Charles Wheatstone

Sir Charles Wheatstone (6 February 1802 – 19 October 1875), was an English scientist and the inventor of many scientific breakthroughs of the Victorian era , including the English concertina , the stereoscope (an instrument for displaying three-dimensional images), and Playfair cipher (an encryption technology). However, Wheatstone isbest known for his contributions to the development of the Wheatstone Bridge , which was originally invented by Samuel Hunter Christie , used to measure unknown electrical resistance, anda key figure in the development of telegraphy . In form of . (Charles Wheatstone)


Charles Wheatstone was born in Barnwood , Gloucestershire . His father, W Wheatstone, was a music-seller in the city, who four years later moved to 128 Pal Mall, London, becoming a flute teacher. Charles, the second son, went to a village school near Gloucester, and later to several institutions in London. One of them was in Kennington , and one was kept by Mrs. Castlemaine, who was astounded by her rapid progress. From the second he fled, but was imprisoned at Windsor , not far from the theater of his practical telegraph. As a boy he was very shy and sensitive, preferring to retire to an attic, without any company other than his own ideas.(Charles Wheatstone)

Wheatstone English Concertina When he was about fourteen, he was tutored by his uncle and namesake, a producer and seller of musical instruments, at 436 Strand, London; But he showed little interest for handicrafts or business, and preferred to study books better. In this his father encouraged him and finally removed him from the post of uncle.

At the age of fifteen, Wheatstone translated the poem into French, and wrote two songs, one of which was given to his uncle, who published it without knowing it as the work of his nephew. Some of his lines on the song became the motto of an engraving by Bartolozzi . He often visited an old book-stall in the vicinity of Pal Mall , which at that time was a dilapidated and unpaved road. Most of his pocket money was spent on buying books that were of his choice, whether fairy tales, history or science.(Charles Wheatstone)

One day, to the bookseller’s surprise, he lured a quantity on Volta ‘s discoveries in electricity , but with no price, he saved his money and secured the quantity. It was written in French, and so he was obliged to save again, unless he bought a dictionary. He then began to read the volume, and with the help of his older brother William, to repeat the experiments described in it, with a home-made battery, in the skull behind his father’s house. In the manufacture of batteries, the boy philosophers were short of money to purchase the necessary copper plates. He had only a few copper coins left. A pleasant thought came to the mind of Charles, the leading spirit in these researches, ‘we must use the money ourselves,’ he said, and the battery was soon full.

Though silent and reserved in public, Wheatstone was an outspoken and unsteady talker in private if his preferred take on studies, and his short but active persona, his plain but intelligent face, full of animation. Sir Henry Taylor tells us that he once saw Wheatstone at an evening party in Oxford seriously holding Lord Palmerston over his telegraph abilities. ‘You don’t say that!’ The politician shouted. ‘I want you to tell this to the Lord Chancellor.’ And having said so, he tied the electrician on Lord Westbury, and effected his escape. A memory from this interview may have prompted Palmerston to remark that there was a time when a minister in Parliament could be asked whether war had broken out in India, and he would reply, ‘Wait a minute. ;

Wheatstone was knighted after the completion of the automatic telegraph in 1868. [2] He was previously made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour . Some thirty-four distinctions and diplomas of domestic or foreign societies testify to his scientific reputation. From 1836 he was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1859 he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and in 1873 a Foreign Fellow of the French Academy of Sciences. In the same year he was awarded the Ampere Medal by the French Society for the Promotion of National Industry. In 1875, he was made an honorary member of the Institute of Civil Engineers. He is a DCL and LL.D. of Oxford. of Cambridge. (Charles Wheatstone)

During a visit to Paris during the autumn of 1875, and while engaged in perfecting his receiving equipment for submarine cables, he caught a cold, which caused inflammation of the lungs, a disease that caused him to die in Paris on 19 October 1875. she passed away. A memorial service was held at the Anglican Chapel, Paris, and was attended by a deputation from the Academy. His remains were taken to his home in Park Crescent, London (today marked by a blue plaque) and buried at Kensall Green Cemetery.

