Steinmetz, Charles Proteus
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Steinmetz, Charles Proteus(stīn`mĕts), 1865–1923, American electrical engineer, b. Breslau, Germany, studied at the Univ. of Breslau. Forced to flee Germany because of his socialist activities, he came to the United States in 1889. Rudolf Eickemeyer, who had just begun to build electrical apparatus in his factory in Yonkers, N.Y., gave him his start in electrical engineering research. When the General Electric Company bought out Eickemeyer in 1892, Steinmetz joined the new owners. He discovered the law of hysteresis, which made it possible to reduce the loss of efficiency in electrical apparatus resulting from alternating magnetism; developed a practical method of making calculations of alternating current, thus revolutionizing electrical engineering; and did valuable research on transient electrical phenomena (lightning). He built a generator that produced artificial lightning. Professor (1902–23) at Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., Steinmetz wrote many scientific papers and a number of standard texts. He remained a socialist and was president of the Schenectady board of education (1912–23) and of the common council (1916–23).
See biographies by J. W. Hammond (1924) and J. N. Leonard (1929).
Steinmetz, Charles Proteus
(Karl August Rudolf Steinmetz). Born Apr. 9, 1865, in Breslau (now Wroclaw), Poland; died Oct. 26, 1923, in Schenectady, N.Y. American electrical engineer; consulting engineer with the General Electric Company.
Steinmetz studied at the University of Breslau and graduated from the Polytechnic Institute in Zürich. He had fled to Zürich to escape the persecution of the authorities for his participation in the labor movement. In 1889 he emigrated to the USA and settled in Yonkers, N.Y., where he went to work at a small electrical shop. In 1893 he joined the General Electric Company, where he held responsible positions under the title of consulting engineer.
Steinmetz’ main work dealt with the processes in electric machines and devices. He proposed an empirical formula for determining hysteresis loss (1890–92) and, in 1897, developed a symbolic method for calculating alternating current phenomena. He studied aspects of the design and analysis of illumination devices and large electric machines produced at General Electric plants.
Steinmetz was a socialist by conviction. In 1922 he addressed a letter to V. I. Lenin, in which he welcomed the social transformations in Russia.
WORKSTheory and Calculation of Alternating Current Phenomena, 5th ed. New York, 1916.
In Russian translation:
Teoreticheskie osnovaniia elektrotekhniki sil’nykh tokov. St. Petersburg, 1905.
REFERENCEBel’kind, L. D. Charlz Proteus Shteinmets. Moscow, 1965.
G. K. TSVERAVA