Nobel Prize

Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff and Physical Chemistry

Jacobus Henricus van ‘t Hoff and Physical Chemistry

On August 30, 1852, Dutch physical chemist Jacobus Henricus Van ‘t Hoff was born. Van ‘t Hoff was the first winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His pioneering work helped found the modern theory of chemical affinity, chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, and chemical thermodynamics. He formulated the theory of the tetrahedral carbon atom and laid the foundations of stereochemistry and predicted the correct structures of allenes and cumulenes as well as their…
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Norman Ramsey and the Oscillatory Field Method

Norman Ramsey and the Oscillatory Field Method

On August 27, 1915, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Norman Foster Ramsey Jr. was born. Ramsey was awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics, for the invention of the separated oscillatory field method, which had important applications in the construction of atomic clocks. “You have to get a little untrapped from too much prior knowledge.” — Norman Foster Ramsey, Jr., explaining what’s the best way of thinking, in an oral history conducted…
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Hans Adolf Krebs and the Krebs Cycle

Hans Adolf Krebs and the Krebs Cycle

On August 25, 1900, German-born British physician and biochemist Hans Adolf Krebs was born. Krebs was the pioneer scientist in study of cellular respiration, a biochemical pathway in cells for production of energy. He is best known for his discoveries of two important chemical reactions in the body, namely the urea cycle and the citric acid cycle. The latter, the key sequence of metabolic reactions that produces energy in cells, often eponymously…
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Frederick Sanger and the Structure of Proteins

Frederick Sanger and the Structure of Proteins

On August 13, 1918, British biochemist Frederick Sanger was born. In 1958, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry “for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin“. In 1980, Walter Gilbert and Sanger shared half of the chemistry prize “for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids“. “Scientific research is one of the most exciting and rewarding of occupations. It is like a…
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Christiaan Eijkman and the Cause of Beriberi

Christiaan Eijkman and the Cause of Beriberi

On August 11, 1858, Dutch physiologist Christiaan Eijkman was born. Eijkman‘s demonstrated that beriberi is caused by poor diet led to the discovery of antineuritic vitamins (thiamine). Together with Sir Frederick Hopkins, he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Education in the Netherlands Christiaan Eijkman was born at Nijkerk, Netherlands as the seventh child of Christiaan Eijkman, the headmaster of a local school, and Johanna Alida Pool. In 1859, the…
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Charles H. Townes and the Invention of the Maser

Charles H. Townes and the Invention of the Maser

On July 28, 1915, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Charles Hard Townes was born. Townes was known for his work concerning the theory and application of the maser, for which he obtained the fundamental patent, and other work in quantum electronics associated with both maser and laser devices. “I feel that very rarely have I done any work in my life. I have a good time. I’m exploring. I’m playing a game,…
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Victor Hess and the Cosmic Ultra Radiation

Victor Hess and the Cosmic Ultra Radiation

On June 24, 1883, Austrian-American physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics Victor Francis Hess was born. Hess shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with Carl Anderson in 1936 for his discovery of cosmic rays.[5] Victor Hess’ Youth in Austria Victor Franz Hess was born near Peggau in Styria, Austria, to Vinzenz Hess, a royal forester in Prince Louis of Oettingen-Wallerstein’s service, and his wife Serafine Edle von Grossbauer-Waldstätt. He attended secondary school…
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Sir James Black and the Beta Blockers

Sir James Black and the Beta Blockers

On June 14, 1924, British pharmacologist and Nobel Laureate Sir James Whyte Black was born. Black developed propranolol, a beta blocker used for the treatment of heart disease. Black was also responsible for the development of cimetidine, a H2 receptor antagonist, a drug used to treat stomach ulcers. For both developments he was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize in Medicine. “I call myself a pharmacological toolmaker. ” — Sir James W. Black, as…
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Charles Barkla and X-Ray Characteristics of the Chemical Elements

Charles Barkla and X-Ray Characteristics of the Chemical Elements

On June 7, 1877, British physicist Charles Glover Barkla was born. Barkla received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in X-ray spectroscopy. In particular for his work on X-ray scattering. This technique is applied to the investigation of atomic structures, by studying how X-rays passing through a material and are deflected by the atomic electrons. Charles Berkla – Early Years of a Physicist Charles Barkla was born in Widnes, England, to John…
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Hannes Alfvén – the Father of Plasma Physics

Hannes Alfvén – the Father of Plasma Physics

On May 30, 1908. Swedish electrical engineer, plasma physicist, and Nobel laureate Hannes Alfvén was born. Alfvén won the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). He described the class of MHD waves now known as Alfvén waves. Alfvén made many contributions to plasma physics, including theories describing the behavior of aurorae, the Van Allen radiation belts, the effect of magnetic storms on the Earth’s magnetic field, the terrestrial magnetosphere, and the dynamics…
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