Musical instruments and acoustics

In September 1821, Wheatstone brought himself to public notice by performing ‘Enchanted Liar’ or ‘Ecocryptophone’ at a music shop in Pall Mall and the Adelaide Gallery. It consisted of a mock song that hung from the ceiling by a rope, and emitted the strains of several instruments – the piano, harp and dulcimer. In fact it was a mere playbox, and the rope was a steel rod that communicated the vibrations of music to several instruments that were played out of sight and by earshot. During this period Wheatstone conducted many experiments on sound and its transmission. Some of his results are preserved in Thomson’s Annals of Philosophy of 1823.(Charles Wheatstone)

He assumed that sound propagated by waves or oscillations of the atmosphere, because then light was perceived by the fluctuations of the luminous ether. Water, and solid bodies, such as glass, or metal, or sonorous wood, communicated modulation with high velocity, and he conceived plans to transmit sound-signals, music, or speech over long distances by this medium. . He estimated that sound would travel at 200 miles per second (320 km/s) through solid rods, and proposed to telegraph from London to Edinburgh in this way. He also called his arrangement ‘telephone’. (Robert Hooke, published in 1667 in his Micrographiawrites in: ‘I can assure the reader that I have, with the help of a wire, transmitted sound to a very great distance in an instant, or as fast as the speed of light.’ Nor was it necessary that the wire should be straight; It can be bent at angles. This quality is the basis of the mechanical or lover’s telephone, which is said to have been known to the Chinese many centuries ago. Hook also considered the possibility of finding a way to sharpen our hearing.)

A writer in the Repository of Arts for 1 September 1821, with reference to the ‘Enchanted Lear’, sees the possibility of an opera being performed at the King’s Theatre, and the Hanover Square Room, or even the Horns Tavern, Kennington. I also enjoy. , Vibrations are meant to travel through underground conductors, such as gas in a pipe.And if music is thus able to operate, ‘he observes,’ perhaps words of speech may be susceptible to similar means of propaganda. The eloquence of the lawyer, the debates of Parliament, rather than read the next day, – but we will lose ourselves in the pursuit of this curious subject.(Charles Wheatstone)

In addition to transmitting sound far and wide, Wheatstone devised a simple device to amplify weak sounds, which he named the ‘microphone’. It consisted of two thin rods that transmitted mechanical vibrations to both ears, and is quite different from Professor Hughes’s electric microphone.

In 1823, his uncle, a musical instrument maker, died, and Wheatstone took over the business with his older brother, William. Charles had no great liking for the commercial part, but his ingenuity found a vent in improving existing equipment and crafting philosophical toys. He also invented his own devices. One of the most famous was the Wheatstone concertina. It was a six-armed instrument with 64 keys. These keys are provided for ordinary colored fingers. The English concertina became increasingly famous throughout its lifetime, although it did not reach its peak of popularity until the early 20th century.(Charles Wheatstone)

In 1827, Wheatstone introduced his ‘kaleidophone’, an instrument for presenting the vibrations of a sound body to the eyes. It consists of a metal rod with a silver bead on its end, which reflects ‘spots’ of light. As the rod vibrates, the space is seen to describe complex shapes in the air, like a spark swirling in the dark. His photometer was probably suggested by this same instrument. This enables the two lights to be compared by the relative brightness of their reflections in a silver bead, which describes a narrow oval, to draw the spots in parallel lines.

In 1828, Wheatstone improved the German wind instrument, called the mundharmonica , until it became the popular concertina , patented on 19 December 1829. [3] The portable harmonium is one of his inventions, which received a prize medal at the Great Exhibition of 1851. He also improved De Kempelen’s speaking machine, and supported Sir David Brewster’s opinion, that a singing and talking instrument would be among the triumphs of science before the end of this century.

In 1834, Wheatstone, who had won a name for himself, was appointed as the Chair of Experimental Physics at King’s College London. His first course of lectures on sound was a complete failure because of his aversion to public speaking. On stage, he was tongue-tied and incapacitated, occasionally turning his back on the audience and grumbling at the drawings on the wall. In the laboratory he felt at home, and confined his duties mostly to performance.

Lightning speed

He gained fame with a great experiment conducted in 1834 – the measurement of the velocity of electricity in a wire. He cut the wire in the middle, creating a gap through which a spark could bounce, and attached its ends to the poles of a Leyden jar filled with electricity. Thus three sparks were produced, one at each end of the wire and the other in the middle. He attached a small mirror to the work of a clock, so that it would spin at high velocity, and see in it the images of his three sparks. The points of the wire were arranged in such a way that if the spark were instantaneous, their reflections would appear in a straight line; But the middle one was seen as lagging behind the others, as it was immediately after. It took a certain time for the electricity to travel from the ends of the wire to the middle. This was found by measuring the amount of time lag and comparing it to the known velocity of the mirror. After getting time, All he had to do was compare it to half the length of the wire, and he could find the velocity of the lightning. Their results gave a calculated velocity of 288,000 miles per second, which is faster than the speed of light we now know (299,792.458 kilometers per second (186,000 mi/s)), but an interesting nonetheless. There were approximations.(Charles Wheatstone)

