Monthly Archives: March 2016

Luna 10 – the First Artificial Satellite of the Moon

Luna 10 – the First Artificial Satellite of the Moon

On March 31, 1966, Soviet Luna program, robotic spacecraft mission was launched. Luna 10 was the first artificial satellite of the Moon. In 1959 the Soviet Union started its lunar exploration program with Luna 1 and continued the program until 1976 with Luna 24. The Luna programme consisted of a series of robotic spacecraft missions sent to the Moon by the Soviet Union. The probes further performed several experiments, studying…
Stefan Banach and Modern Function Analysis

Stefan Banach and Modern Function Analysis

On March 30, 1892, Polish mathematician Stefan Banach was born. One of the founders of modern functional analysis, he is generally considered one of the world’s most important and influential 20th-century mathematicians. Some of the notable mathematical concepts that bear Banach‘s name include Banach spaces, Banach algebras, the Banach–Tarski paradox, the Hahn–Banach theorem, the Banach–Steinhaus theorem, the Banach-Mazur game, the Banach–Alaoglu theorem, and the Banach fixed-point theorem. Stefan Banach was…
Charles Elton – English Ecologist

Charles Elton – English Ecologist

On March 29, 1900, English zoologist and animal ecologist Charles Sutherland Elton was born. Elton’s name is associated with the establishment of modern population and community ecology, including studies of invasive organisms. In 1927, Elton published his now classic book Animal Ecology, in which he took up the concept of food chains that had been originally introduced by the African-Arab scientist and philosopher Al-Jahiz in the 9th century. Charles Elton…
Nicolas de Condorcet and the Condorcet method

Nicolas de Condorcet and the Condorcet method

On March 28, 1794, French philosopher, mathematician, and early political scientist Nicolas de Condorcet died a mysterious death in prison after a period of flight from French Revolutionary authorities. He is probably best known for the Condorcet method, which in voting tally selects the candidate who would beat each of the other candidates in a run-off election. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he advocated a liberal economy, free and equal public…
The Windsurfer Sailboard

The Windsurfer Sailboard

On March 27, 1968, Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake filed a patent application for a “Wind-Propelled Apparatus”, the first U.S. patent for the Windsurfer sailboard: a surf-board with a sail on a mast articulated by a universal joint to the board. The rider can thus hold the boom and adjust the angle of the sail to control acceleration, turning and tacking, without need of a rudder or steering mechanism. Windsurfing,…
Ernst Engel and Engel’s Law

Ernst Engel and Engel’s Law

On March 26, 1821, German statistician Ernst Engel was born. Engel was head of the Prussian Statistical Bureau (1860-82) and is best known for the “Engel curve,” or Engel’s law, which states that the proportion of expenditure on food will fall as income rises, i.e. food is a necessary good. Ernst Engel studied at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, in Saxony, and on completing his curriculum traveled in…
Guillaume Postel – French Linguist and Religious Universalist

Guillaume Postel – French Linguist and Religious Universalist

On March 25, 1510, French linguist, astronomer, Cabbalist, diplomat, professor, and religious universalist Guillaume Postel was born. “Ibn Sina says more in one or two pages than does Galen in five or six large volumes” Guillaume Postel Postel was adept at Arabic, Hebrew, and Syriac and other Semitic languages, as well as the Classical languages of Ancient Greek and Latin and studied at the Collège Sainte-Barbe in Paris. Besides he…
Sidney W. Fox and the Origins of Life

Sidney W. Fox and the Origins of Life

On March 24, 1912, American biochemist Sidney W. Fox was born. In search for the origins of life, Fox explored the synthesis of amino acids from inorganic molecules, the synthesis of proteinous amino acids and amino acid polymers called “proteinoids” from inorganic molecules and thermal energy, and created what he thought was the world’s first protocell out of proteinoids and water. Sidney Fox attended the University of California and earned…
John Randall and the Cavity Magnetron

John Randall and the Cavity Magnetron

On March 23, 1905, British physicist and biophysicist Sir John Randall was born. Randall is credited with radical improvement of the cavity magnetron, an essential component of centimetric wavelength radar, which was one of the keys to the Allied victory in the Second World War. It is also the key component of microwave ovens. He also led the King’s College, London team which worked on the structure of DNA. John…
Valeri Polyakov and the Longest Single Space Flight

Valeri Polyakov and the Longest Single Space Flight

On March 22, 1995, Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov returned to earth after a 437 days space flight, setting a record for the longest single spaceflight in human history so far, staying aboard the Mir space station. Polyakov did not suffer from any prolonged performance impairments after returning to Earth. In light of these findings, researchers concluded that a stable mood and overall function could be maintained during extended duration spaceflights,…
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