Talk:Electrical engineering

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Former featured article Electrical engineering is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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Practicing engineers[edit]

Hey if anyone wants to update this section the IEE has merged now to form the IET, has more members etc 12:37, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

In the Practicing engineers section, there is this sentence "Outside of Europe and North America, engineering graduates per-capita, and hence probably electrical engineering graduates also, are most numerous in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea". This doesn't make sense to me. Graduates are recorded as per-captia, which is true, but the rest of the sentence doesn't seem to follow. Frmorrison (talk) 19:03, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Electrical Engineering?[edit]

Hi, any one interested in starting an electrical engineering Wiki Project, similar to the following ones:

Engineering.png This user is an electrical engineer.

with aims to improve the electrical engineering articles throughout Wikipedia, to have a central forum page for related discussions, to assign importance to different articles, to organize, etc.? According to Category:Wikipedian engineers, for example, there are 311 engineers in Wikipedia; I'm sure that many of these users are electrical engineers? I'll start a new category: Category:Wikipedian electrical engineers for the time being. If you are an electrical engineer, please add this category to your user page, or simply paste the userbox (above) to your user page, and it will categorize for you. Thanks and please leave comments. --Sadi Carnot 12:54, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it would be inadvisable until the distintion between electrical engineering and electronic engineering is claerly defined. May I ask if you see a clear distinction at the moment? BTW have you noticed Wikipedia:WikiProject Electronics ?--Light current 15:31, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
No, I didn't know about that project; but, nevertheless, maybe an actual engineering project page, with focus on the design and engineering of electrical equipment and components, may be in order in the future? As to distinction, in the US, electrical engineering (a more prestigious degree) is a more difficult subject than electronics engineering (a less prestigious degree); or from another perspective, I would gauge that electrical engineers are more design and theory focused, whereas electronics engineers are more application and hands-on focused. I guess we can let this query sit for a while to see what others think? --Sadi Carnot 16:20, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
No electronics engineering in Europe is just as professional but focusses on the lighter current aspects like comms, radio, computers etc, Whereas electrical eng is high voltage transmission, power, machines etc!If you have the time it would be good for you to read the talk between me and User:Cedars that you have just archived on this subject, and then look at the page to see how we have come to a compromise on it.--Light current 17:27, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
LC, make sure you do a spell-check on your comments. As to the archived material, yes I skimmed through that discussion, but it's not an argument I want to dig into. I've been involved in the physical chemistry vs. chemical physics as well as the statistical mechanics vs. statistical thermodynamics debates, they usually stale-mate with having separate articles. Also, Cedars seems to have quit editing. --Sadi Carnot 16:02, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I still fail to see what the big deal is... In my world, EE is very broad and cross-disciplinary (I'm a semiconductor devices "Electrical Engineer", and my work overlaps with physics, chemistry, material science, etc), but I understand that many people make a distinction between "electrical" and "electronics" engineering. I don't think drawing clear lines of distinction is necessary. Isn't it sufficient to simply note the differences in nomenclature and move on? On that note, I see little point in creating another wikiproject related to electromagnetism in general. Wikiprojects tend to be poorly supported anyway, and I think it would be best to lend support to the existing Electronics project rather than trying to create a new one. After all, what's in a name? That which we call an electron by any other word would carry the same elementary charge... -- mattb @ 2007-01-20T18:22Z
Yeah but my bet is that you are either a US or Australian citizen!(who have differnt views on this subject) 8-)--Light current 21:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
U.S. How that is relevant, I still fail to see... Attempting to understand and tolerate other peoples' views should cross national boundaries. No offense to anybody intended, but I think that making a big stink about what you should be called is just pretentious and silly. I get called a physicist by some, and I can't tell you how many times people think that I'm an electrician, but I'm not going to make a big fuss about it. I'm not even arguing that there shouldn't be different articles about electrical and electronics engineering; I think there is more than sufficient content to merit having separate articles. I was just saying that I see little reason why there should be separate electrical/electronics engineering wikiproject. A decent electrical OR electronics engineer should be able to write encyclopedia-level coverage of most core EE topics. -- mattb @ 2007-01-20T23:37Z
Well with respect, it is relevant because the terminology is different between the North Americas & Australia and Europe. Europe tends to differentiate the heavy and light current aspects into electrical and electronics eng respectively. So we must aim for a world wide view if we are to create an Electrical eng project.--Light current 00:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I can accept that, but my original assertion stands; I don't see any particular utility in having separate electronic/electrical Wikiprojects, if only from a logistics and support standpoint. Then again, I can't say I have actively participated in the existing project, so take my opinions for whatever they are worth. -- mattb @ 2007-01-21T03:42Z
OK lets propose to broaden the scope of the Electronics project ot include EE! 8-) Wouild you like tro propose that on the project page? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Light current (talkcontribs) 03:45, 21 January 2007 (UTC).
Why not... I need something on wikipedia to devote my energies to after becoming disenchanted with the whole "writing featured articles" concept. -- mattb @ 2007-01-21T03:49Z

" No offense to anybody intended, but I think that making a big stink about what you should be called is just pretentious and silly."

If I called myself something I'm not it would be untrue and misleading. If the category naming is sorted I could add myself to it, but not as it stands, I'm not a power plant engineer.

