Watts and Hertz

No, not an act in Vegas or the name of a law firm, Watts and Hertz refer both to men of science and to electrical measurements named after them.

James Watt (1736-1819) was a Scottish engineer and inventor whose improvements in the steam engine led to its wide use in industry. The power output of the steam engine was thus measured in "watts." and, when applied to electricity, 1 watt (W) corresponds to the power generated by 1 amp of current flowing through 1 ohm of resistance.

Gustav Hertz (1857-1894) was a German physicist credited with the discovery of creating electromagnetic waves artificially. In effect, Mr. Hertz was the father of all wireless communications in use today. While it used to be called "cycles per second" (CPS) or the number of times an AC wave went from positive to negative and back again, the term "hertz" and the symbol "Hz" was adopted to replace CPS in the late 1960's in honor of Hertz's contributions to measuring and understanding alternating waves. One Hz represents a frequency of one cycle of any AC wave in one second, regardless of the wave's amplitude.

The watt (W) refers to the rate of dissipation of electrical energy. 1 watt corresponds to the power generated by 1 amp of current flowing through 1 ohm of resistance.

The hertz (Hz) is a unit of measurement for frequency of a repetitive wave form. A waveform with the frequency of 1 Hz would complete its cycle 1 time per second.

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