physics

Galileo Galilei and his Telescope

Galileo Galilei and his Telescope

Galileo Galilei showing the Doge of Venice how to use the telescope,Fresco at Villa Andrea Ponti, Varese, 1858 On August 25, 1609, Galileo Galilei publicly demonstrated his newly built telescope for the first time to Venetian lawmakers. Besides its astronomical value Galileo’s telescope was also a profitable sideline for him selling telescopes to merchants who found them useful both at sea and as items of trade. Galileo published his initial…
Fred Hoyle and the Big Bang Theory

Fred Hoyle and the Big Bang Theory

Sir Fred Hoyle FRS (1915-2001)© wikipedia Sir Fred Hoyle, born in 1915 was a famous astronomer, mathematician, and author. The scientist was the first to coin the term “Big Bang” for the now prevailing theory of the early development of the universe in 1949, even though he happened to be a strong opponent of this theory. Hoyle was born and grew up in England, he studied at Emmanuel College in…
Robert Fulton and the Steamship Company

Robert Fulton and the Steamship Company

From the invention of a new power source or engine up to a vehicle that applies this power source to move forward sometimes is only a small step. But, to become a commercial success, this step might take even decades. Just think of the oldest type of engine powered by steam. Although the principle of the steam engine was already described by ancient Greek mathematician Heron of Alexandria, it took…
Henry Moseley and the Atomic Numbers

Henry Moseley and the Atomic Numbers

Henry Moseley (1887-1915) For sure you do remember that poster from your classroom with all the chemical elements ordered in the so-called periodic table. But, certainly only a few of you will have heard about Henry Moseley and his concept of the atomic numbers. In chemistry and physics, the existence of a periodic table creates an ordering for the elements, and was first proposed by Russian chemist and inventor Dimitri…
Mary Had a Little Lamb – Edison and the Phonograph

Mary Had a Little Lamb – Edison and the Phonograph

Thomas Edison and his early phonograph (1877)@Library of Congress On July 18, 1877 Thomas A. Edison conceived the first idea for his phonograph, the very first mechanical tool for recording and reproducing (replaying) sound. The phonograph also was the invention that first gained him public notice. Actually, the phonograph was intended as a byproduct of Edison’s efforts to “play back” recorded telegraph messages and to automate speech sounds for transmission…
A Wire to Connect the World – Stephen Gray’s Discovery

A Wire to Connect the World – Stephen Gray’s Discovery

In a famous experiment Stephen Gray demonstrated static electricityby charging a boy suspended by insulating strings in 1744 Today for us it’s pretty normal that electricity can be transmitted on a wire, because it’s part of our daily life. But, in the early 18th century, when the English nature-scientist Stephen Gray was able to show that electricity really can be transmitted on a string of copper, it was an unheard-of…
To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before – Voyager 2

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before – Voyager 2

Jupiter with the great red spot shot from Voyager 1© NASA/CalTech/JPL On July 9, 1979 the interplanetary spacecraft Voyager 2 passed Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System. The space probe had been launched by NASA on August 20, 1977 to study the outer Solar System and eventually to push forward into interstellar space. Until today,  operating for more than 30 years the spacecraft still receives routine commands and…
The misjudged Math Teacher – Georg Simon Ohm

The misjudged Math Teacher – Georg Simon Ohm

Georg Simon Ohm(1789 – 1854) On this day in 1854, the Bavarian physicist and mathematician Georg Simon Ohm passed away, he was best known for his research on electricity and it was him to initiate the subject of circuit theory. The SI unit of electrical resistance and Ohm’s law are named after this Bavarian ‘teacher’. Ohm’s intention was to develop a formula dealing with the effects of flowing electricity and…
Sir Isaac Newton and the famous Principia

Sir Isaac Newton and the famous Principia

Sir Isaac Newton(1642 – 1727) On July 5, 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (in Latin). It is to be considered as the most influential work of Sir Isaac Newton and as one of the greatest scientific works of all time. The original impulse to work on the Principia gave Edmund Halley, the English scientist known for his calculations on the orbits of comets and for being the…
The Supernova of 1054

The Supernova of 1054

  On July 4, 1054, Chinese astronomers observed a new star in the constellation of Taurus, which later turned out to be a supernova. China was able to contribute to the developments in the science of astronomy critically. In their philosophy, the harmony between earth, the sky and humankind were essential, and therefore any disturbance to that balance had to be predicted. This believe caused the astronomers of the historical China…
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