I don't see how the distinction is silly, they are 2 separate things. US terminology is not always universal. Tabby 23:43, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Electronics and Electrical Engineering[edit]

Now that I see that there is an Wikipedia:WikiProject Electronics project page, I would suggest that that project page be moved to Wikipedia:WikiProject Electronics and Electrical Engineering just as has been done at Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemical and Bio Engineering, which encompasses four different but related disciplines. In this manner we can begin to establish different "engineering" Wikiprojects. --Sadi Carnot 16:02, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

You must first canvass the views of all WikiProject Electronics members. (Or at least let them know this is being proposed) by leaving a message on their talk pages. --Light current 21:03, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I have already left comment on the three related talk pages. --Sadi Carnot 01:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Do you think that is sufficient? For example, I only noticed this because it was on this page.--Light current 14:49, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Let's give it a month or two to see what happens. --Sadi Carnot 05:55, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
The name is too long. I suggest simply Wikipedia:WikiProject Electrical Engineering. --Smack (talk) 22:07, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I would agree, but you'll probably find that our European friends won't be so amiable to the idea. :) -- mattb @ 2007-01-28T22:58Z
Yes, I think that by having the longer name we won’t alienate anyone. --Sadi Carnot 01:32, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes we must have the longer name to include a world wide view on this important subject.--Light current 02:24, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Do the Europeans not use the term 'electrical engineering'? --Smack (talk) 07:00, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
In uk it is used to denote the heavier aspects such as power generation, transmission, electrical plant etc. The article itself mentions the difference in terminolgy over the world.--Light current 08:10, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
What about "WikiProject Electronics and EE"? --Smack (talk) 19:35, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
What about Wikiproject: Electrical and Electronic Engineering (E&EE for short)?--Light current 22:19, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
The acronym is nice, although it applies just as well to the title as first proposed. I'm not sure I like your revised title, though. --Smack (talk) 07:00, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

"Responsible for..."[edit]

I have toned down the assertion that EEs are "responsible for..." certain technologies, including the GPS. Despite what the BLS reference says, I think it's something of a reach to claim that EE's are responsible for the GPS. Certainly there are EE aspects of GPS (the RF transmission and signal propagation, user segment receiver design, satellite onboard computers, etc.) But there are equally critical aspects which are not EE (e.g. the design and replenishment of the constellation, the orbit determination system, the onboard clocks, etc.[1]) Not surprisingly, of the two people generally credited with doing the most to bring the GPS into being, one (Ivan Getting) is an EE (although educated as a physicist), and the other (Bradford Parkinson) is an aerospace engineer.

If someone wants to rewrite the section to state that "According to the BLS, EEs are responsible for...", I won't object. But to flatly assert that EEs are responsible for the GPS is incorrect. --Allan McInnes (talk) 06:21, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with the wording change. I just dislike tags in the main article and I think Wikipedia is developing a culture of tagging things but not a culture of fixing things. That said I think my initial reaction to the situation was probably an overreaction. Peace man. Cedars 06:32, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

political approach[edit]

The article is too much fixed on political backgrounds. That means: near only the american pioneers are illustrated and listed. Other important pioneer work and important persons like Alessandro Volta or André Marie Ampère are NOT listed. They should be listed under the main article Electrical engineering, at least in one sentence. Today's stand of technics are based on them.

Nothing against america or something like that. Just to remind on the other serious and important persons.

Just want to know, how is your opinion about that?

greetz SB

17.08.2007 07:26h GMT+1:00

Certainly, I think there's potential for a more worldwide view of this topic. Add what you'd like. Be bold. --Spacefem (talk) 21:08, 31 August 2008 (UTC)


"The term electrical engineering may or may not encompass electronic engineering. Where a distinction is made, electrical engineering is considered to deal with the problems associated with large-scale electrical systems such as power transmission and motor control, whereas electronic engineering deals with the study of small-scale electronic systems including computers and integrated circuits.[1] Another way of looking at the distinction is that electrical engineers are usually concerned with using electricity to transmit energy, while electronics engineers are concerned with using electricity to transmit information."

Electrical Engineers use electricity to transmit information as well (Satellite Communications, RF, Microwaves).

Electronics Engineers also use electricity to transmit energy (you need energy to operate electronic circuits)

The article should not go in details about that. The distiction between the two is that "Electrical Engineers deal with large signals, that is, large amounts of currents and voltages. Electronics Engineers deal with small signals, that is, small amounts-in the order of milli-volts, or milli-amps)

Even this distinction is problematic at best because in the electrical power systems area, an engineer may well be working on PAC (Protection, Automation, and Control) where he is dealing with designing electronic circuits to drive tripping mechanisms at an old electromechanical relay. In a modern numerical relay he will have to learn to deal with mA magnitudes of currents that flow through relay contacts. It does overlap in work with a lot of electronic engineers. --JNZ (talk) 12:24, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
This distinction is also problematic because it is far from universal. I am an Electrical Engineering major, I have never taken a course in power systems or anything of that ilk, however I have taken many courses on electronics and circuit design. In the US electrical engineering is the only term, so making this distinction in the main body will confuse many people who have never heard the term electronic engineering (which I hadn't before this article). One solution may be to add a terminology section somewhere to discuss the different terms used depending on where you are living --kanst 15:16 21 May 2008 (UTC)


"Perhaps the most important technical skills for electrical engineers are reflected in university programs, which emphasize strong numerical skills, computer literacy and the ability to understand the technical language and concepts that relate to electrical engineering."

Suggest a reword to reflect the reality that universities _seek to_ teach the most important stuff, since whether they succeed or not is another matter. To assume they do would be significantly mistaken IME. Tabby 23:35, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Engineering Learning Wiki[edit]

I just added a link to the Engineering Learning Wiki (external links section). To learn more, please link to this talk page / post.User_talk:Iterator12n#Engineering_Learning_Wiki

External Links Debate[edit]

I'd like to open a debate on a possible external link listing for this page. I previously had added a link for a site I publish on this page (EE This was deleted by one of the moderators as SPAM. I've also since learned of the WP:COI guidelines, and agree it's best to have the community vet such submissions here.

