Nobel Prize

Niels Ryberg Finsen and the Phototherapy

Niels Ryberg Finsen and the Phototherapy

  On December 15, 1860, Faroese-Danish physician and Nobel Laureate of Icelandic descent Niels Ryberg Finsen was born. Finsen is best known for his theory of phototherapy, in which certain wavelengths of light can have beneficial medical effects. Up to now, we have only mentioned Iceland in this blog when we reported on Nordic expeditions or Eskimology [1,2]. But, Iceland also has a famous Nobel Laureate in medical science, who will be…
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Nobel Laureate Sir Charles Scott Sherrington

Nobel Laureate Sir Charles Scott Sherrington

On November 27, 1857, English neurophysiologist and Nobel Laureate Sir Charles Scott Sherrington was born. Sherrington received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Edgar Adrian in 1932 for their work on the functions of neurons. Prior to the work of Sherrington and Adrian, it was widely accepted that reflexes occurred as isolated activity within a reflex arc. Sherrington received the prize for showing that reflexes require integrated activation and demonstrated…
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The Northern Expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen

The Northern Expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen

On October 10, 1861, Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen was born. Nansen led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, cross-country skiing on the island, and won international fame after reaching a record northern latitude of 86°14′ during his North Pole expedition of 1893–96. Although he retired from exploration after his return to Norway, his techniques of polar travel…
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Irène Joliot-Curie and Artificial Radioactivity

Irène Joliot-Curie and Artificial Radioactivity

On September 12, 1897, French Physicist and Nobel Laureate Irène Joliot-Curie was born. She was the daughter of Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie and the wife of Frédéric Joliot-Curie, with whoom she jointly was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Irene Curie was born in Paris and received a decent and classical education before her parents noticed her talents in mathematics and were willing…
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Edward Appleton and the Ionosphere

Edward Appleton and the Ionosphere

On September 6, 1892, English physicist Sir Edward Victor Appleton was born. Appleton won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1947 for his seminal work proving the existence of the ionosphere during experiments carried out in 1924. Edward Victor Appleton attended St. John’s College, Cambridge where he earned his B.A. degree in Natural Science and already won the Wiltshire Prize in 1913 and the Hutchinson Research Studentship in 1914. During World War I, Appleton joined…
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Wilhelm Ostwald and the Foundation of Modern Physical Chemistry

Wilhelm Ostwald and the Foundation of Modern Physical Chemistry

On September 2, 1853, Baltic German chemist and Nobel Laureate Wilhelm Ostwald was born. He is credited with being one of the modern founders of the field of physical chemistry and received the 1909 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on catalysis, chemical equilibria and reaction velocities. „Katalyse ist die Beschleunigung eines langsam verlaufenden chemischen Vorgangs durch die Gegenwart eines fremden Stoffes.“ – Wilhelm Oswald, 1894 Wilhelm Ostwald was born as…
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Carl Bosch, the Synthesis of Ammonia, and the IG Farben

Carl Bosch, the Synthesis of Ammonia, and the IG Farben

On August 27, 1874, German chemist, engineer and Nobel Laureate Carl Bosch was born. He was a pioneer in the field of high-pressure industrial chemistry and founder of IG Farben, at one point the world’s largest chemical company. Carl Bosch was born in Cologne, the first of seven children of Carl Bosch senior (1843-1904), co-owner of the installation company Bosch & Haag in Cologne, and his wife Paula (1851-1930).After graduating from the secondary school…
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Charles Richet and Anaphylaxis

Charles Richet and Anaphylaxis

On August 26, 1850, French physiologist and Nobel Laureate Charles Robert Richet was born. Initially, he investigated a variety of subjects such as neurochemistry, digestion, thermoregulation in homeothermic animals, and breathing. He coined the term “anaphylaxis” meaning “against protection” to describe the subject of his research, when he found a second vaccinating dose of sea anemone toxin caused a dog’s death. Charles Richet won the Nobel Prize “in recognition of his work on anaphylaxis” in…
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Frits Zernike and the Phase Contrast Microscope

Frits Zernike and the Phase Contrast Microscope

On July 16 , 1888, Dutch physicist and Nobel Laureate Frits Zernike was born. He is best known for his invention of the phase contrast microscope, an instrument that permits the study of internal cell structure without the need to stain and thus kill the cells. “I am impressed by the great limitations of the human mind. How quick are we to learn, that is, to imitate what others have done or thought before. And how…
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Sir William Henry Bragg and his Work with X-Rays

Sir William Henry Bragg and his Work with X-Rays

On July 2 1862, British physicist, chemist, mathematician, active sportsman and Nobel Laureate Sir William Henry Bragg was born. Bragg shared the 1915 Nobel Prize in physics with his son William Lawrence Bragg [3] “for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays“. During the WW I, Bragg was put in charge of research on the detection and measurement of underwater sounds in connection with the location of submarines. He also constructed an X-ray…
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