Monthly Archives: December 2014

Annie Jump Cannon and the Catalogue of Stars

Annie Jump Cannon and the Catalogue of Stars

On December 11, 1863, American astronomer Annie Jump Cannon was born. Her cataloging work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification. With Edward C. Pickering, she is credited with the creation of the Harvard Classification Scheme, which was the first serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures. Annie Jump Cannon was born on December 11, 1863, in Dover, Delaware, as the eldest of three…
Carl Jacobi and the Elliptic Functions

Carl Jacobi and the Elliptic Functions

On December 10, 1804, German mathematician Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi was born. He made fundamental contributions to elliptic functions, dynamics, differential equations, and number theory.   Carl Jacobi was the son of a banker and grew up in a rather wealthy family. His brother, Moritz Jacobi became a famous physicist. Carl received his early education from his mother and entered the Gymnasium in Potsdam at about 12 years. However, his previous…
The Most Accurate Instruments of Gemma Frisius

The Most Accurate Instruments of Gemma Frisius

On December 9, 1508, physician, mathematician, cartographer, philosopher, and instrument maker Gemma Frisius was born. He created important globes, improved the mathematical instruments of his day and applied mathematics in new ways to surveying and navigation. Reinerus Gemma was born in Dokkum, Friesland, a coastal province in northern Netherlands, of poor parents who died when he was young. He only adopted the name Frisius when he later became a scholar…
Jan Ingenhousz and Photosynthesis

Jan Ingenhousz and Photosynthesis

On December 8, 1730, Dutch physiologist, biologist and chemist Jan Ingenhousz was born. He is best known for showing that light is essential to photosynthesis and thus became one of the scientists who significantly contributed to the discovery of photosynthesis. He also discovered that plants, like animals, have cellular respiration. Jan Ingenhousz was born in Breda. He started his studies of medicine at the University of Leuven when he was 16…
God made the integers, all the rest is the work of man – Leopold Kronecker

God made the integers, all the rest is the work of man – Leopold Kronecker

On December 7, 1823, German mathematician Leopold Kronecker was born, who worked on number theory and algebra. He criticized Cantor’s work on set theory, and his most cited quote says, “Die ganzen Zahlen hat der liebe Gott gemacht, alles andere ist Menschenwerk” (traditionally rendered: “God made natural numbers; all else is the work of man“.) Leopold Kronecker was born in Liegnitz, Prussia (now Legnica, Poland) in a wealthy Jewish family to Isidor…
Nicolas Leblanc and the Leblanc Process

Nicolas Leblanc and the Leblanc Process

On December 6, 1742, French chemist and surgeon Nicolas Leblanc was born, who discovered how to manufacture soda from common salt. The eponymous Leblanc process became one of the most important industrial processes of the 19th century. Due to his early death of his father, Nicolas Leblanc grew up with Dr. Bien, who was a close friend to the family and inspired the young boy to increase his interest in…
Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz – Educator and Naturalist

Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz – Educator and Naturalist

On December 5, 1822, American educator and naturalist Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz was born. A researcher of natural history, she was a contributing author to many scientific published works with her husband, Louis Agassiz. Elisabeth Cabot Agassiz received no formal education but it is assumed that she was taught at home and studied languages as well as drawing, music, and reading. She started socializing with intellectuals after her sister got married…
Karen Horney’s Struggle with Neurosis

Karen Horney’s Struggle with Neurosis

On December 4, 1952, German Neo-Freudian psychoanalyst Karen Horney passed away. Her theories questioned some traditional Freudian views. This was particularly true of her theories of sexuality and of the instinct orientation of psychoanalysis. She is credited with founding feminist psychology in response to Freud’s theory of penis envy. She disagreed with Freud about inherent differences in the psychology of men and women, and she traced such differences to society…
Ellen Swallow Richards and Home Economics

Ellen Swallow Richards and Home Economics

On December 3, 1842, American chemist Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards was born. She was the foremost female industrial and environmental chemist in the United States during the 19th century. Her pioneering work in sanitary engineering and experimental research in domestic science widened professional opportunities for women in the sciences and laid a foundation for the new science of home economics. Richard was educated at home, since both of her parents…
Peter Carl Goldmark and the Color Television

Peter Carl Goldmark and the Color Television

On December 2, 1906, German-Hungarian engineer Peter Carl Goldmark was born. While working for Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), he developed the first commercial color television system (1936), which used a rotating three-color disk Goldmark also also developed the 33-1/3 LP phonograph that greatly increased the playing time of records, which revolutionized the recording industry. Peter Carl Goldmark wqs born in Budapest, Hungary, and little is known about his early years.…
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