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Som e recen t book s (continued) currents (either alternating o r direct) ca n be
Som e
recen t book s
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.
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
English Universities Press, 1964. 164 pp.
picture of current work in this field. T o this
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 -
th e text
is hardly
of general
Vantage Press, 1963.
214 pp.
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
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
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.
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
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 ,
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
introduction t o matrixes an d t o some
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 .
looks in vain
ment by th e
fo r any serious pronounce-
author o n what h e wished
interest an d
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.
Holt, Rinehart & Winston, London, 1964.
198 pp.
£3 16s.
Taschenbuch der Nachrichten-verarbcitung
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
value is 477, bu t this is stated without
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
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
Electronics and Power
August 1964
equation an d retarded potentials ar e given only 11 pages. Retarded potentials ar e It
equation an d retarded potentials ar e given
only 11 pages. Retarded potentials ar e
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
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
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-
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 .
only t o practitioners of the art , bu t t o any
br a fo r engineers.
a n
electrical power*
generation of
methods .
R. A. COOMBE (Editor)
[Not held in the Institution library.]
Boolean algebra and its application
Books received
Chapman and Hall, 1964.
207 pp.
H .
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
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
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
th e
kV system.
A t th e present
th e
The ar t of simulation
132kV system, so that coverage
b e obtained of larger areas an d
English Universities Press, 1964.
184 pp.
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