Gabriel Kron was born in 1901 in Nagybanya in the Carpathian Mountains in Hungary.
He and his brother reached New York in 1921 as immigrants. Both brothers entered Michigan University the same year after learning English the fast way. Gabriel Kron later took a job with the Lincoln Electric Company in Cleveland and presented his first paper in 1930. In 1934 He joined General Electric and worked there in various departments, all concerned with applied engineering.
It was there that he talked about the “Negative Resistor”. His notes about the Negative Resistor went largely unnoticed. While working for G.E. in the 1930′s Kron used Negative Resistance circuits in equipment he designed for the U.S. navy’s “Network Analyser”. Absolute Negative Resistance is – according to the laws of nature – not possible – as it means “free energy”.
What is a Negative Resistance ?
It is a property of an Electrical Circuit. Which basically means that over a certain voltage range – current (that is power or force) will decrease.
The area that is of voltage and current decrease – is known as the “Negative Resistance area”. Absolute Negative Resistance – without any external energy source – is according to the law of nature – Not possible – as it infringes on the fundamental law of no energy input – no output.
Kron was apparently able to make this possible – but was not allowed to make the details public knowledge.
A common example of Negative Resistance is the Ballast ( sometimes called a Transformer ) that is used in a Fluorescent lamp. Famous inventor and inventor of Alternating Current Nikola Tesla was widely credited for the discovery of the ( modern ) Fluorescent lamp and knew about Negative Resistance. The Fluorescent Tube would burn out very quickly if the current that was fed into it was not limited. The Ballast does this – it limits the current that can go to the Tube thereby stopping it from burning out. It is a form of Negative Resistance.
The people who met Kron and had an idea about what he was talking about were absolutely convinced he was on the right track. Kron personally had no idea about the real motives of Government and Big Business. He was so involved in his own world (of Electricity and Magnetism) that all of this (Government and Big Business motives) were of no interest to him.
However in an amazing way Kron – with his spellbinding way of addressing audiences – had a big impact on people who were themselves personally involved in projects that were of a revolutionary nature.
One such person was Floyd Sweet who went on to develop many so called Free Energy Devices.
Floyd Sweet was – according to some – Mentored by Gabriel Kron.
Floyd Sweet went on to claim many so called “Over Unity” discoveries. Over Unity refers to the region where Free Energy begins. In the Fundamental law of nature an equal amount of power MUST be inputed to equal an output of that power. According to the Law of Nature you cannot get an energy or power output MORE than the input. It is simply not possible according to the so called Law of nature.
Kron’s books and over 100 papers were written on weekends and at night. Gabriel Kron retired in 1966, died from a short illness in 1968
PHILIP L. ALGER Wrote this story below on the life and times of Gabriel Kron. From all accounts Gabriel Kron was an amazing person who left a mark on everyone he met. Many consider him as the most brilliant Electrical Engineer that ever lived. There is absolutely no doubt that Gabriel Kron had a brilliant mind.
The story below is typical of the high esteem many held of Gabriel Kron. It’s an amazing story – long – but well worth reading.
Written by PHILIP LANGDON ALGER (1894 – 1979)
- Who was graduated from St. John’s College of Annapolis, Md., in 1912 and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1915 with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering. He earned the M.S. degree from Union College in 1920. St. John’s awarded him an honorary M.A. in 1915, and the University of Colorado an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree in 1969. He worked for General Electric Co. as a designing, staff, and consulting engineer until his retirement in 1959. From 1959 to 1969 he was Consulting Professor of Electrical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The author of more than 100 technical papers and three books, Mathematics for Science and Engineering, Induction Machines, and The Human Side of Engineering, He edited the book, The Life and Times of Gabriel Kron. In 1959 he received the Lamme Medal of the A.I.E.E.
GABRIEL KRON 1901 – 1968
Was the youngest child in a family of eight children, was born on July 23, 1901, in Nagybanya, later renamed Baja Mare, a town of about 10,000 people in a remote region of the Carpathian Mountains of Hungary. His father, the owner of a dry goods store, was a devout follower of the Jewish faith. In writing of his family life, Kron said:
“Ever since I can remember, every night at bedtime father used to sit at a table in the centre of the room, in front of him a large Hebrew book, covering half the table. He sat there, slowly swaying backward and forward, caressing with his hand his long whiskers, or pointing with his index finger to his temple. For hours and hours he kept bowing to and fro, reading and studying the Law in a peculiar melodious singsong brought down through the ages.
“Every day of the year, winter and summer, father got up at five o’clock in the morning and until six o’clock he continued to study while I lay in bed half awake and half asleep, following his train of thought by simply listening to the rising and falling cadence of his tone, without understanding a single word of it. And my thoughts would slowly wander off into the land of fancy. I saw myself climbing across the Himalayas into the forbidden land of Tibet; I built skyscrapers in New York City or erected power plants at the foot of Victoria Falls in Africa. As my fancy wandered from charted to uncharted territories, I would attempt to transmit electric power without wires or build rocket planes that could fly to the moon or distant planets. I was a physician who discovered a remedy for some incurable disease or a physicist who could transmute the elements.”
A boyhood friend described Gabe in elementary school as plump, always lively, always joyous, always having something to tell. He added, “Gabe inherited the vivacity of his character and the strength of his resolutions from his mother. When still a boy, he formed a realist’s Weltanschauung and decided the way he should follow in life. At that time people who knew him well understood quite clearly that for him the environment of his home town was too confined and that a day would come when he would act to broaden his horizons.”
His passion for knowledge became evident in early school days. His teacher was accustomed to ask for drawings, and Gabe made the greatest number of these. His drawings were chiefly maps of different countries, taken from all the continents. He was quite sure he would soon pay a visit to each of them. In the Gymnasium – to people who use this word to mean a “gym” A place of fitness training – the term also refers to ( in other countries ) : about equivalent to : High school / First college classes – A School – Gabe studied intensively physics and mathematics; he also devoted himself to astronomy, stenography, and the English and German languages. At sixteen, he remarked that there were no more books in the library for him to read. On the lighter side, he was an editor of the school paper, and he took a leading part in staging a most successful cabaret show.
Kron realised even in the lower grades that the Hungarian language would be useless for one who wanted to specialise in the physical sciences. He said in later years, “Being subjected during my life time to several inoculations with a new language, I gradually developed a technique of my own; that proved to be quite practical for acquiring a reading knowledge of a new language in a place which offered no contact with people speaking it. As young children we had been instructed in Hebrew by being handed the Bible and asked to translate it without the aid of dictionary or grammar, merely being told by the teacher the meaning of each word. Each of the pupils recited and translated a verse in succession, each one thereby getting a chance to try his knowledge and luck on the tenth or fifteenth verse. Rarely, of course, did we follow attentively the translational efforts of the others, and we gained only the haziest notion of any connected story.
“Ever since I was six years old I had gone through the Bible – or a portion of it – once a year, translating it in the above manner. When I reached age fourteen I gave up the whole struggle as hopeless and an absolute waste of time (also because at fourteen I could resist successfully my father’s will). In the Gymnasium we were taught Latin for eight years, German for six, and Greek for four years, each with the aid of the most elaborate grammar the human mind could devise. Under the guise of classical education the professors crammed our heads with an infinite variety of useless rules, exceptions to the rules, and exceptions to the exceptions, so that languages were the most lugubrious subjects taught….
“Realising that the manner in which languages were taught was one of the hundred possible ways that should not be employed, I started out to use just the opposite tactics. Instead of memorising grammar, I memorised the German dictionary. Our school dictionary had about twenty thousand words in it, a hundred words on a page; so, I tore out a page a day and committed it to memory. Then the page was thrown away. When there was no dictionary left, I considered myself an expert in the language. I could sit down, open up a French or German book anywhere, and proceed. Slowly and painfully at first, but nevertheless I could make headway in understanding the text…..
“It rather disappointed me to realise that familiarity with German and French would not be of much practical use in my attempts to relieve Europe of my presence. I sensed – in spite of the arguments of those who had travelled far and wide – that once Europe receded behind my back the only language that would enable me to move about freely must be English. Unfortunately (or fortunately) no English-Hungarian dictionary could be procured in all Transylvania, and the only one I could get hold of was a big Muret-Sanders type of English-German dictionary, containing over a hundred thousand words. Of course it was out of the question to repeat the stunt of tearing out the pages and memorising them one after another, as they contained so many archaic and technical words. What I did was to borrow an English book, which happened to be H.G. Wells’ The Food of the Gods, and beginning with the first page I wrote out a hundred words each day and committed them to memory. After eight or ten pages the text began to assume more human form, and past the first chapter the content even became enjoyable.”