It was already appreciated by some scientists that the “velocity” of electricity was dependent on the properties of the conductor and its surroundings. Francis Ronalds observed signal retardation in his buried electric telegraph cable (but not his aerial line) in 1816 and outlined the reason for its induction. [4] Wheatstone observed these experiments as a youth, which were clearly an impetus for his own research into telegraphy. Decades later, after the commercialization of the telegraph, Michael Faraday described how the motion of an electric field in a submarine wire, coated with insulator and surrounded by water, was only 1444,000 miles per second (232,000 km/s). ) or less.

Wheatstone’s instrument of the revolving mirror was later employed by Léon Foucault and Hippolyte Fizzou to measure the velocity of light.


Wheatstone and others also contributed to early spectroscopy through the discovery and exploitation of spectral emission lines. [5] [6] [7]

As John Munro wrote in 1891, “In 1835, at the Dublin meeting of the British Association, Wheatstone showed that when metals were destabilized in an electric spark, their light, when examined through a prism, Some rays appeared that were characteristic of them. Thus the type of metals forming the sparking point could be determined by analyzing the light of the spark. This suggestion has been very useful in spectrum analysis, and as noted by Robert Bunsen, Gustav Robert Kirchhoff and others, has led to the discovery of many new elements such as rubidium and thallium, as well as increasing our knowledge of heavenly bodies.”(Charles Wheatstone)


Wheatstone abandoned his idea of ​​transmitting intelligence by the mechanical vibration of the rod, and took up the electric telegraph. In 1835 he lectured on Baron Schilling’s system, and announced that the means were already known by which an electric telegraph could be made of great service to the world. He experimented with a plan of his own, and proposed not only to lay an experimental line across the Thames, but to establish it on the London and Birmingham Railway. Before these plans could be carried out, however, on 27 February 1837 he had a meeting with Mr. William Fothergill Cook at his home on Conduit Street, which had a significant impact on his future.

Cooperation with Cook

Mr Cook was an officer in the Madras Army, being home on leave attending some lectures on anatomy at the University of Heidelberg, where, on 6 March 1836, he saw a demonstration with Professor Georg Wilhelm Münke’s telegraph . And so impressed by its importance that he gave up his medical studies and devoted all his efforts to starting the telegraph. He soon returned to London, and was able to demonstrate a telegraph with three needles in January 1837. Realizing his lack of scientific knowledge, he consulted Michael Faraday and Peter Mark Roget (then Secretary of the Royal Society), who were sent to the latter. him to Wheatstone. (Charles Wheatstone)

In a second interview, Mr. Cook told Wheatstone of his intention to bring a working telegraph, and of his method. Wheatstone, according to his own statement, commented to Cook that the method would not work, and produced his own experimental telegraph. In the end, Cook proposed that they should enter into a partnership, but Wheatstone was reluctant to comply at first. He was a well-known figure in science, and had to publish his results without trying to capitalize on them. Cook, on the other hand, declared that his sole aim was to make money from the scheme. They agreed to join their army in May, with Wheatstone making scientific contributions, and Cooke contributing administrative talents. The deed of partnership was given on 19 November 1837. A joint patent was taken for their inventions,[9] and consisted of an alarm actuated by a relay, in which the current, a needle dipped in mercury, completed a local circuit, and issued a clockwork probe. (Charles Wheatstone)

The five-needle telegraph, which was mainly, if not entirely, due to Wheatstone, was similar to that of Schilling, and was based on the principle propounded by André-Marie Ampre—that is, the current was sent across the line at a make and break. Completing the circuit of the battery with the key, and at the other end it frees itself to spin around its center by means of a coil of wire wrapped around a magnetic needle. As one pole or the other of the battery was hooked onto the line through the key, the current turned the needle one way or the other. There were five different circuits activating five different needles. The latter was mounted in rows in the middle of a diamond-shaped dial, and on it the letters of the alphabet were arranged in such a way that a letter was literally indicated with two needles tilted towards it. (Charles Wheatstone)

