Monthly Archives: January 2017

Theodore William Richards and the Weight of Chemical Elements

Theodore William Richards and the Weight of Chemical Elements

On January 31, 1868, American chemist Theodore William Richards was born. Richards was the first American scientist to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “in recognition of his accurate determinations of the atomic weight of a large number of chemical elements.” His work meticulously refined the classical gravimetric methods of analysis to better reduce the sources of error. Together with his co-workers, he was able to measure accurate values for atomic weight…
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Sir William Jenner and the Distinction of Typhus and Typhoid

Sir William Jenner and the Distinction of Typhus and Typhoid

On January 30, 1815, English physician Sir William Jenner was born. Jenner is primarily known for having discovered the distinction between typhus and typhoid. While “typhoid” means “typhus-like”, typhus and typhoid fever are distinct diseases caused by different genera of bacteria. Early Years William Jenner was born in Chatham, North Kent, in South East England. He attended University College, London where he studied medicine. Jenner was further apprenticed to a surgeon in Marylebone.…
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Abdus Salam’s  Electroweak Unifying Theory

Abdus Salam’s Electroweak Unifying Theory

On January 29, 1926, Pakistani theoretical physicist Mohammad Abdus Salam was born. Abdus Salam shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for his contribution to the electroweak unification theory. “This in effect is, the faith of all physicists; the deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited, the more is the dazzlement for our gaze.” — Abdus Salam, Speech at the Nobel Banquet (10 December…
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The Inventions of Luther George Simjian

The Inventions of Luther George Simjian

On January 28, 1905, Armenian-American inventor Luther George Simjian was born. Simjian probably is best known for his invention of the Bankmatic Automated Teller Machine. His more than 200 inventions also included the TelePrompter, a self-posing portrait camera, automatic postage metering equipment, and an indoor golf practice range. Early Years Luther Simjian emigrated to the United States in 1920 and started to work as a photographer at the age of 15 and…
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Victor Moritz Goldschmidt and the Origins of Geochemistry

Victor Moritz Goldschmidt and the Origins of Geochemistry

On January 27, 1888, Swiss-Norwegian geochemist, mineralogist and petrologist Victor Moritz Goldschmidt was born. Goldschmidt is considered (together with Vladimir Vernadsky) to be the founder of modern geochemistry and crystal chemistry, as well as the developer of the Goldschmidt Classification of elements. Early Years Goldschmidt was born in Zürich, Switzerland, into a family of Jewish parents, Heinrich Jacob Goldschmidt, a distinguished physical chemist, who held professorships at Amsterdam, Heidelberg, and Oslo, and…
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Ancel Keys and the Effect of Saturated Fats on Our Health

Ancel Keys and the Effect of Saturated Fats on Our Health

On January 26, 1904, American nutritionist and epidemiologist Ancel Keys was born. Keys studied the influence of diet on health. In particular, he hypothesized that saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy and should be avoided. He also was the first to identify the role of saturated fats in causing heart disease. Early Years Ancel Keys was born in Colorado Springs in 1904 to Benjamin Pious Keys (1883-1961) and Carolyn Emma Chaney (1885-1960),…
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Theodosius Dobzhansky and the Unifying modern Evolutionary Synthesis

Theodosius Dobzhansky and the Unifying modern Evolutionary Synthesis

On January 25, 1900, American geneticist and evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky was born. Dobzhansky was a central figure in the field of evolutionary biology for his work in shaping the unifying modern evolutionary synthesis. He made the first significant synthesis of Charles Darwin‘s theory of evolution with Gregor Mendel‘s theory of genetics in his book Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937). “[Evolution] is a general postulate to which all theories, all…
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Ernst Heinkel and His Obsession with Highspeed Aircraft

Ernst Heinkel and His Obsession with Highspeed Aircraft

On January 24, 1888, German aircraft designer an manufacturer Ernst Heinkel was born. Heinkel’s company Heinkel Flugzeugwerke produced the Heinkel He 178, the world’s first turbojet aircraft and jet plane, and the Heinkel He 176, the first rocket aircraft. Early Years Ernst Heinkel was born in Grunbach, today a part of Remshalden, Germany. As a young man he was apprenticed as machinist at a foundry. In the autumn semester of 1907 Ernst Heinkel began his…
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Hideki Yukawa and the Existence of Mesons

Hideki Yukawa and the Existence of Mesons

On January 23, 1907, Japanese theoretical physicist and the first Japanese Nobel laureate Hideki Yukawa was born. Yukawa shared the 1949 Nobel Prize for Physics for “his prediction of the existence of mesons on the basis of theoretical work on nuclear forces.” “Reality is cruel. All of the naivete is going to be removed. Reality is always changing, and it is always unpredictable. All of the balance is going to be destroyed.”…
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Albert Neisser and the Causative Agent of Gonorrhea

Albert Neisser and the Causative Agent of Gonorrhea

On January 22, 1855, German physician Albert Ludwig Sigesmund Neisser was born. Neisser discovered the causative agent (pathogen) of gonorrhea, a strain of bacteria that was named in his honour (Neisseria gonorrhoeae). Youth and Education Albert Neisser was born the son of the Jewish physician Moritz Neisser (1820-1896), Privy Councillor in Breslau and Charlottenbrunn, and Louise Lossen (1819-1855), who came from an entrepreneurial family in Berlin. Since his mother died before he was…
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