Monthly Archives: March 2015

The watches of Daniel Quare

The watches of Daniel Quare

On March 21, 1724, English clockmaker and instrument maker Daniel Quare passed away. He is best known for his invention of a repeating watch movement in 1680 and a portable barometer in 1695.   Daniel Quare was probably born in 1648, but the sources differ. He was admitted a brother of the Clockmakers’ Company in April 1671. When Quare started his career, the pendulum was a novelty just as much…
B.F. Skinner and Radical Behaviorism

B.F. Skinner and Radical Behaviorism

On March 20, 1904, American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher Burrhus Frederic (B. F.) Skinner was born. His pioneering work in experimental psychology promoted behaviorism, shaping behavior through positive and negative reinforcement and demonstrated operant conditioning. The “Skinner box” he used in experiments from 1930 remains famous. Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born March 20, 1904. Skinner grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania as the son of a lawyer. Skinner…
The Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

On March 19, 1932, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened, which connects the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world, and it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m from top to water level. The first proposals to building a bridge from the northern to the southern shore of the harbour were made in 1815 by Francis Greenway.…
The Life and Work of Philippe de La Hire

The Life and Work of Philippe de La Hire

On March 18, 1640, French mathematician, astronomer, and key figure in the Académie royale des sciences Philippe de La Hire was born. Philippe de La Hire was educated as an artist and became skilled in drawing and painting early. It is believed that de La Hire received no formal education in an official school even though his father was probably teaching him at home. At the age of 16, Philippe was fully…
Vanguard 1 – the first Solar Powered Satellite

Vanguard 1 – the first Solar Powered Satellite

On March 17, 1958, Vanguard 1, the fourth artificial Earth orbital satellite was launched, which was the first solar-powered satellite. Although communication with it was lost in 1964, it remains the oldest manmade satellite still in orbit. It was designed to test the launch capabilities of a three-stage launch vehicle as a part of Project Vanguard, and the effects of the environment on a satellite and its systems in Earth…
Frederick Reines and the Neutrino

Frederick Reines and the Neutrino

On March 16, 1918, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Frederick Reines was born. He is best known for his co-detection of the neutrino with Clyde Cowan in the neutrino experiment. The neutrino is a subatomic particle, a tiny lepton with little or no mass and a neutral charge which had been postulated by Wolfgang Pauli in the early 1930s but had previously remained undiscovered. Reines shared the Nobel Prize with…
John Snow and His Work on Cholera

John Snow and His Work on Cholera

On March 15, 1813, English physician and a leader in the adoption of anaesthesia and medical hygiene John Snow was born. He is considered one of the fathers of modern epidemiology, in part because of his work in tracing the source of a cholera outbreak in Soho, London, in 1854. John Snow studied in York until the age of 14, when he was apprenticed to William Hardcastle, a surgeon in Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1831,…
Paul Ehrlich and the Chemotherapy

Paul Ehrlich and the Chemotherapy

On March 14, 1854, German Jewish physician Paul Ehrlich was born. Ehrlich made significant contributions in the fields of hematology, immunology, and chemotherapy. He invented the precursor technique to Gram staining bacteria. The methods he developed for staining tissue made it possible to distinguish between different type of blood cells, which led to the capability to diagnose numerous blood diseases. Paul Ehrlich became fascinated by the process of staining microscopic…
Joseph Priestley – The Educator and Historian

Joseph Priestley – The Educator and Historian

On March 13, 1733 (March 24 according to the new Gregorian calendar), English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher and chemist Joseph Priestley was born. He is usually credited with the discovery of oxygen, having isolated it in its gaseous state, although Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Antoine Lavoisier also have a claim to the discovery. A scholar and teacher throughout his life, Priestley also made significant contributions to pedagogy, including the…
Vladimir Vernadsky and the Biosphere

Vladimir Vernadsky and the Biosphere

On March 12 (February 28 according to the old calendar), 1863, Ukrainian and Soviet mineralogist and geochemist Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky was born. He is considered one of the founders of geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and of radiogeology. He is most noted for his 1926 book “The Biosphere” in which he popularized the hypothesis that life is the geological force that shapes the Earth. Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky was born on March 12, 1863…
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