Monthly Archives: February 2017

Julian Schwinger and Quantum Electrodynamics

Julian Schwinger and Quantum Electrodynamics

On February 12, 1918, US-american theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate Julian Seymour Schwinger was born. Schwinger is best known for his work on the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED), in particular for developing a relativistically invariant perturbation theory, and for renormalizing QED to one loop order. “Is the purpose of theoretical physics to be no more than a cataloging of all the things that can happen when particles interact with each other…
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Vivian Fuchs and the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition

Vivian Fuchs and the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition

On February 11, 1908, British geologist and explorer Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs was born. Fuchs initiated and led together with Sir Edmund Hillary [5,6] the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1957-58, which completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica in 1958. Vivian Fuchs – Education and first Expeditions Vivian Fuchs was born in 1908 in Freshwater, Isle of Wight, the son of the German immigrant Ernst Fuchs from the Jena area and of his British wife…
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D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation

D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation

On February 8, 1915, American silent epic drama film The Birth of a Nation, directed by D. W. Griffith, was released. Griffith’s innovative techniques and storytelling power have made The Birth of a Nation one of the landmarks of film history. The film chronicles the relationship of two families in the American Civil War and Reconstruction era over the course of several years. “A film without a message is just a waste…
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Konstantin Feoktistov, Space Engineer

Konstantin Feoktistov, Space Engineer

On February 7, 1926, Soviet cosmonaut and an eminent space engineer Konstantin Petrovich Feoktistov was born. Feoktistov was part of the team that would go on to design the Sputnik, Vostok, Voskhod, and Soyuz spacecraft under the leadership of Sergey Korolev.[1] He trained as a cosmonaut, and eventually launched 12 Oct 1964 for 16 earth orbits as one of the crew of Voskhod 1 (with Vladimir Komarov and Boris Yegorov), the world‘s…
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Edwin Klebs and the Bacterial Theory of Infection

Edwin Klebs and the Bacterial Theory of Infection

On February 6, 1834, Swiss-German pathologist Theodor Albrecht Edwin Klebs was born. Klebs is mainly known for his work on infectious diseases. His works paved the way for the beginning of modern bacteriology, and inspired Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. He was the first to identify a bacterium that causes diphtheria, which was called Klebs–Loeffler bacterium. Medical Studies in Königsberg and Würzburg Edwin Klebs was born in Königsberg, Province of Prussia. Ignoring…
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Sir Alan Hodgkin and the Giant Axon of the Atlantic Squid

Sir Alan Hodgkin and the Giant Axon of the Atlantic Squid

On February 5, 1914, English physiologist and biophysicist Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin was born. Hodgkin shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Andrew Huxley and John Eccles for the discovery of the chemical processes involved in nerve conduction, more specifically, discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane. “In neurophysiology we have none of those vast tidal waves…
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Rolf Landauer and the Landauer Principle

On February 4, 1927, German-American physicist Rolf William Landauer was born. Landauer made important contributions in diverse areas of the thermodynamics of information processing, condensed matter physics, and the conductivity of disordered media. He is probably best known for the formulation of the eponymous Landauer Principle concerning the energy used during a computer‘s operation. “We shall call a device logically irreversible if the output of a device does not uniquely define the…
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Elizabeth Blackwell M. D.

Elizabeth Blackwell M. D.

On February 3, 1821, British-born physician Elizabeth Blackwell was born. Blackwell is notable as the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, as well as the first woman on the UK Medical Register. She was the first woman to graduate from medical school, a pioneer in promoting the education of women in medicine in the United States, and a social and moral reformer in both the United States…
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James Clark Ross and the Ross Expedition

James Clark Ross and the Ross Expedition

On February 2, 1841, British Polar explorer James Clark Ross with the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror reached a Southern latitude of 78° 10′ in Antarctica, when the expedition was forced to redraw because of a barrier of ice. The Ross expedition discovered the Ross Sea, Victoria Land, and the volcanoes Mount Erebus and Mount Terror, which were named for the expedition’s vessels. First Experiences in the Arctic James Clark Ross…
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Gertrude Caton Thompson and Prehistoric Egypt

Gertrude Caton Thompson and Prehistoric Egypt

On February 1, 1888, English archaeologist Gertrude Caton Thompson was born. Thompson was an influential archaeologist at a time when participation by women in the discipline was rather uncommon working primarily in Egypt. She was able to distinguish two prehistoric cultures in the Al-Fayyum depression of Upper Egypt, the older dating to about 5000 BC and the younger to about 4500 BC. Archaeology with Flinders Petrie Gertrude Thompson traveled to Egypt with her…
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