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You are on page 1of 2

Som e

recen t book s

(continued)

currents (either alternating o r direct) ca n

be fed t o a polyphase roto r winding.

If the latter is a 2-phase arrangement, for

machines, tape an d other automatic

methods of control of machine tools,

letter sorting, automatic methods of traffic

control and Boolean algebra. As a reference

book in the German language it is doubtless

example, th e

two windings

values of direct current in th e

can be varied so as t o produce

invaluable; i t suffers, of course,

from th e

an artificial angle of Jag or lead of roto r flux,

as in a loaded synchronous machine. If low-

frequency alternating current is fed t o th e

rotor, the machine becomes a variable-speed

synchronous motor o r generator.

The book contains a theoretical treatment

for this type of machine which i s likely t o

interest th e specialist. Although i t is

excellently produced, i t is very expensive,

as it contains only 75 pages.

same defects of overcompression of

material a s any other handbook. A trans-

lation into English would no t serve a

useful purpose in view of the many existing

works on th e subject. G. s. BROSAN

scopic picture of a plasma (in terms o f

particle motions) an d th e macroscopic

equations of plasma behaviour.

After introductory chapters outlining

standard electromagnetic theory an d

charged-particle dynamics in electric an d

magnetic fields, th e Boltzmann-Vlasov

equation is derived, an d practical applica-

tions of th e equation ar e demonstrated b y

using it to obtain the macroscopic equations

governing magnetoplasmadynamic flow and

plasma oscillations.

Matrices,

their meaning and manipulation *

The book is well produced, and the autho r

has obviously made considerable efforts t o

W . G . BICKLEY an d R . S. H . G . THOMPSON

help th e reader gain a lucid an d

critical

English Universities Press, 1964. 164 pp.

picture of current work in this field. T o this

21s.

E.

R . LAITHWA1TE

end, much recent work is included, an d

selected reading matter an d problems ar e

provided a t the end of each chapter.

North of the Border

This book is based o n lectures given t o

third-year an d postgraduate engineering

students of Imperial College. Th e authors

aim t o familiarise th e reader with th e lan -

While

th e text

is hardly

of general

B.

R . MYERS

Vantage Press, 1963.

214 pp.

$3.95

guage of matrixes an d t o provide infor-

mation on th e necessary techniques for th e

arithmetical solution of problems which

depend on linear equations.

interest, research students an d workers in

plasma physics will find it an excellent aid

in appreciating this important, bu t often

poorly

understood,

fundamental

descrip-

In 1959 th e author, then an English immi-

tion o l a plasma.

i . R. MCNAB

grant t o th e United States, accepted a n

invitation t o

a new chair

of electrical

The text opens with a selection of

problems, th e mathematical formulation

engineering a t a Canadian university. Less

Brains, machines and mathematics

than two years after taking it up, he decided,

because a

variety of conditions were no t t o

M.

A . ARBIB

his liking, to return.

of which leads t o sets of linear algebraic o r

differential equations in which matrix alge-

bra ca n be used effectively. Matrix algebra

is then developed an d special matrixes ar e

McGraw-Hill, 1964.

152

pp.

54s.

The first third of this book is a treatment,

quite superficial, of life in Canada a s i t

appeared to him. Th e remaining two-thirds

reviews Canadian engineering education.

considered, followed

b y applications of

The title of this book of

150 pages

matrix products. Th e solutions of systems

does no t d o justice t o its

contents. I t is

of

as

linear equations ar e next considered,

well a s various concepts an d methods

The stated purposes o f th e book ar e t o

illuminate an d

constructively criticise th e

Canadian scene and to alert the prospective

immigrant to (as the author rather curiously

puts it) certain matters on which h e would

otherwise have n o reason to ponder.

There is n o doubt that, t o meet th e fore-

going specification, a work should be ,

above

all , accurate an d objective; a t th e

same time there would be little point in

publishing unless it met certain minimum

standards of literary merit. 'Nort h of th e

Border' is deficient in all these qualities.

It is intensely subjective; it contains suspect

generalisations, inferences offered a s facts

and a number of inaccuracies. I n addition

to these deficiencies, th e whole tone of th e

book is gratuitously denigrating of a

country t o which a certain minimum of

concerning these solutions, including pivotal

condensation, ill-conditioned equations,

inversion of matrixes, th e improvement of

an approximate inverse, an d iterative pro -

cesses. Th e later chapters ar e concerned

with eigenvalues an d eigenvectors an d

their properties, eigenvector matrixes, an d

the determination of eigenvectors and of the

characteristic equation.

Many exercises for solution together with

hints an d answers are provided throughout

the book, some of th e examples being

intended t o indicate extensions an d appli-

cations of th e theory.

While th e work is intended to provide

really about th e theoretical aspects o f

information technology a s it ha s evolved

since th e war. I t concerns th e quest fo r

the ultimate possibilities of machines,

machines that ca n store information an d

can change their procedures accordingly

with past successes o r failures. In particular,

the digital computer an d its derivatives, th e

'finite automata' , ar e explained an d ana -

logies t o th e more elementary aspects o f

animal neurons demonstrated. Th e use o f

value-words like 'superior' an d 'intelligent',

and of metaphors, too , when comparing

computers an d brains, need not deter th e

sensitive reader; th e technical material is

presented clearly, precisely an d widely.