Before World War I private tutoring was an old custom in Hungary. Every well-to-do parent aspired to have his sons finish the Gymnasium, for no one was considered a gentleman unless he graduated from the Gymnasium, and no amount of money could compensate for the lack of this credential. A sizable dowry, however, was sufficient to create a lady. It was not considered proper for girls to attend the Gymnasium, so the few girls who sought an education relied on tutors. This gave the poor boys their opportunity. Since classes ended every day by 12 or 1 o’clock, many young men spent the afternoons tutoring. During Kron’s upper class years he used to spend from 2 to 9 or 10 o’clock each day in this way, giving on the average an hour and a half to each pupil.
In the summer of 1918, he was invited to live with a family in Felsöbánya, seven miles away from home, to tutor two girls. He was so successful that he continued to live there during the eighth, and final, year of the Gymnasium, even though he had to walk fourteen miles each day to go to school and return.
In the fall of 1918, however, the Rumanians took over that part of Hungary, peacefully and without ceremony,
and they turned the Gymnasium into a cavalry stable. School stopped, and the principal advised the students to study at home and prepare for a private examination next June. So Kron stayed at Felsöbánya, rearranging his schedule to spend the mornings in teaching the girls while the afternoons were devoted to his own intellectual needs. From 1 to 2 o’clock he practised Hungarian shorthand, from 2 to 3 he solved algebra problems, from 3 to 4 he studied French, from 4 to 5 physics, from 5 to 6 translated German, and so on up to 10 in the evening. He was then seventeen years old.
With the closing of the Gymnasium, and the rule that the future classes must be conducted in the Rumanian language, which he did not know, Kron realised that his future lay in foreign lands, and the search for that land occupied all his thoughts. His oldest brother came home from the war, bringing fresh energy and ideas to the conduct of the family store, so Kron hoped for a time that the family might finance his going to England to study. But thieves broke in and robbed the store, making that plan impossible.
The Rumanian Minister of Education allowed the Gymnasium to reopen for one month to conduct final examinations for Kron’s class, so Kron gained the coveted diploma in June 1919. He then formed a new plan. Another older brother, Joseph, who was wounded in the war, came home with a little money and a strong desire to gain an education. He had dropped out of school after only four years, saying: “I am not interested in knowing what the stars are made of.” Gabriel appealed to his brother to join him in going to America to study engineering, and he promised to tutor the older man so that he could earn his Gymnasium diploma in a single year. Joseph agreed and, with Gabriel’s help, obtained a full set of the books studied in the eight years of the Gymnasium, plus a permit allowing him to take examinations whenever he was ready. Starting in late October 1919, Joe began intensive studies. Gabe selected only 10 per cent of the pages from the books – sometimes less – and Joe learned only those. In January Joe passed examinations for the first four grades, in April he passed the fifth and sixth, in June the seventh, and eighth, and in August he passed the maturity examination with a better-than-average B grade, thus earning his diploma in record fashion.
The whole family now gave its support to the two young men. Gabriel and Joseph Kron sailed from Antwerp on the SS Mongolia, and in January 1921 they reached New York.
They were welcomed by the Hebrew Immigrants’ Aid Society and began at once to search for jobs. Gabriel became a dishwasher in a Hungarian restaurant on 116th Street, earning $5 a week and meals, working ten hours a day, seven days a week, with one afternoon off. Joseph found a job in a fur shop. Each evening, Joseph was expected to memorise fifty new words from the dictionary, and both began to attend free lectures to improve their English. Gabriel went to the public libraries and looked up universities (a college or an Institute had no standing in European eyes), seeking an engineering school that would cost no more than $150 for tuition, located far enough inland to be away from the flood of immigrants. The choice fell on the University of Michigan. He sent their credentials to Ann Arbor, and the brothers were accepted to enter in September. It was essential to earn more money now, so Gabriel began an intensive search for a better job. After trials at necktie peddling, bottling vinegar, sign painting, and steam-pressing knitted ties, he found a job as a busboy in an Automat at $15 a week plus meals. With this princely income, and by sharing an apartment with some Hungarian students, they bought new suits and saved $150 each, enough to pay their carfare and the $125 tuition.
