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Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Politics is more difficult than physics.”
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NOVEMBER 27 – BIRTHS – Scientists born on November 27th
  Bill Nye
 Born 27 Nov 1955.
William Sanford Nye is an American engineer, populariser of science and writer who was greatly influenced by Carl Sagan, learning astronomy at Cornell University. Nye began his career with the Boeing Company, Seattle, designing bydraulic systems from the early to mid 1980s. He progressed into entertainment and nurturing the public interest in science. Nye gained experience in a local Seattle television show and created the Science Guy persona for local radio. After spartan life as a full-time stand-up comedian in 1986-91, he made a pilot program for a local PBS station in 1992. That attracted sponsors and evolved into a five-year national PBS series, Bill Nye the Science Guy. Since then he continues to appear in other TV science programs and as a guest expert on TV shows making science accessible to the public. He has written for periodicals and published several educational books.«
Bill Nye the Science Guy's Big Blast of Science, by Bill Nye. - book suggestion.
  J. Ernest Wilkins Jr.
Thumbnail - J. Ernest Wilkins Jr.
1970
(source)
 Born 27 Nov 1923; died 1 May 2011 at age 87.
Jesse Ernest Wilkins, Jr. was a Black-American physicist, mathematician and engineer (chemical/nuclear). He entered the University of Chicago at age 13, and by age 19, in 1942, he became the seventh African American to obtain a Ph.D. in Mathematics. His career achievement has been to develop radiation shielding against gamma radiation, emitted during electron decay of the Sun and other nuclear sources. He developed mathematical models to calculate the amount of gamma radiation absorbed by a given material. This technique of calculating radiative absorption is widely used among researcher in space and nuclear science projects. His was also a joint owner of a company which designed and developed nuclear reactors for electrical power generation.
  Dora Dougherty
 Born 27 Nov 1921.
Dora Dougherty Strother is an American pilot and aviation psychologist who achieved two world records for women helicopter pilots, previously held by Russians. She flew a Bell 47G-3 helicopter to an altitude of 19,406 feet (8 Feb 1961) and a distance of 404.36 miles (10 Feb 1961). Dougherty also claimed a record in the new category of point-to-point speed by flying 91.6 mph. In WW II, she was a Women's Airforce Service Pilot WASP from Jan 1943 to Dec 1944. As a human factors engineer with Bell Helicopter Company from 1958, she conducted research on pilot performance and cockpit design to determine ways in which cockpits and instruments could be better adapted to the pilots' needs. She also designed flight simulators.
  Edward Griffith Begle
 Born 27 Nov 1914; died 2 Mar 1978 at age 63.   quotes
American mathematician, a topologist, who led development of “new math.” When the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite (1957), beating the U.S. into space, the effectiveness of science and mathematics education in American schools came under scrutiny. Begle's idea was to replace the traditional focus on mathematics as memorization and algorithmic computation. Instead, he designed a program to emphasise the fundamental importance of understanding the principles of mathematics. He directed (1958-72) the School Mathematics Study Group, funded by the National Science Foundation. SMSG produced teaching materials for all grade levels with this approach. Ultimately, initiating lasting reform through teachers was unsuccessful
Booklist for Edward Griffith Begle.
  William White Howells
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 Born 27 Nov 1908; died 20 Dec 2005 at age 97.
U.S. physical anthropologist who specialized in the establishment of population relationships through physical measurement. During World War II, Howells served in the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence. Howells pioneered the use of quantitative methods in the formulation and solution of morphological problems, particularly his use of cranial measurements in world population studies. His authoritative book, Cranial Variation in Man, compared skull measurements from 17 distinct world populations. He is also known for his work in developing anthropological curricula and his popular books in the field, which have been widely translated and are extensively used in the classroom. [Image: Australian hominid fossil skull.]
Booklist for William Howells.
  Victor B. Scheffer
 Born 27 Nov 1906.
American zoologist, marine mammalogist and conservation writer who was a world authority on the biology and conservation of marine mammals. He worked as a biologist for the U.S. 1937-69 conducting long-term studies on fur seals. He discovered, among other things, that the underfur layer of a seal's coat contains nearly three hundred thousand silky fibers per square inch, and that each year a new dentinal ridge forms on the root of each of its teeth. He began his career sharing the prevailing notion that wildlife was a "resource" to be manipulated, but by the time he retired from government service and turned to a career as a science writer, he had adopted an appreciation of our "dependence upon, and responsibility for, natural ecosystems."
