physics

George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

On December 27, 1773, English engineer and important pioneer of aeronautics Sir George Cayley was born. Many consider him the first true scientific aerial investigator and the first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight. About 100 years ago, an Englishman, Sir George Cayley, carried the science of flight to a point which it had never reached before and which it scarcely reached again during the last century. – Wilbur Wright, 1909…
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Ernst Moritz Arndt – Key Figure of the German Nationalism

Ernst Moritz Arndt – Key Figure of the German Nationalism

On December 26, 1769, German nationalist historian, writer and poet Ernst Moritz Arndt was born. Early in his life, he fought for the abolition of serfdom, later against Napoleonic dominance over Germany. Arndt had to flee to Sweden for some time due to his anti-French positions. He is one of the main founders of German nationalism and the 19th century movement for German unification. “He who does not respect and love his…
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Experimental Breeder Reactor I – The World’s First Nuclear Power Plant

Experimental Breeder Reactor I – The World’s First Nuclear Power Plant

On December 20, 1951, Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I) became the world’s first electricity-generating nuclear power plant when it produced sufficient electricity to illuminate four 200-watt light bulbs. From Manhattan Project to Atomic Energy Commission The reactor is located in the the state of Idaho between the Idaho Falls and Arco. The construction was designed by Walter Zinn and Enrico Fermi at the Argonne National Laboratory.[5] The famous Italian physicist Fermi became next…
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A great man whose only fault was being a woman – Émilie du Châtelet

A great man whose only fault was being a woman – Émilie du Châtelet

On December 17, 1706, French mathematician, physicist, and author Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet was born. Her major achievement is considered to be her translation and commentary on Isaac Newton‘s work Principia Mathematica, which still is the standard French translation of Newton‘s work today. Philosopher and author Voltaire, one of her lovers, once declared in a letter to his friend King Frederick II of Prussia that du Châtelet…
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Nikolay Basov and the Principles of Maser and Laser

Nikolay Basov and the Principles of Maser and Laser

On December 14, 1922, Soviet physicist and Nobel Laureate Nikolay Basov was born. For his fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics that led to the development of laser and maser, Basov shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics with Alexander Prokhorov and Charles Hard Townes. The maser is a device that produces coherent electromagnetic waves through amplification by stimulated emission, a principle originally proposed by Albert Einstein in 1917.[4] Nikolay Basov…
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Werner von Siemens – Inventor and International Entrepreneur

Werner von Siemens – Inventor and International Entrepreneur

On December 13, 1816, German inventor and industrialist Werner von Siemens was born. He was the pioneer of the electro industry and brought about a great technological advancement with many of his important discoveries. Moreover, he was co-inventor of an electroplating process and alone developed an electric dynamo. He laid the first telegraph line and built the first electric railway in Germany and, with his brother Sir William Siemens, developed a widely…
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Roman History by Theodor Mommsen

Roman History by Theodor Mommsen

On November 30, 1817, German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician and archaeologist Theodor Mommsen was born. Mommsen was one of the greatest classicists of the 19th century. His work regarding Roman history is still of fundamental importance for contemporary research. Mommsen received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902 for being “the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A History of…
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Johannes van der Waals –  A Pioneer in the Molecular Sciences

Johannes van der Waals – A Pioneer in the Molecular Sciences

On November 23, 1837 Dutch theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate Johannes Diderik van der Waals was born. He is best known for his work on an equation of state for gases and liquids. Johannes van der Waals Background Johannes Diderik van der Waals was the son of a carpenter and could only receive ‘advanced primary education’, which would later on not be enough to actually enroll at a university. When he was…
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The Universe goes beyond the Milky Way – thanks to Edwin Hubble

The Universe goes beyond the Milky Way – thanks to Edwin Hubble

On November 20, 1889, American astronomer Edwin Hubble was born. He is best known for his role in establishing the field of extragalactic astronomy and is generally regarded as one of the most important observational cosmologists of the 20th century. “Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.” – Edwin Hubble (1929) Edwin Hubble – Early Years Although Edwin Hubble earned pretty good grades in…
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Maria Skłodowska Curie – Truly an Extraordinary Woman

Maria Skłodowska Curie – Truly an Extraordinary Woman

On November 7, 1867, Marie Curie was born, French-Polish physicist, chemist, pioneer in research of radioactivity.  She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, is the only woman to win the Nobel prize twice, and is the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” — Marie Curie, Letter to her…
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