Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Energy current and computing

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alex Yakovlev



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


In his seminal Electrical Papers, Oliver Heaviside stated ‘We reverse this . . . ’ referring to the relationship between energy current and state changes in electrical networks. We explore implications of Heaviside’s view upon the state changes in electronic circuits, effectively constituting computational processes. Our vision about energy-modulated computing that can be applicable for electronic systems with energy harvesting is introduced. Examples of analysis of computational circuits as loads on power sources are presented. We also draw inspiration from Heaviside’s way of usingand advancing mathematical methods from the needs of natural physical phenomena. A vivid example of Heavisidian approach to the use of mathematics is in employing series where they emerge out of the spatio-temporal view upon energy flows. Using series expressions, and types of natural discretization in space and time, we explain the processes of discharging a capacitive transmission line, first, through a constant resistor and, second, through a voltage controlled digital circuit. We show that event-based models, such as Petri nets with an explicit notion of causality inherent in them,can be instrumental in creating bridges between electromagnetics and computing. This article is part of the theme issue ‘125 Years of Oliver Heaviside’s electromagnetic theory: physical and engineering science papers and historical perspectives’.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yakovlev A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences

Year: 2018

Volume: 376

Issue: 2134

Print publication date: 13/12/2018

Online publication date: 29/10/2018

Acceptance date: 09/06/2018

Date deposited: 21/09/2018

ISSN (print): 1364-503X

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2962

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing


DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2017.0449


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric