
The Importance of Mr. Biggs
Getting Off to a Bad Start
Reformulating Maxwell's Equations
A Friend in Germany
More Germans: FĂ·ppl, Boltzmann, and Planck
Energy and Its Flux
Moving Charges
A Friend at Cambridge
Dr. Heaviside, F.R.S.
Tech Note 1: The Duplex Equations
Tech Note 2: The Localization of Electromagnetic Field Energy
Tech Note 3: Heaviside's Derivation of hte Electromagnetic Ener"
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780801869099
ISBN-10: 0801869099
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 360
Published: 13th November 2002
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.8  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.64