Harold Stephen Black — American Inventor born on April 14, 1898, died on December 11, 1983

Harold Stephen Black was an American electrical engineer, who revolutionized the field of applied electronics by inventing the negative feedback amplifier in 1927. To some, his invention is considered the most important breakthrough of the twentieth century in the field of electronics, since it has a wide area of application. This is because all electronic devices (vacuum tubes, bipolar transistors and MOS transistors) are inherently nonlinear, but they can be made substantially linear with the application of negative feedback. Negative feedback works by sacrificing gain for higher linearity (or in other words, smaller distortion or smaller intermodulation). By sacrificing gain, it also has an additional effect of increasing the bandwidth of the amplifier. However, a negative feedback amplifier can be unstable such that it may oscillate. Once the stability problem is solved, the negative feedback amplifier is extremely useful in the field of electronics. Black published a famous paper, Stabilized feedback amplifiers, in 1934... (wikipedia)

Negative feedback effected amplifier performance significantly.
The answer scrawled on a blank page in a daily newspaper, was conceived whilst aboard a ferry.

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