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Conference Papers Year : 2017

Mathematics and the wireless world



One of the most remarkable technological developments of the 1920s was that of the vacuum tube. The crucial properties of the vacuum tube, as Balthasar Van der Pol pointed out with respect to the triode oscillator in 1920, stem from retention of nonlinear terms in the differential equation describing the circuit containing the triode. Solving the resulting equation, however, was a great challenge. My paper compares the techniques employed by Van der Pol, Alfred Liénard, and others to capture the behavior of vacuum tubes and other nonlinear oscillating systems in the 1920s.
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halshs-01615114 , version 1 (12-10-2017)


Attribution - NonCommercial - CC BY 4.0


  • HAL Id : halshs-01615114 , version 1


Scott A. Walter. Mathematics and the wireless world: Session "Between utility and discipline in interwar physics". Annual meeting of the History of Science Society, History of Science Society, Nov 2017, Toronto, Canada. ⟨halshs-01615114⟩
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