[Kathy] recently posted an interesting video about the connection of an electronics pioneer named [Hertha Ayrton] to the arc transmitter. The story starts with the observation of the arc lamp — which we learned was a typo of arch lamp.
[Hertha] was born into poverty, but — very odd for the day — obtained a science education. That’s probably a whole story in of itself. During her schooling, she fell in love with her professor [William Ayrton] and they wed.
[Hertha] took over her husband’s research into arcs and made impressive results in understanding the physics of an arc. The key finding was that in some cases increasing the voltage would decrease the current. This implied that the arc had negative resistance.
There’s a lot more to the story involving one of [William’s] graduate students and a man named [Poulsen] who made the arc transmitter more reliable. We’ll let you watch the video to find out more.
The end of the story about [Jack Phillips] on Titanic is pretty well known. But we didn’t know all the background about how the arc transmitter came to be or that the improved [Poulsen] transmitter would have possibly averted the disaster.