February 1960 RadioElectronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from RadioElectronics,
published 19301988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Being one of the
world's premier communications technology companies, Bell Telephone Laboratories
(aka Bell Labs) engineers and scientists relied heavily on mathematics for its
accomplishment. It comes as no surprise, then, that one of their fullpage
promotions in a 1960 issue of RadioElectronics magazine celebrated the
accomplishments of mathematician Jacques Bernoulli.
Jacques
Bernoulli
Jacques Bernoulli (16541705) was a Swiss mathematician who, along with his
brother Jean Bernoulli, was instrumental in the development of calculus and the
application of mathematical principles to various fields.
Jacques Bernoulli was born into a family of mathematicians in Basel,
Switzerland, and showed an early aptitude for mathematics. He studied at the
University of Basel and then went on to study in Italy, France, and the
Netherlands. In 1687, he became a professor of mathematics at the University of
Basel, where he remained until his death.
Bernoulli made significant contributions to a variety of mathematical fields,
including calculus, number theory, probability theory, and physics. He is best
known for his work on the calculus of variations, a branch of mathematics that
deals with finding the optimal solution to a problem. In particular, he is
famous for the "brachistochrone problem," which involves finding the path taken
by a particle that travels between two points in the shortest time possible
under the influence of gravity.
Bernoulli also made significant contributions to the study of probability
theory. In 1713, he published "Ars Conjectandi," a book on probability that
introduced the concept of the Bernoulli distribution, which is named after him
and is still widely used in modern statistics. Bell Telephone Laboratories Ad Jacques Bernoulli
Jacques Bernoulli
 The Wizard of Odds
He solved a telephone traffic problem two centuries ago.
Jacques Bernoulli, the great Swiss mathematician, pondered a question early in
the 18th century. Can you mathematically predict what will happen when events of
chance take place, as in throwing dice?
His answer was the classical Bernoulli binomial distribution a basic formula
in the mathematics of probability (published in 1713). The laws of probability say,
for instance, that if you roll 150 icosahedrons (the 20faced solid shown above),
15 or more of them will come to rest with side "A" on top only about once in a hundred
times.
Identical laws of probability govern the calls coming into your local Bell Telephone
exchange. Suppose you are one of a group of 150 telephone subscribers, each of whom
makes a threeminute call during the busiest hour of the day. Since three minutes
is onetwentieth of an hour, the probability that you or any other subscriber will
be busy is 1 in 20, the same as the probability that side "A" of an icosahedron
will be on top. The odds against 15 or more of you talking at once are again about
100 to 1. Thus it would be extravagant to supply your group with 150 trunk circuits
when 15 are sufficient for good service.
Telephone engineers discovered at the turn of the century that telephone users
obey Bernoulli's formula. At Bell Telephone Laboratories, mathematicians have developed
the mathematics of probability into a tool of tremendous economic value. All over
the Bell System, the mathematical approach helps provide the world's finest telephone
service using the least possible equipment. The achievements of these mathematicians
again illustrate how Bell Laboratories works to improve your telephone service.
Bell Telephone Laboratories
World center of communications research and development
Posted February 15, 2023
Bell Telephone
Laboratories Infomercials 

XRays, 4/60 Radioelectronics
 The Battle of
the Atoms, 4/1948 Radio News

The Transistor, 6/1952 RadioElectronics
 90Mile Laboratory
for Telephone and Television, 6/1945 Radio News

WireWrap, 10/53 RadioElectronics

EDT Crystals, 10/47 RadioCraft
 Germanium Refining,
5/54 Radio & TV News
 Crystal Timekeeping,
1/46 Radio News
 Transatlantic
Cable, 11/56 Radio & Television News
 Pipe Circuits,
11/48 Radio & Television News

Coaxial
Electron Tube, 6/54 Radio & Television News
 Thermocompression
Wire Bonding, 3/58 Radio News

Radio Relay Stations, 8/52 Radio & Television News
 Isolators,
6/56 Radio & Television News
 Punch
Cards, 3/55 Radio & Television News

OvertheHorizon
Communications, 10/55 Radio & Television News
 Memory
Devices, 2/58 Radio & TV News

Adventure in Silicon, 5/55 Radio & Television News
 Pipes of Progress,
6/55 Radio & Television News

Project Echo, 11/60 Electronics World


Jacques Bernoulli, February 1960 RadioElectronics

TypeO Carrier System, October 1952 RadioElectronics

Electron Microscope, 4/1952 RadioElectronics
 Thermistor, 11/1946 RadioCraft

Germanium Crystal, 1/1954 RadioElectronics

Lens
Antenna, 5/46 RadioCraft
 Quality Control, 6/46
Radio News Article
 Transcontinental
RadioRelay, 10/51 Radio & TV News
 Solar
Battery, 7/54 Radio & Television News

Germanium Transistors, 1/54 Radio & Television News
 Cavity
Magnetron, 10/45 Radio News

The Cableman, 10/49 Radio & Television News

Coaxial Cable, 12/49 Radio & Television News

Tin
Whiskers, 12/55 Radio & Television News
 Relay
Contact Inspection, 7/55 Radio & Television News
 Transistor's
10th Anniversary, 6/58 Radio & Television News

Wire
Wrapping, 10/53 Radio & Television News
 Junction
Diode Amplifier, 11/58 Radio News

Nobel Prize Winners, 2/57 Radio & Television News

Diode Speeds Voices, 8/58 Popular Electronics

Microwave Relays, 7/59 Electronics World

