The Tom Bearden

Help support the research

Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 11:59:58 -0500


Well, maybe the Navy will "recover" that project or the fact that it actually had the project.

In the 30s, digital computers had not yet been born.  So "simulators" were developed and used to simulate --- e.g. --- some of the fundamental equations, so that they could evaluate the performance of communications gear, etc.  Naval communications were of course extremely important, and simulation of signal performance, including of networks, was very important also.

So that was the genesis of the Network Analyzer project.  It filled a very vital need for the navy, and it was a Stanford University project for the navy, under contract.  Kron appears to have been either the Chief Scientist, or the chief scientist in charge of the actually modeling and simulation. You can see the range of his work from some of his papers (he also is one of the people who advanced tensor analysis itself).

Anyway, the used the Network Analyzer to simulate and analyze network signal performance, etc.  But being a large analogue simulation, one also had to power it, etc.  Hence they were also concerned with the powering of the simulator, feedback between power system and network elements, etc.

That's apparently how Kron got into the negative resistance business. Nonlinear networks are prone to all sorts of phenomenology, including nonlinear oscillations and including self-oscillation.  So undoubtedly all those phenomena were experienced with the Network Analyzer and by the scientists doing the actually building and care and use of the simulator.

With his tremendous background, Kron's keen mind was directly attracted to these additional nonlinear phenomena.  His papers show his tremendous work in advancing the state of the art of network theory.

His papers also mention his negative resistance and negative resistor work, and here it is obvious that this aspect was heavily censored. Understandably so, since WW II was starting up at the end of the 1930s, and things were looking grim.  The Navy would have justifiably put a real security clamp on that work, which was of extreme importance to Naval communications.

So Kron's negative resistor work got censored, and his statements were apparently ordered to be altered to "hide" it as if it were the normal pseudo-negative resistance such as that displayed by a tunnel diode (negative resistance in one range, but the operator has to furnish all the energy that the beast stored in advanced and then used to furnish to the system during the "negative resistance" regime).  But Kron persisted, and in a paper or two did manage to sneak in an unequivocal statement that a few (true) negative resistors were available (i.e., built by Kron) to render the Network Analyzer self-powering.  He was also never allowed to fully detail the "open loop" he had discovered --- which was really the pre-discovery of the broken symmetry of opposite charges, later predicted strongly by Lee and Yang in 1956 and 57, proven experimentally by Wu et al. in 1957, and resulting in a very rapid Nobel Prize award to Lee and Yang in December 1957.

Anyway, the Network Analyzer project is mentioned in Kron's papers, and possibly in other papers of the era (I've not had the time to do a determined document search through the literature of that period, since most of it is not computerized and would be the most time-consuming kind of direct search of the journals themselves.

That's about the gist of it; I tried a Google search (about 20, cut different ways) and did not come up with any significant addition to the above.  Of course a search on one of the professional search groups might turn up more.

Hope you are able to find out more and some good references!



Well, looks like the Navy must have called Stanford about the Network Analyzer, because almost 5% of the hits today were from Stanford University.

And the Japanese continue to come in droves.



PS  Sure would be nice to nail down the exact year of the Network Analyzer project!