In Ann Arbor, they had first to find jobs that would pay for food and rent. For two months they lived on bread, milk, and grapes, but they found a room off campus where the rent was only $3 a week, and they sold their student football tickets for some $40. Gabriel worked for his meals, but no pay, as a dishwasher in the Michigan Union; his brother found a job in a downtown fur shop. In the summer Gabriel became a ditchdigger at $24 a week. Making their way by these varied methods, they also organised their classwork to suit their needs. While Gabriel learned the daily assignments, he underlined the parts that his brother should study; sometimes, when Joseph worked overtime or didn’t know the answer, Gabriel answered for him – until the professors learned to distinguish between the “Big Kron” and the “Little Kron.” The latter wrote: “As always happens when a free spirit is obliged to undergo a prescribed routine, I wanted to study everything except what the curriculum called for. How to find time to study what one wishes, and not what the teacher thinks best for one’s own good, must be a perennial problem to many an anxious pupil. Finally, I hit on the idea of arranging my schedules so that by Friday noon the classes would be all over. Three full days then each week from Friday noon to Monday morning I was free to pursue my own private schedule of study without the interruptions of regular classwork. The rest of the week I considered as a sacrifice on the altar of mechanised education.”
At the beginning of his junior year, it became clear that Gabriel Kron would complete the requirements for graduation by the next June, so there would be no senior year for him. He began to think what to do next, and his fancy turned to his early dreams of world travel. In the course of his dreaming he wrote a small essay, “Out- line of a New Cosmology,” describing the universe as an engineer might have built it, disregarding small obstacles like the law of gravitation and relativity. He showed it to a lofty professor and received the advice: “Young man, if you want to be a scientist, never try to introduce anything that has not been approved first by a committee of a scientific society.”
The head of his department invited Kron to return to Michigan as a teacher, but he declined. And the General Electric interviewer did not offer him a job, as he seemed not to fit any of the available openings – he was too unique.
The more he considered it, the more he liked his old plan of walking around the world – it would be a new type of graduate study. The customary post-doctoral study in a German university could as well be replaced by overnight discussions with the monks of Tibet. He announced to his friends that he would put on a knapsack and start on foot around the world. Who would go with him? With no takers, he put an advertisement in the Michigan Daily, asking any one interested to telephone him. No one called. With graduation past, he went to work for four weeks digging sewers to earn the money needed for his world trip. After buying necessities, he had $28 left, and on a Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock he set out on the road to California. The full story has been told elsewhere, so it will suffice to sketch just an outline of his experiences.
When he reached Los Angeles he went to sleep under a eucalyptus tree with just seven cents in his pockets. He found employment with the U.S. Electrical Manufacturing Company, however, and began his engineering career by designing induction motors. Soon he transferred to the Robbins and Myers Company in Springfield, Ohio; there he worked for W. J. Branson, who proved a most sympathetic and capable guide. (In 1938 Kron dedicated his book, The Application of Tensors to the Analysis of Rotating Electrical Machinery, to Branson.) But when his citizenship came through in 1926, he started again for California. There he took passage on a tanker for Tahiti with $300 and Forsythe’s Differential Equations in his knapsack.
He lived as a guest in the family of a native in Tahiti for some weeks, then sailed to the Fiji Islands. He walked through the back country, shared native hospitality, swam rivers, and admired the tropical forest. He wrote: “Paradise could not possess a more luscious and exorbitant panorama of luxurious vegetation. Had I been a painter, I would never have left the island [of Viti-Levu].”
In all his travels, his custom was to spend the usual siesta hours under a tree, studying mathematics. Having finished his study of differential equations in Fiji, he buried the Forsythe book in an empty oil can under a large tree, dedicating it to the memory of the early missionaries who had been eaten by the natives.
Then he took ship to Sydney, where his money ran out, so he found a job in a one-room plant engaged in making watt-hour meters. Kron was employed to develop a thermostat: After working long enough to clear £35, be bought Weatherburn’s book on Vector Analysis and took to the road again, hitchiking to Townsville in Queensland. On the way he spent many nights in the company of the “sundowners,” the Australian tramps who lived without working, with the aid of free food tickets handed out in police stations to anyone who needed them.
