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The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials

On September 19, 1692, Giles Corey, who was accused of witchcraft along with his wife Martha Corey during the Salem Witch Trials, was subjected to pressing in an effort to force him to plead, but instead he died after two days of torture. The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in…
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Robert S. Dietz and the Seafloor Spreading

Robert S. Dietz and the Seafloor Spreading

On September 14, 1914, US marine geologist, geophysicist and oceanographer Robert Sinclair Dietz was born. He is best known for his pioneering research along with Harry Hammond Hess concerning seafloor spreading (a term he coined), in which new crustal material continually upwells from the Earth’s depths along the mid-ocean ridges and spreads outward at a rate of several inches per year. Robert Dietz – Education Robert Dietz was educated at the University…
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Harvey Fletcher – the Father of Stereophonic Sound

Harvey Fletcher – the Father of Stereophonic Sound

On September 11, 1884, US-american physicist Harvey Fletcher was born. Considered as the “father of stereophonic sound” he is credited with the invention of hearing aids and is well known for his contributions in acoustics, electrical engineering, speech, medicine, music, atomic physics, sound pictures, and education. Harvey Fletcher – Early Years Harvey Fletcher was raised in Utah in a religious community. He received his early education at he Brigham Young University where…
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James Joseph Sylvester – Lawyer and Mathematician

James Joseph Sylvester – Lawyer and Mathematician

On September 3, 1815, English mathematician James Joseph Sylvester was born. He made fundamental contributions to matrix theory, invariant theory, number theory, partition theory and combinatorics. He also was the founder of the American Journal of Mathematics. “It seems to be expected of every pilgrim up the slopes of the mathematical Parnassus, that he will at some point or other of his journey sit down and invent a definite integral or two…
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Ernest Lawrence and the Invention of the Cyclotron

Ernest Lawrence and the Invention of the Cyclotron

On August 8, 1901, pioneering American nuclear scientist Ernest Orlando Lawrence was born. He was awarded the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the cyclotron. He is also known for his work on uranium-isotope separation for the Manhattan Project, and for founding the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. “I am mindful that scientific achievement is rooted in the past, is cultivated to full stature by many contemporaries and…
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Vladimir Zworykin and the Invention of Television

Vladimir Zworykin and the Invention of Television

On July 30, 1888, Russian inventor, engineer, and pioneer of television technology Vladimir Zworykin was born. Zworykin invented a television transmitting and receiving system employing cathode ray tubes. He played a role in the practical development of television from the early thirties, including charge storage-type tubes, infrared image tubes and the electron microscope. Vladimir Zworykin – Youth in Russia Vladimir Kosmich Zworykin was born in Murom, Russia, the son of Kosma A. Zworykin, a wealthy businessman,…
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Isidor Isaac Rabi and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

Isidor Isaac Rabi and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

On July 29, 1898, Polish-born American physicist and Nobel laureate Isidor Isaac Rabi was born. He is best known for his discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance, which is used in magnetic resonance imaging. He was also involved in the development of the cavity magnetron, which is used in microwave radar and microwave ovens. “My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child…
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Thomas Say – the Father of American Descriptive Entomology and American conchology

Thomas Say – the Father of American Descriptive Entomology and American conchology

On July 27, 1787, American self-taught naturalist, entomologist, malacologist, herpetologist and carcinologist Thomas Say was born. A taxonomist, he is widely considered the father of descriptive entomology in the United States. Thomas Say – Early Years Thomas Say was the great-grandson of the co-founder of the American Philosophical Society, John Bartram (1699-1777), and the great-nephew of William Bartram (1739-1823). The whole family consisted of members of a Quaker sect. Say’s statement that he belonged…
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Thomas Kuhn and the Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Thomas Kuhn and the Structure of Scientific Revolutions

On July 18, 1922, American physicist, historian, and philosopher of science Thomas Samuel Kuhn was born. He is most famous for his controversial 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which was influential in both academic and popular circles, introducing the term “paradigm shift“, which has since become an English-language idiom. “Only when they must choose between competing theories do scientists behave like philosophers.” — Thomas Kuhn, Logic of Discovery or Psychology…
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Henrietta Swan Leavitt and the Light of the Cepheids

Henrietta Swan Leavitt and the Light of the Cepheids

On July 4, 1868, American astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt was born. She is best known for her discovery of the relation between the luminosity and the period of Cepheid variable stars. Based on her luminosity-period relation for Cepheids, Edwin Hubble was able to determine that the universe is expanding. Henrietta Swan Leavitt – Early Years Henrietta Swan Leavitt was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, as daughter among seven children of Congregational church minister…
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