Initial installation

On 25 July 1837 an experimental line was run between Euston terminus in London and Camden Town station and the North Western Railway with a sixth return wire. The actual distance was only one and a half miles (2.4 km), but additional wires were inserted into the circuit to extend its length. It was too late to start the hearing. Mr. Cook was in charge at Camden Town, while Mr. Robert Stephenson and other gentlemen watched; And Wheatstone sat on his instrument in a small room lit by a tall candle, near the booking-office in Euston. Wheatstone sent the first message, to which Cook replied, and ‘never’ said to Wheatstone, ‘Have I felt such a tumultuous sensation before, when, alone in the still room, I heard the click of needles, And as I spelled the words,

Despite this test, however, the directors of the railways treated the ‘newly entangled’ invention with indifference, and requested its removal. In July 1839, however, it was supported by the Great Western Railway, and a line was erected over a distance of thirteen miles (21 km) from Paddington station terminus to West Drayton railway station. A portion of the wire was placed underground at first, but was later erected on posts along the line. His circuit was eventually extended to Slow in 1841, and publicly demonstrated at Paddington as a miracle of science, transmitting fifty signals at a distance of 280,000 miles per minute (7,500 km/s). could broadcast. The price of admission was one shilling (£0.05), and in 1844 a seductive observer recorded the following: (Charles Wheatstone)

“It is exactly as sloe from the terminus of the Great Western —that is, eighteen miles; in some places the wires are underground in tubes, and in others high in the air, the last, they say, farthest.” Good plan. We asked if the weather did n’t affect the stars , but they said no; a violent thunderstorm might ring the bell , but no more. We were led into a small room (We were Mrs. Drummond, Miss Phillips, Harry Coddington) and I – and later Millman and Mr. Rich) where there were many wooden cases with telegraphs of various kinds. Each word was spelled in a way, and each letter was spelled was kept in turn in a particular position , the machinery drove the electric fluid down the line , where he showed the letter in the slough, by which machinery he could not work out the interpretation. Each word was followed by signal from Slow, indicating “I understand”, definitely coming less than a second from the end of the word……Prints the second message it br so If no one rings the bell, the message is not lost It is affected by electric fluid so that a small hammer strikes at which presents itself, the letter which is raised strikes some manifold writing paper (a new invention, black paper which when pressed, leaves an indelible black mark ), means by which That the imprint has been left on the white paper below It was the simplest, and apparently Mr. Wheatstone’s favorite; He was too good-natured to explain, but understands it himself so well that he doesn’t realize how little we know about it, and is too quick for such ignorant people to follow him in everything. go. Mrs. Drummond told me that she The swiftness with which he thinks and is amazing for his power of invention He invents so many things that he cannot put into practice half of his ideas , but leaves them to be picked up and used by others, who get their credit.” [10]

Public attention and success

The new invention was adopted by the public after the capture of murderer John Tavel, who in 1845 became the first person to be arrested as a result of telecommunications technology. In the same year, Wheatstone introduced two improved forms of the instrument, namely the ‘single’ and ‘double’ needle instruments, in which signals were created by gradual deflection of the needles. Of these, the single-needle tool, which requires only one wire, is still in use.(Charles Wheatstone)

The development of the telegraph can be gathered from two facts. In 1855, the death of Emperor Nicholas at St Petersburg, at about one o’clock in the afternoon, was announced a few hours later in the House of Lords. The result of The Oaks of 1890 was obtained fifteen seconds after the horses crossed the winning post in New York. (Charles Wheatstone)

Differences with Cook

A distinction arose between Cook and Wheatstone as part of each in honor of the invention of the telegraph in 1841. The question was submitted to the arbitration of the renowned engineer, Mark Isambard Brunel, on behalf of Cook, on behalf of Wheatstone, and Professor Daniels of King’s College, the inventor of the Daniels battery. He credited Cook with presenting the telegraph as a fruitful undertaking that promised to be of national importance, and credited Wheatstone with preparing the public to achieve it through his research. He concluded with these words: ‘It is to the united labors of two gentlemen who are so deserving of mutual aid that we must attribute the rapid progress that this important invention has made to the five years of being associated with them. done during. The decision, though unclear, Sui declares Telegraph a joint production. If it was invented primarily by Wheatstone, then it was mainly introduced by Cook. Their respective shares in the undertaking may be compared to those of an author and its publisher, but to the fact that Cook himself had a share in the actual act of invention.

further work on the telegraph

From 1836–7 Wheatstone had given considerable thought to the submarine telegraph, and in 1840 he testified before the Railway Committee of the House of Commons on the feasibility of the proposed line from Dover to Calais. He also designed machinery for making and laying cables. In the autumn of 1844, Mr. J.D. With Llewellyn’s aid, he sank the long insulated wire into Swansea Bay, and through it signaled a boat to Mumbles Lighthouse. The following year he suggested the use of gutta-percha for coating the intended wire on the English Channel. (Charles Wheatstone)

In 1840 Wheatstone patented an alphabetical telegraph, or, ‘Wheatstone ABC instrument’, which ran with a step-by-step motion, and showed the letters of the message on a dial. The same principle was used in his type-printing telegraph, which was patented in 1841. It was the first device that printed Telegram in type. This was worked by two circuits, and as the type A hammer rotated, activated by current, pressed the required letter onto the paper.

