Germany

Karl Weierstrass – the Father of Modern Analysis

On February 19, 1897, German mathematician Karl Theodor Wilhelm Weierstrass passed away. Weierstrass often cited as the “father of modern analysis“. He formalized the definition of the continuity of a function, proved the intermediate value theorem and the Bolzano–Weierstrass theorem, and used the latter to study the properties of continuous functions on closed bounded intervals. “… it is true that a mathematician who is not somewhat of a poet, will never be a…
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The Astronomical Machines of Johannes Stöffler

The Astronomical Machines of Johannes Stöffler

On February 16, 1531, German mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, priest, and maker of astronomical instruments Johannes Stöffler passed away. Stöffler was the first professor of astronomy at the University of Tübingen. At the end of the 1490s, Stöffler calculated a continuation of Regiomontan’s ephemeris [1] and constructed an equator for Johannes Reuchlin – an analog calculating machine for the direct location of a planet‘s position at a given point in time. Johannes Stöffler attended the…
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Karl Benz and his Automobile Vehicle

Karl Benz and his Automobile Vehicle

Carl Benz (1844 – 1929) On January 29, 1886, German engineer and entrepreneur Karl Benz patented the first successful gasoline-driven automobile. Karl Friedrich Benz was born as Karl Friedrich Michael Vaillant into a family of a locomotive driver and a maid – the couple married a few month after Karl’s birth – and after his father passed away two years later, his mother had to work hard to finance Karl’s education. From…
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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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Joseph Weizenbaum and his famous Eliza

Joseph Weizenbaum and his famous Eliza

Joseph Weizenbaum (1923-2008) photo: Ulrich Hansen On January 8, 1923, computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum, a pioneer in natural language processing and artificial intelligence, who later became one of artificial intelligence’s leading critics, was born. In 1966 he published a simple program named Eliza, which involved its users in a conversation that bore a striking resemblance to one with a psychologist. Joseph Weizenbaum was born in Berlin the son of master furrier Jechiel Weizenbaum…
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Alfred Wegener and the Continental Drift

Alfred Wegener and the Continental Drift

On January 06, 1912, German geologist Alfred Wegener presented his theory of continental drift for the first time in public at a meeting of the Geological Society (‘Geologische Vereinigung’) at Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. Alfred Wegener was born in Berlin, Germany, as the youngest of five children to his father, Richard Wegener, a theologian and teacher of classical languages at the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster. In 1886 his family purchased a former…
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Carl Ludwig and Modern Physiology

Carl Ludwig and Modern Physiology

On December 29, 1816, German physician and physiologist Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig was born. Ludwig was one of the creators of modern physiology. He applied the experimental approach of chemistry and physics to explain the way the body functions. Ludwig investigated the structure of the kidneys and cardiac activity. Carl Ludwig studied medicine in Erlangen and Marburg. At Marburg, he earned his doctor’s degree in 1839 and continued to study and teach anatomy…
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Carl Remigius Fresenius and the Analytical Chemistry

Carl Remigius Fresenius and the Analytical Chemistry

On December 28, 1818, German chemist Carl Remigius Fresenius was born. Fresenius is known for his studies in analytical chemistry. He devised a method for systematic identification and separation of individual metal and non-metal ions, selecting the most suitable reactions from the many that were known. Carl Remigius Fresenius was first occupied at a pharmacy. In 1840, he entered Bonn University. One year later Fresenius moved to Gießen where he acted as assistant…
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Emil Wiechert and the Inner Structure of the Earth

Emil Wiechert and the Inner Structure of the Earth

On December 26, 1861, German geophysicist Emil Johann Wiechert was born. Wiechert made many contributions to both fields, including presenting the first verifiable model of a layered structure of the Earth and being among the first to discover the electron. He invented the “inverted pendulum” seismograph, (an improvement still incorporated in today’s instruments), with which he was able to detect some of the Earth‘s inner structure. He suggested the Earth has an inner,…
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The Golden Bull and the Holy Roman Empire

The Golden Bull and the Holy Roman Empire

On December 25, 1356, the final chapters of the Golden Bull were decreed by the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg and Metz headed by the Emperor Charles IV. The Golden Bull fixed, for a period of more than four hundred years, important aspects of the constitutional structure of the Holy Roman Empire. It mainly regulated the modalities of election and the coronation of the Roman-German kings and emperors by the electors until the…
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