The writer is well qualified t o write on th e

an

subject.

c . CHERRY

introduction t o matrixes an d t o some

of

their applications, qualified engineers an d

advanced students who have some know-

ledge of the subject will find this informative

Vector fields

guest-to-hos t

estee m

wa s

due . Th e

reade r

treatmen t

o f th e materia l

o f

considerabl e

W .

B . BOAST

looks in vain

ment by th e

fo r any serious pronounce-

author o n what h e wished

interest an d

value.

F. H. JACKSON

Harper and Row, 1964. 620 pp. £3 19s.

to contribute, a purpose that might b e

Elements of plasma physics

generally considered a s a n integral part of

an educator's personality.

F. GALL

S. GARTENHAUS

Holt, Rinehart & Winston, London, 1964.

198 pp.

£3 16s.

Taschenbuch der Nachrichten-verarbcitung

K. STEINBUCH (Editor)

The introduction of vector methods a t a n

early stage in a degree course is t o b e

encouraged, bu t i t is clear tha t certain

difficulties arise if on e insists o n doing

everything th e vector way, a s Boast does.

For example th e proof of th e formula

S>Hdl= I involves a double line integral

Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1962.

1521 pp.

In recent years, appreciation of th e poten-

tial uses of plasmas in practical devices

has resulted in th e publication of a

whose

value is 477, bu t this is stated without

DM98

large number of research papers

many aspects of th e subject. Prof.

o n

th e

This is a co-operative work o n dat a an d

information processing written b y 47

specialists from German industry an d edu -

cation. Th e declared object of the work is

to provide th e engineer, mathematician,

physicist and executive with a view of th e

subject as a whole. This it certainly does.

In 1500 pages there is a vast amount of

information, ranging over digital an d ana -

logue computers practical data-processing

Garten-

haus's book is written primarily fo r th e

research-minded student wh o wishes t o

proceed from a degree-level knowledge of

proof. This is surely less satisfactory than

the simple (bu t in principle rigorous) proof

of th e above equation which can be given

with the help of the magnetic-shell concept.

The dust cover claims that vector analysis

plasmas t o th e deeper insight gained from

is given 'full treatment' in

articles o n

current research. Th e subject-

but this is difficult t o accept

a n appendix,

when there i s

matter of the book

is limited mainly to th e

no discussion of

th e difficult concepts o f

description of a plasma given b y th e

Boltzmann-Vlasov equation. This equation

is essentially th e bridge between th e micro-

line, surface, an d volume integrals.

Most of th e book is devoted t o static

fields. Maxwell's equations, th e wave

290

Electronics and Power

August 1964

equation an d retarded potentials ar e given

only 11 pages. Retarded potentials ar e

It

would b e wrong t o suppose, however,

switching, an d in recent years Boolean

introduced with n o justification, an d

it is

that a naive approach plus plentiful com-

puting capacity solves all problems. W e

algebra ha s played a n increasingly impor-

tant part in the development of

circuits fo r

never even stated, let alone proved, that

computing, communication and control.

The book under review has been written

A

good

deal of attention is paid t o

usually need t o know th e probability of

highly improbable occurrences. Estimating

it by simple simulation is like trying th e

numerical methods in solving static-field

problems. Computer flow charts ar e given

for a few problems, an d th e results ar e

discussed. Flux plotting is also discussed

in some detail, an d a number of examples

are given to illustrate its application. These

last tw o topics occupy 100 pages an d a

special feature of the book.

measure th e

failure rate of a very reliable

component: simple problems could take

years of computing.

There are plenty of problems a t the end

of each chapter, bu t n o solutions. O n th e

Practical simulation depends on choosing

the most efficient methods of sampling and

estimation. Th e general principle is t o

construct a random variate (o r se t of

variates) with th e minimum variance, by

elimination of an y known systematic

effects; this is th e central topic of th e

book.

with these engineering applications in mind.

The author ha s attempted t o provide a n

elementary account of th e essential prin -

ciples, assuming n o previous specialised

knowledge. H e starts with a chapter o n

binary numbers before proceeding t o th e

basic operations of th e algebra. Having

established th e principles, h e applies them

to switching circuits. The first half of the text

is well within the capabilities of any intelli-

gent engineer. Indeed, some

of th e earlier

whole, th e problems

ar e very conservative

material could well b e used in arithmetic

in character an d d o little t o stimulate th e

students' imagination.

courses in schools. There ar e

The book will probably be found useful

for occasional reference by undergraduate

students; many aspects in static-field theory

are worked out in great detail. I t is , how-

numerous

helpful diagrams and worked examples, a s

well a s graded exercises a t th e en d of th e

chapters. Th e second half of th e book

involves some of the concepts of electrical-

network theory an d matrix algebra. This

work is t o be welcomed an d ca n be

ever, generally to o slow-moving

an d to o

The theoretical basis of th e methods is

admirably stated; so is their realisation a s

flow diagrams for computation, examples

of both queuing and cyclic problems being

given. There is also a good critical summary

of methods of generating random an d

pseudorandom numbers.

uneven in level t o be recommended a s an

The book is heartily recommended, no t

thoroughly recommended as a readable and

authoritative introduction t o Boolean alge-

undergraduat e textbook .