He wrote: “In those long weary walks through Queensland and later through Asia the outlines of a many-dimensional vector analysis began to take shape in my mind. Under the stimulation of my everyday preoccupations with imaginary maps of unknown territories, an analogous mental picture of engineering structures – such as an electric machine, or a bridge, or an airplane – engraved itself in my mind. They appeared (for purposes of analysis) as a collection of numerous multi-dimensional spaces connected together into one unit in a manner very much as the numerous countries and islands and continents are interlinked by a web of roads and customs and laws.
“If communication between the various members disappears, nothing physical is lost, only that intangible something that transforms the forty-eight independent states into a single U.S.A., or the many thousand independent parts into a single airplane. Years later I discovered that mathematicians had already laid a firm foundation under the name Tensor Analysis for just such a type of calculus as I attempted to develop.”
Kron sailed from Townsville to Borneo, and thence to Manila, Hongkong, and Saigon. Here, he started out on foot to Angkor Vat, and walked on to Aranha, where he took a train for Bangkok, then joined a caravan that followed the ancient trade route to Cockrake in Burma. He walked to Rangoon, took a boat to Calcutta, walked on to Agra, where he admired the Taj Mahal. He crossed the Indian desert to Karachi by train, took a boat across the Persian Gulf and went on by train to Baghdad, stopping to see the ruins of Ur on the way. He spent $5 for a truck ride across the Arabian desert to Damascus, then set out on foot again to Gaza. He hastened on to Cairo by train, saw the Pyramids, sailed from Alexandria to Constantinople and went by train to Bucharest, arriving at midnight at the home of a friend, with just small change left in his pockets. After an all-night talk, the friend financed his ticket to Baja Mare, where his parents welcomed him. The neighbours wanted to know why he had come home from America with his toes sticking out of his shoes, while every one else came home rich. No one asked about his travels.
Kron spent several months at home, studying and also courting his future wife, Ann, before returning to the United States. He took a job with the Lincoln Electric Company in Cleveland in the fall of 1928, and in 1930 he presented the first of his more than a hundred technical papers.
That first paper, entitled “Generalised Theory of Electrical Machinery,” was the beginning of his series of papers presenting more and more comprehensive analysis of machines and systems. He thought that all types of electric machines must be special cases of a Generalised machine, and that understanding the general machine would lead to the invention of new types. After transferring to the Westinghouse Company in Springfield, he presented his second A.I.E.E. paper in 1931. It explained the effects on induction motor torque due to field harmonics (superposed multipolar fields) in the air gap. Since my 1920 Union College thesis dealt with the same topics, I was much interested and took part in the discussion of Kron’s paper. This was the beginning of a friendship that kept us in close touch for more than thirty years.
In 1931 he accepted an invitation to join Warner Brothers to design phonograph motors, with a three-year contract at $10,000 a year. The Depression forced the closing of his department, however, and for some two years he had a fine salary with no duties to perform. He resolved to devote this free time to study that would lead to a much better job after the Depression and, meanwhile, to economise by living at home in Baja Mare. So he and Ann returned to Rumania for a year. He read widely in the field of mathematics, becoming familiar with tensor analysis and Non-Riemannian geometry for the first time. Seeing an analogy between these abstruse concepts and the complex interrelations of electric, magnetic, and mechanical forces in machines, he wrote his classic paper on the “Non-Riemannian Dynamics of Rotating Electrical Machinery,” which won for him the Montefiore Prize from the University of Liege in 1935. He sent me a copy of this paper in 1933, when he returned to the U.S., and I was so impressed by it that I sent it to my friend, Professor Philip Franklin, of the Mathematics Department at M.I.T., who was the Editor of the M.I.T. Journal of Mathematics and Physics. ‘He published the paper in full in the May 1934 issue of the M.I.T. Journal.
The paper instantly produced wide-spread discussion and controversy. Working alone, applying mathematical concepts in ways never done before, Kron gave new meanings to terms and disregarded established rules, so that many mathematicians derided his work: it was just for show, it was needlessly complex, or it was of no practical use. When he first put his ideas forward, there were no large computers, and engineers were little concerned with systems, so it took some years for their value to be appreciated. But Kron’s theories, derived largely by intuition, have been proved sound and are increasingly useful. Instead of calculating the effects of changes A, B, and C separately, and then finding that each change required the others to be recalculated, Kron’s methods take all the interrelations into account at once, thus opening the way to correct analysis of the most complex systems.
