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In 1873 James Clerk Maxwell published his famous treatise on electricity and magnetism. Being a theoretician, he developed four equations which explained all the experimental results in electricity and magnetism observed up until that time, and his equations have withstood the test of time and continue to serve as a basis for all electromagnetic calculations. His equations inspired Hertz to experiment with electromagnetic radiation.

In 1895 A. Popov and in 1899 Marconi demonstrated the first wireless communication systems. Wireless communication got the boost with the invention of the triode by De Forest in 1906 and the development of practical radio circuits by Armstrong.

Engineers having developed radio circuits, research laboratories turned their attention to the transmission of video as well as audio, and practical television systems were developed in the 1930s. During World War II electronic systems were developed for radar, sonar, fire control, navigation, communications, computation, and data processing. Shortly after the war the computer industry was born.

In 1947 Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley invented the transistor. This device could perform all the functions of a vacuum tube triode with much lower device power dissipation.

Two more profound inventions occurred shortly thereafter. Kilby and Noyce invented the integrated circuit in 1959. Secondly, the ruby, gas, and semiconductor lasers were invented in 1959, 1960 and 1961, respectively. The integrated circuit allowed for a 106 or more increase in circuit density, decrease in device cost, decrease in device power, and increase in circuit reliability.

With the invention of the laser a few communication experts recognized the bandwidth potential of light wave communication. Transmission of light waves in the atmosphere proved unreliable, and so attention was focused on light wave transmission over glass fibers. The development of low-loss optical fibers followed. Today most long distance calls are transmitted by optical fibers.




treatise, n трактат, научный труд

equation, n уравнение

withstand, v (withstood) противостоять, выдержать

inspire, v вдохновлять

wireless, n радио

wireless, a беспроволочный

get the boost получить поддержку;

получить известность

circuit, n цепь, контур; схема; сеть

vacuum tube электронная лампа

fire control управление огнем

power dissipation рассеяние мощности

occur, v случаться, происходить

integrated circuit интегральная схема

ruby, n рубин

semiconductor, n полупроводник

respectively, adv соответственно;

в указанном порядке

density, n плотность, компактность

reliability, n надежность, прочность

fiber (fibre), n волокно



I. Make sure you know the words given above.


II. Read the following words. Pay attention to the stress displacement:


magnet – magnetic, atom – atomic, electron – electronic, dynamo ­– dynamic, theory – theoretic, biology – biological, history – historical, mechanism – mechanics.


III. Read the text ‘Electronics in the Industrial Age’. Find out what inventions the following dates deal with:

1873, 1895, 1947, 1959, 1960, 1961.


IV. Say if the following statements are true (T) or false (F). Consult the text ‘Electronics in the Industrial Age’.


1. In 1873 James Clerk Maxwell published his famous treatise on philosophy.

2. Maxwell developed equations which serve as a basis for all electromagnetic calculations.

3. The computer industry was born before World War I.

4. The integrated circuit was invented in 1969.

5. With the invention of the IC electronic devices have become cheaper and more reliable.

6. Today most long distance calls are transmitted by wire.


V. Find in the text ‘Electronics in the Industrial Age’ sentences with Participle I and Participle II. State their forms and functions. Translate the sentences.


VI. Match the names and the inventions


1) Maxwell a) the integrated circuit
2) Hertz b) the invention of the triode
3) A. Popov and Marconi c) four equations for electro-magnetic calculations
4) De Forest d) electromagnetic radiation
5) Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley e) wireless communication system
6) Kilby and Noyce f) the transistor


VII. Retell the text ‘Electronics in the Industrial Age’.


VIII. Read the following text without a dictionary. Try to understand it.


The path to Popov’s great discovery was marked by the investiga­tions of many scientists in different countries.

Popov’s scientific accomplishment was the culmination of the efforts of several generations of scientists, whose works make up the early history of radio which began with the investigations of Faraday. Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic rotation and electromag­netic induction laid the foundation of present-day electrical en­gineering.

His natural-scientific conceptions created a revolution in the understanding of electrical phenomena, and are extremely important because they directed all attention to the medium surrounding the electrified body. Faraday’s theory of magnetic and electric lines of force proved to be exceedingly fruitful, and served as a starting point for J. C. Maxwell to deduce mathematically (and Hertz to detect experimentally) the existence of free electric waves. Later it was found that as early as 1832 Faraday himself was close to what trium­phed in science more than half a century later.

