My Experience With Maxwell


Reading time ( words)

I was first introduced to James Maxwell in 1967 as a college student. I had to decide whether I would take the Maxwell fields course or the switching and coding course. Being a chemical engineering major with a co-major in control theory, I had heard about the trials and tribulations of the infamous Maxwell fields course.

After a lot of consideration, I decided to take the switching and coding course, since it was more related to computer theory, while the fields course was more related to RF, power generation/distribution, and communications.

In those days, our transistors, tubes and ICs were still pretty slow, except for radio, radar, etc. At that time, signal integrity in board layout was not an issue. I was using RTL, DTL and slow TTL logic on breadboards of non-plated through-holes with tinned-copper wire and Teflon spaghetti tubing.

But after talking with students who had managed to successfully pass the fields course, I was awed by the mathematical rigors they had endured. I was astounded when these very same students found thermodynamics so difficult. Maxwell’s eqations are not easy.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the November issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

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