Monthly Archives: September 2014

James Dewar and the Liquefaction of Gases

James Dewar and the Liquefaction of Gases

Sir James Dewar (1842-1923) On September 1842, Scottish chemist and physicist Sir James Dewar was born. He is probably best-known today for his invention of the Dewar flask, which he used in conjunction with extensive research into the liquefaction of gases. James Dewar was born in Kincardine, Fife, Scotland, in 1842, the youngest of six boys. He lost his parents at the age of 15. He was educated at Dollar…
How Ötzi became World Famous

How Ötzi became World Famous

Stereolithografic Model of Ötzi Image: Flominator On September 19, 1991, two German tourist found a corpse on the east ridge of the Fineilspitze in the Ötztal Alps on the Austrian–Italian border. The corpse turned out to be a well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BCE, which has become famous under the name “Ötzi“. On 19 September 1991, Ötzi was found by two German tourists in the…
Legendre’s Elements of Geometry

Legendre’s Elements of Geometry

1820 watercolor portrait of French mathematicians Adrien-Marie Legendre and Joseph Fourier On September 18, 1752, French mathematician Adrien-Marie Legendre was born. He is best known for his contributions in number theory, celestial mechanics and elliptic functions. It was in a paper on celestial mechanics concerning the motion of planets (1784) that he first introduced the Legendre Polynomials. Moreover, he served as director of the of the Bureau des Longitudes, standardizing…
John Goodricke and the Variable Star of Beta Persei

John Goodricke and the Variable Star of Beta Persei

(1764 – 1786) Source: Sky and Telescope (November, 1978) On September 17, 1764, English amateur astronomer John Goodricke was born. He is best known for his observations of the variable star Algol (Beta Persei) in 1782. He was also first to correctly propose that the distant sun is periodically occulted by a dark body. Not much is known about John Goodricke. Clear is only that the astronomer was deaf and…
Squire Whipple – The Father of the Iron Bridge

Squire Whipple – The Father of the Iron Bridge

On September 16, 1804, US-American civil engineer Squire Whipple was born. He who provided the first scientifically based rules for bridge construction and has become known as the father of iron bridge building in America. The civil engineer was born in Hardwick, Massachusetts in 1804 the son of a farmer. He was exposed to construction sites and materials from early age, since his father designed, built and ran a cotton-spinning…
The psychologist must study mankind from the historical or comparative standpoint – Moritz Lazarus

The psychologist must study mankind from the historical or comparative standpoint – Moritz Lazarus

Moritz Lazarus and Nahilda Lazarus-Remy ca.1895 On September 15, 1824, German philosopher and psychologist Moritz Lazarus was born. He held that humanity must be studied from the historical, comparative viewpoint, analyzing the elements that constitute the fabric of society, with its customs, its conventions, and the main tendencies of its evolution. He was Jewish and a leading opponent of anti-Semitism in his time. Moritz Lazarus received a Jewish education, taking…
William Budd and the Infectious Diseases

William Budd and the Infectious Diseases

William Budd(1811 –  1880) On September 14, 1811, English physician and epidemiologist William Budd was born. He is best known known for his discovery that infectious diseases were contagious. Budd was born in North Tawton, Devon. Already his father was a surgeon and also six of the ten children in the family became doctors. Three graduated in Edinburgh and three in Cambridge. William Budd attended the École de Médecine in…
El Escorial – The World’s largest Renaissance Building

El Escorial – The World’s largest Renaissance Building

A distant view of the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Image by Ecemaml On September 13, 1584, the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometers northwest of the Spanish capital, Madrid, is finished. El Escorial is the world largest Renaissance building. Philip II of Spain appointed the Spanish architect, Juan Bautista de Toledo, to be his collaborator in the design of El Escorial.…
The First Spacecraft to Land on the Moon – Luna 2

The First Spacecraft to Land on the Moon – Luna 2

Luna 2 On September 12, 1959, Soviet spaceprobe Luna 2 was launched. It was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon and was also the first man-made object to land on another celestial body. On September 14, 1959 it successfully impacted with the lunar surface east of Mare Imbrium near the craters Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus. Actually, already Lunar 1 was intended as an impactor and was…
Harvey Fletcher – the Father of Stereophonic Sound

Harvey Fletcher – the Father of Stereophonic Sound

Setup for the oil drop experiment. On September 11, 1884, US-american physicist Harvey Fletcher was born. Considered as the “father of stereophonic sound” he is credited with the invention of hearing aids and is well known for his contributions in acoustics, electrical engineering, speech, medicine, music, atomic physics, sound pictures, and education. Harvey Fletcher was raised in Utah in a religious community. He received his early education at he Brigham…
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