The introduction of the telegraph went so far that, on 2 September 1845, the Electric Telegraph Company was registered, and Wheatstone, through his work in partnership with Cook, received an amount of £33,000 for the use of their joint inventions. .

In 1859 Wheatstone was appointed by the Board of Trade to report on the subject of Atlantic cables, and in 1864 he was one of the experts who advised the Atlantic Telegraph Company on the construction of the successful lines of 1865 and 1866.

In 1870 the United Kingdom’s electric telegraph lines, operated by various companies, were transferred to the Post Office, and placed under government control. (Charles Wheatstone)

Wheatstone further invented the automatic transmitter, in which message signals are first punched onto a strip of paper, which are then passed through a send-key, and control the signal streams. By substituting a mechanism for the hand in sending the message, he was able to telegraph at about 100 words per minute, or five times the normal rate. In the postal telegraph service this device is used to send press telegrams, and has recently been improved to a speed of 600 wpm from London to Bristol and 400 wpm between London messages are sent from and Aberdeen. On the night of 8 April 1886, when Mr Gladstone introduced his bill for Home Rule in Ireland, 1,500 from the central station of St Martins-le-Grand, by 100 Wheatstone transmitters, Not less than 000 words were sent. The scheme for sending messages by a moving strip of paper that activates the key was originally patented by Bain in 1846; But Wheatstone, aided by Mr. Augustus Stroh, a skilled mechanic and a capable experimenter, was the first to put the idea into successful operation. This system is often referred to as a Wheatstone perforator.[11] and is a precursor to the stock market ticker tape [12] .


Stereopsis was first described by Wheatstone in 1838 [13] In 1840 he was awarded the Royal Society’s Royal Medal for his interpretation of binocular vision, a thesis which led him to the creation and creation of stereoscopic images. Stereoscope. He showed that the effect of our persistence is achieved by combining two different pictures of an object taken by both of our eyes from different perspectives. Thus, in a stereoscope, arrangement of lenses or mirrors, two photographs taken from different points of the same object are combined in such a way as to make the object stand out with a solid aspect. Sir David Brewster improved the stereoscope by dispensing with mirrors and bringing it to its current form with lenses. (Charles Wheatstone)

The ‘pseudoscope’ (Wheatstone coined the term from the Greek) was introduced in 1852, [14] and is in some way the opposite of a stereoscope, as it causes a solid object to be hollow and a nearer one. far away; Thus, a bust appears to be a facade, and a tree growing outside a window appears as if it is growing inside a room. Its purpose was to test his theory of stereo vision and to investigate what would now be called experimental psychology.

Measuring time

In 1840, Wheatstone introduced his chronoscope to measure minute intervals of time, which were used to determine the speed of a bullet or the passage of a star. In this device an electric current acts an electromagnet, which notes the moment of an incident by means of a pencil on a moving paper. It is said to be able to distinguish between 1/7300 of a second (137 microseconds) and the time it takes to fall from a height of an inch (25 mm).

On 26 November 1840, he exhibited his electromagnetic clock in the library of the Royal Society, and proposed a plan to distribute the correct time from a standard clock to several local clocks. The circuits of these were to be electrified by a key or contact-maker operated by the standard’s arbor, and their hands corrected by electromagnetism. The following January Alexander Bain took out a patent for an electro-magnetic clock, and he later accused Wheatstone of enforcing his ideas. Bain appears to have worked as a mechanic for Wheatstone from August to December 1840, and he insists that he had communicated the idea of ​​an electric clock to Wheatstone during that period; But Wheatstone said he had experimented in that direction during May. Bain further accused Wheatstone of plagiarizing his idea of ​​the electro-magnetic printing telegraph; But Wheatstone showed that the device was only a modification of his own electro-magnetic telegraph.