Booklist for Victor B Scheffer.
  Lars Onsager
 Born 27 Nov 1903; died 5 Oct 1976 at age 72.
Norwegian-born American chemist whose 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. Throughout his career, he studied the thermodynamics and kinetics of electrolytes. In 1944 he derived the exact solution of the two-dimensional Ising model, a model of a ferromagnet. This virtuosic mathematical feat led to a deeper understanding of phase transitions and critical points. From about 1940 Onsager investigated low-temperature physics. He suggested the quantization of vortices in liquid helium, and in 1952 extracted information about the distribution of electrons from the de Haas-van Alphen effect.
Booklist for Lars Onsager.
  Konosuke Matsushita
 Born 27 Nov 1894; died 27 Apr 1989 at age 94.
Japanese industrialist who founded the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., the largest manufacturer of consumer electric appliances in the world. His parents having died, Matsushita began work at age 9 as an errand boy. At age 16 he began working for the Osaka Electric Light Company, and he quit his job as an inspector there at age 23 to start a company that would sell electric plug attachments of his own design. His inventive marketing strategies helped the Matsushita Electric grow, and in 1935 he reorganized the company under the name it still holds.
Booklist for Konosuke Matsushita.
  Sir Ralph Freeman
Thumbnail - Sir Ralph Freeman
 Born 27 Nov 1880; died 11 Mar 1950 at age 69.
English civil engineer whose Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932), Australia, which with a main arch span of 1,650 feet (500 m), and a deck 160 feet wide is the world's largest (and among the longest) steel arch bridge, now carrying eight lanes of highway traffic, two train lines, a footway and a cycleway. Freeman also designed the Tyne Bridge, Newcastle, England, Victoria Falls Bridge over Zambezi River, Royal Naval Propellant factory, Furness shipbuilding yard in Lancashire, and five major bridges in the Rhodesias.
Booklist for Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  Elsie (Worthington) Clews Parsons
 Born 27 Nov 1875; died 19 Dec 1941 at age 66.
U.S. ethnologist and anthropologist who was an expert on the customs of Indian tribes of the southwestern United States, especially the Hopi and Pueblo. Despite being raised in a socially prominent family, she asserted he independence and became an outspoken feminist. Influenced by meeting anthropologist Franz Boas during a visit to the southwest U.S. (1915), she became interested in work among native Americans of that region. Thus began 25-years of diligent study of native American life. In 1939 she published Pueblo Indian Religion in two volumes. Boas complimented this massive collection as "a summary of practically all we know about Pueblo religion and an indispensable source book for every student of Indian life."«
Elsie Clews Parsons: Inventing Modern Life, by Desley Deacon. - book suggestion.
Booklist for Elsie Clews Parsons.
  Chaim Weizmann
 Born 27 Nov 1874; died 9 Nov 1952 at age 77.   quotes
Russian-British-Israeli chemist who used bacteria for the synthesis of organic chemicals. During WW I, a recent immigrant into Great Britain, he discovered a way to use a bacterium to synthesize acetone during the fermentation of grain. Acetone was important in the manufacture of cordite for explosives. Postwar, he modified the fermentation to produce butyl alcohol, suitable for uses such as lacquers. This was the forerunner of the deliberate use of microorganisms for a wide variety of syntheses. A generation later, penicillin and vitamin B12 were produced in this way. Weizmann was active in politics leading to the establishment of Israel (1948), and became its first president - one of the very few research scientists to become a head of state.
Booklist for Chaim Weizmann.
  Bernard Jacques Flόrscheim
 Born 27 Nov 1874; died 15 Jan 1955 at age 80.   quotes
German-British organic chemist.
  Giovanni Giorgi
 Born 27 Nov 1871; died 19 Aug 1950 at age 78.
Italian physicist who proposed a widely used system for the definition of electrical, magnetic, and mechanical units of measurement. He developed the Giorgi International System of Measurement (also known as the mksa system) in 1901. Originally, he suggested that the basic units of scientific measurement be the metre, kilogram, second, and joule. With the the ampere replacing the joule as a basic unit, this system was subsequently endorsed by the General Conference of Weights and Measures (1960). Giorgi also worked in hydroelectric power, electricity distribution networks, and urban trolley systems.
