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Oliver Heaviside, British physicist

Oliver Heaviside, British physicist

H408/0114

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925), British physicist and mathematician. Having no formal education, Heaviside worked initially as a telegraph operator until deafness forced him to stop. Applying mathematics to electric circuits and the theory of telegraphy, he formulated the concepts of impedance, conductance and self-inductance. He showed how audio signals could be transmitted down cables without distortion; showed how a telephone line can carry many conversations simultaneously (multiplexing); then suggested a reflecting layer in the upper atmosphere to radio signals (now the Heaviside layer). He wrote: 'Electromagnetic Theory' (3 volumes) but his unified field theory was lost.

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