Monthly Archives: March 2015

Richard E. Byrd, Jr. – Aviator and Polar Explorer

Richard E. Byrd, Jr. – Aviator and Polar Explorer

On March 11, 1957, US-American explorer and aviator Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. passed away. He claimed to be the first man to fly over both of the Earth’s poles. Richard Evelyn Byrd was born in 1888 and entered the United States Navy Academy at the age of 20. It is assumed that his passion for aviation evolved during World War I when he learned how to fly. Soon, Byrd became a flight instructor…
Jeremias Richter and the Law of Definite Proportions

Jeremias Richter and the Law of Definite Proportions

  On March 10, 1762, German chemist Jeremias Benjamin Richter was born. He discovered the law of definite proportions and is best known for introducing the term stoichiometry, i.e. the calculation of relative quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions. Jeremias Benjamin Richter was born at Hirschberg in Silesia, today’s Jelenia Góra in Western Poland. He graduated from the Hirschberg Gymnasium, and in 1778 joined the engineering corps of…
Howard H. Aiken and the Harvard Mark I

Howard H. Aiken and the Harvard Mark I

On March 9, 1900, computer pioneer Howard Hathaway Aiken was born. He was the original conceptual designer behind IBM’s Harvard Mark I computer, forerunner of the modern electronic digital computer. Howard H. Aiken studied at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He earned his PhD in physics at Harvard University in 1939. During his studies, Aiken is supposed to have encountered differential equations only to be solved numerically. It is assumed…
John Fothergill – Physician and Gardener

John Fothergill – Physician and Gardener

On March 8, 1712, English physician, plant collector, philanthropist and Quaker John Fothergill was born. He was first to describe coronary arteriosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the arterial wall, with a loss of elasticity and reduced blood flow) associated with angina pectoris. John Fothergill was born at Carr End, near Bainbridge in Yorkshire, the son of John Fothergill, a Quaker preacher and farmer. John went to school at Frodsham and…
Henry Draper and his Passion for Astronomy

Henry Draper and his Passion for Astronomy

On March 7, 1837, American doctor and amateur astronomer Henry Draper was born. He is best known today as a pioneer of astrophotography. After his death, the Henry Draper Catalog of stellar spectra as well the Henry Draper medal is named after him. Henry Draper was the son of John William Draper, a doctor, chemist, and professor at New York University. He was known for his interest in the chemical…
The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

On March 6, 1665, the very first issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society was published. The journal published by the Royal Society was the first journal in the world exclusively devoted to science. Moreover, it is also the world’s longest-running scientific journal. Already in 1660, at Gresham College, London, UK, 12 men, including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray decide to found what…
William Oughtred and the Slide Rule

William Oughtred and the Slide Rule

On March 5, 1574, English mathematician and Anglican minister William Oughtred was born. After John Napier invented logarithms, and Edmund Gunter created the logarithmic scales (lines, or rules) upon which slide rules are based, it was Oughtred who first used two such scales sliding by one another to perform direct multiplication and division; and he is credited as the inventor of the slide rule in 1622. William Oughtred attended the presticous Eton School…
George Gamow and his fundamental Views on the Foundations of Science

George Gamow and his fundamental Views on the Foundations of Science

On March 4, 1904, theoretical physicist and cosmologist George Gamow was born. He was an early advocate and developer of George Lemaître’s Big Bang theory. Besides his contributions to physics, in his middle and late career, Gamow focused more on teaching, and became well known as an author of popular books on science, which are still in print more than 50 years after their publication. Gamow was born in Odessa,…
John Murray and the Oceanography

John Murray and the Oceanography

On March 3, 1841, pioneering Scottish oceanographer, marine biologist and limnologist Sir John Murray was born. As one of its founders, coined the name oceanography. He studied ocean basins, deep-sea deposits, and coral-reef formation. As a marine scientist, he took part in the Challenger Expedition (1872–76), the first major oceanographic expedition of the world. John Murray was born in Coburg, Ontario as the son of a Scottish emigrant. He left Canada…
Walter Bruch and the PAL Color Television System

Walter Bruch and the PAL Color Television System

On March 2, 1908, German electrical engineer and pioneer of German Television Walter Bruch was born. From the early 1930s Bruch was involved in the development of television technology. He is best known for the invention of the PAL color television system at Telefunken in the early 1960s. Walter Bruch was born in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, German Empire. At his father’s request he attended a business school, but then trained as…
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