Monthly Archives: January 2021

Rudolf Mössbauer and the Recoilless Nuclear Resonance Absorption

Rudolf Mössbauer and the Recoilless Nuclear Resonance Absorption

On January 31, 1929, German physicist and Nobel Laureate Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer was born. He is best known for his 1957 discovery of recoilless nuclear resonance fluorescence for which he was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Physics. This effect, called the Mössbauer effect, is the basis for Mössbauer spectroscopy. “Explain it! The most important thing is, that you are able to explain it! You will have exams, there you have to…
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Edward Bransfield and the first Sighting of Antarctica

Edward Bransfield and the first Sighting of Antarctica

In January 1820, British Navy officer Edward Bransfield sighted Trinity Peninsula, the northernmost point of the Antarctic mainland. However, the very first confirmed sighting of mainland Antarctica cannot be accurately attributed to one single person. It can, however, be narrowed down to three individuals, who all sighted the ice shelf or the continent within days or months of each other: Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen,[1] a captain in the Russian Imperial Navy; Edward…
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Australian Aviation Pioneer Lawrence Hargrave and the Box Kites

Australian Aviation Pioneer Lawrence Hargrave and the Box Kites

On January 29, 1850, Australian engineer, explorer, astronomer, inventor and aeronautical pioneer Lawrence Hargrave was born. Hargrave “flew” on 12 Nov 1894, by attaching himself to a huge kite construction connected to the ground by piano wire. Due to their abilities to carry heavy payloads, steady flight, and capacity for high altitude flight, these kites have had many industrial and military uses. “I am using kites, and find perfect stability can be got…
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Giovanni Alfonso Borelli and the Science of Biomechanics

Giovanni Alfonso Borelli and the Science of Biomechanics

On January 28, 1608, Renaissance Italian physiologist, physicist, and mathematician Giovanni Alfonso Borelli was born. Trained in mathematics, Borelli also made extensive studies of Jupiter’s moons, the mechanics of animal locomotion and, in microscopy, of the constituents of blood. He also used microscopy to investigate the stomatal movement of plants, and undertook studies in medicine and geology. “No sensible person will deny that the works of Nature are in the highest degree…
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The National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society

On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society, one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world, is founded in the Cosmos Club, a private club then located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. You might not be aware of it, but several of our past articles already are related to the National Geographic Society, as the society always has supported and funded research projects as well as prominent…
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Henry Briggs and the Popularization on Logarithms

Henry Briggs and the Popularization on Logarithms

On January 26, 1630, English mathematician and committed puritan Henry Briggs passed away. He is notable for changing the original logarithms invented by John Napier into common (base 10) logarithms, which are sometimes known as Briggsian logarithms in his honour. Henry Briggs’ Education Henry Briggs was born in Halifax, however, his exact date of birth remains unknown. His early family life is also not too well known, but it is believed that…
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Ilya Prigogine and the Irreversibility of Time

Ilya Prigogine and the Irreversibility of Time

On January 25, 1917, Belgian physical chemist and Nobel Laureate Ilya Prygogine was born. He is noted for his work on dissipative structures, complex systems, and irreversibility. The main theme of Prigogine‘s work was the search for a better understanding of the role of time in the physical sciences and in biology. He attempted to reconcile a tendency in nature for disorder to increase with so-called “self-organisation“. “The problem of time in physics…
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Ètienne Lenoir and the Internal Combustion Engine

Ètienne Lenoir and the Internal Combustion Engine

On January 24, 1860, Belgian engineer Étienne Lenoir was granted a patent on his newly developed internal combustion engine. Lenoir’s engine design was the first commercially successful internal combustion engine. Étienne Lenoir – Early Years Étienne Lenoir was born the third of eight children in the 800-strong community of Mussy-la-Ville near Virton. He seems to have chosen a technical profession at an early age, but his family could not afford a corresponding education.…
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Oskar Morgenstern and the Game Theory

Oskar Morgenstern and the Game Theory

On January 24, 1902, German-American economist and mathematician Carl Friedrich Alfred Oskar Morgenstern was born. Morgenstern popularized “game theory” which mathematically analyzes behaviour of man or animals in terms of strategies to maximize gains and minimize losses. He coauthored Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944), with John von Neumann, which extended Neumann‘s 1928 theory of games of strategy to competitive business situations.[4] “As far as the use of mathematics in economics…
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The Idea of Tolerance in the Theatre and Essays of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

The Idea of Tolerance in the Theatre and Essays of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

On January 22, 1708, German author of the enlightenment Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was born. With his dramas and his theoretical writings, which are above all committed to the idea of tolerance, this enlightener showed the further development of the theater a significant path and had a lasting influence on the public impact of literature. Lessing is the first German dramatist whose work is still being performed in theaters without interruption. “The true…
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