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Theodore von Kármán and his Advances in Aerodynamics

Theodore von Kármán and his Advances in Aerodynamics

On May 11, 1881, Hungarian-American mathematician, aerospace engineer and physicist Theodore von Kármán was born. Kármán was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. He is responsible for many key advances in aerodynamics, notably his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization. “I came to realize that exaggerated concern about what others are doing can be foolish. It can paralyze effort, and stifle a good idea. One finds that in the history…
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Max Wertheimer and Gestalt Psychology

Max Wertheimer and Gestalt Psychology

On April 15, 1880, Austro-Hungarian-born psychologist Max Wertheimer was born. Wertheimer was one of the three founders of Gestalt psychology, along with Kurt Koffka [4] and Wolfgang Köhler. He is known for his book, Productive Thinking, and for conceiving the phi phenomenon as part of his work in Gestalt psychology. “Man is not only part of a field, but a part and member of his group. When people are together, as when they…
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Sidney Fox and his Research for the Origins of Life

Sidney Fox and his Research for the Origins of Life

On March 24, 1912, American biochemist Sidney W. Fox was born. In search for the origins of life, Fox explored the synthesis of amino acids from inorganic molecules, the synthesis of proteinous amino acids and amino acid polymers called “proteinoids” from inorganic molecules and thermal energy, and created what he thought was the world‘s first protocell out of proteinoids and water. “A further aspect I should like to discuss is what I…
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Grote Reber – Pioneer of Radio Astronomy

Grote Reber – Pioneer of Radio Astronomy

On December 22, 1911, American pioneer of radio astronomy Grote Reber was born. He combined his interests in amateur radio and amateur astronomy and became instrumental in investigating and extending Karl Jansky’s [4] pioneering work, who in August 1931 first discovered radio waves emanating from the Milky Way. Reber conducted the first sky survey in the radio frequencies and is considered one of the founding figures of radio astronomy. Born in Wheaton, Illinois, a suburb…
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James Rumsey’s Extraordinary Steam Boat

James Rumsey’s Extraordinary Steam Boat

On December 21, 1792, American mechanical engineer James Rumsey passed away. He is chiefly known for exhibiting a boat propelled by machinery in 1787 on the Potomac River at Shepherdstown in present-day West Virginia before a crowd of local notables. James Rumsey – From Millwright to Steam Boat Designer James Rumsey was born in Calvert County Maryland in 1743. His family moved to Berkeley Virginia (now West Virginia) when he was a teenager. Rumsey became a…
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Elmer Sperry and the Invention of the Gyrocompass

Elmer Sperry and the Invention of the Gyrocompass

On October 12, 1860, American inventor and entrepreneur Elmer Ambrose Sperry was born. Sperry is best known for his significant role in the development of the gyrocompass, a type of non-magnetic compass which is based on a fast-spinning disc and rotation of the Earth to automatically find geographical direction. Elmer Sperry – Early Years Elmer Sperry was born at Cincinnatus, New York, on October 12, 1860, to Stephen Decatur Sperry and Mary Burst. His mother…
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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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William Morton and the Painless Ether Anesthesia

William Morton and the Painless Ether Anesthesia

On August 9, 1819, American dentist William Thomas Green Morton was born. He was the first to publicly demonstrate the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anesthetic in 1846. Morton is credited with gaining the medical world’s acceptance of surgical anesthesia. But, can you imagine a surgery without any anesthetic? Standing the pain of an operation, feeling every cut? Better not. Nevertheless, anesthetics already have a long tradition.  The History of…
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Mark Weiser and his vision of Ubiquituous Computing

Mark Weiser and his vision of Ubiquituous Computing

On July 23, 1952, computer scientist Mark David Weiser was born. Weiser was chief scientist at Xerox PARC in the United States and is widely considered to be the father of ubiquitous computing, a term he coined in 1988. In contrast to desktop computing, ubiquitous computing can occur using any device, in any location, and in any format. A user interacts with the computer, which can exist in many different forms, including laptop computers,…
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Wallace Sabine and the Field of Architectural Acoustics

Wallace Sabine and the Field of Architectural Acoustics

On June 13, 1868, American physicist Wallace Clement Sabine was born. Sabine founded the field of architectural acoustics as the outcome of his investigations on the effect of absorption on reverberation time. Sabine was acoustical architect of Boston’s Symphony Hall, widely considered one of the two or three best concert halls in the world for its acoustics. Acoustically Improving a Lecture Hall Wallace Sabine graduated from Ohio State University in 1886 and pursued graduate…
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