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Thread: Greatest electrical engineer of all times?

  1. #1 Greatest electrical engineer of all times? 
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    Hello, everybody! I was wondering whats your opinion on this topic? Who are the greatest scientists in the field of electrical engineering and how important are their contributions.


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    I think I'd go with Maxwell.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clerk_Maxwell


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    my vote's Tesla

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_tesla

    with Faraday at 2 and maxwell a close 3rd

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Faraday
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    Julius Edgar Lilienfeld (1881-1963)

    He did something really spectacular, in 1925 he patented a type of transistor, however it was ignored for another twenty years until engineers at BELL re-discovered his patent and developed the first operational model.

    Maxwell, "Look at me I'm Tesla", That little patent clerk, Faraday and almost everybody else you will name worked alongside others who were equally as good but were pipped at the post for publication. I can find no evidence that this guy was of that ilk,, 2nd Place would be Mendleev (for his PTE) who brilliantly predicted and placed many elements unknown at the time into the Periodic table of the elements.

    But remember even these guys could not have done it without the others, perhaps the real tribute should be to that loan ape who experimented with walking upright...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Julius Edgar Lilienfeld (1881-1963)

    He did something really spectacular, in 1925 he patented a type of transistor, however it was ignored for another twenty years until engineers at BELL re-discovered his patent and developed the first operational model.

    Maxwell, "Look at me I'm Tesla", That little patent clerk, Faraday and almost everybody else you will name worked alongside others who were equally as good but were pipped at the post for publication. I can find no evidence that this guy was of that ilk,, 2nd Place would be Mendleev (for his PTE) who brilliantly predicted and placed many elements unknown at the time into the Periodic table of the elements.

    But remember even these guys could not have done it without the others, perhaps the real tribute should be to that loan ape who experimented with walking upright...
    Benjamin Franklin without doubt.

    He, discovered that electricity was needed to stop lightning. The principle of the transistor.

    He discovered that lightning was static electricity. Found the electron particle, calling it a particle of electricity. Claimed it had to be exponentially smaller than an atom, because electrons permeated matter with ease. Something even a tiny atom cannot do.

    He is the man.


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    William McCormick
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    Maxwell, but he's really more of a physicist.

    Marconi, even though there's people that claim he didn't invent radio, he certainly gave it the biggest boost.

    Do you even read what you write, William? First you say he discovered electricity was needed to stop lightning, then you say he discovered lightning is electricity.

    Franklin had nothing to do with the transistor. In order to know anything about it, he'd have had to understood the effects of doping (adding interstitial impurities to a material to increase certain characteristics), and electron diffusion in materials. Two subjects which are relatively new.

    The transistor works due to unique properties of diodes. When you put something with a positive charge next to something with a negative charge, electrons from the negative side will diffuse to the positive side to create an equilibrium state, causing a region of neutrality. (This is a diode.) When you then place another negatively charged material next to the positive material, you get the same process with another region or neutrality, creating the transistor. Now, when you "bias" each of the two diodes, something interesting happens. For the sake of proper labeling, let's call the first N region the collector, the P region the base, and the last N region the emitter. When you bias the collector-base junction positively, you pull electrons from the base region toward/into the collector region. While the Base-Emitter junction is forward-biased, nothing will happen because you're blocking electron flow by repelling electrons from the base region. However, when you reverse bias it, you attract electrons to the base region. This process, when combined correctly with the previous one kind of acts like a sling shot, giving the electron flow a boost. This is a transistor as an amplifier. By manipulating the three voltages you can get two other modes of operation that may be useful, switching and cutoff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick
    Benjamin Franklin without doubt.
    He, discovered that electricity was needed to stop lightning. The principle of the transistor.
    Nikola Tesla's U.S. patent 1,266,175 was an improvement in lightning protectors. The patent was granted due to a fault in Franklin's original theory of operation; the pointed lightning rod actually ionizes the air around itself, rendering the air conductive, which in turn raises the probability of a strike. Many years after receiving his patent, in 1919 Dr. Tesla wrote an article for The Electrical Experimenter entitled "Famous Scientific Illusions", in which he explains the logic of Franklin's pointed lightning rod and discloses his improved method and apparatus. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_rod)

    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick
    Found the electron particle, calling it a particle of electricity. Claimed it had to be exponentially smaller than an atom, because electrons permeated matter with ease. Something even a tiny atom cannot do.
    The discovery of the electron can hardly be associated to Benjamin Franklin. It was discovered by British physicist Thomson, the theory was later developed by a New Zealand physicist Rutherford. To the later quantum theory the greatest contributions where by Herz, Bohr, Pauli, de Broglie and Schrodinger. This is from a scientific point of view, as for philosophical ponder on the topic originated in Indian and was developed by a student of Democritus', so even from that point of view one can hardly give Franklin priority.

    As for the transistor "alienmindsinc" already explaind.

    Perhaps it would be easier to divide electrical engineering into topics:
    - Power engineering
    - Control engineering
    - Electronics
    - Microelectronics
    - Telecommunications
    - Computer engineering
    And then debate who pioneered each field, and who contributed the most.
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    I'm going to go with three, Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain for the invention of the transistor. It changed everything. Shockley I feel had a bigger part in all of it with development of the Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT) later on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    I'm going to go with three, Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain for the invention of the transistor. It changed everything. Shockley I feel had a bigger part in all of it with development of the Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT) later on.
    They were my first choice but as I discovered they had copies of Lilienfeld's patent I gave it to him, maybe all four of them.
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    Without a doubt. - Tesla !
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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    Harold moved my post along with the rest of McCormick's ramblings, so I'm reposting my reply.

