Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sir Bernard Lovell and the Radioastronomy

Sir Bernard Lovell and the Radioastronomy

Sir Bernard Lovell (1913-2012) On August 31, 1913, English physicist and radio astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell was born. He was a pioneer in radar and radio telescopes and especially renowned for creating the Jodrell Bank radio telescope, the only antenna that could track rockets in space in the early years of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Born at Oldland Common, Bristol in 1913, as the…
Fred Whipple and the Dirty Snowballs

Fred Whipple and the Dirty Snowballs

Fred Whipple (1906-2004) On August 30, 2004, American astronomer Fred Lawrence Whipple passed away. Amongst his achievements, he discovered some asteroids and comets, came up with the “dirty snowball” cometary hypothesis, and designed the Whipple shield. Fred Whipple was born on November 5, 1906, in Red Oak, Iowa, as the son of a farmer. An early bout with polio ended his ambition of being a professional tennis player. Whipple studied at…
Werner Forssmann and the dangerous Self Experiment in Cardiac Catheterization

Werner Forssmann and the dangerous Self Experiment in Cardiac Catheterization

Werner Forssmann (1904 – 1979) On August 29, 1904, German surgeon and Nobel Laureate Werner Forssmann was born. He is best known for the development of cardiac catheterization, which was developed by him in a dangerous self experiment. Werner Forssmann was born in Berlin and grew up with his mother, grandmother, and his uncle who was a physician. Forssmann was admitted to the School of Medicine at Friedrich-Wilhelms University where he…
Antoine Cournot and the Mathematical Theory of Economics

Antoine Cournot and the Mathematical Theory of Economics

Antoine Cournot (1801 – 1877) On August 28, 1801, French philosopher and mathematician Antoine-Augustin Cournot was born. He is considered being the first economist who applied mathematics to the treatment of economic questions. In 1838, he published Recherches sur les principes mathématiques de la théorie des richesses (Researches into the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth) which was a treatment of mathematical economics. Antoine Cournot was born in Gray,…
Man Ray and the Art of Photograms

Man Ray and the Art of Photograms

Portrait of Man Ray and Salvador Dali, Paris by Carl Van Vechten On August 27, 1890, American modernist artist and photographer Emmanuel Radnitzky was born, better known as Man Ray. A significant contributor to the Dadaist and Surrealist movement, Man Ray produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for his photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait…
Lee De Forest and the Audion

Lee De Forest and the Audion

Lee De Forest with two of his tubes On August 26, 1873, American inventor Lee de Forest was born. He is credited more than 180 patents. In 1906, de Forest invented the Audion, the first triode vacuum tube and the first electrical device which could amplify a weak electrical signal and make it stronger, making radio broadcasting, television, and long-distance telephone service possible, among many other applications. Lee De Forest knew that…
Elizabeth Montagu and the Bluestocking Society

Elizabeth Montagu and the Bluestocking Society

Montagu (seated middle) in company of other “Bluestockings” (1778) On August 25, 1800, British social reformer, patron of the arts, salonist, literary critic, and writer Elizabeth Montagu passed away. She was one of the wealthiest women of her era and one of the founders of the Bluestocking Society, an informal women’s social and educational movement in England in the mid-18th century. Elizabeth Robinson grew up in a quite influential and…
Pliny the Elder and the Destruction of Pompeii

Pliny the Elder and the Destruction of Pompeii

John Martin’s Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum (1821) On August 25, 79 AD, Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher Pliny the Elder died, while attempting the rescue by ship of a friend and his family from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that had just destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Unfortunately, there don’t exist contemporary pictures or portaits of Pliny the Elder. Thus, I decided to show you an also…
E.F. Codd and the Relational Database Model

E.F. Codd and the Relational Database Model

On August 23, 1923, English computer scientist Edgar Frank “Ted” Codd was born. His main achievement besides many contributions to computer science was the invention of the relational model for database management, the theoretical basis for relational databases. When you talk about databases today, usually you are referring to relational databases that store their data within tables, interconnected via so-called keys. Of course there are also modern alternatives such as…
Paul Nipkow and the Picture Scanning Technology

Paul Nipkow and the Picture Scanning Technology

Paul Nipkow (1860–1940) On August 22, 1860, German engineer Paul Gottlieb Nipkow was born. He is best known for having conceived the idea of using a spiral-perforated disk (the Nipkow disk), to divide a picture into a matrix of points, and became an early television pioneer. Nipkow was born on August 22, 1860, in Lauenburg (Lębork) in Pomerania, now in Poland. Inspired by the work of Guglielmo Marconi, Nipkow began…
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