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Otto Frisch and the Idea of Nuclear Fission

Otto Frisch and the Idea of Nuclear Fission

On October 1, 1904, Austrian-British physicist Otto Robert Frisch was born. With his aunt Lise Meitner,[4] Frisch described the division of neutron-bombarded uranium into lighter elements. With his collaborator Rudolf Peierls he designed the first theoretical mechanism for the detonation of an atomic bomb in 1940. “Scientists have one thing in common with children: curiosity. To be a good scientist you must have kept this trait of childhood, and perhaps it is not…
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Edward Herbert Thompson and the Cenote Sagrado

Edward Herbert Thompson and the Cenote Sagrado

On September 28, 1857, American archaeologist and diplomat Edward Herbert Thompson was born. Thompson is most famous for dredging the Cenote Sagrado (Sacred Cenote) in Chichen Itza from 1904 to 1910, where he recovered artifacts of gold, copper and carved jade, as well as the first-ever examples of what were believed to be pre-Columbian Maya cloth and wooden weapons. Edward Herbert Thompson – Early Years Edward Herbert Thompson was born in Worcester, Massachussetts,…
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John Ray Dunning and the Manhattan Project

John Ray Dunning and the Manhattan Project

On September 24, 1907, US-American physicist John Ray Dunning was born. Dunning played key roles in the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bombs. He specialized in neutron physics, and did pioneering work in gaseous diffusion for isotope separation. John Ray Dunning – Early Years John Ray Dunning was born in Shelby, Nebraska, USA, the son of Albert Chester Dunning, a grain dealer, and his wife Josephine. He graduated from Shelby High…
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David Vetter, the Bubble Boy

David Vetter, the Bubble Boy

On September 21, 1971, David Phillip Vetter was born. He was a prominent sufferer of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a hereditary disease which dramatically weakens the immune system. In the media, Vetter was referred to as “David, the bubble boy“, because he lived in a special sterilized plastic cocoon bubble from birth until he died at age 12. Background Before David was born, his parents Carol Ann and David Vetter Jr. had their first…
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Chester Carlson and the Invention of Xerography

Chester Carlson and the Invention of Xerography

On September 19, 1968, American physicist, inventor, and patent attorney Chester F. Carlson passed away. He is best known for having invented the process of electrophotography, which produced a dry copy rather than a wet copy, as was produced by the mimeograph process. Carlson’s process was subsequently renamed xerography, a term that literally means “dry writing.” Chester Carlson – Early Years Chester F. Carlson was the only child of Olof Adolph (*…
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Edwin McMillan and his Research on Transuranium Elements

Edwin McMillan and his Research on Transuranium Elements

On September 18, 1907, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Edwin Mattison McMillan was born. McMillan is credited with being the first ever to produce a transuranium element, neptunium. For this, he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Glenn Seaborg in 1951. Edwin McMillan – Early Years Edwin McMillan, the son of physicist Dr. Edwin Harbaugh McMillan and his wife Anne Marie McMillan, née Mattison, grew up in Pasadena, California. He entered…
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Anamorphic Lenses and the Birth of CinemaScope Widescreen Cinema

Anamorphic Lenses and the Birth of CinemaScope Widescreen Cinema

On September 16, 1953, American Biblical epic film The Robe premiered, the very first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope. Like other early CinemaScope films, The Robe was shot with Henri Chrétien’s original Hypergonar anamorphic lenses. The film marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection. Henri Chrétien and Anamorphoscope The basis for CinemaScope was probably formed by the French inventor Henri Chrétien who…
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Murray Gell-Mann and the Quark Model

Murray Gell-Mann and the Quark Model

On September 15, 1929, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann was born. He is best known for his work on the theory of elementary particles and introduced the quark model. The quark model is a classification scheme for hadrons, i.e. composite particle made of quarks held together by the strong force (in the same way as atoms and molecules are held together by the electromagnetic force). “While many questions about quantum mechanics…
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Oliver Evans – Pioneer of Automation

Oliver Evans – Pioneer of Automation

On September 13, 1755, American inventor, engineer and businessman Oliver Evans was born. A pioneer in the fields of automation, materials handling and steam power, Evans was one of the most prolific and influential inventors in the early years of the United States. He is known for designing and building the first fully automated industrial process; America’s first high-pressure steam engine; and the first (albeit crude) amphibious vehicle and American automobile. Early Years of…
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Arthur Holly Compton and the Compton Effect

Arthur Holly Compton and the Compton Effect

On September 10, 1890, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Arthur Holly Compton was born. Compton won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1927 for his discovery of the Compton effect, which demonstrated the particle nature of electromagnetic radiation. It was a sensational discovery at the time: the wave nature of light had been well-demonstrated, but the idea that light had both wave and particle properties was not easily accepted. Arthur Holly Compton…
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