    One must make a distinction between scientists/physicists and engineers.

    Scientists such as Maxwell have made extremely important contributions to the understanding of electricity, but they were not engineers.

    I would go with Shockley and company. They might not have been the first to come up with the idea of a transistor but it was their work that was the springboard for the development of electronics which changed the world.

    Tesla for me comes in at a very close second. The man was so prolific in his work that I can't name a single contribution of his that stands out head and shoulders above the others.

    And I give an Honorable Mention to Claude Shannon and Harry Nyquist for their development of the Sampling Theorem and related work. Without them we would still be stuck with analog devices.
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    summary:

    1. Power engineering
    - Edison (first DC distribution system, inventions...)
    - Tesla (A/C polyphase generators, motors, distribution system, wireless energy light bulb...)
    2. Control engineering
    - Fourier, Laplace (mathematical basis of signal analysis)
    - Tesla (fundamentals of robotics)
    3. Electronics
    - Tesla (patent for logic gates, radio)
    - Shannon (digital circuit and desing theory, master thesis: A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits)
    - Shockley, Bardeen and Brattain (transistor)
    4. Microelectronics
    - Bohr, Pauli, de Broglie, Heisenberg and Schrodinger (quantum mechanics led to micro- & nano- electronics)
    5. Telecommunications
    - Fourier, Laplace (mathematical basis of signal analysis)
    - Tesla (wireless communication, radio...)
    - Marconi (development of Tesla's patents for commercial application)
    - Claude Shannon and Harry Nyquist (development of information theory)
    6.- Computer engineering
    - Shannon (digital circuit and desing theory, master thesis: A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits)
    - Boole (mathematical foundations)
    - Zuse (fully functional and programmable computer)
    So in general the pioneers in terms of physics and describing the phenomenon of electricity:
    Maxwell, Faraday, Herz, Thomson, Volta, Ohm, Ampere....

    feel free to add...
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    Here is my pick.

    Not many know what a fellow Benjamin Franklin was, because he was not interested in the pursuit, of people looking up to him, nor was he making a name for himself. He did not want to be adorned, because he could control or make their life miserable. He did not want respect because he gave them things that they could not obtain otherwise. He just wanted to walk in a country and a world, free of the petty nonsense. And was willing to do whatever it takes.

    What he would do, is find the things the average fellow did not have the time to do while the average fellow was building and taking care of his country. Benjamin Franklin probably considered himself a little lazy, because of the great admiration he had for his fellow man. But when you read about him, you find out he was an amazingly active fellow. A great founding Father of America.







    There were some at the time that could not imagine how they would keep up with him, when he advanced upon their field. But his endeavor was not to take over. But rather improve for all, the community, the country and the world. Some were jealous, and I am sure Benjamin Franklin just laughed, at the notion of someone being jealous of him.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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    William your documents are from around 1931, do you enjoy searching the library of congress that much ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    William your documents are from around 1931, do you enjoy searching the library of congress that much ?
    I never searched the library of the Congress. Don't even know where it is. I am making my own library. Besides if the congress uses the library of the Congress, it cannot have anything to good in it. Or the Senators cannot read.


    Well, I would imagine as you get closer to the time the fellow was alive, that the document will contain a bit more of the spirit of the times. I consider that Benjamin Franklin was 110 percent totally and completely accurate in his understanding of electricity and lightning. Yet today some feel that his work was not accurate.

    So yes I like the older works that hold him a bit higher. I currently have all those books, from the set, I am scanning in some great stuff.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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    Must ... resist ... replying ...

    Aw what the hell, Harold is going to move this to the trash can (again ) soon enough.

    Besides if the congress uses the library of the Congress, it cannot have anything to good in it. Or the Senators cannot read.
    I am guessing that you think that senators and congresspeople are stupid (I won't argue against that premise) and therefore they cannot read because if they did they would gain some knowledge from the books in the library of congress.

    Actually the library of congress is much, much, much more than just a library for members of congress. It is the closest thing the United States has to a national library, and I believe it contains every, or almost every book published in the United States since at least the start of the 20th century if not earlier.

    Well, I would imagine as you get closer to the time the fellow was alive, that the document will contain a bit more of the spirit of the times. I consider that Benjamin Franklin was 110 percent totally and completely accurate in his understanding of electricity and lightning. Yet today some feel that his work was not accurate.
    Well then, I guess you should read some of the stuff written circa AD 200 concerning Ptolemy. You will get a good fell for "the spirit of the times," specifically how the geocentric model of the solar system was 110 percent totally and completely accurate.

    For that matter why don't you read anything written before AD 1500 concerning the speed of falling of bodies with different masses. They will all tell you that a rock will fall faster than a pebble, citing Aristotle. Aristotle was a great thinker, one of the greatest minds in Western culture, but he was not correct about everything.
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    Marconi, even though there's people that claim he didn't invent radio, he certainly gave it the biggest boost.
    There is serious mind that firs inventor of real
    radio was Russian physicist Popov.
    I think you may gather more information on him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexand...panovich_Popov
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