Harold Alden Wheeler

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Harold Alden Wheeler
Born(1903-05-10)May 10, 1903
Died April 25, 1996(1996-04-25) (aged 92)
Residence United States
Nationality American
Awards IEEE Medal of Honor (1964)
Scientific career
Fields Electrical engineering

Harold Alden Wheeler (May 10, 1903 - April 25, 1996) was a noted American electrical engineer.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.



Wheeler was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to William Archibald Wheeler and Harriet Marie Alden Wheeler (a descendant of John and Priscilla Alden), graduated in 1925 from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and was awarded the Ruggles Prize for excellence in Mathematics. Subsequently he studied physics at Johns Hopkins University until 1928. During his education he worked part-time at the National Bureau of Standards' Radio Laboratory, then from 1922 onwards with Prof. Louis Alan Hazeltine at Stevens Institute of Technology after discovering that they had independently invented the Neutrodyne receiver. (It entered large-scale production in 1923, and was the dominant receiver for most of the 1920s.)

Saint Paul, Minnesota Capital of Minnesota

Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2017, the city's estimated population was 309,180. Saint Paul is the county seat of Ramsey County, the smallest and most densely populated county in Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city. Known as the "Twin Cities", the two form the core of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.6 million residents.

George Washington University university in Washington, D.C.

The George Washington University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. It was chartered in 1821 by an act of the United States Congress.

A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years, or a person holding such a degree.

In 1924 he became Hazeltine Corporation's first employee, and in 1925 created the first radio receiver with a diode automatic volume control that maintained a constant sound level while tuning to broadcasts of differing strengths. AM radio receivers incorporating this circuit came into use about 1930, and it has been included in every set since. He led the Hazeltine laboratory 1930-1939, and during this time received patents for 126 inventions on a wide range of work including circuits, test equipment, acoustics, antennas, transmission lines, methods of calculation for inductance of coils (included in all relevant textbooks since the mid-1930s), skin effect, coupled circuit theory, television scanning theory, and analysis and design of wide-band TV amplifiers.

Hazeltine Corporation

Hazeltine Corporation was a defense electronics company which is now part of BAE Systems Inc.

Acoustics science that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound

Acoustics is the branch of physics that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including topics such as vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound. A scientist who works in the field of acoustics is an acoustician while someone working in the field of acoustics technology may be called an acoustical engineer. The application of acoustics is present in almost all aspects of modern society with the most obvious being the audio and noise control industries.

Antenna (radio) electrical device which converts electric power into radio waves, and vice versa

In radio engineering, an antenna is the interface between radio waves propagating through space and electric currents moving in metal conductors, used with a transmitter or receiver. In transmission, a radio transmitter supplies an electric current to the antenna's terminals, and the antenna radiates the energy from the current as electromagnetic waves. In reception, an antenna intercepts some of the power of a radio wave in order to produce an electric current at its terminals, that is applied to a receiver to be amplified. Antennas are essential components of all radio equipment.

In World War II Wheeler led work on Identification friend or foe (IFF) antennas for aircraft, surface vessels, submarines, and ground stations. By war's end, these "lifesaver antennas" had been placed on all Allied ships. In 1946 he founded Wheeler Laboratories, Inc., to develop microwave circuits and antennas for missile systems tracking and guidance radar. In 1959, when it became a Hazeltine subsidiary, he was named a Hazeltine director and vice-president.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Identification friend or foe electronic system used to positively identify friendly systems

Identification, friend or foe (IFF) is a radar-based identification system designed for command and control. It uses a transponder that listens for an interogation signal and then sends a response consisting of a unique signal that identifies the broadcaster. It enables military and civilian air traffic control interrogation systems to identify aircraft, vehicles or forces as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the interrogator. IFF may be used by both military and civilian aircraft. IFF was first developed during the Second World War, with the arrival of radar, and several infamous friendly fire incidents.

Microwave form of electromagnetic radiation

Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths ranging from about one meter to one millimeter; with frequencies between 300 MHz (1 m) and 300 GHz (1 mm). Different sources define different frequency ranges as microwaves; the above broad definition includes both UHF and EHF bands. A more common definition in radio engineering is the range between 1 and 100 GHz. In all cases, microwaves include the entire SHF band at minimum. Frequencies in the microwave range are often referred to by their IEEE radar band designations: S, C, X, Ku, K, or Ka band, or by similar NATO or EU designations.

All told, Wheeler held 180 United States patents and received over fifty awards. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institute of Radio Engineers (1927) and of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (1946), and awarded the IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award in 1940 "for his contribution to the analysis of wide-band high-frequency circuits particularly suitable for television", and the IEEE Medal of Honor in 1964 "for his analyses of the fundamental limitations on the resolution in television systems and on wideband amplifiers, and for his basic contributions to the theory and development of antennas, microwave elements, circuits, and receivers." He was also a member of Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, and the Defense Science Board.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is an American nonprofit, non-governmental organization. The National Academy of Engineering is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Research Council.

The Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) was a professional organization which existed from 1912 until December 31, 1962. On January 1, 1963 it merged with the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) was a United States-based organization of electrical engineers that existed from 1884 through 1962. On January 1, 1963 it merged with the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

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The Neutrodyne radio receiver, invented in 1922 by Louis Hazeltine, was a particular type of tuned radio frequency (TRF) receiver, in which the instability-causing inter-electrode capacitance of the triode RF tubes is cancelled out or "neutralized". to prevent parasitic oscillations which caused "squealing" or "howling" noises in the speakers of early radio sets. In most designs, a small extra winding on each of the RF amplifiers' tuned anode coils was used to generate a small antiphase signal, which could be adjusted by special variable trim capacitors to cancel out the stray signal coupled to the grid via plate-to-grid capacitance. The Neutrodyne circuit was popular in radio receivers until the 1930s, when it was superseded by the superheterodyne receiver.

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