physics

Albert Einstein revolutionized Physics

Albert Einstein revolutionized Physics

On March 14, 1879, German theoretical physicist Albert Einstein was born, who has become an iconic figure for physics as well as science of the 20th century. He is best known for his theories on special and general relativity, as well as for the discovery of the photoelectric effect – for which he received the Nobel Prize – and he developed what has been named the most famous equation in history, the mass energy…
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Augustin-Jean Fresnel and the Wave Theory of Light

Augustin-Jean Fresnel and the Wave Theory of Light

On March 10, 1788, French civil engineer and physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel was born. Augustin-Jean Fresnel‘s research in optics led to the almost unanimous acceptance of the wave theory of light, excluding any remnant of Newton‘s corpuscular theory, from the late 1830s until the end of the 19th century. Augustin-Jean Fresnel attended the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (National School of Bridges and Roads). He graduated in 1809  and entered the service of…
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Hans Christian Ørsted connecting Electricity and Magnetism

Hans Christian Ørsted connecting Electricity and Magnetism

On March 9, 1851, Danish physicist Hans Christian Ørsted passed away. Hans Christian Ørsted discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, which was the first connection found between electricity and magnetism. He is still known today for Oersted‘s Law and the oersted (Oe), the cgs unit of magnetic H-field strength, is named after him. Hans Christian Ørsted was born in Rudkøbing, Denmark, the elder son of an apothecary, Søren Christian Ørsted, and…
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Otto Hahn – the Father of Nuclear Chemistry

Otto Hahn – the Father of Nuclear Chemistry

On March 8, 1879, German chemist and pioneer in the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry Otto Hahn was born. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944 for the discovery and the radiochemical proof of nuclear fission at the exclusion of his colleague Lise Meitner. He is referred to as the father of nuclear chemistry. Otto Hahn studied chemistry and mineralogy at the University of Marburg. During his third and fourth semester,…
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Joseph von Fraunhofer and the Solar Spectrum

Joseph von Fraunhofer and the Solar Spectrum

On March 6, 1787, German optician and physicist Joseph Fraunhofer – later enobled Ritter von Fraunhofer – was born. He is known for the discovery of the dark absorption lines known as Fraunhofer lines in the Sun‘s spectrum, and for making excellent optical glass and achromatic telescope objectives. Moreover, he is the name giver for the German Fraunhofer Society for the advancement of applied research. Joseph Fraunhofer was born in Straubing, Bavaria to…
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James Chadwick and the Discovery of the Neutron

James Chadwick and the Discovery of the Neutron

On February 27, 1932, English physicist and Nobel Laureate Sir James Chadwick published an article in the scientific journal ‘Nature‘ about the discovery of the neutron, a previously unknown particle in the atomic nucleus. James Chadwick was born and raised in Bollington, England and later studied at Manchester and Cambridge University. Just before the start of World War I, Chadwick moved to Berlin, studying at the city’s Technical University under Ernest Rutherford and Hans…
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Ernst Mach and the eponymous Mach Number

Ernst Mach and the eponymous Mach Number

On February 18, 1838, Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach was born. Mach is noted for his contributions to physics such as study of shock waves. The ratio of one’s speed to that of sound is named the Mach number in his honor. As a philosopher of science, he was a major influence on logical positivism and American pragmatism. “There is no problem in all mathematics that cannot be solved by direct…
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Charles Wheatstone – From the Concertina to the Telegraph

Charles Wheatstone – From the Concertina to the Telegraph

On February 6, 1802, Charles Wheatstone, English scientist and inventor of many scientific breakthroughs of the Victorian era was born. He is well known for his research in acoustics, electricity, and telegraphy. Well, if you don’t happen to be an engineer or a physicist, then you have probably never heard of Charles Wheatstone. But we will show you that he was really some remarkable fellow. Charles Wheatstone was born on February 6, 1802, in…
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Ernst Abbe – Brilliant Engineer and Courageous Social Reformer

Ernst Abbe – Brilliant Engineer and Courageous Social Reformer

On January 23, 1840, German physicist, optometrist, entrepreneur, and social reformer Ernst Abbe was born. Together with Otto Schott and Carl Zeiss, he laid the foundation of modern optics. As a co-owner of Carl Zeiss AG, a German manufacturer of research microscopes, astronomical telescopes, planetariums and other optical systems, Abbe developed numerous optical instruments. Abbe was born in Eisenach in 1840 and was lucky to be financially supported by his father’s boss,…
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André-Marie Ampère and Electromagnetism

André-Marie Ampère and Electromagnetism

On January 20, 1775, French physicist and mathematician André-Marie Ampère was born, after whom the unit of measurement of electric current, the ampere, is named. He is generally considered as one of the main founders of the science of classical electromagnetism, which he referred to as “electrodynamics“. André-Maria Ampère was born into a well educated family and influenced by the theories of Jean-Jacques Rousseau early. He was home schooled by his father, who rejected…
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