As a practicing EE, one of the problems I encountered in the past was easily finding in-depth reference and tutorial information, and open source tools to help me in my job. Search engines were not up to the task; I often spent hours searching for basic information. I wanted a framework like CiteSeer to organize materials related to a EE course of study. Specifically, the ability to use one resource as a lead to discovering other, related, content. That's what EE does. It pulls together information on relevant open source tools and textbooks, as well as related professional organizations and societies - all geared specifically to practicing EEs, educators and students. That information is indexed by topic, author, resource type, etc, and supplemented with additional, unique, editorial content. So the information there is much more than a set of links, certainly not an encyclopedia article, but (I think) a lot of use to those in the field. The IEEE-USA has agreed (see the January 2007 "IEEE-USA President's Column").

I've read the external links guidelines, and it seems that posting my submission here is the best way to proceed. At this point, I'll be content to sit back and see how the debate evolves. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider my submission of EE for the "External Links" listing of this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mstanley103 (talkcontribs) 01:20, 5 December 2007 (UTC)


In the electronics secion there is the statement "By contrast, integrated circuits packed a large number—often millions—of tiny electrical components, mainly transistors, into a small chip around the size of a coin. " Modern pentium processors contain hundreds of millions of transistors. To modernize this I would reccomend changing "often millions" to often "hundreds of millions"Kanst (talk) 03:46, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Related Fields[edit]

Electrical Engineering is very much an interdisciplinary field. I feel that the page would be helped by taking the some of the fields currently in the Related Fields section, and expanding upon them in the subfield section. MEMS and Biomedical Engineering, while interdisciplinary, are very important fields for electrical engineers at the moment. If someone was to read this page for a glimpse of what an EE does, it would be beneficial for them to be able to learn about MEMS and Biomedical fields. (talk) 02:57, 29 May 2008 (UTC)


Good evening! I'm leaving this comment to point out that Electrical and computer engineering redirects to Electrical engineering while Electrical and Computer Engineering redirects to Computer engineering, which is not logical. I believe (and I think you're going to agree) that they should redirect to the same article. However, I have not taken any action because I can't decide where they should redirect to. I hope someone else decides correctly and fixes this :) --TEO64X 10:59, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the note Teo64x, I've redirected the Electrical and Computer Engineering redirect to electrical engineering because it is the more general article and mentions computer engineering in the body. Cedars (talk) 11:44, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Stress and Electrical Engineering[edit]

Just wanted to say that you are probably right that this edit is unsuitable for inclusion but there does exist some verifiability of the claim. SpinningSpark 12:47, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Modern developments[edit]

The History section, even under "Modern developments," only seems to go through 1973. I'm sure there must have been some advancements since then. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I am could add something like the M.E.s' "Frontiers of research" section? Brian the Editor (talk) 00:23, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Change "exponentiate" to "increases"[edit]

The term "exponentiate" in the article is pseudo-precise, doesn't appear at, and needs to be changed to "increases". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:44, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Try looking in a proper dictionary. It does not mean "increases", but rather "expounds", "explains", or "illustrates". SpinningSpark 01:22, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

what is alternate for flexibles while connecting transformers with busduct[edit]

what is alternate for flexibles while connecting transformers with busduct..need sugessions

Recent edits[edit]

I have reverted the recent string of edits by User:DMChatterton. While some of this is probably good material, a lot of it is unacceptable for a featured article. I took a look at possible copyediting, but it is going to be a lengthy job due to the number of edits made spread over many sections. Basically, my objection is the material is introducing an anglo-centric bias, but I will explain more fully to the user on their talk page. SpinningSpark 13:36, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Should we include a paragraph about telegraphy?[edit]

To my knowledge, the Telegraph could be considered to be the first electrical device, and those who developed it were the first electrical engineers.

Just a thought.Sunshine Warrior04 (talk) 07:22, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it deserves a mention in the history section, although a whole paragraph might be too much for such an overarching article. It is certainly true that telegraphy was the driver behind several important discoveries in circuit theory and network analysis. I think you will need a good source for "first electrical device", the electrochemical cell and all the clever things that were being done with it substantially predates the telegraph. SpinningSpark 07:47, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
The telegraph was almost certainly the first electrical device that made any money! Walking into a telegraph office in 1860 would have been like walking into a sorcerer's lair - mysterious jars of acids, strange and elaborate apparatus, mystic rites carried out with devotion and precision, and a whole vocabulary outside the normal experience. I've put in a stab at a telegraph history section here, but it obviously needs amplification and expansion. --Wtshymanski (talk) 01:56, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that can be left unreferenced. This is a featured article and could potentially lose its featured status with unreferenced material. I would particularly challenge that Maxwell's equations were directly inspired by problems with submarine cables, although his friend William Thomson (Lord Kelvin did a lot of work in that area. The claim that it was the first to make money is also potentially disputable, electroplating was in use from an early date and it must soon have been making money because there were IP disputes concerning it as early as 1839. To say nothing of the huge sums of money made from quack electrical "cures". I also have a problem with the claim that standardisation of the volt, amp and ohm were driven by telegraphy - a reference is definitely needed for such direct claims. SpinningSpark 20:52, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Groovy. Maybe somone with time on his hands can write something with references. --Wtshymanski (talk) 21:15, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Nominate for review, on the way to removal. --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:35, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
On hold: Wikipedia:Featured article review/Electrical engineering/archive1. Please review the instructions at WP:FAR (focusing on the parts about the goal of FAR not being "on the way to removal" rather article improvement). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:27, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
I see. Keeping an article on the "featured" list is so important that we can ignore huge flaws in it no matter when discovered, provided it's already made the FA list. Why should FA status be any more credible than anything else on Wikipedia? --Wtshymanski (talk) 18:35, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
You can get fuller answers to that question at the talk page of WP:FAR (or you can save everyone time by reading the archives there and the page instructions); that discussion is not for this page. Meanwhile, adding uncited text is not the way to improve a featured article, or any article for that matter. Taking an article to FAR after you've participated in moving it further from WP:WIAFA isn't the best way to approach article improvement. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:50, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
(ec) Nobody is saying that the article FA status should be kept no matter what the flaws. I thought Sandy was quite clear in her reply; the first step should be to attempt improvement. Seeking a demotion right away is unnecessarily extreme and unproductive. I have no objection to adding something on telegraphy to the history; I agree it would be an improvement. My issue with your addition was that it was unsourced and possibly inaccurate on a number of points. Do you need help finding sources? SpinningSpark 19:16, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No, I doubt I can contribute at the featured article level. Let's tag it for a couple of years and hope someone notices the conspicuous gap. What's the point of a "featured article" with conspicuous holes in it? Take it off the list for now, after it's fixed it can be "featured" again. --Wtshymanski (talk) 22:23, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Nice thought, but there's no such thing as "take it off the list for now" (I've believed I've suggested you read the FAR instructions?). The FAR process has one goal of helping articles improve, and another to defeature them if they don't. If it doesn't, there are no "gatekeepers" trying to keep articles on the list when they aren't worthy. So, you can help in the effort to improve it, or not, but making it worse isn't the answer-- either way, the process takes at least a month in the hopes that articles will improve, so "on the way to removal" isn't the way it's done. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:39, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
It was a prediction. I have a new understanding of "featured article" status. Prizes for everyone! --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:34, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

