Oliver Heaviside, Mathematician & Physicist

Logic can be patient, for it is eternal.

Oliver Heaviside

The prevalent idea of mathematical works is that you must understand the reason why first, before you proceed to practise. That is fudge and fiddlesticks. I know mathematical processes that I have used with success for a very long time, of which neither I nor anyone else understands the scholastic logic. I have grown into them, and so understand them that way.

Oliver Heaviside

Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?

Oliver Heaviside

Internet Resources

Einstein never knew that Oliver Heaviside, who had first 'popularised' Maxwell's equations, had experimentally found using a long cable that the invariant-speed transverse electromagnetic wave is the mechanism of electricity.
Nigel Cook
To form any notion at all of the flux of gravitational energy, we must first localise the energy. In this respect it resembles the legendary hare in the cookery book.
Oliver Heaviside
The Heaviside step function, sometimes called the unit step function and named in honor of Oliver Heaviside, is a discontinuous function whose value is zero for negative argument and one for positive argument... The function is used in the mathematics of control theory and signal processing to represent a signal that switches on at a specified time and stays switched on indefinitely.
In this basically mathematical paper we will vindicate Heaviside and his operational calculus and mathematically justify his approach and by this anticipate significant advantages of operational calculus compare with the transform methods
Per Kullstam
Among other things, he developed the concept of 'operators,' which reduced complicated differential equations to simple algebraic equations, a technique every electrical engineer today knows as Laplace Transform Theory.
IEEE Virtual Museum
In 1872, while working as a chief operator in Newcastle upon Tyne, he started an analysis of electricity. In 1874, Heaviside left this position and researched in isolation at his parents' house. Here he helped develop transmission line theory
Heaviside was able to greatly simplify Maxwell's 20 equations in 20 variables, replacing them by four equations in two variables. Today we call these 'Maxwell's equations' forgetting that they are in fact 'Heaviside's equations'.
J.J. O'Connor, E.F. Robertson
Today, we meet a wounded genius. The University of Houston's College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.
John Lienhard
A mathematical thinker whose work long failed to secure the recognition its brilliance deserved is removed by the death of Mr. Oliver Heaviside, F.R.S.
Times of London
An 'oddity' rather than an eccentric, he was a bachelor with an impish sense of humour. He spent much time studying and writing scientific papers in complete solitude.
Alan Heather
Heaviside designed an operational calculus which got the right answers to difficult problems. His methods were said to be 'imperfect' and 'of no consequences.' He replied that these critics were 'wooden-headed.'
Dick Reiman

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