Here are the protagonists of the history of electrical engineering
Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (Angoulême, 14 giugno 1736 – Parigi, 23 agosto 1806) was a French military engineer and physicist. He is best known as the eponymous discoverer of what is now called Coulomb's law, the description of the electrostatic force of attraction and repulsion, though he also did important work on friction.
The SI unit of electric charge, the coulomb, was named in his honor in 1908.
James Watt (Greenock, 19 gennaio 1736 – Handsworth, 19 agosto 1819) was a Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist who improved on Thomas Newcomen's 1712 Newcomen steam engine with his Watt steam engine in 1776, which was fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.
Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (Como, 18 febbraio 1745 – Como, 5 marzo 1827) was an Italian physicist, chemist, and pioneer of electricity and power who is credited as the inventor of the electric battery and the discoverer of methane. He invented the Voltaic pile in 1799, and reported the results of his experiments in 1800 in a two-part letter to the President of the Royal Society.
Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (Auxerre, 21 march 1768 – Paris, 16 may 1830) was a French mathematician and physicist best known for initiating the investigation of Fourier series, which eventually developed into Fourier analysis and harmonic analysis, and their applications to problems of heat transfer and vibrations. The Fourier transform and Fourier's law of conduction are also named in his honour.
André-Marie Ampère De Culòn (Poleymieux-au-Mont-d'Or, 22 gennaio 1775 – Marseille, 10 giugno 1836) was a French physicist and mathematician who was one of the founders of the science of classical electromagnetism, which he referred to as "electrodynamics". He is also the inventor of numerous applications, such as the solenoid (a term coined by him) and the electrical telegraph.
George Simon Alfred Ohm (Erlangen, 16 march 1789 – Munich, 6 july 1854) was a German physicist and mathematician. As a school teacher, Ohm began his research with the new electrochemical cell, invented by Italian scientist Alessandro Volta. Using equipment of his own creation, Ohm found that there is a direct proportionality between the potential difference (voltage) applied across a conductor and the resultant electric current. This relationship is known as Ohm's law.
Michael Faraday (Southwark, 22 september 1791 – Hampton Court, 25 august 1867) was the son of a blacksmith who became one of the most famous scientists of the 19th century. He was sent to a local school to learn how to read and write. A local vicar paid for this, seeing his obvious intelligence. Faraday became the greatest experimental physicist of the nineteenth century. Faraday became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and was awarded the Royal, Copley and Rumford medals of the Society. Although Faraday had only primary school education, and did not know higher mathematics, he became one of the most influential scientists in history.
Joseph Henry was an American scientist who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He was highly regarded during his lifetime. While building electromagnets, Henry discovered the electromagnetic phenomenon of self-inductance. He also discovered mutual inductance independently of Michael Faraday, though Faraday was the first to make the discovery and publish his results. Henry developed the electromagnet into a practical device. The SI unit of inductance, the Henry, is named in his honor.
Heinrich Friedrich Emil Lenz (Dorpat, 12 february 1804 – Rome, 10 february 1865) was a Russian physicist. He is most noted for formulating Lenz's law in electrodynamics in 1834. Lenz had begun studying electromagnetism in 1831. Besides the law named in his honor, Lenz also independently discovered Joule's law in 1842; to honor his efforts on the problem, it is also given the name the "Joule–Lenz law," named also for James Prescott Joule.
Wilhelm Eduard Weber (1804-1891) was a German physicist and, together with Carl Friedrich Gauss, inventor of the first electromagnetic telegraph. One of his most important works was Atlas of Geomagnetism: Designed according to the elements of the theory, a series of magnetic maps, and it was chiefly through his efforts that magnetic observatories were instituted. He studied magnetism and during 1864 published his Electrodynamic Proportional Measures containing a system of absolute measurements for electric currents, which forms the basis of those in use. The SI unit of magnetic flux, the weber (symbol: Wb) is named after him.
Ernst Werner von Siemens (Lenthe, 13 december 1816 – Berlin, 6 december 1892) was a German electrical engineer, inventor and industrialist. Siemens's name has been adopted as the SI unit of electrical conductance, the siemens. He founded the electrical and telecommunications conglomerate Siemens.
James Prescott Joule (Salford, 24 December 1818 – Sale, 11 October 1889) was an English physicist, mathematician and brewer, born in Salford, Lancashire. Joule studied the nature of heat, and discovered its relationship to mechanical work. This led to the law of conservation of energy, which in turn led to the development of the first law of thermodynamics. The SI derived unit of energy, the joule, is named after him.
Gustav Robert Georg Kirchhoff (Königsberg, 12 march 1824 – Berlin, 17 october 1887) was a German physicist who contributed to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects. He coined the term black-body radiation in 1862. Several different sets of concepts are named "Kirchhoff's laws" after him, concerning such diverse subjects as black-body radiation and spectroscopy, electrical circuits, and thermochemistry.
James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831 in Edinburgh – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish mathematician, physicist and discoverer of Maxwell's equations. In 1871, became the first Cavendish Professor of Physics at Cambridge. He studied many things, but is known best for his mathematical work on electromagnetism and on the behaviour of gases.
Antonio Pacinotti (17 June 1841 – 24 March 1912) was an Italian physicist, who was Professor of Physics at the University of Pisa. He is best known for inventing an improved form of direct-current electrical generator, or dynamo, which he built in 1860 and described in a paper published in Il Nuovo Cimento of 1865.
George Westinghouse (October 6, 1846 – March 12, 1914) was an American entrepreneur and engineer based in Pennsylvania who created the railway air brake and was a pioneer of the electrical industry, gaining his first patent at the age of 19. Westinghouse saw the potential in alternating current as an electricity distribution system in the early 1880s and put all his resources into developing and marketing it, a move that put his business in direct competition with the Edison direct current system. In 1911 Westinghouse received the AIEE's Edison Medal "For meritorious achievement in connection with the development of the alternating current system."
Galileo Ferraris (31 October 1847 – 7 February 1897) was an Italian physicist and electrical engineer, one of the pioneers of AC power system and an inventor of the three-phase induction motor. Many newspapers touted that his work on the induction motor and power transmission systems were some of the greatest inventions of all ages.
Thomas Alva Edison (Milan, 11 february 1847 – West Orange, 18 october 1931) was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures.These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world.
Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (Arnhem, 18 luglio 1853 – Haarlem, 4 febbraio 1928) was a Dutch physicist. In 1902, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics together with Pieter Zeeman for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect. He also derived the transformation equations that were later used by Albert Einstein to describe space and time.
Nikola Tesla (Smiljan, 10 july 1856 – New York, 7 january 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. Tesla studied engineering and physics in the 1870s without receiving a degree, and gained practical experience in the early 1880s working in telephony and at Continental Edison in the new electric power industry. In 1884 he emigrated to the United States, where he became a naturalized citizen. With the help of partners to finance and market his ideas, Tesla set up laboratories and companies in New York to develop a range of electrical and mechanical devices.
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (Hamburg, 22 february 1857 – Bonn, 1º january 1894) was a German physicist who first conclusively proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves predicted by James Clerk Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism. The unit of frequency, cycle per second, was named the "hertz" in his honor.
Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi FRSA (Bologna, 25 april 1874 – Rome, 20 july 1937) was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission, development of Marconi's law, and a radio telegraph system. He is credited as the inventor of radio, and he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun "in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy".
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