physics

Hedy Lamarr – a Hollywood Star Invents Secure Communication Technology

Hedy Lamarr – a Hollywood Star Invents Secure Communication Technology

Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000) On November 9, 1913, Hollywood movie star Hedy Lamarr was born, co-inventor of an early form of the spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary for wireless communication from the pre-computer age to the present day. Ok, I assume that you are not necessarelly familiar with spread spectrum communications technology. But, maybe you are wondering even more about a Hollywood movie star diva, who should be responsible for…
Edmond Halley and his famous Comet

Edmond Halley and his famous Comet

Sir Edmond Halley (1656-1742)©Klaus-Dieter Keller, wikipedia On November 8, 1656, Sir Edmond Halley was born. The astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist, was best known for computing the orbit of the eponymous Halley’s Comet. Edmond Halley was born in England to the family of a wealthy soap maker. Therefore, Halley was able to receive a proper education and started studying at Queen’s College in Oxford, where he already published his…
Marie Curie – Truly an Extraordinary Woman

Marie Curie – Truly an Extraordinary Woman

Marie Curie (1867-1934) On November 7, 1867, Marie Curie was born, French-Polish physicist, chemist, pioneer in research of radioactivity and double nobel laureate. Marie Curie was born in 1867 to a Polish family that counted to the social group of Intelligentsia. Her father was a teacher of mathematics and physics and her mother was a school principle. She finished high school at the age of only 15, but unfortunately she was…
The Arecibo Radio Telescope – Looking for Extraterrestrial Signals

The Arecibo Radio Telescope – Looking for Extraterrestrial Signals

The Arecibo radio telescope is the largest single-dish telescope in the world. On November 1, 1963, the Arecibo radio telescope, by that time the earth’s largest radio telescope, has been inaugurated in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. It is operated by the company SRI International under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation and is also called the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, although “NAIC” refers to both the observatory and the…
Lise Meitner – The Misjudged Genius

Lise Meitner – The Misjudged Genius

Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn On October 27, 1968 the scientist Lise Meitner passed away. She is known today for her passionate and extraordinary work on radioactivity and nuclear physics along with her colleague Otto Hahn, who was honored with the Nobel Prize while Meitner stayed unrecognized. Born in 1878 in Vienna, Lise Meitner’s talents were early detected, not unusual for scientists who achieved these major efforts in their later lives.…
Eris – The Planet of Discord

Eris – The Planet of Discord

On October 21, 2003, a photograph of the nocturnal sky was taken, where almost 2 years later, in January 2005, evidence was raised that there might be a 10th planet at the borders of our solar system: Eris, located in the Kuiper Belt and named after the Greek godess of discord. And discord it should be, because Eris as a planet is rather small and astronomers were arguing, whether it…
The Leyden Jar and the Age of Electricity

The Leyden Jar and the Age of Electricity

Leyden Jars, Teyler sMuseum, Haarlem, The Netherlands © Ziko van Dijk On October 11, 1745, German cleric Ewald Georg von Kleist and independently of him Dutch scientist Pieter van Musschenbroek from the city of Leiden, Netherlands, invented a predecessor of today’s battery, the Leyden Jar. The jar worked in principle like a capacitor for the storage of electrical energy and was used to conduct many early experiments in electricity. Its…
Windscale – A Nuclear Desaster

Windscale – A Nuclear Desaster

Sellafield © Rob Bishop On October 10, 1957, the world’s first major nuclear accident took place. The Windscale fire happened in Cumbria, U.K. and was Great Britain’s worst nuclear accident in history. After World War II, the British refused to just look at how the United States and the Soviet Union raced each other in who can work with nuclear power at first and most important, who is able to…
A Life of Discoveries –  the great Michael Faraday

A Life of Discoveries – the great Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday (1791 – 1867) in his laboratory Painting by Harriet Moore On September 22, 1791, the famous chemist and physicist Michael Faraday was born. He is responsible for the discovery of the electromagnetic induction, the laws of electrolysis and best known for his inventions, which laid the foundations to the electrical industry. But, to understand the person and the scientist Michael Faraday, we have to look a little bit…
James van Allen and the Weather in Space

James van Allen and the Weather in Space

James Van Allen (1914-2006) in the middle with Wernher von Braun (right) On September 7, 1914, astrophysicist and space pioneer Dr. James Van Allen was born. The Van Allen radiation belts were named after him, following the 1958 satellite missions (Explorer 1 and Explorer 3) in which Van Allen had argued that a Geiger counter should be used to detect charged particles. “Apparently, something happens on the sun. It sends out…
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