110_1_110_1_CPSteinmetz - Charles Proteus Steinmetz,...

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Charles Proteus Steinmetz, German-American electrical engineer and inventor, was a pioneer in the field of electrical engineering, who invented a commercially successful alternating current motor. He himself considered his three most important accomplishments to be: (1) his work in the field of electromagnetism, (2) the development of a practical, simplified method of managing and calculating values for alternating current using complex numbers, and (3) his research on lightning phenomena. Steinmetz also invented the three-phase electrical circuit. His work made possible the expansion of the electric power industry in the United States. Among his many inventions is the metallic electrode arc lamp. Charles P. Steinmetz was considered the leading electrical engineer in the United States. Originally named Karl August Rudolf Steinmetz, he was born in Breslau, Germany, the son of a railroad lithographer, Karl Heinrich Steinmetz (who was also a cripple) and his wife Caroline nee Neubert. (Breslau is in the region known as Niederschlesien, Lower Silesia, which has been part of Bohemia, Austria and Prussia. Today the city is Wroclaw, Poland.) At birth Steinmetz was afflicted with a physical deformity, hunchback. Steinmetz’ early school performance was poor and at the age of eight he was having trouble with multiplication tables. However, by the time he was ten, he had made a turnaround and was one of the school’s brightest pupils. He showed an unusual capability in mathematics, physics, and classical literature. On graduating from the gymnasium with honours, he entered the University of Breslau in 1883, where he devoured books on every subject from mathematics and economics to literature and medicine. An example of his mind and memory was his memorization of the logarithmic tables which he could manipulate mentally to solve problems in a few seconds. He was fascinated with the study of electricity, but the courses in Breslau were short on detail and completely lacking in the applied and practical. He did not see a transformer until he came to America. He fled to Switzerland without being able to tell his family. Later, when the Kaiser
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This note was uploaded on 07/06/2011 for the course EE 110 taught by Professor Gupta during the Winter '08 term at UCLA.

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110_1_110_1_CPSteinmetz - Charles Proteus Steinmetz,...

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