Record

Authorised form of nameHeaviside; Oliver (1850 - 1925)
SurnameHeaviside
ForenamesOliver
Dates1850 - 1925
NationalityBritish
Dates and placesBirth:
55 King Street, Camden Town, London, England (18 May 1850)
Death:
Hornefield, Lower Warberry, Torquay, Devon (03 February 1925)
Burial:
Paignton cemetery, Devon
ActivityResearch Field:
Physics, electrical engineering
Career:
Had Scarlet Fever when young, leaving him partially deaf. Still became a good telegraph operator. Worked for Great Northern Telephone Company, Newcastle; suffered from deafness and was forced to retire (1874); studied electricity, especially Maxwell's Equations for three years, and telephony. Adapted comlex numbers for use in electric circuits, as well as defeloped techniques for applying Laplace Transforms for the solution of differential equations. Co-invented vector analysis calculus. Formulated the 'operator' method for use in linear differential equations, replacing the differential operator (d/dx) by a new variable (p) transforming a differential equation into an algebraic eqiation, which is much easier to solve. This simple solution to an algebraic equation can then be transformed back into a differential equation solution by using 'tables of conversion' which are already worked out. In 1902 he prdicted a 'layer' of the earth's atmosphere could refract radio waves (now called the ionosphere). His prediction exlained how Marconi had famously managed to send the first ever radio signal across the Atlantic Ocean in 1901. This lionized layer in our atmosphere was called the 'Heaviside Layer' for many years. Its existence and predicted abililty to refract certain high frequencies was finally proved in 1924.
Awarded the first Faraday Medal, a bronze medal established in 1922 to commemmorate the 50th Anniversary of the first Ordinary Meeting of the Society of Telegraph Engineers (now the Institution of Engineering and Technology).
Honours:
Hon MIEE
Royal Society activityMembership:
Fellow
Election Date:
4/06/1891
RelationshipsNephew of Sir Charles Wheatstone (FRS 1836) of the Wheatstone (electrical) Bridge fame
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB
Obituaries:
Proc Roy Soc Series A 1926 vol 110 pp xiv-xv signed by A R
Royal Society codeNA2861
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
MM/9/24Letter from Oliver Heaviside, Headley View, Newton Abbott, to AW Porter14 May 1901
MM/21/23Letter from Oliver Heaviside to GEC Searle11 June 1909
MM/17/110Letter from Oliver Heaviside to the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society23 December 1891
MM/17/109Letter from Oliver Heaviside to the Secretary of the Royal Society17 June 1891
MM/17/92Letter from JH Poynting to Secretaries of the Royal Society24 June 1891
MM/16/53Letter from Oliver Heaviside, Newton Abbott, to GH Darwin28 February 1898
MM/17/111Letter from Oliver Heaviside to Herbert Rix, Assistant Secretary, Royal Society4 June 1892
MM/21/22Letter from Oliver Heaviside to GEC Searle4 December 1908
NLB/6/106Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society3 March 1892
NLB/6/567Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society2 June 1892
NLB/6/682Copy letter from an unknown correspondent, to Harrisons27 June 1892
NLB/6/692Copy letter from Michael Foster, to Oliver Heaviside28 June 1892
NLB/6/894Copy letter from Theodore E James, to Messrs Harrison & Sons15 August 1892
NLB/6/893Copy letter from Theodore E James, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society15 August 1892
NLB/5/427Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society, Paignton, Devon9 June 1891
NLB/5/477Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society25 June 1891
NLB/5/465Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society, Paignton, Devon18 June 1891
NLB/7/350Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Messrs Williams & Norgate25 January 1893
NLB/7/301Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society16 January 1893
NLB/8/100Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society17 July 1893
NLB/5/1076Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, [Fellow of the Royal Society]31 December 1891
NLB/5/1166Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society19 January 1892
NLB/5/1145Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society13 January 1892
NLB/5/1160Copy letter from an unknown correspondent, to Messrs Harrison & Sons19 January 1892
NLB/7/1020Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society16 June 1893
NLB/18/510Copy letter from Robert William Frederick Harrison, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society24 March 1899
NLB/23/2/550Copy letter from Joseph Larmor, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society3 November 1904
RR/11/51Referee's report by John Henry Poynting, on a paper 'On the forces, stresses, and fluxes of energy in the electromagnetic field' by Oliver Heaviside7 September 1891
RR/12/135Referee's report by William Burnside, on a paper 'On operations in physical mathematics. Part III' by Oliver Heavisidend [1894]
RR/12/136Letter from Oliver Heaviside, on his paper 'On operations in physical mathematics. Part III' to The Royal Society5 September 1894
RR/11/187Referee's report by Oliver Heaviside, on a paper 'On the mathematical theory of electromagnetism' by Alex McAuley31 March 1892
RR/14/220Letter from Oliver Heaviside, to Robert Harrison, regarding a paper 'On the vibrations in the field round a theoretical hertzian oscillator' by Karl Pearson and Alice Lee26 March 1899
NLB/67/689Copy letter from Francis Alexander Towle, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to Dr [George Frederick Charles] Searle, FRS14 February 1925
RR/14/218Referee's report by Oliver Heaviside, on a paper 'On the vibrations in the field round a theoretical hertzian oscillator' by Karl Pearson and Alice Lee28 February 1899
EC/1891/13Heaviside, Oliver: certificate of election to the Royal Society
NLB/6/394Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society29 April 1892
NLB/6/616Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Messrs Harrison & Sons13 June 1892
NLB/6/673Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society24 June 1892
NLB/6/651Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Messrs Harrison & Sons21 June 1892
NLB/5/1103Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society5 January 1892
RR/11/52Referee's report by Joseph John Thomson, on a paper 'On the forces, stresses, and fluxes of energy in the electromagnetic field' by Oliver Heaviside24 October 1891
NLB/5/1052Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Oliver Heaviside, Fellow of the Royal Society21 December 1891
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