(undent) So, should we reinstate the review? In other words, were valid issues identified and has work been done/will work soon be done that will rectify any valid issues? Dana boomer (talk) 23:40, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Who am I to argue with those who thought this article represented "Some of Wikipedia's best work" ? Sacred consensus has ruled. --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:55, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Due to the lack of apparent interest in furthering this review, I have deleted the FAR page as unused. If editors in the future wish to begin a FAR, they can restart the process and recreate the page. Thank you, Dana boomer (talk) 01:50, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Right. After all, once an article reaches "feature status", it is perfect and must never be altered again. --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:05, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Unsourced material[edit]

Uninvolved close, RFC issue appears to be resolved
closing on request. IRWolfie- (talk) 12:24, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Is it acceptable to insert unreferenced material into a Featured Article? SpinningSpark 20:41, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

User:Wtshymanski has inserted several unreferenced passages into this article.[2][3] Despite being asked not to do this, he has repeatedly reinserted this material, or a version of it.[4][5][6] He has shown by his comments on this page that he has no intention of providing references,[7] and disputed this point with the FA delegate.[8]

I would have thought that the policy WP:V was clear enough, that challenged material should not be reinserted without references, but just in case I am missing something I am raising this RFC. Even if the material should prove to be 100% accurate, it is lazy editing and unfair to other editors to expect them to do the hard work of researching reliable sources. SpinningSpark 20:41, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

