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Oliver Heaviside's Electromagnetic Theory

Donaghy-Spargo, C.M.; Yakovlev, A.

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A. Yakovlev


The year 2018 marks the 125th anniversary of the first of three published volumes on electromagnetic theory by the eminent Victorian electrical engineer, physicist and mathematician, Oliver Heaviside FRS. This commemorative issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A celebrates the publication of this work by collecting papers on a broad spectrum across the field of electromagnetic theory, including innovative research papers interspersed between historical perspectives and relevant reviews. Heaviside was a remarkable man, an original thinker with brilliant mathematical powers and physical insight who made many significant contributions in his fields of interest, though he is remembered primarily for his ‘step function’, commonly used today in many branches of physics, mathematics and engineering. Here, we celebrate the man and his work by illustrating his major contributions and highlighting his great success in solving some of the great telegraphic engineering problems of the Victorian era, in part due to his development and detailed understanding of the governing electromagnetic theory. We celebrate his Electromagnetic theory: three volumes of insights, techniques and understanding from mathematical, physical and engineering perspectives—as dictated by J. C. Maxwell FRS, but interpreted, reformulated and expanded by Heaviside to advance the art and science of electrical engineering beyond all expectations. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Celebrating 125 years of Oliver Heaviside's ‘Electromagnetic Theory’’.


Donaghy-Spargo, C., & Yakovlev, A. (2018). Oliver Heaviside's Electromagnetic Theory. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 376(2134), Article 20180229.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 14, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 29, 2018
Publication Date Dec 13, 2018
Deposit Date Aug 15, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 16, 2018
Journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences.
Print ISSN 1364-503X
Electronic ISSN 1471-2962
Publisher The Royal Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 376
Issue 2134
Article Number 20180229


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