SciHi Blog

Robert Millikan and the Millikan experiment

Robert Millikan and the Millikan experiment

On December 19, 1953, US-American physicist and Nobel laureate Robert Andrews Millikan passed away. Millikan was honored with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923 for his measurement of the elementary electronic charge and for his work on the photoelectric effect. Millikan‘s famous oil-drop experiment (1911) was far superior to previous determinations of the charge of an electron, and further showed that the electron was a fundamental, discrete particle. In later work,…
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Edwin Armstrong and Frequency Modulation

Edwin Armstrong and Frequency Modulation

On December 18, 1890, American electrical engineer and inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong was born. Armstrong is best known for developing FM (frequency modulation) radio. He held 42 patents and received numerous awards, including the first Medal of Honor awarded by the Institute of Radio Engineers. Early Years Edwin Armstrong was the first of three children of John Armstrong and Emily Smith Armstrong. His father was a representative of the US branch of…
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Willard Frank Libby and the Radiocarbon Dating

Willard Frank Libby and the Radiocarbon Dating

On December 17, 1908, American physical chemist Willard Frank Libby was born. Libby is best known for his role in the 1949 development of radiocarbon dating, a process which revolutionized archaeology and palaeontology. For his contributions to the team that developed this process, Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960. Early Years Willard Frank Libby was born among two siblings in Grand Valley, Colorado, the son of farmers Ora…
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Edward Barnard and His Love for Celestial Photography

Edward Barnard and His Love for Celestial Photography

On December 16, 1856, American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard was born. Barnard is best known for his discovery of the high proper motion of Barnard’s Star in 1916, which is named in his honor. He also pioneered in celestial photography, specializing in wide-field photography. Early Life Edward Barnard was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Reuben Barnard and Elizabeth Jane née Haywood. His father died before his birth, and the son grew…
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Maurice WIlkins and the Riddle of the DNA Structure

Maurice WIlkins and the Riddle of the DNA Structure

On December 15, 1916, New Zealand-born British physicist, molecular biologist, and Nobel Laureate Maurice Wilkins was born. Wilkins’ research contributed to the scientific understanding of phosphorescence, isotope separation, optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction, and to the development of radar. He is best known for his work at King’s College London on the structure of DNA. Youth and Education Maurice Wilkins was born in Pongaroa, north Wairarapa, New Zealand where his father, Edgar…
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Charles Coulson and the Molecular Orbital Theory

Charles Coulson and the Molecular Orbital Theory

On December 13, 1910, British applied mathematician and theoretical chemist Charles Coulson was born. Coulson was as a pioneer of the application of the quantum theory of valency to problems of molecular structure, dynamics and reactivity. He is known for the application of molecular orbital theory to chemical bonding, the electronic structures of molecules and the concept of partial valency, and developed many mathematical techniques for solving chemical and physical problems. Charles…
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Robert Noyce – the “Mayor of Silicon Valley”

Robert Noyce – the “Mayor of Silicon Valley”

On December 12, 1926, American engineer and inventor Robert Noyce was born. Nicknamed “the Mayor of Silicon Valley,” Noyce co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968. He is credited along with Jack Kilby with the realization of the first integrated circuit or microchip that fueled the personal computer revolution. “Innovation is everything. When you’re on the forefront, you can see what the next innovation needs to be. When you’re behind, you…
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Max Born and the statistical interpretation of the Wave Function

Max Born and the statistical interpretation of the Wave Function

On December 11, 1882, German physicist, mathematician, and Nobel Laureate Max Born was born, who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. He also made contributions to solid-state physics and optics and supervised the work of a number of notable physicists in the 1920s and 1930s. “Can we call something with which the concepts of position and motion cannot be associated in the usual way, a thing, or a particle? And if…
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Henry Nicholas Ridley and the Rubber Tree

Henry Nicholas Ridley and the Rubber Tree

On December 10, 1855, English botanist, geologist and naturalist Henry Nicholas Ridley was born. Ridley was instrumental in introducing rubber trees in the Malay Peninsula and for his fervour in promoting it became known as “Mad Ridley”. Henry Ridley – Early Life Henry Ridley was the second son and third child born to Louisa Pole Stuart and Oliver Matthew Ridley in West Harling in Norfolk, where his father was the Rector. At…
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Henry Way Kendall and the Scattering of Particles

Henry Way Kendall and the Scattering of Particles

On December 9, 1926, American particle physicist and Nobel Laureate Henry Way Kendall was born. Kendall won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1990 jointly with Jerome Isaac Friedman and Richard E. Taylor “for their pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics.” “While science and technology play critical roles in sustaining…
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