physics

Nicholas Callan and the Induction coil

Nicholas Callan and the Induction coil

On December 22, 1799, Irish priest and physicist Nicholas Callan was born. Callan invented the induction coil (1836) before that of better-known Heinrich Ruhmkorff. Callan‘s coil was built using a horseshoe shaped iron bar wound with a secondary coil of thin insulated wire under a separate winding of thick insulated wire as the “primary” coil. Each time a battery‘s current through the “primary” coil was interrupted, a high voltage current was produced in…
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Mileva Marić and the Theory of Relativity

Mileva Marić and the Theory of Relativity

On December 19, 1875, Serbian physicist Mileva Marić, sometimes called Mileva Marić-Einstein, was born. Marić was the second woman to finish a full program of study of mathematics and physics at ETH Zurich, where she met her future husband Albert Einstein. When Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921 after their divorce, he transferred the prize money to Marić. The question whether (and if so, to what extent) Marić contributed to Einstein‘s…
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Franz Aepinius’ Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

Franz Aepinius’ Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

On December 13, 1724, German and Russian Empire natural philosopher Franz Ulrich Theodor Aepinus was born. Aepinius is best known for his researches, theoretical and experimental, in electricity and magnetism. His Tentamen theoriae electricitatis et magnetismi (1759; “An Attempt at a Theory of Electricity and Magnetism“) was the first work to apply mathematics to the theory of electricity and magnetism. Franz Aepinus studied medicine at first but soon became enthusiastic about physical…
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C. F. Powell and the Pion

C. F. Powell and the Pion

On December 5, 1903, English physicist and nobel Laureate Cecil Frank Powell, was born. Powell was awarded the 1950 Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and for the resulting discovery of the pion. The pion proved to be the hypothetical particle proposed in 1935 by Yukawa Hideki of Japan in his theory. Cecil Frank Powell joined Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and graduated in 1925 in…
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Russian Polymath Mikhail Lomonosow

Russian Polymath Mikhail Lomonosow

On November 19, 1711, Russian polymath, scientist and writer Mikhail Lomonosov was born. Lomonosov made important contributions to literature, education, and science. Among his discoveries were the atmosphere of Venus and the Law of Mass Conservation in chemical reactions. His spheres of science were natural science, chemistry, physics, mineralogy, history, art, philology, optical devices and others. Lomonosov was also a poet and influenced the formation of the modern Russian literary language. Mikhail Lomonosov…
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George B. Kistiakowsky and the Manhattan Project

George B. Kistiakowsky and the Manhattan Project

On November 18, 1900, Ukrainian-American physical chemist Kistiakowsky was born. Kistiakowsky worked on developing the first atomic bomb but later advocated banning nuclear weapons. In the Manhattan project, he was in charge of X Division, which was responsible for the development of the explosive lenses necessary for an implosion-type nuclear weapon. In his youth, George Bogdanovich Kistiakowsky joined the anti-Communist White Army and escaped from Russia in a french ship. Eventually, he…
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Heinrich Hertz and the Transmission of Electromagnetic Waves

Heinrich Hertz and the Transmission of Electromagnetic Waves

On November 13, 1886, German physicist Heinrich Hertz succeeded to transmit electromagnetic waves from a sender to a receiver in Karlsruhe. Hertz conclusively proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves theorized by James Clerk Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory of light. The unit of frequency – cycle per second – was named the “hertz” in his honor. Heinrich Hertz studied science and engineering in Dresden, Munich, and Berlin under Gustav R. Kirchhoff and Hermann von…
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John William Strutt and the Rayleigh Scattering

John William Strutt and the Rayleigh Scattering

On November 12, 1842, English physicist John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh was born. Rayleigh with William Ramsay, discovered argon, an achievement for which he earned the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904. He also discovered the phenomenon now called Rayleigh scattering, which can be used to explain why the sky is blue, and predicted the existence of the surface waves now known as Rayleigh waves. Strutt was born at Langford Grove…
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Sir Hermann Bondi and the Steady State Theory

Sir Hermann Bondi and the Steady State Theory

On November 1, 1919, Anglo-Austrian mathematician and cosmologist Sir Herman Bondi was born. Bondi is best known for developing the Steady State theory of the universe with Fred Hoyle and Thomas Gold as an alternative to the Big Bang theory. Their model was rendered obsolete, when in 1965, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson detected a background microwave radiation from all directions in space, as predicted by the “Big Bang” theory of creation…
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Homi J. Bhabha and the Indian Nuclear Programme

Homi J. Bhabha and the Indian Nuclear Programme

On October 30, 1909, Indian nuclear physicist Homi J. Bhabha was born. Bhabha is often referred to as known as “father of the Indian nuclear programme“. With support from industrialist Dorabji Jamsetji Tata, he established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay (1945) for large scale research in physics, chemistry, electronics and mathematics. He envisioned nuclear power from thorium instead of uranium reserves. Homi Jehangir Bhabha attended the Royal Institute of Science before…
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