Oliver Heaviside (1850 - 1925, England)

Oliver Heaviside was an important pioneer in the study of electronics.

Some highlights of Heaviside's constributions:

Oliver Heaviside
  • Heaviside caught scarlet fever when he was a young child and this affected his hearing.
  • At age 16 he left school. He taught himself Morse code and electricity. He was helped by his uncle Charles Wheatstone (after whom the Wheatstone bridge* was named).
  • Heaviside introduced operational calculus to enable him to solve the ordinary DEs which came out of the theory of electrical circuits. He replaced the differential operator `d/dx` by a variable `p`, which transformed differential equations into easier algebraic equations. The solution of the algebraic equation could be transformed back using conversion tables to give the solution of the original differential equation.
  • Had the idea for an induction coil to increase induction, but it was patented in 1904 in the United States by AT&T.
  • His nails were always exquisitely manicured, and painted a glistening cherry pink...(!)

*He developed the Wheatstone bridge, used for determining an unknown resistance:

Wheatstone bridge