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Edwin Armstrong and Frequency Modulation

Edwin Armstrong and Frequency Modulation

On December 18, 1890, American electrical engineer and inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong was born. Armstrong is best known for developing FM (frequency modulation) radio. He held 42 patents and received numerous awards, including the first Medal of Honor awarded by the Institute of Radio Engineers. Early Years Edwin Armstrong was the first of three children of John Armstrong and Emily Smith Armstrong. His father was a representative of the US branch of…
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Willard Frank Libby and the Radiocarbon Dating

Willard Frank Libby and the Radiocarbon Dating

On December 17, 1908, American physical chemist Willard Frank Libby was born. Libby is best known for his role in the 1949 development of radiocarbon dating, a process which revolutionized archaeology and palaeontology. For his contributions to the team that developed this process, Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960. Early Years Willard Frank Libby was born among two siblings in Grand Valley, Colorado, the son of farmers Ora…
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Edward Barnard and His Love for Celestial Photography

Edward Barnard and His Love for Celestial Photography

On December 16, 1856, American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard was born. Barnard is best known for his discovery of the high proper motion of Barnard’s Star in 1916, which is named in his honor. He also pioneered in celestial photography, specializing in wide-field photography. Early Life Edward Barnard was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Reuben Barnard and Elizabeth Jane née Haywood. His father died before his birth, and the son grew…
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Robert Noyce – the “Mayor of Silicon Valley”

Robert Noyce – the “Mayor of Silicon Valley”

On December 12, 1926, American engineer and inventor Robert Noyce was born. Nicknamed “the Mayor of Silicon Valley,” Noyce co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968. He is credited along with Jack Kilby with the realization of the first integrated circuit or microchip that fueled the personal computer revolution. “Innovation is everything. When you’re on the forefront, you can see what the next innovation needs to be. When you’re behind, you…
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Eli Whitney – The Invention of the Cotton Gin and the Antebellum South

Eli Whitney – The Invention of the Cotton Gin and the Antebellum South

On December 8, 1765, American inventor Eli Whitney was born. Whitney is best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South. Whitney’s invention made upland short cotton into a profitable crop, which strengthened the economic foundation of slavery in the United States. “As Arkwright and Whitney were the demi-gods of cotton, so prolific Time will yet…
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George Uhlenbeck and the Electron Spin

George Uhlenbeck and the Electron Spin

On December 6, 1900, Dutch-American theoretical physicist George Eugene Uhlenbeck was born. Together with with Samuel A. Goudsmit, Uhlenbeck proposed the concept of electron spin (Jan 1925) – a fourth quantum number which was a half integer. Early Life George Uhlenbeck was the son of Eugenius Uhlenbeck, who served in the Dutch East Indian Army, and Anne Beeger Uhlenbeck, the daughter of a Dutch major general. He attended the Hogere Burgerschool (High…
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The Airplanes of Glenn Luther Martin

The Airplanes of Glenn Luther Martin

On December 5, 1955, American aviation pioneer Glenn Luther Martin passed away. Martin designed and built his own aircraft and was an active pilot. He founded his own aircraft company in 1912 which today through several mergers is amalgamated into the Lockheed Martin company. Early Years Glenn Luther Martin was born in Macksburg, Iowa, USA, on January 17, 1886 to Minta and Clarence Martin. At the age of two, Martin’s family moved to…
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Lars Onsager and Irreversible Chemical Processes

Lars Onsager and Irreversible Chemical Processes

On November 27, 1903, Norwegian-born American physical chemist and theoretical physicist Lars Onsager was born. The development of a general theory of irreversible chemical processes gained him the 1968 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. These Onsager reciprocal relations have importance in a wide range of applications. Education Lars Onsager was born in Kristiania (today’s Oslo), Norway, to Erling Onsager, a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Norway, and Ingrid, née Kirkeby. After completing…
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George Ferris and the Invention of the Ferris Wheel

George Ferris and the Invention of the Ferris Wheel

On November 22, 1898, American engineer George Ferris passed away. He is mostly known for creating the original Ferris Wheel for the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, created to rival the Eiffel Tower. George Ferris – Early Years George Ferris was born in Carson City, Nevada, USA. His parents were George Washington Gale Ferris Sr. and Martha Edgerton Hyde Ferris. He had four sisters and two brothers. His grandfather Silvanus Ferris and Reverend George W.…
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The Social Theories of Lewis Henry Morgan

The Social Theories of Lewis Henry Morgan

On November 21, 1818, pioneering American anthropologist and social theorist Lewis Henry Morgan was born. Morgan is best known for his work on kinship and social structure, his theories of social evolution, and his ethnography of the Iroquois. Interested in what holds societies together, he proposed the concept that the earliest human domestic institution was the matrilineal clan, not the patriarchal family. Lewis Henry Morgan – American Anthropoligist Lewis Henry Morgan was born…
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