November? Three months ago? This is troubling you now? Besides, the article is one of the precious few that has reached FA status, so how could it not be perfect? --Wtshymanski (talk) 21:04, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
November? March? Three years ago? Perfection in an FA? I hope that sort of thing does not reflect your expertise, good sense, or good faith. I myself have frequently been annoyed by challenges from anal-retentive, subject-ignorant citation-nazis, but if anyone (including yours-oh-so-truly) posts material unreferenced and uncited, the onus is on himself to justify it appropriately when challenged, by citation or reference if practical, or by reference to common knowledge etc if not. In terms of the discussion here, you have produced nothing of the kind.JonRichfield (talk) 16:59, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the most recent insertion was yesterday. SpinningSpark 21:37, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Unreferenced material (i.e., factual statements and the like) is not acceptable on a featured article or otherwise. It's not inappropriate to remove or comment it out pending references being provided. The fact that this is a featured article does not affect this principle, it just means that more attention gets focused on it. siafu (talk) 21:46, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Unreferenced material is allowed on any article, featured or otherwise, if it is uncontested, is not a direct quote, and is not a paraphrase. Also, contesting material solely because it lacks a citation, when the challenger does not hold a serious believe that it might not be true, is bad behavior and it is the behavior of the challenger that should be improved, rather than the article. [I don't think that is what happened in this case; I am just objecting to Saifu's statement "Unreferenced material (i.e., factual statements and the like) is not acceptable on a featured article or otherwise."] Jc3s5h (talk) 22:13, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Your objection is misplaced. The parenthetical (referring to factual statements) was intended to be inclusive of the cases where references are required, under the assumption that the reads of this discussion are experienced wikipedians. I think you may be confusing the case of references versus that of direct citations. Challenging unreferenced material is entirely valid (since references are the only guarantee provided against the inclusion of bogus information), and in principle it should be quite simple to provide a reference for verifiable and valid information. There is no justification for shifting burden of finding a reference onto the part challenging its validity, either: nobody is getting paid to be here, so assigning the burden of finding a reference to the party making the challenge is going to result in unreferenced material never being removed. Trying to determine the motivations and beliefs (i.e., "when the challenger does not hold a serious believe (sic) that it might not be true") of editors is simply impossible unless they volunteer that information, and can hardly serve as a guiding principle as a result. siafu (talk) 22:37, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Verifiability states "However, in practice it is only necessary to provide inline citations for quotations and for any information which has been challenged or which is likely to be challenged." Although it is not spelled out, it should be apparent that challenges should be in good faith, that is, the challenger has genuine doubts about whether a reliable source that supports the claim exits. Asking for a citation that "Paris is the capital of France" is a bad faith challenge. Jc3s5h (talk) 22:44, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
I refer to my previous statement regarding the difference between references and inline citations. Even without an inline citation, the information in an article must represent what is in the sources, always (see WP:OR, WP:UNDUE, e.g.). In order for that to be true, there must be sources. siafu (talk) 23:15, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
All that is necessary is that a source exist. It is not necessary that the source be cited, either as an inline citation, or as a general reference. It is ok to state that Paris is the capital of France, even if none of the sources listed in an article make any mention of Paris. The reason it is ok is that it is trivially easy for anyone to find a source. Jc3s5h (talk) 23:32, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
This is just a rehash of the idea that if something is "obvious" it doesn't need a source. It may not be obvious to everyone. There's not really any excuse for not providing a source when challenged-- the "trivially easy" cases are partly trivially easy because all of the sources already have that piece of information. I would wager that virtually all of the sources listed at Paris note that Paris is the capital of France-- this is what makes it common knowledge. If this were a contentious point, very few of them would talk about it, and this is an important difference. Paris being the capital does not need an inline citation-- it's common knowledge-- but it is still supported and included in the given sources. siafu (talk) 16:12, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
I will no longer respond to your erroneous claim; I permanently disagree with your interpretation. Jc3s5h (talk) 16:48, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not my interpretation, it's the nature of an encyclopedia. Verifiability, no original research and no synthesis means that everything has to be in the sources. siafu (talk) 20:50, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Per FA Criteria, 1c, "well-researched: it is a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature. Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate;" Uncited claims in text would fail the spot-check requirement almost instantly. I'd say that it would make the article FARable. (You may note this as a FAR eligible warning notice over the problem of 1c/spotcheck within the FA criteria if you please). Fifelfoo (talk) 00:24, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Not so ... the reason we have the words "where appropriate" is that not everything requires citation. (I am intentionally not opining on the text inserted in this case, rather focusing on the principle). Uncited common knowledge is acceptable. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:55, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • FA Criteria does not say "verifiable", it says "verifiable", meaning the word is used as it is in WP:Verifiablity. If you read the archives of WT:Verifiability it will become apparent that the word "verifiable" has been carefully chosen to mean "capable of verification" or "sources exist, but are not necessarily cited". Words such as "verified" are avoided specifically because no citation is required for well-known facts that may be verified easily. Indeed, if such were required, it would be virtually impossible to write an article that was anything but a cut-and-paste hack, because even the slightest bit of uncited information would be prohibited. I would have to cite a calendar to say February 1, 2012, is a Wednesday. Jc3s5h (talk) 01:22, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Ok, you won't get much argument over "Paris is the capital of France", or "1 Feb is a Wednesday", but this AfC is about some very specific edits. Do you, for instance, think that "Theoretical analysis of practical electrical problems, for example in describing the behavior of submarine cables, lead to development of Maxwell's equations." needs a citation? SpinningSpark 01:54, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • It's been more than 30 years since I read Maxwell's paper where he set out his laws; I don't recall if he stated his motivation for the work. Also, it was before matrix notation was commonplace, and was nearly unreadable. I think the claim is more than obscure enough to require a citation. Jc3s5h (talk) 02:02, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • After reading the following pages...,_1st_Baron_Kelvin#Calculations_on_data_rate
I have my doubts that the behavior of submarine cables was a well-known problem at the time Maxwell developed his equations. It isn't impossible, but it seems unlikely. Also, if Maxwell had weighed in on the well-known dispute between E.O.W. Whitehouse and William Thomson, one would think that one could find a reference to it. Was Maxwell ever involved in that kind of real-world engineering, or was his work academic and purely theoretical? --Guy Macon (talk) 02:39, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Seems a very basic question to me. It's acceptable to insert unreferenced material into an article. However, if that material is challenged or likely to be challenged, then an inline citation to a reliable source should be provided, and if none is provided within a reasonable timescale then the challenged material may be removed. The fact that the article is featured is quite irrelevant. Being featured doesn't elevate it to a holy state where it's exempt from the normal editing process.—S Marshall T/C 01:43, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment Yes, it's acceptable to boldly insert unreferenced material into a featured article. However, it's also acceptable to revert per WP:BRD and ask for a cite. The editor who inserted the unreferenced material should then provide a cite, or start a discussion and the talk page to explain why the inserted material doesn't need a cite. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:51, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Whether or not an article is featured is irrelevant. We have two pages that are relevant:

  • WP:OWN#Featured articles (discuss your edits pls)
  • WP:V which most clearly does not require a citation for absolutely everything on Wikipedia.