To throw more light on the new ideas, I arranged an A.I.E.E. conference in January 1934, in New York, at which Kron presented his views to interested engineers and some pure mathematicians. He did so well there that I urged General Electric to employ him. After checking with his Michigan professor, A.D. Moore, and others, Vice President Roy C. Muir invited Gabe to join the staff of the Advanced Engineering Program, under A.R. Stevenson, Jr., in May 1934. He did so, and began at once to extend and deepen his studies of electric machines, power systems, and computers. The results poured forth in five books and a hundred technical papers during the next thirty years.
The Advanced Engineering Program staff at that time included the mathematicians E.0. Keller and H. Poritsky; a very distinguished engineer, C.A. Nickle; and a young engineer who gained distinction later on, Loyal V. Bewley. Bewley was a graduate of the first class of the Advanced Engineering Program, who took a deep interest in the ideas put forward by Kron. In later years Bewley criticised Kron’s writings, saying that he used too many words, did not make his points clear, and made simple things appear complicated. However, this may be, Kron was too absorbed in pursuing his own widening train of thought to be interested in backtracking or in refining his earlier work. He was a pioneer, not an educator: He used to imply that hard work is required for mastery of any subject, and it does no good to make the way to understanding too easy. He was doing the really hard work of breaking trail, and those who came after him could follow well enough if they were truly capable. He told me at one time that he felt as if he would burst – so many books were welling up inside him, calling for him to move on to unexplored fields.
One difficulty was that Kron always wanted to have his theories apply widely – he always wanted to generalise. Thus his methods were more complex than required for any particular problem. They could be used for a wide variety of problems, but the engineer who was concerned only with a particular machine preferred to use the simplest methods and took little interest in Kron’s elegant theories.
Stevenson left Kron to pursue his own ideas but kept him in contact with the students in the program.
Kron was a great talker and could hold his audience spellbound, whether or not they understood him.
In this way, he inspired many students to think more broadly. One student in particular, Charles Concordia, began to apply Kron’s ideas to practical purposes. After finishing the course, Concordia went into the Apparatus Sales Department, where he worked on problems of power supply and transmission. In considering extensive power networks, with large numbers of supply stations and load centers, he felt the need for more general methods. To help in power system analysis, Kron also transferred there in 1939. As computers became available, Concordia and Kron established the modern methods of electrical distribution system analysis now used today throughout the world.
Charles Concordia 1908 – 2003.
Regarded as the the most knowledgeable person ever in Electrical Network Distribution Engineering and Analysis. Charles Concordia won many Awards over the years and was very widely known and respected. He is probably the best known person in the field of Electricity Network Distribution.
Charles Concordia wrote many papers on Electrical Engineering Topics – Many related to Electricity Supply Network Distribution. He worked for G.E for over 30 Years and contributed a great deal.
He was called upon when major Electricity Distribution problems occurred – To try and pin point what went wrong and make provisions to prevent future problems.
Like Gabriel Kron – Charles Concordia was a Legend – and a leader in his field.
Charles Concordia was awarded the IEEE Medal of Honour in 1999 which is the greatest recognition given to anyone. This honour is given to people who have acheived the highest honour in their field of engineering.
Kron spent nights and weekends pursuing his own thoughts. The results appeared in an extensive series of articles published in the G. E. Review between 1936 and 1942. He also kept in touch with graduates of the Advanced Engineering Program who had gone to work in various departments of the Company, and helped them in many ways, particularly by developing correct equivalent circuits for all kinds of machines and systems. These were published in his third book, Equivalent Circuits of Electric Machinery, in 1951. His first two books, Tensor Analysis of Networks and A Short Course in Tensor Analysis for Electric Engineers, appeared in 1939 and 1940, respectively.
In 1942 Kron transferred to the Large Steam Turbine Engineering Department, to work on problems of stress analysis in complex steel structures. Then he moved again, to work on electronics with Simon Ramo. And, in 1945, he moved to the Research Laboratory, where he worked on the temperature distribution and control of piles for atomic reactors, and other abstruse problems. In 1950, he returned to work for Selden Crary on power systems, where his ideas proved to be most useful, employing the large computers then becoming available. One of his associates wrote two books solidly based on Kron’s work that tell how to use computers to control the distribution of electric power in large systems.