Faraday’s scientific views were developed by his successor Max­well, who worked in many fields of physics, mechanics, and even astronomy. However, his chief works are investigations in electromagnetism and in the kinetic theory of gases. Continuing Faraday’s work, Maxwell subjected his ideas to mathematical treatment and arrived at far-reaching conclusions when he advanced the electromagnetic theory of light, one of the greatest achievements of science of the 19th century. Maxwell considered light to be an electromagnetic phenomenon; he predicted mathematically that electric waves ought to propagate at a velocity equal to the ratio of electromagnetic and electrostatic units; as we know, this value coincides with the veloc­ity of light (approximately 300,000 km. a second).

Of extraordinary value to radio was Maxwell’s conception of free electromagnetic waves, whose real existence was proved to the scien­tific world by the experimental investigations of Hertz. But this was a whole decade after the death of J. Clerk Maxwell who did not live to see his views accepted.

Deeply convinced of the truth of the Faraday-Maxwell theory, Hertz set himself the task of proving experimentally the existence of free electromagnetic waves; he established the fact that they are governed by the same laws (reflection, refraction and polarization) as light waves. One of the most brilliant experimenters in the history of natural science (let us not forget that he had not yet reached the age of 37 when he died), Hertz made experiments that served as a basis for the invention of wireless telegraphy. These experiments had to do with the Hertz vibrator and resonator described in his first work entitled ‘Concerning Extremely Rapid Electric Oscilla­tions’.

The scientific value of Hertz’ discovery, however, is not the less though he did not find a practical application for it. Hertz’ disco­very was immediately recognized throughout the world, and Popov was one of the first to begin elaborating further this extremely im­portant scientific advancement. He read papers and delivered public lectures, always pointing out that this new achievement of science is not only of theoretical value, that it may find a practical application.

May 7 (April 25, old style) 1895 is considered to be the date of the invention of radio. It was on this day that Popov read a paper in the Physics Department of the Russian Physical and Chemical Society entitled ‘On the Relation of Metal Powders to Electric Oscil­lations’. However, Popov arrived at his discovery much earlier; not at once, of course, but as a result of extensive research which he had conducted over a period of several years studying electric waves and oscillations. The May 7th address was a legal confirmation of Popov’s right as the inventor of wireless telegraphy.

Popov was undoubtedly an original and experienced experimenter.

But in addition, Popov was the first radio specialist to construct radio instruments as well as radio stations in Russia. This side of his activities was above all closely connected with the Navy, the most prominent representatives of which valued Popov especially as a practical specialist in installing radio in the Navy.

In March 1897, he delivered a lecture at the Kronstadt Naval Offi­cers’ Club, dealing with the possibility of wireless telegraphy through the use of his method. Popov’s project was well received and was approved by the higher authorities.

The year of 1897 was that of a considerable victory for the inven­tor of radio, who began experimenting on a large scale.

The first radiogram was received on the island of Gogland on January 24. It was an order of the Head of the Chief Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Avelan, on the rendering of aid to Finnish fishermen who had been carried out to sea on an ice-floe. It ran as follows :

‘To the commander of the ice-breaker Yermak’.

‘An ice-floe with 50 fishermen on it broke away near Lavensari. Render immediate aid to save these people’.

The accident was reported by telephone to St. Petersburg, and from there a telegram was sent to Kotka, whence the order was radioed to Gogland. The chief of the Gogland station, Zalevsky, wrote that the report was received clearly, and was immediately passed on to the ‘Yermak’. At four the next morning the Yermak set out on the search for the men and returned at 5 o’clock in the afternoon with all of them on board.

News of the fishermen being saved from imminent death through the use of wireless telegraphy, which conveyed to the Yermak the message, spread throughout Russia.

The very next day after the saving of the fishermen Popov was swamped with telegrams of congratulation expressing pride and admi­ration for this achievement of Russian science. The victory of Gogland also belonged to Makarov who designed the Yermak and on whose initiative it was built.

All the more dear to Popov were the lines of Makarov’s telegram of congratulation sent to him on January 26. ‘On behalf of all the Kronstadt sailors I heartily congratulate you on the brilliant success of your invention. The opening up of communications by wireless telegraphy between Kotka and Gogland over a distance of 43 versts is a victory of the greatest scientific importance’.


IX. Read the text again. Identify the key words and write them out.

X. Find the key sentence in each paragraph of the text given above.

XI. Use the key words and key sentences to make up a summary of the text.

XII. Suggest a headline to the text above.




In the past few centuries technological developments have created isolated information industries. The major inventions and industries which developed as a result of these inventions are listed in Table 1. Electrical and computer engineers play a major role in four of these six industries, and they will likely play a major role in all six industries.

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