Monthly Archives: April 2017

James David Forbes and the Conduction of Heat

James David Forbes and the Conduction of Heat

On April 20, 1809, Scottish physicist and glaciologist James David Forbes was born. Forbes worked extensively on the conduction of heat and seismology. He conducted experiments on the temperature of the Earth at different depths and in different soils near Edinburgh. Later he investigated the laws of heat conduction in bars and invented the seismometer. James David Forbes was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the fourth son of Sir William Forbes,…
Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg – Father of Micropaleontology

Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg – Father of Micropaleontology

On April 19, 1795, German naturalist, zoologist, comparative anatomist, geologist, and microscopist Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg was born. Ehrenberg was one of the most famous and productive scientists of his time. He has been called the founder of micropaleontology (the study of fossil microorganisms). He held that animals, of any size down to the tiniest, have organ systems in common, including muscles, reproductive organs, and stomachs. Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg studied theology at the…
Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran and the Improvement of Spectroscopy

Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran and the Improvement of Spectroscopy

On April 18, 1838, French chemist Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran was born. Lecoq de Boisbaudran improved spectroscopic methods which had recently been developed by Paul Kirchhoff. Furthermore he is known for his discoveries of the chemical elements gallium, samarium and dysprosium. Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran belonged to the ancient Protestant nobility of Poitou and Angoumois, whose considerable fortune, however, disappeared after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Since the property…
Clarence Hungerford Mackay connected the World

Clarence Hungerford Mackay connected the World

On April 17, 1874, American financier Clarence Hungerford Mackay was born. Mackay was chairman of the board of the Postal Telegraph and Cable Corporation and president of the Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company. He supervised the completion of the first transpacific cable between the United States and the Far East in 1904. He laid a cable between New York and Cuba in 1907 and later established cable communication with southern Europe…
Jerzy Neyman – Architect of Modern Theoretical Statistics

Jerzy Neyman – Architect of Modern Theoretical Statistics

On April 16, 1894, Polish mathematician and statistician Jerzy Neyman was born. Neyman was one of the principal architects of modern theoretical statistics. He first introduced the modern concept of a confidence interval into statistical hypothesis testing and co-devised null hypothesis testing in collaboration with Egon Pearson. Jerzy Neyman was born into a Polish family in Bendery, in the Bessarabia Governorate of the Russian Empire, the fourth of four children…
Édouard Lartet –  a pioneer of Paleolithic archaeology

Édouard Lartet – a pioneer of Paleolithic archaeology

On April 15, 1801, French geologist and paleontologist Édouard Lartet was born. Lartet was a pioneer of Paleolithic archaeology, who is chiefly credited with discovering man’s earliest art and with establishing a date for the Upper Paleolithic Period of the Stone Age. His most striking discovery was a mammoth tooth, found in a cave, upon which was a drawing of a mammoth. This was clear proof that man lived at the same…
Harold Stephen Black and the Negative-Feedback Principle

Harold Stephen Black and the Negative-Feedback Principle

On April 14, 1898, American electrical engineer Harold Stephen Black was born. Black discovered and developed the negative-feedback principle, in which amplification output is fed back into the input, thus producing nearly distortionless and steady amplification. His invention is considered the most important breakthrough of the twentieth century in the field of electronics, since it has a wide area of application. “The answer scrawled on a blank page in a daily…
Jacques Lacan – the most controversial figure in French Psychiatry

Jacques Lacan – the most controversial figure in French Psychiatry

On April 13, 1901, French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Jacques Lacan was born. Lacan has been called “the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud“. He influenced many leading French intellectuals in the 1960s and the 1970s, especially those associated with post-structuralism. His ideas had a significant impact on post-structuralism, critical theory, linguistics, 20th-century French philosophy, film theory and clinical psychoanalysis. Jacques Lacan was rejected for military service and decided to enter medical school.…
Edward Walter Maunder and the Sunspots

Edward Walter Maunder and the Sunspots

On April 12, 1851, British astronomer Edward Walter Maunder was born. Maunder was the first to take the British Civil Service Commission examination for the post of photographic and spectroscopic assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. He is best remembered for his study of sunspots and the solar magnetic cycle that led to his identification of the period from 1645 to 1715 that is now known as the Maunder Minimum.…
Donald Howard Menzel and the UFOs

Donald Howard Menzel and the UFOs

On April 11, 1901, theoretical astronomer and astrophysicist Donald Howard Menzel was born. Menzel discovered the physical properties of the solar chromosphere, the chemistry of stars, the atmosphere of Mars, and the nature of gaseous nebulae. Moreover, he was best known for his arguments against the existence of extraterrestrial UFO‘s. Donald Howard Menzel already collected rocks as a child and built a chemistry laboratory in the cellar of his family’s…
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