In 1840, Alexander Bain mentioned his financial problems to the editor of the magazine Mechanics. He introduced him to Sir Charles Wheatstone. Bain demonstrated his model to Wheatstone, who, when asked his opinion, said, “Oh, I shouldn’t bother developing these things any further! They have no future.” citation needed ]Three months later Wheatstone demonstrated an electric clock to the Royal Society, claiming it was his own invention. However, Bain had already applied for a patent for this. Wheatstone tried to block Bain’s patent, but was unsuccessful. When Wheatstone organized an Act of Parliament to establish the Electric Telegraph Company, the House of Lords called on Bain to testify, and eventually the company was forced to pay Bain £10,000 and hire him as manager. forcing Wheatstone to resign.

Polar watch

One of Wheatstone’s simplest instruments was the ‘Polar Clock’, which was displayed at a meeting of the British Association in 1848. It is based on the fact discovered by Sir David Brewster, that light in the sky is polarized at an angle to a plane. Ninety degrees from the position of the Sun. It follows that by finding that plane of polarization, and measuring its azimuth with respect to north, the position of the Sun, though below the horizon, can be determined, and the apparent solar time obtained.(Charles Wheatstone)

The watch consists of a spyglass, with a Nicole (double-image) prism for an eyepiece, and a thin plate of selenite for the object-glass. When the tube was directed toward the north pole—that is, parallel to the Earth’s axis—and the prism of the eyepiece turned until no color was observed, the angle of the turn, as measured by an index, was graduated The limb is shown moving with a prism, given the time of day. In a country where watches are reliable, this device is of little service; But it became part of the equipment of the North Polar Expedition of 1875–1876 under the command of Captain Nares. (Charles Wheatstone)

Wheatstone Bridge

In 1843 Wheatstone sent an important paper to the Royal Society entitled ‘An Account of the Many New Procedures for Determination of the Constants of a Voltage Circuit’. This included a demonstration of the famous balance for measuring the electrical resistance of a conductor, still known as the Wheatstone bridge or balance, although it was first devised by Samuel Hunter Christie of the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich , who published it in the Philosophical Transactions of 1833 . [15] This method was ignored until Wheatstone brought it to notice. [16]

His paper is full of simple and practical formulas for calculating currents and resistances by Ohm’s law. He introduced a unit of resistance, namely a foot of copper wire weighing one hundred grains (6.5 grams), and showed how this could be applied to measuring the length of a wire by its resistance. He was awarded a medal by the Society for his paper. [17] In the same year he invented a device that enabled the reading of a thermometer or barometer to be recorded over a distance through the electrical contact made by mercury. A sonic telegraph, in which signals were given by the stroke of a bell, was patented by Cook and Wheatstone in May of that year.


Wheatstone’s remarkable ingenuity was also demonstrated in the invention of the cipher. He was responsible for the then unusual Playfair cipher, which was named after his friend Lord Playfair. It was used by armies of several countries during at least World War I, and is known to have been used by British intelligence services during World War II. [18]

It was initially resistant to cryptanalysis, but eventually methods were developed to break it. He also became involved in the interpretation of cipher manuscripts at the British Museum. He devised a cryptograph or machine to convert a message into a cipher, which could only be interpreted by inserting it into a corresponding machine adjusted to decrypt the cipher.

As an amateur mathematician, Wheatstone published a mathematical proof in 1854 (see Cube (Algebra)).

Electric generator

In 1840, Wheatstone brought out his magneto-electric machine to generate constant currents.

On 4 February 1867, he published the theory of the reaction in a dynamo-electric machine by a paper to the Royal Society; But Mr. C.W. Siemens had reported the same finding ten days earlier, and both papers were read on the same day.

It later appeared that Werner von Siemens, Samuel Alfred Worley and Wheatstone had independently arrived at the theory within a few months of each other. Worley patented it on 24 December 1866; Siemens drew attention to it on 17 January 1867; And Wheatstone demonstrated it in action at the Royal Society on the above date.

Dispute over invention

Wheatstone was involved in various disputes with other scientists throughout his life regarding his role in various techniques and at times appeared to take more credit than he was supposed to. As well as William Fothergill Cook, Alexander Bain and David Brewster, mentioned above, these were also included at the Francis Ronalds Q Observatory. Wheatstone was mistakenly considered by many to have created the atmospheric lightning observation instrument that Ronalds invented and developed at the observatory in the 1840s and also installed the first automatic recording meteorological instruments there (for example, Howarth, p. 158). [19] [20]

Personal life

Wheatstone married Emma West, Spinster, daughter of the deceased John Hook West, on 12 February 1847 at Christ Church in Marylebone. The marriage took place by license.