Monthly Archives: April 2016

Philippe Pinel – the Father of modern Psychiatry

Philippe Pinel – the Father of modern Psychiatry

On April 20, 1745, French physician Philippe Pinel was born. He was instrumental in the development of a more humane psychological approach to the custody and care of psychiatric patients, referred to today as moral therapy. He also made notable contributions to the classification of mental disorders and has been described by some as “the father of modern psychiatry“. Philippe Pinel was received his degree from the faculty of medicine in Toulouse…
Pierre Curie and the Radioactivity

Pierre Curie and the Radioactivity

On 19 April 1906, French physicist and Nobel laureate Pierre Curie passed away. A pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity, he co-jointly received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 with his wife, Marie Skłodowska-Curie, and Henri Becquerel, “in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel“. Pierre Curie was born in Paris in 15 May…
John Graunt and the Science of Demography

John Graunt and the Science of Demography

On April 18, 1674, English herberdasher and statistician John Graunt passed away. Graunt is considered by many historians to have founded the science of demography as the statistical study of human populations. For his published analysis of the parish records of christenings and deaths, he was made a charter member of the Royal Society. John Graunt was born on April 24, 1620, in London, the eldest of seven or eight children of…
Sir Leonard Woolley and the Excavations in Ur

Sir Leonard Woolley and the Excavations in Ur

On April 17, 1880, British archaeologist Sir Charles Leonard Woolley was born. Woolley was best known for his excavations at Ur in Mesopotamia. He is considered to have been one of the first “modern” archaeologists, and was knighted in 1935 for his contributions to the discipline of archaeology. Leonard Woolley was educated at St John’s School, Leatherhead and New College, Oxford. He became assistant of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford in 1905. He later…
Ernest Solvay and his Love for Physics

Ernest Solvay and his Love for Physics

  On April 16, 1838, Belgian chemist, industrialist and philanthropist Ernest Gaston Joseph Solvay was born. Solvay invented the Solvay Process (1863), a commercially viable ammonia-soda process for producing soda ash (sodium carbonate), widely used in the manufacture of such products as glass and soap. In 1911, he began a series of important conferences in physics, known as the Solvay Conferences, whose participants included luminaries such as Max Planck, Ernest Rutherford,…
Max Wertheimer and Gestalt Psychology

Max Wertheimer and Gestalt Psychology

On April 15, 1880, Austro-Hungarian-born psychologist Max Wertheimer was born. Wertheimer was one of the three founders of Gestalt psychology, along with Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Köhler. He is known for his book, Productive Thinking, and for conceiving the phi phenomenon as part of his work in Gestalt psychology. Max Wertheimer was the son of a successful educator and financier. His household was known to be intellectual and Max was first…
Sir Victor Horsley – A Pioneer in Neural Surgery

Sir Victor Horsley – A Pioneer in Neural Surgery

On April 14, 1857, English physiologist and neurosurgeon Sir Victor Horsley was born. Horsley was a pioneer in surgery on the brain and spinal cord. His best-known innovation is the Horsley–Clarke apparatus (developed together with Robert H. Clarke in 1908) for performing the so-called stereotactic neurosurgery, whereby a set of precise numerical coordinates are used to locate each brain structure. Victor Horsley was born in Kensington, London. He became active…
Bruno Rossi and the Cosmic Radiation

Bruno Rossi and the Cosmic Radiation

On April 13, 1905, Italian experimental physicist Bruno Benedetto Rossi was born. Rossi made major contributions to particle physics and the study of cosmic rays. He was one of the first to use rockets to study cosmic rays above the Earth‘s atmosphere. Finding X-rays from space he became the grandfather of high energy astrophysics, being largely responsible for starting X-ray astronomy, as well as the study of interplanetary plasma. “In…
Sir James Mackenzie and the Study of Cardiac Arrhythmias

Sir James Mackenzie and the Study of Cardiac Arrhythmias

On April 12, 1853, Scottish cardiologist Sir James Mackenzie was born. A pioneer in the study of cardiac arrhythmias, he was first to make simultaneous records of the arterial and venous pulses to evaluate the condition of the heart, a procedure that laid the foundation for much future research. James Mackenzie was apprenticed to a chemist when he was 14 and even though he was offered a partnership with the company,…
The Ryan X-13 VertiJet

The Ryan X-13 VertiJet

On April 11, 1957, the Ryan X-13 VertiJet completed its first full-cycle flight at Edwards Air Force Base. The Ryan X-13 VertiJet was one of the first experimental vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircrafts powered by jet engines. The main objective of the project was to demonstrate the ability of a pure jet to vertically takeoff, hover, transition to horizontal forward flight, and vertically land. The Ryan Aeronautical Company was…
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