Yearly Archives: 2022

Hermann Ebbinghaus and the Experimental Study of Memory

Hermann Ebbinghaus and the Experimental Study of Memory

On January 24, 1850, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus was born. Ebbinghaus pioneered the experimental study of memory, and is known for his discovery of the forgetting curve and the spacing effect. “When we read how one mediæval saint stood erect in his cell for a week without sleep or food, merely chewing a plantain-leaf out of humility, so as not to be too perfect; how another remained all night up to his…
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Paul Langevin and the Langevin Dynamics

Paul Langevin and the Langevin Dynamics

On January 23, 1872, French physicist Paul Langevin was born. He is best known for having developed Langevin dynamics and the Langevin equation. Being a public opponent against fascism in the 1930s resulted in his arrest and consequently he was held under house arrest by the Vichy government for most of the war. Langevin was also the first to explain (1905) the effects of paramagnetism and diamagnetism (the weak attraction or repulsion…
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Pierre Gassendi and his Trials to reconcile Epicurean Atomism with Christianity

Pierre Gassendi and his Trials to reconcile Epicurean Atomism with Christianity

You have read the title? I guess, you might be scared now, but Pierre Gassendi was a decent fellow… On January 22, 1592, French philosopher, priest, scientist, astronomer, and mathematician. Pierre Gassendi was born. Gassendi revived Epicureanism as a substitute for Aristotelianism, attempting in the process to reconcile Atomism‘s mechanistic explanation of nature with Christian belief in immortality, free will, an infinite God, and creation.He clashed with his contemporary Descartes on the possibility…
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John Couch Adams and the Discovery of Planet Neptune

John Couch Adams and the Discovery of Planet Neptune

On January 21, 1821, English mathematician and astronomer John Couch Adams passed away. Adams most famous achievement was predicting the existence and position of Neptune, using only mathematics. The calculations were made to explain discrepancies with Uranus‘s orbit and the laws of Kepler and Newton. At the same time, but unknown to each other, the same calculations were made by Urbain Le Verrier.[5] Youth and Education John Couch Adams was born at…
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Vladimir Bekhterev and the Bekhterev’s Disease

Vladimir Bekhterev and the Bekhterev’s Disease

On January 20, 1857, Russian neurologist Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev was born. He is often referred to as father of objective psychology, but is best known for noting the role of the hippocampus in memory, his study of reflexes, and Bekhterev’s disease. Moreover, he is known for his competition with Ivan Pavlov regarding the study of conditioned reflexes.[1] “Only two know the mystery of brain: God and Bekhterev.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Theodor Kopsch, as…
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Leonid Kantorovich and the Optimal Allocation of Scarce Resources

Leonid Kantorovich and the Optimal Allocation of Scarce Resources

On January 19, 1912, Soviet mathematician and economist Leonid Vitaliyevich Kantorovich was born. Kantorovich shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Economics with Tjalling Koopmans for their work on the optimal allocation of scarce resources. “In our time mathematics has penetrated into economics so solidly, widely and variously, and the chosen theme is connected with such a variety of facts and problems that it brings us to cite the words of Kozma Prutkov…
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Ray Dolby and the Noise Reduction System

Ray Dolby and the Noise Reduction System

On January 18, 1933, American engineer and inventor Ray Milton Dolby was born. Dolby is best known for the invention of his eponymous analogue noise reduction technology and played a key role in the development of the first commercial video tape recorders. “To be an inventor, you have to be willing to live with a sense of uncertainty, to work in this darkness and grope towards an answer, to put up with anxiety…
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Charles Brockden Brown – A Crucial Figure in American Writing

Charles Brockden Brown – A Crucial Figure in American Writing

On January 17, 1771, American novelist, historian, and editor Charles Brockden Brown was born. He is generally regarded as the most important American novelist before James Fenimore Cooper. Although Brown was not the first American novelist, the breadth and complexity of his achievement as a writer in multiple genres makes him a crucial figure in U.S. literature and culture. However, outside the U.S. Charles Brockden Brown is mostly unknown. Thus, you might…
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The Nimrod Expedition and the Magnetic South Pole

The Nimrod Expedition and the Magnetic South Pole

On January 16, 1907, Australian geologists Tannatt William Edgeworth David and Douglas Mawson together with Scottish physician Alistair Mackay, being part of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907–09, otherwise known as the Nimrod Expedition, led by Ernest Shackleton, reached the magnetic southpole. The major goal of the famous Nimrod Expedition was to be the first to reach the South Pole. Even though this goal was not fulfilled completely, the expedition’s southern march reached a…
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Artturi Ilmari Virtanen and the Ingredients of Plant Food

Artturi Ilmari Virtanen and the Ingredients of Plant Food

On January 15, 1895, Finnish chemist and Nobel Laureate Artturi Ilmari Virtanen was born. Virtanen invented AIV silage which improved milk production and a method of preserving butter, the AIV salt, which led to increased Finnish butter exports. Artturi Virtanen – Youth and Education Artturi Ilmari Virtanen was born in Helsinki, Finland, the son of Kaarlo Virtanen and Serafiina Isotalo. He received his school education in the Viipuri grammar school (Vyborg), after which he studied…
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