Monthly Archives: August 2016

Karl Gegenbaur and Comparative Anatomy

Karl Gegenbaur and Comparative Anatomy

On August 21, 1826, German anatomist Karl Gegenbaur was born. Gegenbaur demonstrated that the field of comparative anatomy offers important evidence supporting of the theory of evolution. He was a strong supporter of Charles Darwin‘s theory of organic evolution, having taught and worked, beginning in 1858, with Ernst Haeckel. Karl Gegenbaur noted that the most reliable clue to evolutionary history is homology, the comparison of anatomical parts which have a…
Roger Wolcott Sperry’s Split-Brain Research

Roger Wolcott Sperry’s Split-Brain Research

On August 20, 1913, American neuropsychologist, neurobiologist and Nobel laureate Roger Wolcott Sperry was born. Sperry is known for his work with split-brain research. in particular for his study of functional specialization in the cerebral hemispheres. He was responsible for overturning the widespread belief that the left brain is dominant by showing that several cognitive abilities were localized in the right brain. Roger Sperry attended Oberlin College, where he was…
Leonid Kulik and the Tunguska Event

Leonid Kulik and the Tunguska Event

On August 19, 1883, Russian mineralogist Leonid Alekseyevich Kulik was born. Kulik is noted for his research in meteorites. In 1927, Kulik conducted the first scientific expedition (for which records survive) to study the Tunguska meteor impact site, the largest impact event in recorded history, which had occurred on 30 June 1908.[1] Leonid Kulik was born in Tartu, Estonia, which was later to become part of the Soviet Union, and was…
Taming Hurricane Debbie

Taming Hurricane Debbie

On August 18, 1969, intense and long-lived Hurricane Debbie was seeded with silver iodide as part of a weather modification experiment by Project Stormfury, which resulted in a fall of windspeeds by 31%. The hypothesis was that the silver iodide would cause supercooled water in the storm to freeze, disrupting the inner structure of the hurricane. Hurrican Debbie formed on August 14 in the southern Atlantic Ocean and made its…
The Flight of the Double Eagle II

The Flight of the Double Eagle II

On August 17, 1978, Double Eagle II became the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it landed in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours 6 minutes after leaving Presque Isle, Maine. The flight, the fourteenth known attempt, was the culmination of more than a century of previous attempts to cross the Atlantic Ocean by balloon. In 1859, John Wise, US-American pioneer in the field of ballooning, who made over…
Wilhelm Wundt – Father of Experimental Psychology

Wilhelm Wundt – Father of Experimental Psychology

On August 16, 1832, German physician, physiologist, and philosopher Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt was born. He is one of the founding figures of modern psychology and was the first person to ever call himself a psychologist. In 1879, Wundt founded the first formal laboratory for psychological research at the University of Leipzig. This marked psychology as an independent field of study. Wilhelm Wundt studied at the University of Tübingen, at the…
Jerry R. Ehman and the Wow! Signal

Jerry R. Ehman and the Wow! Signal

On August 15, 1977, a strong narrowband radio signal was received by the Big Ear radio telescope of the Ohio State University, United States, then assigned to a SETI project. Astronomer Jerry R. Ehman discovered the signal a few days later, while reviewing the recorded data and was so impressed that he circled the reading on the computer printout and wrote the comment Wow! on its side. Jerry R. Ehman…
The Mainz Psalter and its Colophon

The Mainz Psalter and its Colophon

On August 14, 1457, the Mainz Psalter, the second major book printed with movable type in the West, was published according to its colophon, which was the very first to contain a date. Also it was the first important publication issued by Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer following their split from Johannes Gutenberg. Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer famously carried on a partnership after Fust sued and won a case against Johann…
William Isaac Thomas and the Thomas Theorem

William Isaac Thomas and the Thomas Theorem

On August 13, 1863, American sociologist William Isaac Thomas was born. Thomas developed innovative work on the sociology of migration and went on to formulate a fundamental principle of sociology, known as the Thomas theorem, in which he contended that, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences“. Thomas was born in Russell County, Virginia to Sarah Price Thomas and his father Thaddeus Peter Thomas, a…
Erwin Schrödinger and his Famous Thought Experiment

Erwin Schrödinger and his Famous Thought Experiment

On August 12, 1887, Austrian physicist and Nobel Laureate Erwin Schrödinger was born. Schrödinger developed a number of fundamental results in the field of quantum theory, which formed the basis of wave mechanics: he formulated the wave equation and revealed the identity of his development of the formalism and matrix mechanics. Schrödinger proposed an original interpretation of the physical meaning of the wave function. Although many of you are not…
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