Harold Stephen Black


American electrical engineer

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Why Is Harold Stephen Black Influential?

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According to Wikipedia, Harold Stephen Black was an American electrical engineer, who revolutionized the field of applied electronics by discovering the negative feedback amplifier in 1927. To some, his discovery is considered the most important breakthrough of the twentieth century in the field of electronics, since it has a wide area of application. This is because all electronic devices are inherently nonlinear, but they can be made substantially linear with the application of negative feedback. Negative feedback works by sacrificing gain for higher linearity . By sacrificing gain, it also has an additional effect of increasing the bandwidth of the amplifier. However, a negative feedback amplifier can be unstable such that it may oscillate. Once the stability problem is solved, the negative feedback amplifier is extremely useful in the field of electronics. Black published a famous paper, Stabilized feedback amplifiers, in 1934.

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