Monthly Archives: November 2012

Benoît Mandelbrot and the Beauty of Mathematics

Benoît Mandelbrot and the Beauty of Mathematics

The Mandelbrot set, named after mathematician Benoite B. Mandelbrot,  has become an iconic figure. On November 20, 1924, French American mathematician Benoît B. Mandelbrot was born. Mandelbrot worked on a wide range of mathematical problems, including mathematical physics and quantitative finance, but is best known as the popularizer of fractal geometry. He was the one who coined the term ‘fractal’ and described the Mandelbrot set named after him. So, who…
Humphry Davy and the Electrolysis

Humphry Davy and the Electrolysis

Sir Humphry Davy (1778 – 1829)Painting by Thomas Phillips On November 19, 1807, British chemist and inventor Humphry Davy reported to the Royal Society about the isolation of potassium and sodium from different salts by electrolysis. Davy was one of the pioneers in the field of electrolysis using the newly invented voltaic pile to split up common compounds and thus prepare many new elements. Humphry Davy was born in 1778…
The Brothers Grimm and the Göttingen Seven

The Brothers Grimm and the Göttingen Seven

The Göttingen Seven. Top row: Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm.Middle Row:Wilhelm Eduard Albrecht, Friedrich Christoph Dahlmann,Georg Gottfried Gervinus.  Bottom Row:Wilhelm Eduard Weber,Heinrich Georg August Ewald. On November 18, 1837, a group of 7 university professors from the University of Göttingen protested against the abolition or alteration of the constitution of the Kingdom of Hanover by Ernest Augustus and refused to swear an oath to the new king of Hanover. The Göttingen Seven…
Doug Engelbart and the Computer Mouse

Doug Engelbart and the Computer Mouse

First Computer Mouse Prototype © SRI International On November 17, 1962, Douglas C. Engelbart has been granted a patent on the world’s first computer mouse. Using the computer mouse has become as usual as eating with knife and fork these days. But this has not always been the case, since the first computers had no graphical interface and every command had to be typed in with a keyboard, which made…
Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert  and the Great Encyclopedy

Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert and the Great Encyclopedy

Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert (1717 – 1783) On November 16, 1717, French mathematician, mechanician, physicist, philosopher, and music theorist Jean Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert was born. He was co-editor with Denis Diderot of the famous Encyclopédie, edited between 1751 and 1772. D’Alembert was born in Paris and entered the famous ‘Colége Mazarin’ at the age of 12, where he studied law, as well as philosophy and arts. His educators noticed…
Intel 4004 – The World’s First Microprocessor

Intel 4004 – The World’s First Microprocessor

The Intel C4004, the very first commercially available microprocessor On November 15, 1971, Intel presented the Intel 4004 microprocessor, the world’s very first commercially available 4-bit central processing unit (CPU). It was the first complete CPU on one chip. By the time, this revolutionary microprocessor, the size of a little fingernail, delivered the same computing power as the first electronic computer built in 1946, which filled an entire room. Back…
Charles Lyell and the Principles of Geology

Charles Lyell and the Principles of Geology

Charles Lyell (1797 – 1875) On November 14, 1797, Charles Lyell, British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day, was born. Lyell was a close friend to Charles Darwin and is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton’s concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by the same processes still in operation today. Politically, in the first decade of…
The Publication of the First Web Page

The Publication of the First Web Page

The very first web pages (1990) in the very first browser On November 13, 1990, one day after Tim Berners-Lee’s and Robert Cailliau’s publication of the concept of a world wide hypertext system [2], the first web page was published. Today, living without the World Wide Web, or simply the Web, has become almost impossible. Our daily live depends on news spread over the web and ecommerce hase become a…
Auguste Rodin – Progenitor of Modern Sculpture

Auguste Rodin – Progenitor of Modern Sculpture

Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917) Photo by Félix Nadar On November 12, 1840, Auguste Rodin, French sculptor and draughtsman, was born. He is widely considered to be the progenitor of modern sculpture. Rodin was born in times of riots and revolutions that spread through Europe. France was hit by this wave of change in particular during the ‘February Revolution‘ in 1848 which resulted in the creation of the French Second…
Paracelsus – a Typical Renaissance Scientist

Paracelsus – a Typical Renaissance Scientist

Paracelsus (1493-1541) On November 11, 1493, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, aka Paracelsus, the famous Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist was born. Theophrastus Phillippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim was born in Switzerland in times of upheaval. Columbus had just arrived the New World with the Santa Maria, Nikolaus Copernicus was (a few years later) about to cause a an uproar with his heliocentric theory and Martin…
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