Charles Proteus Steinmetz
(1865 - 1923)
Discovered the mathematics of hysteresis loss, thus enabling
engineers of the time to reduce magnetic loss in transformers.
also applied the mathematics of complex numbers to AC analysis and
thus put engineering design of electrical systems on a scientific
basis instead of a black art.
Along with Nikola Tesla, he is
responsible for wresting the generation of power away from Edison's
inefficient DC system to the more elegant AC system. An anecdotal
story recalls once that Steinmetz was called in to examine a radio
system that several engineers had looked at and could not fix.
He examined the outside of
several refrigerator sized cabinets and put an "X"
on one and said "here is your problem". The company's
technicians opened the cabinet and eventually found a bad
Steinmetz sent the company a bill for $1000 and the company sent it
back saying that they do not pay un-itemized bills, and they didn't
think that he did $1000 worth of labor. He sent it back itemized
with $1.00, marking an "X", $999.