Monthly Archives: October 2016

Michael Collins – Command Module Pilot of Apollo 11

Michael Collins – Command Module Pilot of Apollo 11

On October 31, 1930, American astronaut and test pilot Michael Collins was born. Collins’ second spaceflight was as the Command Module Pilot for Apollo 11. While he stayed in orbit around the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left in the Lunar Module to make the first manned landing on its surface. Next to the Apollo program, Michael Collins was part of the Gemini 10 crew, along with John Young. He received his first…
Gustav Hertz and the Franck-Hertz Experiment

Gustav Hertz and the Franck-Hertz Experiment

On October 30, 1975, German experimental physicist and Nobel Prize winner Gustav Ludwig Hertz passed away. A nephew of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, he received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1925 together with James Franck for the Franck-Hertz experiment, which confirmed the quantum theory that energy can be absorbed by an atom only in definite amounts and provided an important confirmation of the Bohr atomic model. Gustav Hertz was born in…
Carl Djerassi and the Oral Contraceptive Pill

Carl Djerassi and the Oral Contraceptive Pill

On October 29, 1923, Austrian-born Bulgarian-American chemist, novelist, and playwright Carl Djerassi was born. Djerassi is best known for his contribution to the development of oral contraceptive pills. Furthermore, he is noted for establishing physical methods for determining organic molecular structure and his contributions to synthetic organic chemistry, his effectiveness in translating scientific knowledge into technological practice, and his efforts to promote international scientific cooperation. Carl Djerassi was born in…
Around the World with Ida Pfeiffer

Around the World with Ida Pfeiffer

On October 28, 1858, Austrian traveler and travel book author Ida Laura Pfeiffer passed away. Pfeiffer was one of the first female explorers, whose popular books were translated into seven languages. On her voyages, she travelled more than 240.000 by sea and 32.000 km on land over four continents. During her travels Ida Pfeiffer collected plants, insects, mollusks, marine life and mineral specimens. Ida Pfeiffer was born in Vienna. She was…
Hipparchus of Nicaea and the Precession of the Equinoxes

Hipparchus of Nicaea and the Precession of the Equinoxes

Hipparchus of Nicaea was a Greek astronomer, geographer, and mathematician in the second century BC. He is considered the founder of trigonometry but is most famous for his incidental discovery of precession of the equinoxes. His other reputed achievements include the discovery and measurement of Earth‘s precession, the compilation of the first comprehensive star catalog of the western world, and possibly the invention of the astrolabe, also of the armillary…
Vasily Dokuchaev and Soil Science

Vasily Dokuchaev and Soil Science

On October 26, 1903, (Julian Calendar) Russian Geologist and Geographer Vasily Dokuchaev passed away. Dokuchaev is commonly regarded as the father of Soil science, the study of soils in its natural setting. He developed soil science in Russia, and was, perhaps the first person to make wide geographical investigations of different soil types. The very early concepts of soil were developed by the German chemist Justus von Liebig. After several years,…
Marian Koshland and Effects of Different Composition of Amino Acids

Marian Koshland and Effects of Different Composition of Amino Acids

On October 25, 1921, American immunologist Marian Elliott Koshland was born. Koshland discovered that the differences in amino acid composition of antibodies explains the efficiency and effectiveness with which they combat a huge range of foreign invaders. “When something comes along and is really important to your career and important to science, important enough so that lots of other people are working on it, you have got to do it…
Nathaniel Wyeth and the PET Bottle

Nathaniel Wyeth and the PET Bottle

On October 24, 1911, American mechanical engineer and inventor Nathaniel C. Wyeth was born. Wyeth is best known for creating polyethylene terephthalate that could withstand the pressure of carbonated liquids. Made of recyclable PET plastic, lighter than glass and virtually unbreakable, Wyeth’s invention is used widely today for both carbonated and non-carbonated drinks. Nathaniel Wyeth was the brother of the painters Andrew Wyeth and Henriette Wyeth Hurd as well as…
Tetsuya Theodore Fujita’s Research on Severe Storms

Tetsuya Theodore Fujita’s Research on Severe Storms

On October 23, 1920, Japanese-American meteorologist Tetsuya Theodore Fujita was born. Fujita’s research at the University of Chicago on severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and typhoons revolutionized the knowledge of each. Together with his wife Sumiko, Fujita developed the Fujita scale (F-scale, Feb 1971) for measuring tornadoes on the basis of their damage. On October 23, 1920, Japanese-American meteorologist Tetsuya Theodore Fujita was born. Fujita’s research at the University of Chicago on…
Karl Jansky and the Discovery of Cosmic Radio Waves

Karl Jansky and the Discovery of Cosmic Radio Waves

On October 22, 1905, American physicist and radio engineer Karl Guthe Jansky was born. In August 1931 Jansky first discovered radio waves emanating from the Milky Way. He is considered one of the founding figures of radio astronomy. Karl Jansky was born the third of six children in what was then the Territory of Oklahoma where his father, Cyril M. Jansky, the descendent of Czech immigrants, was Dean of the College…
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