Charles Proteus Steinmetz

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Charles Proteus Steinmetz
Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz
BirthplaceBreslau, Province of Silesia, Prussia
Mathematician and electrical engineer
Known for Alternating current. Electric power industry. Hysteresis. Steinmetz equivalent circuit. Mechanicville Hydroelectric Plant. Metal-halide lamp. Network synthesis filters. Passive analogue filter development. Phasor measurement unit. Steinmetz solid. Transmission line. Wireless power

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.


Theory and Calculation of Alternating Current Phenomena, 5th ed. New York, 1916.
In Russian translation:
Teoreticheskie osnovaniia elektrotekhniki sil’nykh tokov. St. Petersburg, 1905.


Bel’kind, L. D. Charlz Proteus Shteinmets. Moscow, 1965.


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The academy has counted among its members the finest minds of each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century; Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Alexander Graham Bell in the nineteenth; and Albert Einstein, Woodrow Wilson, Charles Steinmetz, and Samuel Eliot Morison in the twentieth.
Opened in 1900, by Edison contemporary Charles Steinmetz, over 1,200 researchers work there today.