In other words, yes, if something is common knowledge, it can be inserted into an FA without a citation, but discussing first is polite, since one person's common knowledge may be another person's trip to WP:FAR. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:20, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment S. Marshall, A Quest's comments are the correct views of our verifiability policy... I second their views. If challenged, irrespective of whether - as Sandy Georgia says - a claim is common knowledge, a citation has to be provided. Wifione Message 11:49, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Since that's exactly what I said, I'm bewildered by this response.—S Marshall T/C 12:07, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Skipping the entire development of telegraphy indicates that this article should never have been nominated for featured article status in the first place. --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:18, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • On the actual question being asked: The FA criteria themselves say that inline citations are required only "where appropriate", not for "all material". "Where appropriate" is defined at Wikipedia:When to cite, which has an entire section dedicated to explaining when the inclusion of inline citations is not normally needed or appropriate. So the obvious answer is, yes, it is acceptable (under certain limited circumstances) to add material to an FA-class article that is not supported by inline citations.
    Additionally, as always, this is a collaborative project, so if Editor #1 adds good material but doesn't happen to add an inline citation at the same time, then Editor #2 is perfectly free to improve its presentation by adding inline citations himself. Even FAs are WP:NOTDONE, and even FAs are subject to the Editing policy's injunction to WP:PRESERVE good material rather than to delete it just because it wasn't presented perfectly the first time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:50, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: I agree in particular with WhatamIdoing, especially in his apparent implication that it is generally better to amend than to delete wherever that is constructive. A certain class of editor gleefully deletes whatever he can, while virtuously explaining the painful nature of his intervention. As a rule it is better to apply an amendment, or request a citation or the like, possibly leaving a note on the talk page. Personally I avoid deletion except when, as a matter of technical competence I can see that the material was added in ignorance or malice, and I urge anyone in doubt to follow similar principles. SandyGeorgia and some others seem to be urging similar attitudes, and good for them, say I. Good sense and good will are good guides, when available. JonRichfield (talk) 17:15, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. I don't think the rules for FA are different from others. If an editor adds an unsourced statement, then a subsequent editor has several options. If he believes the statement is correct, then he can leave it as is. If he has doubts about the statement, then (in a perfect world) he should look for a source (it does not have to be a long look). If he finds a source, then he can add an inline citation. If he doesn't find a source, then he can tag the statement with citation-needed; if no citation is subsequently supplied, then the statement should be deleted. If the subsequent editor has stronger doubts about the statement, he can tag it as dubious or a disputed section. If he knows or believes the statement is wrong, then he should delete it under WP:BRD. Glrx (talk) 05:35, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Still another option: if the editor doubts the material, but knows much less about the topic than the intended audience of the article, the editor could consult one of the general references given in the article. If it is easy to find support in the general reference, the editor could regard the statement as sufficiently sourced in the context of the article, and leave it alone. This might happen when an editor is cleaning up after an IP vandal, and is wondering if an edit is continued vandalism, or if the IP address has been reassigned to a good-faith IP editor. Jc3s5h (talk) 15:54, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment It is acceptable to put generally accepted content into an FA. Generally accepted content should not be removed because it lacks citation. If an editor has reason to believe:
  • The information is not generally accepted
  • the information is specialized such that familiar persons would consider it specialist knowledge
Then it requires citation. If content violates other policies such as WP:UNDUE it should be handled under such policies. If it makes the article worse, is terribly written, fix or remove it. I would consider the edits made by the author on names of degree programs general knowledge among people familiar with EE. I would remove his examples or cite them without in text reference.Gsonnenf (talk) 04:20, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Close RfC. I am now satisfied with the state of the article as it has developed through this RfC and would be happy for it to be closed by an uninvolved person. SpinningSpark 15:28, 10 February 2012 (UTC)


The history between "History of electrical engineering" and this articles history don't match up. Specifically the date of the magnetron and RADAR development. A sentence or two on analog computers should also be there. They are very important and widely used in controls.Gsonnenf (talk) 16:11, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Do you have any evidence that this article is in error? It is much more likely that History of electrical engineering is inaccurate and I suggest you take up the issue there. It has not passed any quality milestones (it is Start Class) and the section on radar is entirely unreferenced. Electrical engineering, on the other hand, is fully referenced and FA status is considered the best that Wikipedia has to offer. That's not to say that errors are not possible, but it would probably be more productive to start by looking at the less reviewed article.
You are welcome to add something on analog computers if you wish. SpinningSpark 20:30, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I look at this as a problem for authors who maintain EE rather than just an article issue. By posting in the main article, which more authors view, it can draw attention to its referenced children. The article on cavity magnetron itself (redirect: magnetron) claims to be invented in 1940, so this is certainly worth pointing out.Gsonnenf (talk) 21:28, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Analog and digital signal processing.[edit]

I have removed most of this paragraph from the article;

Analog signal processing only provides a mathematical description of a system to be implemented by the analog hardware engineers. Digital signal processing both provides a mathematical description of the systems to be designed and also implements it in the software of a processor.

The idea that analog signal processing is divorced from its implementation, but digital signal processing is not, is highly dubious. A system described in terms of differential equations can be directly implemented in analog hardware with a one-to-one correspondence between analog hardware blocks and the terms in the mathematical description. A digital system could not have such a direct correspondence. Further, a digital system cannot implement an IIR signal exactly, not even in theory, without making some form of approximation. An analog system, on the other hand, has no problem with this. I think what the author was probably trying to say is something along the lines of this: a digital signal process can be translated into software without reference to the hardware it is to be implemented on. Hardware, and its design, is still required of course, but it can be something standard and ubiquitous regardless of the complexity of the signal process. SpinningSpark 22:22, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

WikiProject EE proposal[edit]

FYI, a proposal has been made to cover the topic of this article in a dedicated wikiproject, see Wikipedia:WikiProject_Council/Proposals/Electrical_Engineering -- (talk) 06:12, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Subfields of electrical engineering[edit]

