Monthly Archives: October 2020

Heinrich Olbers and the Olbers’ Paradox

Heinrich Olbers and the Olbers’ Paradox

On October 11, 1758, German physician and astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers was born. Besides his discovery of coments and minor planets, Olbers is best known for his new method to calculate the velocity of falling stars. Maybe you have also heard of the famous Olbers’ paradox, which asks “why is the night sky dark if there are so many bright stars all around to light it?” Heinrich Olbers Background Heinrich Olbers was born…
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Henry Cavendish and the Weight of the Earth

Henry Cavendish and the Weight of the Earth

On October 10, 1731, British natural philosopher Henry Cavendish was born. A scientist as well as an important experimental and theoretical chemist and physicist, Cavendish is noted for his discovery of hydrogen or what he called “inflammable air“. Most notably, he determined the mass and density of the Earth. Henry Cavendish Henry Cavendish was born in Nice and attended a private school near London. He enrolled the University of Cambridge, but left without…
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Max von Laue and the Diffraction of X-Rays in Crystals

Max von Laue and the Diffraction of X-Rays in Crystals

On October 9, 1879, German physicist Max von Laue was born. Von Laue received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1914 for his discovery of the diffraction of X-rays by crystals. “In the beginning was mechanics.” – Max von Laue (1950). History of physics Max von Laue – Early Years Max von Laue was born in Pfaffendorf, near Koblenz, Germany. His parents were Julius Laue (1848-1927), a Prussian real secret war councilor…
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Thales of Miletus – (possibly) the Father of Greek Mathematics

Thales of Miletus – (possibly) the Father of Greek Mathematics

For today’s blog post, there is no birthday of a popular scientist. Moreover, we want to tackle famous people in the history of science, who don’t have a known birthday. This of course holds for many philosophers, mathematicians, or natural scientists of Antiquity or early Middle Ages. Today, we want to start with the father of ancient Greek mathematics, Thales of Miletus. According to Bertrand Russel, Western philosophy (as well as mathematics)…
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Rudolf Leuckart and his Research in Parasitology

Rudolf Leuckart and his Research in Parasitology

On October 7, 1822, German zoologist Karl Georg Friedrich Rudolf Leuckart was born. He is known to be one of the initiators of modern parasitology. Leuckart described the complicated life histories of various parasites, including tapeworms and the liver fluke, and demonstrated that some human diseases, such as trichinosis, are caused by multicellular animals of the various wormlike phyla. “Nowhere is it more true that “prevention is better than cure,” than in the case of…
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You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet – The Movies started Talking

You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet – The Movies started Talking

On October 6, 1927, the first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, The Jazz Singer premiered. With its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system it heralded the commercial ascendance of the “talkies” and the decline of the silent film era. The Advent of the Talkies We all know that it started with the silent films already at the end of the 19th century as a simple and innocent fairground attraction. In silent films for entertainment…
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Robert Goddard – the Man who ushered in the Space Age

Robert Goddard – the Man who ushered in the Space Age

On October 5, 1882, American physicist, and inventor Robert Hutchins Goddard was born. He is credited with creating and building the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket, which he successfully launched on March 16, 1926. Goddard’s work as both theorist and engineer anticipated many of the developments that were to make spaceflight possible. He has been called the man who ushered in the Space Age. Moreover, I’m pretty sure that you have heart of the Goddard…
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How James Lind, a Pioneer of Clinical Trials, Developed a Cure for Scurvy

How James Lind, a Pioneer of Clinical Trials, Developed a Cure for Scurvy

On October 4, 1714, Scottish physician James Lind was born. He was a pioneer of naval hygiene in the Royal Navy. By conducting the first ever clinical trial, he developed the theory that citrus fruits cured scurvy. His work advanced the practice of preventive medicine and improved nutrition. James Lind – Early Years James Lind was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, to Margaret (Smelum) and James Lind, a prosperous merchant whose wife had medical…
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Sir Patrick Manson – The Father of Tropical Medicine

Sir Patrick Manson – The Father of Tropical Medicine

On October 3, 1844, Scottish physician Sir Patrick Manson was born. He made important discoveries in parasitology, and was the founder of the field of tropical medicine. He was the first to identify an insect for the spread of infection. Patrick Manson – Becoming a Physician Patrick Manson was the son of a bank branch manager and grew up in the north-east of Scotland, in the county of Aberdeenshire. He studied medicine at…
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Sir William Ramsay and the Discovery of Noble Gases

Sir William Ramsay and the Discovery of Noble Gases

On October 2, 1852, Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsay was born. Ramsay discovered the noble gases and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904 “in recognition of his services in the discovery of the inert gaseous elements in air” along with his collaborator, John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics that same year for their discovery of argon.[1] “But I am leaving the regions of…
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