physics

Laura Bassi – the first Woman with a University Chair

Laura Bassi – the first Woman with a University Chair

Between October 20 and October 29, 1711, Italian physicist and academic Laura Maria Caterina Bassi was born. Bassi is referred to as being the first woman to earn a professorship in physics at a university in Europe and is recognized as the first woman in the world to earn a university chair in a scientific field of studies. She contributed immensely to the field of science while also helping to spread the…
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Charles Proteus Steinmetz and the Alternating Current

Charles Proteus Steinmetz and the Alternating Current

On October 26, 1923, German-born American mathematician and electrical engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz passed away. Steinmetz fostered the development of alternating current that made possible the expansion of the electric power industry in the United States, formulating mathematical theories for engineers. He made ground-breaking discoveries in the understanding of hysteresis that enabled engineers to design better electromagnetic apparatus equipment including especially electric motors for use in industry. “The scientist is contented if…
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Faster than the Speed of Light – Ilya Frank and the Cherenkov Radiation

Faster than the Speed of Light – Ilya Frank and the Cherenkov Radiation

On October 23, 1908, Soviet physicist Ilya Mikhailovich Frank was born. Frank received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1958 jointly with Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov and Igor Y. Tamm for his work in explaining the phenomenon of Cherenkov radiation, an electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle (such as an electron) passes through a dielectric medium at a speed greater than the phase velocity of light in that medium. Family Background and…
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Friedrich Kohlrausch and the Conductive Properties of Electrolytes

Friedrich Kohlrausch and the Conductive Properties of Electrolytes

On October 14, 1840, German physicist Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Kohlrausch was born. Kohlrausch investigated the conductive properties of electrolytes and contributed to knowledge of their behaviour. He also investigated elasticity, thermoelasticity, and thermal conduction as well as magnetic and electrical precision measurements. Youth and Education Friedrich Kohlrausch was born in Rinteln, Germany, the son of Rudolf Kohlrausch, a physicist who introduced the relaxation phenomena and used the stretched exponential function to explain relaxation…
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Pieter Zeeman and the Zeeman Effect

Pieter Zeeman and the Zeeman Effect

On October 9, 1943, Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman passed away. Zeeman shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Hendrik Lorentz for his discovery of the Zeeman effect, the effect of splitting a spectral line into several components in the presence of a static magnetic field. Youth and Education Pieter Zeeman was born on 25 May 1865 in Zonnemaire, a small town on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland, Netherlands, to Catharinus Forandinus Zeeman, a minister of…
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Paul Villard and the Gamma Radiation

Paul Villard and the Gamma Radiation

On September 28, 1860, French chemist and physicist Paul Ulrich Villard was born. Villard is best known for having discovered gamma rays in 1900 while studying the radiation emanating from radium. Youth and Education Paul Villard was born in Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or, Rhône, France. Villard entered the École Normal Supérieure in 1881 and received the agrégé in 1884, which gave him the license to teach at any secondary school financed by the government.[2] After…
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Sir Andrew Noble and the Science of Ballistics

Sir Andrew Noble and the Science of Ballistics

On September 13, 1831, Scottish physicist Andrew Noble was born. Noble was a gunnery expert, known as a founder of the science of ballistics. He invented the chronoscope, a device for measuring very small time intervals, and used it to measure the velocity of shot in gun barrels. Born at Greenock, Andrew Noble was educated at Edinburgh Academy and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1849.…
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Luis Federico Leloir and the Metabolic Pathways of Lactose

Luis Federico Leloir and the Metabolic Pathways of Lactose

On September 6, 1906, Argentine physicist and biochemist Luis Federico Leloir was born. Leloir received the 1970 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the metabolic pathways in lactose, becoming only the third Argentine to receive the prestigious honor in any field. His research has led to significant progress in understanding, diagnosing and treating the congenital disease galactosemia. Leloir’s parents, Federico Leloir and Hortensia Aguirre de Leloir, both from an old and…
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Victor Ambartsumian and Theoretical Astrophysics

Victor Ambartsumian and Theoretical Astrophysics

On September 5, 1908, Soviet astronomer and astrophysicist Viktor Amazaspovich Ambartsumian was born. Ambartsumian is well known as one of the founders of theoretical astrophysics. He worked in the field of physics of stars and nebulae, stellar astronomy, dynamics of stellar systems and cosmogony of stars and galaxies, and contributed to mathematical physics. Early Years Victor Ambartsumian was the son of the prominent philologist and writer Hamazasp Asaturovich Ambartsumian, the translator of Homer’s Iliad…
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Carl Størmer and the Mathematical Model of the Formation of Aurorae

Carl Størmer and the Mathematical Model of the Formation of Aurorae

On September 3, 1874, Norwegian mathematician and geophysicist Carl Størmer was born. Carl Størmer is known both for his work in number theory and for studying the movement of charged particles in the magnetosphere and the formation of aurorae. He also contributed both important photographic observations and mathematical data to the understanding of the polar aurora, of stratospheric and mesospheric clouds, and of the structure of the ionosphere. The discovery of the Van Allen…
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