Neither digital computers, antennas, radar, nor electrooptics was mentioned as important subfields of electrical engineering, especially in the introductory sections of this article. I have a B.E.E. and an M.S.E.E., and I have also taught at several schools in the United States. On the undergraduate level, these divided the subfields of electrical engineering, usually quite specifically, into these subfields -- given here in a random order, so do not read anything into the order:
1. Digital electronic circuits & digital computers, including computer architecture.
2. Communication systems (analog & digital) - senior level.
3. Control systems (analog & digital).
4. Basic through intermediate analog circuits - all required courses, of course.
5. Basic and analog electronic circuits - e.g. starting with diodes and transistors and progressing though analog op-amp circuits.
6. Electic power usage, conversion, and transmission - e.g. generators, motors, transformers, and big electric power systems with long-range transmission.
7. Basic through senior-level electromagnetic theory & applications, starting from the level of sophomore physics and continuing through Maxwell's Equations, with applications in transmission lines, microwaves, waveguides, and antennas. The transmission lines aren't the ones used to send electric power from here to there, but rather the ones used in radio communication systems ("cable TV"), sensor systems, and radars.
At many of these schools, there was also a "catch-all" category for courses in instrumentation, optics, and whatever else was left over.
We had some elective courses, and I personally liked subfields #2 and #7 so much that I took one elective course in communications (the only one that was offered) and two elective courses in electromagnetism (the only two that were offered), "Microwaves" and "Antennas".
The courses in communications grabbed my attention, and I was good at them, so when I went to graduate school at Georgia Tech, I had already made up my mind that I was going to take as many courses in communications as I could. Then my graduate advisor told me that I ought to take a three-course sequence in digital signal processing from big experts in that field, so I did, and I loved those. Then the rules said that all M.S. candidates there must complete graduate courses in three different subfields, so I took two in electrooptics - mostly laser theory - one undergraduate and one graduate, since I didn't know anything about that subfield. That was a good idea. Anyway, everything worked on my three subfields, and I completed my minor subject in mathematics, and I earned my M.S.E.E. right on time.
Really, someone really needs to write and edit on this article who really knows about electrical engineering, and not just someone who quotes things from articles and magazines about the subject. Also, really digging though some college catalogs, and understanding what you are reading is necessary.
D.A.W. - BEE - Auburn University
MSEE - Georgia Institute of Technology
more graduate courses from the University of Southern California (talk) 17:41, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Remember this is an overview article and we don't want it to get bogged down in too much detail. I have replaced your addition of radar with RF engineering as this is a much broader category than radar and also includes your other additions of antennas and microwaves. Arguably much of RF engineering is covered by telecommunications but there is much else besides: GPS, electronic counter measures, radio control etc. I'm pretty convinced that there should be a subdiscipline section on it. SpinningSpark 00:13, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Wires that go in loops cause electrical problems because the wire is not straight. Wires which are not straight slow down electrical signals to and from the source. It has nothing to do with the mind. Its the fact that the wire gets an electrical signal is why electro-magnetism works so well. As well, basic solders snap off easily if you solder copper together. Its best to use something like a thin cable or single wire, the strength is much greater when attached to computer components because you are soldering one joint, not many thousands of joints.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:42, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Actually, proper solder is almost the perfect material for soldering electronic circuits together. It has sufficient 'give' that it is able to expand and contract as the circuit warms up an cools down. It has sufficient 'whetting' ability that it readily flows over the parent metal without forming an oxide coat. Proper solder is composed of 60% tin and 40% lead. It is the presence of the lead that gives it the necessary characteristics. Unfortunately, the environmentalists wanted to eliminate the lead from solder, and the resultant near pure tin that we are now forced to use does not have any of the desireable characteristics for the job. It has no give, is relatively brittle so it cracks as it is heated and cooled and its rapidly forming oxide coating prevents it from flowing well over the parent metal resulting in a greater number of 'dry joints'. Nearly every fault that modern electronic equipment suffers from is due to the failure of one or more lead free soldered joints. In those areas where reliability is of paramount importance such as military and aerospace electronics (and possibly medical), the use of lead free solder is strictly prohibited for these reasons alone. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 15:42, 29 June 2013 (UTC)


Cleaned up this because it was unverified (and mostly wrong) material on a "rivalry between Edison and Tesla". The War of Currents was George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison, Tesla only had a small roll in it. "Nikola Tesla" did not make "long-distance electrical transmission networks possible" - that would be the guys who invented transformers, not Tesla. The second paragraph on a Tesla/Edison legacy was all unverified opinion. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 03:43, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

You are quite correct that the guy who invented the transformer would have made long distance electrical transmission networks possible. The patent for the invention of the transformer was filed by and granted to Nikola Tesla. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 13:18, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
hmmm.. Transformer/History list allot of people in the invention of the transformer, and Tesla is not one of them, other than a mention of his Tesla Coil. And we have sources like this noting that claims Tesla invented the transformer are false. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 15:01, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Enthusiast's websites are seldom reliable sources of information and the clue is in both the URL and at the head of the article. There is a sizeable movement, particularly in the USA, that wants to give Edison far more credit for inventiveness than he is really entitled to (i.e. none at all - he did not invent a single thing himself. In fact it was the principal reason that Tesla left Edison's employ, because Edison would not allow Tesla's (or any real inventor's) name to appear on any patent, only his own). There are numerous devices that are based on induction principles that induce a current in a 'secondary' winding from one in a 'primary'. Regardless of that, Tesla was the first to file a patent for a two winding 'transformer' specifically to transform an AC voltage to a different voltage. In general, the invention is usually credited to whomsoever filed the first patent. Although previous devices pretty well did just that, they were not energised from an AC supply, but rather a DC supply that was converted to AC by the device itself. George Westinghouse was more than happy to allow patents to be in Tesla's name, but he did have an agreement with Tesla that he had first refusal on licencing rights from any of Tesla's inventions. The rest, as they say, is history. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 15:31, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Needs a Featured Article Review[edit]

I stumbled across this article and could hardly believe it is still listed as an FA. It is seriously under-referenced; the second half of the article lacks even a single citation. I would have taken it straight to WP:FAR but their rules state that a notice must be posted on the article talk page first. If this hasn't been improved in a week or so I will be nominating it there. Cheers --Loeba (talk) 19:57, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

