The Info List - Harry Nyquist

Harry Nyquist
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]


1 Personal life 2 Education 3 Career 4 Technical contributions 5 Terms named for Harry Nyquist 6 References 7 External links

Personal life[edit] 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.[2] He emigrated to the USA in 1907. Education[edit] 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
Yale University
in 1917. Career[edit] 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 the Stuart Ballantine Medal of the Franklin Institute
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 together with Hendrik Bode
Hendrik Bode
the Rufus Oldenburger Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.[3] Nyquist lived in Pharr, Texas
after his retirement, and died in Harlingen, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
on April 4, 1976. Technical contributions[edit]

Memorial to Harry Nyquist
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"),[4] 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 amplifiers.[5] The 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)[6] and Certain topics in Telegraph Transmission Theory (1928).[7] This rule is essentially a dual of what is now known as the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem. Terms named for Harry Nyquist[edit]

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 filter Nyquist plot 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.

External links[edit]

IEEE Global History Network page about Nyquist Nyquist criterion page with photo of Nyquist with John R. Pierce
John R. Pierce
and Rudy Kompfner K.J.Astrom: Nyquist and his seminal papers, 2005 presentation Nyquist biography, p. 2

v t e

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
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
Claude Shannon
(1966) Charles H. Townes
Charles H. Townes
(1967) Gordon Kidd Teal (1968) Edward Ginzton (1969) Dennis Gabor
Dennis Gabor
(1970) John Bardeen
John Bardeen
(1971) Jay Wright Forrester (1972) Rudolf Kompfner (1973) Rudolf E. Kálmán
Rudolf E. Kálmán
(1974) John R. Pierce
John R. Pierce

Complete roster 1917–1925 1926–1950 1951–1975 1976–2000 2001–present

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 85211933 LCCN: n80015737 SN