England

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. Education and the Theory of Sound…
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J. B. S. Haldane and population Genetics

J. B. S. Haldane and population Genetics

On November 5, 1892, English geneticist and biometrician John Burdon Sanderson Haldane was born. Haldane is known for his work in the study of physiology, genetics, evolutionary biology, and in mathematics, where he made innovative contributions to the fields of statistics and biostatistics. “My own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” — J. B. S. Haldane Youth and Education John…
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George Edward Moore and the Naturalistic Fallacy

George Edward Moore and the Naturalistic Fallacy

On November 4, 1873, English philosopher George Edward “G. E.” Moore was born. Moore was, with Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and  Gottlob Frege, one of the founders of the analytic tradition in philosophy. Along with Russell, he led the turn away from idealism in British philosophy, and became well known for his advocacy of common sense concepts, his contributions to ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics.[7] Youth and Education George Edward Moore was born in…
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John A. Pople and Computational Methods in Quantum Chemistry

John A. Pople and Computational Methods in Quantum Chemistry

On October 31, 1925, British theoretical chemist and Nobel laureate Sir John Anthony Pople was born. Pople was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Walter Kohn in 1998 for his work on computational methodology to study the quantum mechanics of molecules, their properties and how they act together in chemical reactions. “Sometimes one can improve the theories in the sense of discovering a quicker, more efficient way of doing a given…
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Sir Richard Doll and the Risks of Smoking

Sir Richard Doll and the Risks of Smoking

On October 28, 1912, British physiologist and epidemologist Sir Richard Doll was born. Doll was a pioneer in research linking smoking to health problems. With Ernst Wynder, Bradford Hill and Evarts Graham, he was credited with being the first to prove that smoking caused lung cancer and increased the risk of heart disease. Sir Richard Doll studied medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, King’s College London where he graduated in 1937.…
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Sir Christopher Wren – Baroque Architect, Philosopher, Scientist

Sir Christopher Wren – Baroque Architect, Philosopher, Scientist

On October 20, 1632 (October 30 according to the new Gregorian calendar), one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, Sir Christopher Wren was born. He was accorded responsibility for rebuilding 52 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including what is regarded as his masterpiece, St Paul’s Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710. “Architecture has its political Use; publick Buildings being the Ornament…
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Charles Percy Snow and the Two Cultures

Charles Percy Snow and the Two Cultures

On October 15, 1905, English physical chemist and novelist Charles Percy Snow, Baron Snow was born. Snow is best known for his series of novels known collectively as Strangers and Brothers, and for The Two Cultures, a 1959 lecture in which he laments the gulf between scientists and “literary intellectuals“. Youth and Education C. P. Snow was born in Leicester to William Snow, a church organist and choirmaster, and his wife Ada.…
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George Stapledon and Grassland Science

George Stapledon and Grassland Science

On September 22, 1882, English grassland scientist and pioneer environmentalist Sir Reginald George Stapledon was born. Stapledon worked to compensate for the land use changes of the 20th century, after the collapse of rural mining industries of 18th and 19th centuries and resultant depopulation. Reginald George Stapledon was born at Lakenham, Northam, near Bideford, Devon, UK, the sixth of the seven children of shipping agent William Stapledon and Mary Clibbert. A family…
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James Jeans and the Theory of Continuous Creation

James Jeans and the Theory of Continuous Creation

On September 11, 1877, English physicist, astronomer and mathematician James Hopwood Jeans was born. Jeans was the first to propose that matter is continuously created throughout the universe. He made other innovations in astronomical theory but is perhaps best known as a writer of popular books about astronomy. “The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine.…
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Hertha Ayrton – Arc Lights and Ripples in the Sand

Hertha Ayrton – Arc Lights and Ripples in the Sand

On August 26, 1923, British engineer, mathematician, physicist and inventor Hertha Ayrton died of blood poisoning resulting from an insect bite. Known in adult life as Hertha Ayrton, born Phoebe Sarah Marks, she was awarded the Hughes Medal by the Royal Society for her work on electric arcs and ripples in sand and water. She invented a sphygmograph (a device that charts pulse beats, but was not the first to do so), and…
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