  Sir Charles Scott Sherrington
 Born 27 Nov 1857; died 4 Mar 1952 at age 94.   quotes
English neurophysiologist who won (with Edgar Adrian) the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1932 for research into the function of the neuron. Sherrington proposed the key concept of nociception: pain as the evolved response to a potentially harmful, "noxious" stimulus in 1898. In his book, The Integrative Action of the Nervous System, (1906) he compared various sensory stimuli (such as those which normally elicit pain or nociception vs. those evoking the scratch reflect) competing in the production of various behavioral responses using the same motor pathways, in what he called "the struggle between dissimilar arcs for mastery over their final common path."
Booklist for Charles Scott Sherrington.
  Sir Horace Lamb
 Born 27 Nov 1849; died 4 Dec 1934 at age 85.   quotes
English mathematician who contributed to the field of mathematical physics. Topics he worked on include wave propagation, electrical induction, earthquakes, and the theory of tides. He wrote important papers on the oscillations of a viscous spheroid, the vibrations of elastic spheres, waves in elastic solids, electric waves and the absorption of light. In a famous paper in the Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society he showed how Rayleigh's results on the vibrations of thin plates fitted with the general equations of the theory. Another paper reported on his study of the propagation of waves on the surface of an elastic solid where he tried to understand the way that earthquake tremors are transmitted around the surface of the Earth.
Booklist for Horace Lamb.
  Henry Augustus Rowland
 Born 27 Nov 1848; died 16 Apr 1901 at age 52.   quotes
American physicist who invented the concave diffraction grating, which replaced prisms and plane gratings in many applications, and revolutionized spectrum analysis--the resolution of a beam of light into components that differ in wavelength. His first major research was an investigation of the magnetic permeability of iron, steel and nickel, work which won the praise of Maxwell. Another experiment was the first to conclusively demonstrate that the motion of charged bodies produced magnetic effects. In the late 1870s, he established an authoritative figure for the absolute value of the ohm, and redetermined the mechanical equivalent of heat in the early 1880s, demonstrating that the specific heat of water varied with temperature.
Booklist for Henry Augustus Rowland.
  Horace Wyman
 Born 27 Nov 1827; died 8 May 1915 at age 87.
American inventor with 260 patents related to looms and textile machinery. One of Wyman's first patents, issued to him on 29 Oct 1867, was for a loom. In the next few years, this was followed by a loom-box operating mechanism, a pile-fabric loom, and an improved shedding mechanism. In 1879, he was issued a patent for the first American "dobby" loom. One of his last but very important inventions was the weft replenishing loom having drop shuttle boxes (patented 8 Jan 1901). Textile mills throughout the world are still using machines of which the basic invention was Wyman's, and at the time of his death he was regarded as having done more for the loom industry than any other single individual.
  Anders Celsius
 Born 27 Nov 1701; died 25 Apr 1744 at age 42.
Swedish astronomer who is famous for the temperature scale he developed. Celsius was born in Uppsala where he succeeded his father as professor of astronomy in 1730. It was there also that he built Sweden's first observatory in 1741. He and his assistant Olof Hiortner discovered that aurora borealis influence compass needles. Celsius' fixed scale (often called centigrade scale) for measuring temperature defines zero degrees as the temperature at which water freezes, and 100 degrees as the temperature at which water boils. This scale, an inverted form of Celsius' original design, was adopted as the standard and is still used in almost all scientific work.
Inventing Temperature: Measurement and Scientific Progress, by Hasok Chang. - book suggestion.


Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
NOVEMBER 27 – DEATHS – Scientists died on November 27th
  Waldemar Kaempffert
 Died 27 Nov 1956 at age 79 (born 27 Sep 1877).   quotes
Waldemar Bernhard Kaempffert was an American science writer and museum director who joined the staff of Scientific American after graduating from college, and within three years became its managing editor. In 1916, he began editting Popular Science Monthly. From 1922 he was contributing science articles to the New York Times, where he became its Editor of Science and Engineering (1927-1953). For a short, and unhappy time (1928-1931) he was director of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.«
  Frank Eugene Lutz
 Died 27 Nov 1943 at age 64 (born 15 Sep 1879).
