Leon Charles Thevenin – Biography, Contributions, Inventions

Leon Charles Thevenin – Biography, Contributions, Inventions


Thevenin was credited on further simplifying complex circuit analysis which are otherwise difficult to analyze using Ohms basic current resistance, voltage and current relationships and somehow extended Kirchhoff’s laws on analyzing circuits.

Who is Charles Thevenin?

On March 30, 1857, Leon Charles Thevenin was born in Meaux, a suburb of Paris. In 1876, he received his diploma from the Ecole Polytechnique, and two years later he enlisted in the Corps of Telegraph Engineers. He would spend his entire career working for the public telegraph service before retiring in 1914, just before the start of the First World War.

Thevenin was a French telegraph engineer who worked on Ohm’s law and extended it to the analysis of complicated electrical networks.

Every introductory textbook on electrical circuits contains his theory, which he first published in 1883 and which was based on his research into Kirchhoff’s Laws.

What is the formula of Thevenin Theorem?

Thevenin voltage/ open circuit voltage/ a-b voltage (VTh=Voc=Vab) Thevenin equivalent resistance (RTh).

The load may be just a resistor or even another circuit. This Thevenin equivalent circuit is our main focus to analyze electric circuits. If the load is replaced by any component, the Thevenin equivalent circuit will remain as it is.

After replacing the load with its Thevenin equivalent resistance, you can do the basic voltage and current calculations as stated using Kirchhoff’s laws or Ohm’s laws.


According to Thevenin’s Theorem:

A linear two terminal circuit can be simplified into a circuit that consists only of a voltage source VTH, connected series with an equivalent resistance Rth between the two observed terminals.

Where is Thevenin’s Theorem used?

Thevenin’s theorem is used in the analysis of power systems. Thevenin’s theorem does not apply to AC circuits consisting of linear elements like resistors, inductors, and capacitors.

Contributions of Leon Charles Thevenin

1882 – Thevenin became the teacher of aspiring young inspectors of engineering department in Ecole Superieure. At this time he became interested on studying Georg Simon Ohms “Ohm’s Laws” and Kirchhoff’s circuit laws

1883- Thevenin published 3 separate scientific journals entitled “Extension of Ohm’s Law to complex electrical circuits”

1885 – Thevenin thought a course in industrial tools and later move to industrial electrical Engineering courses

1889 – Thevenin’s Circuit laws became popular for those who are doing practical applications of the theory

1891 – Thevenin became a teacher of mechanics in the Institute National Agronomique

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