@Loeba: Ok, I give up. Give me a clue, what article are you talking about. SpinningSpark 21:18, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
SpinningShark, I'm sorry to be negative about the article but you cannot possibly deny that it is seriously lacking in citations? It may well be absolutely perfect in every other way, I don't know, but the referencing problem is serious enough to warrant a FAR. If this was taken to FAC today, in its present state, I bet my life savings that it would be archived within 2 or 3 days... --Loeba (talk) 21:58, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I can't deny it because I haven't read it. Try reading my post again, or even for teh first time as you have obviously not read it properly. WHAT ARTICLE ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!!!!! SpinningSpark 22:27, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Why are you "shouting" and being rude? I'm talking about the article that we're on the talk page for. --Loeba (talk) 22:34, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh ok, sorry, I thought you were reporting some other article. Silly of me to misunderstand. SpinningSpark 22:39, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Did you think we were on the Wikiproject talk page? It's okay, we all make mistakes, but maybe in the future check that the other person is definitely in the wrong before resorting to a rude tone... --Loeba (talk) 22:49, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Image cleanup[edit]

Tesla seems to have been inserted into this article with the text "rivalry between Edison and Tesla, called the War of Currents"[9]....nope.... that was Edison and Westinghouse. I did some cleanup but many people were involved in the development of AC, so a picture of just Tesla with the caption "developed transformers and induction motors for use in AC" seems a bit WP:UNDUE. I think we are better off with no image for that aspect, since the other option is to try to jam in 4 or 5 pictures of the other people instrumental to AC development. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 02:36, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Electrical Engineering article[edit]

Tesla was more of an Electrical Engineer then Edison and because this is an article on electrical engineering (not the war of the currents) his photo deserves to be in the article more then Edison. Edison did not even go to a University, if anything Edison photo need to be on the article titled invention or business not electrical engineering.2602:306:CC1F:9EA0:304C:2BE8:EBB9:4484 (talk) 01:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

This is not an article about "People who had a University education" and Tesla should not be added to an article as a knee-jerk reaction just because Edison is there. Edison, with the first incandescent light, first large-scale electrical supply network, and all out war to establish an electrical engineer standard, had a large impact on electrical engineering, for better or worse, University or no. Tesla is one of four people listed in AC development (and there were many more). There is no reason to single out one guy per the current wording of the article. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 19:47, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Of course this is not an article about "People who had a University education" or not the addition of people is done in order to humanize the discipline like any other article in Wikipedia. However, by today standers, like the article talks about a University education is impotent or have past the FE examination which you still need to have at least gone to an ABET-accredited engineering program; unless if referring to a train driver. But putting an University education on the side as Michael Faraday image is also in this article (a self educated book binder) and the fact that Edison own article dose not even call him an engineer but you insist in placing him over Tesla on an article which talks about engineering. Which I may add, is how traditionally the images have appear anyway on this article. Whit semantics of Edison's lack of formal education out of the discussion as Edison had a large impact on electrical engineering for "better or worse" and is a giant in the history and invention of electricity and image deserves to be place in this article. I will not remove his image and replace it only with Tesla as you have done, a knee-jerk reaction. A knee-jerk reaction base on an entire culture of American neo-conservatives who seem to build themselves on a type of "knee-jerk" reaction to any kind of criticism of the kind of pseudo-patriotism they poses.

See also Joseph Swan for the invention of incandescent light, today's larges-scale electrical supply network works on AC not DC. An all out war to establish an electrical engineer standard; won by AC a current standard worked on by Nicol Tesla, and had a large impact on electrical engineering for the better with University education. Edison work with his "team of engineers" in DC development (and there were many more engineers who work in his other inventions in the first industrial research laboratory). There is no reason to single out one guy per the current wording of the article we can be more inclusive. Four images is not to much for an article this size. Especially when the next image is of Guglielmo Marconi a men made famous for the transmission of radio waves across the Atlantic using a considerable amount of Tesla patents. Having an image of a British, American, Serbian (American) and Italian makes the discipline appear more global. As it should be. 2602:306:CC1F:9EA0:CD1A:C745:FB49:7765 (talk) 06:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

P.S. FYI a Tesla Coil is a transformer.2602:306:CC1F:9EA0:CD1A:C745:FB49:7765 (talk) 07:25, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Still does not address basic pertinence per WP:IMAGE. Edison figures in most of the events listed in the paragraph his image is next to. BTW, AC "worked on by Nicol Tesla" does not mean he was the inventor of those standards or even the primary person behind those standards, if we need to add another image it should probably be Mikhail Dolivo-Dobrovolsky, the person who actually did develop the 3 phase standard we use today. Despite Tesla's claim, he had very little to do with transatlantic radio or radio develepment, he did not even think radio existed. If you think there should be some kind of push-back against "American neo-conservatives" please read WP:SOAP. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 20:12, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Moved Michael Faraday to address basic pertinence per WP:IMAGE. Remove Edison image as his image is only in "most" not all of the paragraph his image is next to and seems to be taking from the point of the article ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING. His image seems to keep bringing the "rivalry" of DC vs AC between Tesla. Added the image of Dolivo-Dobrovolsky who is the "person who actually did development the 3 phase standard we use today," and because this is the standard we use today it is most appropriate. BTW, AC "worked on by Nicola Tesla" means AC worked on by Tesla. It does not mean he was the "inventor of those standards" or "even the primary person behind those standards" although he probably is. Will not get more into this or the development of radio per WP:SOAP do the same. 2602:306:CC1F:9EA0:3CD8:792D:2EEA:8E36 (talk) 22:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)