Monthly Archives: October 2016

Christophorus Buys Ballot and the Weather Systems

Christophorus Buys Ballot and the Weather Systems

On October 10, 1837, Dutch chemist and meteorologist Christophorus Buys Ballot was born. Buys Ballot is the namesake for Buys Ballot’s law and the Buys Ballot table. Buys Ballot showed that northern hemisphere winds circulate counter-clockwise around low pressure areas and clockwise around high pressure areas. Christophorus Buys Ballot – Youth and Education Christophorus Henricus Didericus Buys Ballot was the son of Anthony Jacobus Buys Ballot, pastor to Kloetinge and Geertruida Françoise Lix-Raaven, born in…
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Anna Freud following the Footsteps of her Father

Anna Freud following the Footsteps of her Father

On October 9, 1982, Austrian-British psychoanalyst Anna Freud passed away. The youngest child of Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud followed the path of her father and contributed to the field of psychoanalysis. Alongside Melanie Klein, she may be considered the founder of psychoanalytic child psychology. Compared to her father, her work emphasized the importance of the ego and its ability to be trained socially. The Daughter of Siegmund Freud Anna Freud was born on…
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Ejnar Hertzsprung and the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

Ejnar Hertzsprung and the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

On October 8, 1873, Danish chemist and astronomer Ejnar Hertzsprung was born. Together with Henry Norris Russell, Hertzsprung developed the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram, a scatter graph of stars showing the relationship between the stars‘ absolute magnitudes or luminosities versus their spectral classifications or effective temperatures, which has become fundamental to the study of stellar evolution. Ejnar Hertzsprung – Early Years Ejnar Hertzsprung was probably not formally educated, but studied in technological colleges in Denmark…
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Harold Kroto and the Discovery of Fullerenes

Harold Kroto and the Discovery of Fullerenes

On October 7, 1939, English chemist and Nobel Laureate Sir Harold Walter Kroto was born. Kroto shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley [6] for their discovery of fullerenes, i.e. molecules of carbon in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, tube, and many other shapes, which have been the subject of intense research, both for their unique chemistry and for their technological applications, especially in…
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Ernest Walton and the Particle Accelerator

Ernest Walton and the Particle Accelerator

On October 6, 1903, Irish physicist and Nobel laureate Ernest Walton was born. Walton received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work together with John Cockcroft with “atom-smashing” experiments done at Cambridge University in the early 1930s, and so became the first person in history to artificially split the atom. “A linear accelerator has the advantage that no magnet is required and that its cost should not rise much more steeply…
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William Scoresby and the Scientific Study of the Arctic

William Scoresby and the Scientific Study of the Arctic

On October 5, 1789, English Arctic explorer, scientist and clergyman William Scoresby was born. Scoresby pioneered in the scientific study of the Arctic and contributed to the knowledge of terrestrial magnetism. “Though a Greenland voyage is perhaps one of the most arduous of all maritime adventures, the mind of the commander of a whale-ship being very rarely free from anxiety ; yet, like all other occupations at sea, it affords occasional intervals of…
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Georges Nagelmackers and the Orient Express

Georges Nagelmackers and the Orient Express

On October 4, 1874, Belgian entrepreneur Georges Nagelmackers founded the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits, the company known for the Orient Express trains. The Orient Express service was a long-distance passenger train service created in 1883. The route and rolling stock of the Orient Express changed many times. Several routes in the past concurrently used the Orient Express name, or slight variants thereof. Although the original Orient Express was simply a normal international railway service,…
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ALMA – the largest and most expensive ground-based astronomical project

ALMA – the largest and most expensive ground-based astronomical project

On October 3, 2011, first images produced by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array were released to the press. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is an astronomical interferometer of radio telescopes in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. ALMA is currently the largest and most expensive ground-based astronomical project, costing between US$1.4 and 1.5 billion. The ALMA Interferometer ALMA is an interferometer, i.e. many small radio telescopes working together as a single large…
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Christian de Duve and the Cell Organelles

Christian de Duve and the Cell Organelles

On October 2, 1917, Belgian cytologist, biochemist and Nobel Laureate Christian de Duve was born. Duve made serendipitous discoveries of two cell organelles, peroxisome and lysosome, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974 with Albert Claude and George E. Palade. Christian de Duve – Youth and Education Christian de Duve was born as son of Belgian shopkeeper Alphonse de Duve and wife Madeleine Pungs in the…
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Otto Frisch and the Idea of Nuclear Fission

Otto Frisch and the Idea of Nuclear Fission

On October 1, 1904, Austrian-British physicist Otto Robert Frisch was born. With his aunt Lise Meitner,[4] Frisch described the division of neutron-bombarded uranium into lighter elements. With his collaborator Rudolf Peierls he designed the first theoretical mechanism for the detonation of an atomic bomb in 1940. “Scientists have one thing in common with children: curiosity. To be a good scientist you must have kept this trait of childhood, and perhaps it is not…
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