Kron spent the years between 1953 and 1963 in laboratory and turbine assignments. In 1963 he joined the Analytical Engineering Division; there he became closely associated with Harvey H. Happ, the editor of this book, who expanded and applied his work to power system problems. Kron retired in 1966 at the age of 65. Kron told me that Happ was his interpreter in electrical engineering, who had his entire confidence. With Kron’s encouragement, Happ has written a book that presents the foundations of Diakoptics.
During all the years, as Kron moved around the company, he worked at night and on weekends on many, many ideas, often far removed from his assigned tasks and beyond the understanding of his associates.
As his daughter wrote: “His evenings, his free time, were all spent at his desk in the dining room. – Almost every time he went to a movie, he’d impatiently leave the theatre part way through the picture, and walk home. – Even though he was in the theatre physically, he rarely paid attention to the movie dialogue, and throughout the evening every time the audience reacted, daddy would have to ask mother what was happening. I used to pretend I wasn’t related to that curious couple next to me whose whispered summary of the plot in Hungarian punctuated the silence around me.”
During these years, he kept up an extensive correspondence with students who asked about his papers and with friends and admirers around the world.
Many students said their success in pursuing graduate education was due to Kron’s urging. In England and Japan, especially, his ideas were pursued, forming the basis for many papers. On hearing of Kron’s death, Dr. Kazuo Kondo wrote: “If I count scientific friends whom I miss for the rest of my life, Kron comes first. For many years I dreamed of meeting him. Whether it would be in the U.S.A. or in Japan, I was uncertain about. He was once expected to visit Japan as a Fulbright scholar. However, to our disappointment it was not realised. In Europe I followed Kron’s traces in London and Kent as well as in Liege, where he had been awarded the Montefiore Prize. It was in my plan to find an opportunity to call on him in Schenectady. But, alas! America without him seems to lose its charm to lure me.”
Kron was a puzzle to the company executives who were responsible for his assignments. They wanted to tell him what to do, and to put him in a place where his talents would yield immediate, commercially useful results, and to adjust his salary accordingly. This was difficult, because Kron’s value was largely in the inspiration he gave to others and in distant objectives that seemed to business managers to be merely dreams. As they tried to make the best use of him, he was shifted hither and yon. In all, he worked for fifteen different managers while with GE. This contrasts with the treatment of Steinmetz, under E.W. Rice. Steinmetz was retained in a staff position and problems were brought to him, instead of moving him to where the new problems were. Thus Steinmetz became known as the “Supreme Court” of the company, and he wrote and lectured freely on whatever topics interested him. Kron had to pursue his own ideas outside of office hours.
This was no real hardship, however, as the company did give Kron complete freedom to publish his ideas, and to maintain contacts with a wide circle of interested men, outside as well as inside the company.
Some commercial men, who did not like the engineers to talk about new developments, said that it would do no harm for Kron to write, as no competitor would understand him anyway.
This very point, that his writings were voluminous, and not too clear, was a prime reason for the controversies that always swirled about him. Some who penetrated the depths of his thoughts felt that they could say it more clearly. Others found mistakes in his proofs, or things that he omitted, and many of these published their views. Some belittled Kron, others ignored him or claimed as their own ideas he had developed. Kron felt all these slights keenly. As any one must be who pursues a lonely road, he was sustained by a sense of mission and by an inner conviction that he was rendering a great service to the engineers who would come after him. Some of his critics felt that he was just plain conceited. After all, it is hard to draw a line between sublime confidence that one is right, even though much of the world denies it, and the misguided idea that some foolish idea is important.
Time has shown, however, that Kron was almost always right in his conclusions, even though some of his proofs were faulty. He had a remarkable intuition, an unerring sense of the fitness of things prescribed by nature, that led him without fail to the right results. And he had a delightful sense of humor that enabled him to shake off the hard feelings aroused by critics. He was very much like his critics. Some one told Kron that his writings were too complex. “No,” said Kron , “perhaps the reader’s mind is too simple.”
After retirement, Kron continued to work on his theories, with the conviction that he must write several more books, especially on the crystal computer that he thought would be his crowning achievement.
Just a few days before the onset of his fatal illness, He told his wife, ” My work is so beautiful that I wouldn’t give it away for a million dollars.”
He died, after a short illness, on March 25, 1968.
If you would like to read some of Gabirel’s work see here to download his book “Tensors for Circuits”