Heaviside, Oliver

Heaviside, Oliver
b. 18 May 1850 London, England
d. 2 February 1925 Torquay, Devon, England
English physicist who correctly predicted the existence of the ionosphere and its ability to reflect radio waves.
Brought up in poor, almost Dickensian, circumstances, at the age of 13 years Heaviside, a nephew by marriage of Sir Charles Wheatstone, went to Camden House Grammar School. There he won a medal for science, but he was forced to leave because his parents could not afford the fees. After a year of private study, he began his working life in Newcastle in 1870 as a telegraph operator for an Anglo-Dutch cable company, but he had to give up after only four years because of increasing deafness. He therefore proceeded to spend his time studying theoretical aspects of electrical transmission and communication, and moved to Devon with his parents in 1889. Because the operation of many electrical circuits involves transient phenomena, he found it necessary to develop what he called operational calculus (which was essentially a form of the Laplace transform calculus) in order to determine the response to sudden voltage and current changes. In 1893 he suggested that the distortion that occurred on long-distance telephone lines could be reduced by adding loading coils at regular intervals, thus creating a matched-transmission line. Between 1893 and 1912 he produced a series of writings on electromagnetic theory, in one of which, anticipating a conclusion of Einstein's special theory of relativity, he put forward the idea that the mass of an electric charge increases with its velocity. When it was found that despite the curvature of the earth it was possible to communicate over very great distances using radio signals in the so-called "short" wavebands, Heaviside suggested the presence of a conducting layer in the ionosphere that reflected the waves back to earth. Since a similar suggestion had been made almost at the same time by Arthur Kennelly of Harvard, this layer became known as the Kennelly-Heaviside layer.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
FRS 1891. Institution of Electrical Engineers Faraday Medal 1924. Honorary PhD Gottingen. Honorary Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
1872. "A method for comparing electro-motive forces", English Mechanic (July).
1873. Philosophical Magazine (February) (a paper on the use of the Wheatstone Bridge). 1889, Electromagnetic Waves.
1892, Electrical Papers.
1893–1912, Electromagnetic Theory.
Further Reading
I.Catt (ed.), 1987, Oliver Heaviside, The Man, St Albans: CAM Publishing.
P.J.Nahin, 1988, Oliver Heaviside, Sage in Solitude: The Life and Works of an Electrical Genius of the Victorian Age, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, New York.
J.B.Hunt, The Maxwellians, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Heaviside, Oliver — born May 18, 1850, London, Eng. died Feb. 3, 1925, Torquay, Devon English physicist. In 1902 he predicted the presence of the ionosphere. Since Arthur Kennelly (1861–1939) had made a similar prediction, the ionosphere was long known as the… …   Universalium

  • Heaviside , Oliver — (1850–1925) British electronic engineer and physicist Heaviside, a Londoner, was a nephew of Charles Wheatstone. Being very deaf, he was hampered in school, and was largely self taught. He was interested in the transmission of electrical signals… …   Scientists

  • Heaviside, Oliver — ► (1850 1925) Físico y matemático británico. En 1902 sugirió la existencia de una capa atmosférica fuertemente ionizada. * * * (18 may. 1850, Londres, Inglaterra–3 feb. 1925, Torquay, Devon). Físico inglés. En 1902 predijo la presencia de la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Heaviside — Oliver …   Scientists

  • Oliver Heaviside — Heaviside redirects here. For other uses, see Heaviside (disambiguation). Oliver Heaviside Portrait by Francis Edwin Hodge …   Wikipedia

  • Oliver Heaviside — hacia 1890 Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Oliver Heaviside — (* 18. Mai 1850 in London; † 3. Februar 1925 in Homefield bei Torquay) war ein britischer Mathematiker und Physiker, der wesentliche Beiträge zur Entwicklung des Elektromagnetismus lieferte. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Heaviside — Oliver Heaviside Oliver Heaviside (* 18. Mai 1850 in London; † 3. Februar 1925 in Homefield bei Torquay) war ein britischer Mathematiker und Physiker, der wesentliche Beiträge zur Entwicklung des Elektromagnetismus lieferte. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Oliver — Oliver, Joan Oliver, Joe Oliver, Miguel de los Santos * * * (as used in expressions) Cromwell, Oliver Davis, Benjamin O(liver), Jr. Ellsworth, Oliver Evans, Oliver Goldsmith …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Heaviside — Heaviside, Oliver Heaviside, capa de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Heaviside-Schicht — Ionosphärenschichten (engl. Layer) in Abhängigkeit von der Tageszeit Die Kennelly Heaviside Schicht, auch E Schicht genannt, ist ein Teil der Ionosphäre der Erde. Sie ist eine der Schichten der Ionosphäre an denen kurzwellige Radiosignale… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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