Monthly Archives: July 2020

Samuel Goudsmit and the Electron Spin

Samuel Goudsmit and the Electron Spin

On July 11, 1902, Dutch-born U.S. physicist Samuel Abraham Goudsmit was born. He is best known for the formulation of the concept of electron spin together with George Eugene Uhlenbeck. It led to recognition that spin was a property of protons, neutrons, and most elementary particles and to a fundamental change in the mathematical structure of quantum mechanics. “I did all the problems a little different from the rest of the class.” –…
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Camille Pissarro and the Impressionistic Art Movement

Camille Pissarro and the Impressionistic Art Movement

On July 10, 1830, Danish–French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro was born. His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. He acted as a father figure not only to the Impressionists but to all four of the major Post-Impressionists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne,[6] Vincent van Gogh [5] and Paul Gauguin.[4] “I am settled in France, and as for the rest of my history as a painter, it is bound…
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John Wheeler and the Golden Age of General Relativity

John Wheeler and the Golden Age of General Relativity

On July 9, 1911, American theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler was born. Wheeler worked with Niels Bohr in explaining the basic principles behind nuclear fission as well as with Albert Einstein, with whom he tried to achieve Einstein’s vision of a unified field theory. He is also known for popularizing the term black hole, and for coining the terms quantum foam, and wormhole. Background John Wheeler John Archibald Wheeler grew up in a Unitarian…
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Lion Feuchtwanger and his Ardous Path of Knowledge

Lion Feuchtwanger and his Ardous Path of Knowledge

On July 7, 1884, German-Jewish novelist and playwright Lion Feuchtwanger was born. A prominent figure in the literary world of Weimar Germany, he is best known today for his novel Jud Süß and is considered one of the most widely read German-language authors of the 20th century, whose work influenced contemporary playwrights such as Bertolt Brecht.[1] “Thoughts about what you should have done and what you shouldn’t have done, they lead nowhere.” …
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Rudolf Albert von Kölliker and the Origins of Embriology

Rudolf Albert von Kölliker and the Origins of Embriology

On July 6, 1817, Swiss anatomist and physiologist Rudolf Albert von Kölliker was born. He was one of the founders of embryology. His thorough microscopic work on tissues enabled him to be among the first to identify their structure. He showed that they were made up of cells, that did not freely come into being, but must develop from existing cells. Background Rudolph Albert Kölliker Rudolph Albert Kölliker was born in Zurich, Switzerland. His early…
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A. E. Douglass and the Dendrochronology

A. E. Douglass and the Dendrochronology

On July 5, 1867, American astronomer and archeologist A. E. (Andrew Ellicott) Douglass was born. He coined the name dendrochronology for tree-ring dating, a field he originated while working at the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona, by his discovery a correlation between tree rings and the sunspot cycle. A. E. Douglass Background A. E. Douglass was not the first, who suggested that a tree’s rings could determine its age. The first known record of…
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Rube Goldberg’s complicated Machines

Rube Goldberg’s complicated Machines

On July 4, 1883, American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer and inventor Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg was born. He is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complicated gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. Goldberg received many honors in his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1948. From the Sewer Department to a Newspaper Reuben Lucius Goldberg was born July 4, 1883, in San…
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The Russian Dream to Land a Man on the Moon

The Russian Dream to Land a Man on the Moon

On July 3, 1969, the biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurred when the Soviet N-1 rocket exploded and subsequently destroyed its launchpad. After four unsuccessful launch tries of the Soviet counterpart to the NASA Saturn V rocket the Russian Moon program was cancelled in May 1974. Sergei Korolev Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, the leading Soviet space craft designer and rocket engineer, also known as the father of practical astronautics started directing…
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Hans Bethe and the Energy of the Stars

Hans Bethe and the Energy of the Stars

On July 2, 1906, German and American nuclear physicist and Nobel Laureate Hans Albrecht Bethe was born. Bethe helped to shape classical physics into quantum physics and increased the understanding of the atomic processes responsible for the properties of matter and of the forces governing the structures of atomic nuclei. Hans Bethe Background Hans Bethe entered the University of Frankfurt in 1924, majoring in chemistry. However, after a few semesters, he was advised…
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Ignaz Semmelweis and the Importance of Washing Your Hands as a Doctor

Ignaz Semmelweis and the Importance of Washing Your Hands as a Doctor

On July 1, 1818, Hungarian physician of German extraction Ignaz Semmelweis was born. He is best known for his discovery of the cause of puerperal (“child bed”) fever and introduced antisepsis into medical practice by insisting on health workers rigorously handwashing between patients, and clean bed sheets. Ignaz Semmelweis – Youth and Education Ignaz Semmelweis was born in 1818 in the Tabán sub-district of Buda, Hungary,  in 1818 as the 5th child of the…
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