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Harold Stephen Black and the Negative-Feedback Principle

Harold Stephen Black and the Negative-Feedback Principle

On April 14, 1898, American electrical engineer Harold Stephen Black was born. Black discovered and developed the negative-feedback principle, in which amplification output is fed back into the input, thus producing nearly distortionless and steady amplification. His invention is considered the most important breakthrough of the twentieth century in the field of electronics, since it has a wide area of application. “The answer scrawled on a blank page in a daily newspaper, was…
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Donald Howard Menzel and the UFOs

Donald Howard Menzel and the UFOs

On April 11, 1901, theoretical astronomer and astrophysicist Donald Howard Menzel was born. Menzel discovered the physical properties of the solar chromosphere, the chemistry of stars, the atmosphere of Mars, and the nature of gaseous nebulae. Moreover, he was best known for his arguments against the existence of extraterrestrial UFOs. Early Years Donald Howard Menzel already collected rocks as a child and built a chemistry laboratory in the cellar of his family’s…
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Katherine Esau and the Anatomy of Plants

Katherine Esau and the Anatomy of Plants

On April 3, 1898, German-American botanist Katherine Esau was born. Esau did groundbreaking work in the structure and workings of plants. She is best known for her research into the effects of viruses upon plant tissues, and her studies of plant tissue structures and physiology. “I found ways of maintaining spiritual independence while adjusting myself to established policies. . . . I have never felt that my career was being affected by the…
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Edward Kasner and how Google got its Name

Edward Kasner and how Google got its Name

On April 2, 1878, American mathematician Edward Kasner was born. Kasner is best remembered for introducing the term “googol” for a very large number, which you might probably already know, at least if you know the story how the search engine “Google” got its name. Moreover, he is known also for the Kasner metric and the Kasner polygon. Edward Kasner – Early Life Edward Kasner was born among eight siblings in New…
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Frederick William Twort and the Bacteriophages

Frederick William Twort and the Bacteriophages

On March 20, 1955, English bacteriologist Frederick William Twort passed away. Twort was the original discoverer in 1915 of bacteriophages, i.e. viruses that infect bacteria. He researched into Johne’s disease, a chronic intestinal infection of cattle, and also discovered that vitamin K is needed by growing leprosy bacteria. Early Years Frederick William Twort was born in Camberley, Surrey, the eldest of the eleven children of Dr. William Henry Twort. He initially only received a limited…
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Stanley Miller’s Landmark Experiment on the Origin of Life

Stanley Miller’s Landmark Experiment on the Origin of Life

On March 7, 1930, American chemist Stanley Lloyd Miller was born. Miller made landmark experiments in the origin of life by demonstrating that a wide range of vital organic compounds can be synthesized by fairly simple chemical processes from inorganic substances. In 1952 he carried out the Miller–Urey experiment, which showed that complex organic molecules could be synthesized from inorganic precursors. The experiment was widely reported, and provided support for the idea…
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Edward Condon – Pioneer in Quantum Mechanics – SciHi Blog

Edward Condon – Pioneer in Quantum Mechanics – SciHi Blog

On March 2, 1902, American nuclear physicist Edward Uhler Condon was born. Condon was a pioneer in quantum mechanics and a participant in the development of radar and nuclear weapons during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project. The Franck–Condon principle and the Slater–Condon rules are co-named after him. “I have lost a good deal of sleep trying to figure out how you could have talked this way about a…
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Philip Showalter Hench and the Hormone Cortison

Philip Showalter Hench and the Hormone Cortison

On February 28, 1898, American physician Philip Showalter Hench was born. Hench, along with his Mayo Clinic co-worker Edward Calvin Kendall and Swiss chemist Tadeus Reichstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1950 for the discovery of the hormone cortisone, and its application for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Youth and Education Philip Showalter Hench was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, the son of Jacob Bixler Hench and…
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The Beautiful Aircraft Designs of Kelly Johnson

The Beautiful Aircraft Designs of Kelly Johnson

On February 27, 1910, American aeronautical and systems engineer Kelly Johnson was born. He is recognized for his contributions to a series of important aircraft designs, most notably the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird.[4] Besides the first production aircraft to exceed Mach 3, he also produced the first fighter capable of Mach 2, and many other contributions to a large number of aircraft. Early Years Clarence Leonard Johnson was enthusiastic for aircraft…
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Henry Martyn Leland and his Motorcars

Henry Martyn Leland and his Motorcars

On February 16, 1843, American machinist, inventor, engineer and automotive entrepreneur Henry Martyn Leland was born. Leland founded Cadillac Motors (22 Aug 1902) to build the Cadillac, the first automobile with high-precision, fully-interchangable parts. During WW I, he formed a new company to manufactured aircraft engines, which after the war he produced a new automobile: the Lincoln. “Mr. Sloan, Cadillacs are made to run, not just to sell.”, Henry Martin Leland, cited in…
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