physics

Charles Augustin de Coulomb and the Electrostatic Force

Charles Augustin de Coulomb and the Electrostatic Force

On June 14, 1736, French physicist Charles Augustin de Coulomb was born. He is best known for developing Coulomb’s law, the definition of the electrostatic force of attraction and repulsion, but also did important work on friction. The SI unit of electric charge, the coulomb, was named after him. Charles Augustin de Coulomb received a good education in mathematics, astronomy, chemistry and botany since both sides of his family were respected and quite wealthy…
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Robert Mulliken and the Molecular Orbitals

Robert Mulliken and the Molecular Orbitals

On June 7, 1896, American physicist, chemist, and Nobel Laureate Robert Sonderson Mulliken was born. He is primarily responsible for the early development of molecular orbital theory, i.e. the elaboration of the molecular orbital method of computing the structure of molecules. “…the more accurate the calculations became, the more the concepts tended to vanish into thin air.” — Robert Mulliken, about using old-fashioned chemistry to describe molecular structure, in Molecular Scientists and…
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The Bose-Einstein Condensate brings Quantum Theory to the Macroscopic Scale

The Bose-Einstein Condensate brings Quantum Theory to the Macroscopic Scale

Velocity-distribution data (3 views) for a gas of rubidium atoms, confirming the discovery of a new phase of matter, the Bose–Einstein condensate. On June 5, 1995, the very first Bose-Einstein condensate was experimentally produced by Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman at the University of Colorado. A Bose–Einstein condensate (BEC) is a state of matter of a dilute gas of bosons cooled to temperatures very close to absolute zero. Under such conditions, a…
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Nicolas Sadi Carnot and the Science of Thermodynamics

Nicolas Sadi Carnot and the Science of Thermodynamics

On June 1, 1796, French military engineer and physicist Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot was born. He is often described as the “father of thermodynamics“. In particular, Carnot gave the first successful theory of the maximum efficiency of heat engines. Carnot’s work attracted little attention during his lifetime, but it was later used by Rudolf Clausius and Lord Kelvin to formalize the second law of thermodynamics and define the concept of entropy. Sadi Carnot was…
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J. J. Thomson and the Existence of the Electron

J. J. Thomson and the Existence of the Electron

On April 30, 1897, English physicist Joseph John Thomson gave the first experimental proof of the electron, which had been already theoretically predicted by Johnstone Stoney. Thomson was awarded the 1906 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the electron and for his work on the conduction of electricity in gases. Joseph John Thomson was born in 1856 in Manchester, England and was taught mainly in private schools at the beginning. In 1876,…
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Joseph Sauveur and the Science of Acoustics

Joseph Sauveur and the Science of Acoustics

On March 24, 1653, French mathematician and physicist Joseph Sauveur was born. Sauveur is known principally for his detailed studies on acoustics, a term he also has coined for the first time. Joseph Sauveur was the son of a provincial notary in La Fléche, France. Despite a hearing and speech impairment that kept him totally mute until he was seven, Joseph benefited from a fine education at the Jesuit College of La…
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There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom

There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom

Richard Feynman On December 29, 1959, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at Caltech gave a presentation entitled ‘There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom‘, which is generally considered to be a seminal event in the history of nanotechnology, as it inspired the conceptual beginnings of the field decades later. At yovisto blog, Richard Feynman already is some sort of an old acquaintance. Not only…
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George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

George Cayley (1773 – 1857) 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. George Cayley was the son of the 5th baronet and inherited several estates himself. He started several engineering projects during his early years, like self-righting lifeboats or caterpillar tractors which he…
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The World’s First Nuclear Power Plant

The World’s First Nuclear Power Plant

The first four light bulbs lit with electricity generated from the EBR-1 reactor 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. 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.…
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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

Émilie du Châtelet (1706-1749) 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…
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