A. L . CULLEN

only t o practitioners of the art , bu t t o any

br a fo r engineers.

M . R . GAVIN

engineer

with

a n

interest

in

statistical

Magneto-hydrodynamic

electrical power*

generation of

methods .

K . w . CATTERMOLE

R. A. COOMBE (Editor)

[Not held in the Institution library.]

Boolean algebra and its application

Books received

Chapman and Hall, 1964.

207 pp.

30s.

H .

G . FLEGG

M.H.D . generation has , understandably,

attracted th e attention of research teams

in many countries, bu t unfortunately

results can be obtained only by the expendi-

ture of large sums, sponsored a t national

levels.

It is therefore refreshing that th e editor

Blackie, 1964.

261 pp.

£2 10s.

Ordinary algebra deals with generalised

arithmetic; Boolean algebra deals with

classes or groups within a larger population.

Nuclear electronics. Paris, OECD, Euro-

pean Nuclear Energy Agency, 1964.

860 pp . £3 3s. (Proceedings of th e inter-

national symposium o n nuclear electronics,

held in Paris, 25th-27th November 1963.

Papers in French an d English. French

papers have summaries in English)

It was first introduced by Prof. Boole in

1847 under th e title of 'The mathematical

analysis of logic', t n modern electrical

of this book took th e initiative t o compile

a series of lectures to cover very adequately

for engineers the principles, characteristics,

and possibilities of an application of one of

Faraday's discoveries. These lectures, given

in 1962, form the basis of the present text,

terms it might be

called th e algebra of

Directory of opportunities for qualified men,

1964-65 edited by C . Labovitch. Corn-

market Press, 1964. 158 pp . 12s. 6d .

Midlands Electricity Board to use ripple control

which is quite u p t o date for

th e engineer

who requires good background information

on the subject.

The Midlands Electricity Board have recently

ordered ripple-control equipment, which is

Tn view

of th e

wide range of scientific

t o be installed a t the 275/66kV Grid supply

street lightingand individual industrial loads.

This gives great flexibility in control: it

allows engineers t o continue t o maintain

principles involved with this form of

generation, including th e seeding of an

ionising gas, th e use of superconducting

point

a t Feckenham, Worcestershire. Th e

off-peak tariffs right u p t o th e time that

materials, temperatures ranging u p t o

4000°C etc. , th e group of scientists who

contributed t o this book provide a n

normal demand increases, thus giving

consumer a better service and enabling

board t o sell more electricity.

th e

th e

excellent combination

for dealing with th e

initial installation will give a control signal

over several hundred square miles of th e

surrounding area an d is a pilot scheme t o

enable theoretical an d practical studies of

this method of control t o be investigated,

when associated with an extensive 66 kV

The Feckenham scheme, which is th e

first of its kind an d size in Britain, will

comprise audio-frequency injection a t

subject. A n adequate list of references is

distribution network. Th e results of these

studies will be used a s a basis fo r consider-

ing th e application of similar schemes t o

300 c/s, using

parallel

injection

into

th e

included

.

F . BARRELL

66

kV system.

A t th e present

time,

th e

The ar t of simulation

the

can

132kV system, so that coverage

b e obtained of larger areas an d

K . D . TOCHER

English Universities Press, 1964.

184 pp.

25s.

Until about 15 years ago , statisticians—

and indeed scientists generally—usually

tried t o obtain a n analytical solution t o

any problem that seemed likely t o have

one. With th e coming of electronic digital

computers, a n easily calculable solution

became less important. On e of th e new

possibilities was statistical simulation, i.e.

the numerical computation of many specific

solutions, randomised a s far a s possible,

in order t o discover their distribution.

loads with th e minimum number of in -

jection points.

Basically, ripple control comprises a

transmitter a t an appropriate point in th e

electricity network an d receivers that ar e

fitted to individual items of equipment

throughout th e supply system. Th e trans-

mitter injects signals into the network, and

these pass through the system. Each receiver

is set t o ac t o n a particular signal. A large

number of separate signals can b e injected

into th e mains network, an d these can b e

used for such different purposes as switching

on an d off storage heaters, water heaters,

system has a maximum load of 230 MW.

Fo r controlling off-peak loads, relays will

be installed in place of spring reserve time

switches on consumers' premises and, for test

purposes, on individual pieces of equipment.

It is intended that experiments will be

carried ou t o n the control of off-peak loads

and in analysing the load characteristics of

various domestic appliances. This can be

done using the flexibility of operation which

the telecontrol system provides.

The equipment is capable of sending

out 254 different command signals, an d a

number of these have high-security codes

so that they can be used for system switch-

ing, such a s th e control of transformer

ta p changers for load reduction.

Electronics and Power August 1964

291

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