Harry Nyquist (born Harry Theodor Nyqvist /ˈnaɪkwɪst/,
Swedish: [nyːkvɪst]; February 7, 1889 – April 4, 1976) was a
Swedish-born American electronic engineer who made important
contributions to communication theory.
1 Personal life
4 Technical contributions
5 Terms named for Harry Nyquist
7 External links
Nyquist was born in the Stora Kil parish of Nilsby, Värmland, Sweden.
He was the son of Lars Jonsson Nyqvist (b. 1847) and Katrina
Eriksdotter (b. 1857). His parents had seven children: Elin Teresia,
Astrid, Selma, Harry Theodor, Aemelie, Olga Maria, and Axel. He
emigrated to the USA in 1907.
He entered the
University of North Dakota
University of North Dakota in 1912 and received B.S.
and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering in 1914 and 1915,
respectively. He received a Ph.D. in physics at
Yale University in
He worked at AT&T's Department of Development and Research from
1917 to 1934, and continued when it became Bell Telephone Laboratories
that year, until his retirement in 1954.
Nyquist received the IRE Medal of Honor in 1960 for "fundamental
contributions to a quantitative understanding of thermal noise, data
transmission and negative feedback." In October 1960 he was awarded
Stuart Ballantine Medal of the
Franklin Institute "for his
theoretical analyses and practical inventions in the field of
communications systems during the past forty years including,
particularly, his original work in the theories of telegraph
transmission, thermal noise in electric conductors, and in the history
of feedback systems." In 1969 he was awarded the National Academy of
Engineering's fourth Founder's Medal "in recognition of his many
fundamental contributions to engineering." In 1975 Nyquist received
Hendrik Bode the
Rufus Oldenburger Medal from the
American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Nyquist lived in Pharr,
Texas after his retirement, and died in
Harlingen, Texas on April 4, 1976.
Harry Nyquist at the University of North Dakota's College
of Engineering and Mines
As an engineer at Bell Laboratories, Nyquist did important work on
thermal noise ("Johnson–Nyquist noise"), the stability of
feedback amplifiers, telegraphy, facsimile, television, and other
important communications problems. With Herbert E. Ives, he helped to
develop AT&T's first facsimile machines that were made public in
1924. In 1932, he published a classic paper on stability of feedback
Nyquist stability criterion
Nyquist stability criterion can now be found in all
textbooks on feedback control theory.
His early theoretical work on determining the bandwidth requirements
for transmitting information laid the foundations for later advances
by Claude Shannon, which led to the development of information theory.
In particular, Nyquist determined that the number of independent
pulses that could be put through a telegraph channel per unit time is
limited to twice the bandwidth of the channel, and published his
results in the papers Certain factors affecting telegraph speed
(1924) and Certain topics in Telegraph Transmission Theory
(1928). This rule is essentially a dual of what is now known as the
Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem.
Terms named for Harry Nyquist
Nyquist rate: sampling rate twice the bandwidth of the signal's
waveform being sampled; sampling faster than this rate assures that
the waveform can be reconstructed accurately.
Nyquist frequency: half the sample rate of a system; signal
frequencies below this value are unambiguously represented.
Nyquist ISI criterion
Nyquist (programming language)
Nyquist stability criterion
^ "Harry Nyquist". Physics Today. 29 (6): 64. June 1976.
doi:10.1063/1.3023534. [permanent dead link]
^ "Sveriges befolkning 1900" [CD-ROM]: Nyqvist, Harry
^ "Rufus Oldenburger Medal". American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Retrieved February 21, 2013.
^ H. Nyquist, "Thermal Agitation of Electric Charge in Conductors",
Phys. Rev., Vol. 32, pp. 110–113, 1928
^ H. Nyquist, "Regeneration theory", Bell System Technical Journal,
vol. 11, pp. 126–147, 1932
^ Nyquist, Harry. "Certain factors affecting telegraph speed". Bell
System Technical Journal, 3, 324–346, 1924
^ Nyquist, Harry. "Certain topics in telegraph transmission theory",
Trans. AIEE, vol. 47, pp. 617–644, Apr. 1928 Reprint as classic
paper in: Proc. IEEE, Vol. 90, No. 2, Feb 2002.
IEEE Global History Network page about Nyquist
Nyquist criterion page with photo of Nyquist with
John R. Pierce
John R. Pierce and
K.J.Astrom: Nyquist and his seminal papers, 2005 presentation
Nyquist biography, p. 2
IEEE Medal of Honor
Vladimir K. Zworykin
Vladimir K. Zworykin (1951)
Walter R. G. Baker (1952)
John M. Miller (1953)
William L. Everitt (1954)
Harald T. Friis (1955)
John V. L. Hogan (1956)
Julius Adams Stratton (1957)
Albert W. Hull
Albert W. Hull (1958)
Emory Leon Chaffee
Emory Leon Chaffee (1959)
Harry Nyquist (1960)
Ernst Guillemin (1961)
Edward Victor Appleton
Edward Victor Appleton (1962)
George C. Southworth (1963)
John Hays Hammond Jr.
John Hays Hammond Jr. (1963)
Harold Alden Wheeler (1964)
Claude Shannon (1966)
Charles H. Townes
Charles H. Townes (1967)
Gordon Kidd Teal (1968)
Edward Ginzton (1969)
Dennis Gabor (1970)
John Bardeen (1971)
Jay Wright Forrester (1972)
Rudolf Kompfner (1973)
Rudolf E. Kálmán
Rudolf E. Kálmán (1974)
John R. Pierce
John R. Pierce (1975)