Sponsor: San Diego Section Chap,AP03/ED15/MTT17/SSC37/CAS
Speaker: James C. Rautio
Meeting Date: January 13, 2022
Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory brings shear terror to the hearts of many sophomore electrical
engineers because it requires intense mathematics to understand. But that effort can be rewarding.
Maxwell’s theory shows us that light and radio waves and electricity and magnetism are all just different
aspects of the same thing. And once we understand it, we can start predicting it. Today’s cell phones
and computers would be impossible without this understanding. But what about us ‘regular folks’?
When mathematics comes up, we pull out our (electromagnetic) cell phones and start texting… Well,
this presentation will give you a physical understanding of Maxwell’s theory…no equations at all. With a
few simple animations (intended to inform rather than impress) and interspersed with bits of ‘Dad’
humor, everyone, no matter their background, will walk away with a precious view through a window
into the incredibly amazing and beautiful universe of Maxwell’s theory. Those who might be
professionals in electromagnetic theory will also find this presentation useful as we all find occasions
where we need to explain what we do for the benefit of interested ‘regular folks’.
Bio: James C. Rautio received the B.S.E.E. degree from Cornell University in 1978, the M.S. degree in systems
engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981, and the Ph.D. degree, under Prof. Roger
Harrington, in electrical engineering from Syracuse University in 1986.
From 1978 to 1986, he was with General Electric, initially with the Valley Forge Space Division, then with
the Syracuse Electronics Laboratory. During this time, he developed microwave design and
measurement software and designed microwave circuits on alumina and on GaAs. From 1986 to 1988,
he was a Visiting Professor with Syracuse University and Cornell University. In 1988, he took Sonnet
Software full time, a company he had founded in 1983.