Let me apologize if you've been mislead.
For mathematicians, Heaviside’s greatest contribution was in discovering how to simplify 12 of James Clerk Maxwell’s 20 field equations with complex calculus expressions, into a much simpler algebraic formulation involving a mere four equations:
∇ × E
= − μ ∂ H
∇ · μ H
∇ × H
= k E
+ ε ∂ E
represents the electric field, H
represents the magnetic field, ε is the permittivity, μ is the permeability, ρ is the charge density, and k is the conductivity.
Heaviside proposed a number of arcane electrical terms, some a little fanciful, that we use to describe electrical parameters:
Admittance, the inverse of impedance.
Electret, a dielectric material that has and retains an electrostatic charge. It is analogous to the permanent magnet.
Impedance, the opposition in a load or conductor to the flow of current. It is made up of resistance and, added vectorially, inductive or capacitive reactance. Like resistance, it is measured in ohms.
Inductance, the property whereby change in current in a conductor induces a counter voltage in itself or in a nearby conductor. (There is self-inductance and mutual inductance.) The unit of inductance is the henry.
Permeability, the amount a material can be magnetized in the presence of an electric field. All materials including a pure vacuum are permeable to some extent. Soft iron, often used in a magnetic core, is highly permeable.
Permittance or susceptance, as it was later known, the reciprocal of magnetic reluctance. It is analogous to conductance in an electrical circuit.
Reluctance, in magnetic circuits, parallels resistance in electrical circuits. Reluctance opposes magnetic flux just as resistance limits electrical current. But the big difference is that resistance causes electrical energy to be lost forever, dissipated in the form of heat, while reluctance causes magnetic energy to be stored in a magnetic field so that when the field collapses, the magnetic energy returns to the magnetic circuit.
While we're at it, we might as well mention the Heaviside Layer, which is mentioned in Ian Fleming's 'Dr. No' from Crab Key, who discussed "toppling" at length, or the knocking space vehicles out of their intended trajectories by means of radio waves:
There is a million dollars’ worth of equipment up above us in the rock galleries, Mister Bond, sending fingers up into the Heavyside Layer, waiting for the signals, jamming them, countering beams with other beams.
DR. NO, Chapter 16
Doctor No is continuing to brag to James Bond about his installation on Crab Key, having just named a bunch of armed missiles that he has interfered with on behalf of the Russians.
Fleming tosses in a reference to the 'Heavyside Layer', referring to the Heaviside layer, sometimes called the Kennelly–Heaviside layer. This is a region of the Earth’s ionosphere, between roughly 90 and 150 km above the ground.
This region was predicted separately and at almost the same time by Arthur E. Kennelly and Oliver Heaviside. At the time the use of radio waves was in its infancy, and scientists didn’t understand why radio waves followed the curve of the earth rather than shooting directly out into space.
Heaviside, a self-taught British engineer, hypothesized in 1902 that there was a layer in the Earth’s atmosphere that forced radio waves to skim around the planet.
This led to great advances in radio technology so that by the time of Doctor No in 1962, it was possible not only to guide missiles by radio but also to intercept them or to topple them.
The term (with the correct spelling) also appears in Chapter 2 in Ian Fleming's 'Moonraker' in a description of MI6 headquarters building.
Variations in received signal strength are ascribed partly to the existence of a "Heaviside cloud" layer consisting of masses of ionized gas at considerable heights. A partial bibliography of the subject is given. The theory of interference caused by a spherical reflector is given, and results of receiving experiments due to Mr. Leonard Fuller, are studied in the light of the derived theory. It is shown that the Heaviside layer is probably quite irregular, and that refraction of the traveling waves is probably existent.
Oliver Heaviside’s life, spanning the years 1850 to 1925, began and ended in squalor. He was never entirely free of the dark melancholy that characterized his private as well as his public persona.
Beyond a little primary schooling, Heaviside was self-educated. His reading of James Clerk Maxwell’s Treatise On Electricity And Magnetism
was a revelation to him. He mastered the mathematics and went on from there. His insights into the behavior of electricity, inside and outside of circuits, were incisive and he knew how to communicate these insights to an eager audience of electrical engineers and theoreticians.
Heaviside gave us coaxial cable and the small coils placed in series with every telephone line, counter-intuitively improving clarity by providing inductive loading. But his great gifts to twentieth-century electrical engineering consisted of concepts, while some were alterations to existing theory.
Heaviside remains as an unsung hero in describing electricity's behavior and his invention of items like the ubiquitous coaxial cable, familiar to everyone of who subscribes to cable television or who relies on the transmission of effective signals between a transmitter and the antenna and from the antenna to the receiver.