Monthly Archives: March 2014

William Lawrence Bragg and X-Ray Chrystallography

William Lawrence Bragg and X-Ray Chrystallography

William Lawrence Bragg (1890 – 1971)Image Author: Nobel Foundation On March 31, 1890, British physicist and X-ray crystallographer William Lawrence Bragg was born. He discovered the Bragg law of X-ray diffraction, which is basic for the determination of crystal structure and was joint winner (with his father, Sir William Bragg) of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915. William Lawrence Bragg was the son of a Mathematics and Physics Professor,…
Crawford Long and the Diethyl Ether Anesthesia

Crawford Long and the Diethyl Ether Anesthesia

Crawford Long (1815-1878) On March 30, 1842, American surgeon and pharmacist Crawford Williamson Long for the very first time used inhaled diethyl ether as an anesthetic for surgery. Can you imagine a surgery without anesthetic? Standing the pain while a surgeon is cutting something somewhere in your body? I think better not to. But, anesthetics already have a long tradition, longer than you might think. Already since antiquity, a variety…
Friedrich Accum and the Popularization of Chemistry

Friedrich Accum and the Popularization of Chemistry

Friedrich Christian Accum (1769-1838) On March 29, 1769, German chemist Friedrich Christian Accum was born. Accum’s most important achievements included advances in the field of gas lighting, efforts to keep processed foods free from dangerous additives, and the promotion of interest in the science of chemistry to the general populace. Accum was born in Bückeburg, Schaumburg-Lippe (near Hannover), where his father was in the service of Count Wilhelm von Schaumburg-Lippe.…
The Three Mile Island Accident

The Three Mile Island Accident

A clean-up crew working to remove radioactivecontamination at Three Mile Island. On March 28, 1979, a partial nuclear meltdown occurred in one of the two Three Mile Island nuclear reactors in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The so-called Three Mile Island Accident was the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history. Three Mile Island has got its name because it is located three miles downriver from Middletown, Pennsylvania. The plant…
Baron Haussmann’s Renovation of Paris

Baron Haussmann’s Renovation of Paris

Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann (1809-1891) On March 27, 1809, French politician and city planer Georges-Eugène Haussmann, commonly known as Baron Haussmann, was born. He was the Prefect of the Seine Department in France, who was chosen by the Emperor Napoleon III to carry out a massive program of new boulevards, parks and public works in Paris, commonly called Haussmann’s renovation of Paris. In the middle of the 19th century, the center…
George Smith and the Epic of Gilgamesh

George Smith and the Epic of Gilgamesh

George Smith (1840-1876) from an engravingin The Illustrated London News, 1875 On March 26, 1840, English Assyriologist George Smith was born. Besides his pioneering work in Assyriology, he first discovered and translated the Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest-known written work of literature. Moreover, its description of a flood, strikingly similar to the account in Genesis, had a stunning effect on Smith’s generation. If you like books and stories, you should…
General Thomas Alexandre Dumas – Napoleon’s ‘Black Devil’

General Thomas Alexandre Dumas – Napoleon’s ‘Black Devil’

Thomas-Alexandre Dumas (1762-1806) On March 25, 1762, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was born. Dumas was the Father of the famous French author Alexandre Dumas and the first black General in the French army. The story of his life should become the blueprint for his son’s most famous novels ‘The Count of Monte Christo‘ and ‘The Three Musketeers‘. For sure you know Alexandre Dumas, the famous author of the adventure stories around the…
Joseph Sauveur and the Science of Acoustics

Joseph Sauveur and the Science of Acoustics

Baroque Musical Instruments by Breughel,unfortunately there is no portrait of Joseph Sauveur On March 24, 1653, French mathematician and physicist Joseph Sauveur was born. Sauveur is known principally for his detailed studies on acoustics, a term he also has coined for the first time. Joseph Sauveur was the son of a provincial notaryin La Fléche, France. Despite a hearing and speech impairment that kept him totally mute until he was…
The Deorbit of Russian Space Station MIR

The Deorbit of Russian Space Station MIR

Space Station MIR – shortly before deorbit On March 23, 2001, Soviet space station MIR after more than 10 years of operation reentered Earth’s atmosphere and crashed down in the Southern Pacific. MIR held the record for the largest artificial satellite orbiting the Earth until that record was surpassed by the International Space Station. Mir was the first modular space station and was assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996.…
Rudy Rucker – Infinity and the Mind

Rudy Rucker – Infinity and the Mind

Rudy Rucker, Fall 2004, photo by Georgia Rucker On March 22, 1946, American mathematician, computer scientist, science fiction author, and philosopher Rudolph von Bitter Rucker, better known as Rudy Rucker, was born. He is also one of the founders of the cyberpunk literary movement. Rucker was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where his father Embry Cobb Rucker, Sr., a descended from Flemish Huguenots, ran a small furniture-manufacturing company. Later…
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