American entomologist, museum curator, educator, conservationist and writer who was probably the leading U.S. entomologist of the first half of the twentieth century. He who taught that insects were an integral part of the environment. As a boy, his fascination watching a caterpillar shedding its skin developed into a lifelong interest in insects. In 1909, he joined the American Museum of Natural History and became (1921) the first curator of the newly created Department of Entomology, where he remained for the rest of life. He created popular museum exhibits, including the first insect dioramas and "insect zoos" featuring live specimens. In the 1920s, established the country's first guided nature trail in Harriman State Park, New York. [Image: Monarch caterpillar shedding skin]
Booklist for Frank Eugene Lutz.
  Sir David Bruce
 Died 27 Nov 1931 at age 76 (born 29 May 1855).
English bacteriologist and military physician who traced (1886-87) the Malta-fever to a bacterium later (1920) named for him, Brucella melitensis. Malta-fever is also the undulant fever that causes abortion in goats. It is usually transmitted by goat's milk. He also investigated (1894) the trypanosomes which caused nagana, a disease of horses and cattle in northern Zululand, Africa, and found (1895-97) it to be transmitted by the tsetse fly. He thought the local wild game was the trypanosomal reservior. This work led to his further research which identified the tsetse fly as the vector in sleeping sickness. He was knighted in 1908, and won the Leeuwenhoek Medal in 1915. He also researched tetanus and trench fever.«
  Alexius Meinong
 Died 27 Nov 1920 at age 67 (born 17 Jul 1853).
Alexius Meinong was an Austrian philosopher and psychologist who worked at the University of Graz. He was a pupil of Franz Brentano and is most famous for his belief in nonexistent objects. He distinguished several levels of reality among objects and facts about them. Thus, existent objects participate in actual (true) facts about the world; subsistent (real but non-existent) objects appear in possible (but false) facts; and objects that neither exist nor subsist can only belong to impossible facts. He is remembered for his contributions to axiology, or theory of values, and for his Gegenstandstheorie, or the Theory of Abstract Objects.
  Clement Studebaker
 Died 27 Nov 1901 at age 70 (born 12 Mar 1831).
American manufacturer who founded a family firm that became the world's largest producer of horse-drawn vehicles and a leader in automobile manufacturing. In 1852 Henry and Clement Studebaker opened a blacksmith shop in South Bend, Indiana. By the Civil War the shop as supplying wagons to the U.S. Army. In 1868 four of the brothers established the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company. Despite setbacks, the company grew to be the largest wagon factory in the world, delivering on its motto, "Always give more than you promise." As the 20th Century dawned, after Clement Studebaker's death, the company began building both electric and gasoline powered automobiles.
Booklist for Studebaker.
  Richard Christopher Carrington
 Died 27 Nov 1875 at age 49 (born 26 May 1826).
English astronomer who, by observing the motionsp of sunspots, discovered the equatorial acceleration of the Sun; i.e., that it rotates faster at the equator than near the poles. He also discovered the movement of sunspot zones toward the Sun's equator as the solar cycle progresses. Carrington devoted himself to the study of sunspots and his work, extending from 1853 to 1861, was collected in Observation of the Spots of the Sun (1863). Carrington also was the first to observe a sun flare (1859). He was observing a prominent group of sunspots on 1 Sep 1859, when suddenly "two patches of intensely bright and white light broke out." which brightened rapidly and decayed. The flare he had seen was of the rare variety that is visible in white light. (Image: detail of a drawing by R.C. Carrington, showing the location of the flare he observed while making a drawing of an active region. Reproduced from his 1860 paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society)
  Auguste-Arthur de La Rive
 Died 27 Nov 1873 at age 72 (born 9 Oct 1801).
Swiss physicist who was one of the founders of the electrochemical theory of batteries. He began experimenting with the voltaic cell (1836) and supported the idea of Michael Faraday that the electricity was the result of chemical reactions in the cell. He invented a prize-winning electroplating method to apply gold onto brass and silver. He determined the specific heat of various gases, examined the temperature of the Earth's crust, and made ozone from electrical discharge through oxygen gas. He was a contemporary of Faraday, Ampere and Oersted, with whom he exchanged correspondance on electricity. Image: As a demonstration to explain the rotatory movements observed at the time of the aurorae boreales by the influence of the terrestrial magnetism, De La Rive assembled an apparatus using an egg-shaped evacuated glass chamber on an electromagnet.
  Andrew Meikle
 Died 27 Nov 1811 at age 92 (born 5 May 1719).
Scottish millwright and inventor of the drum threshing machine. His father, James Meikle (1690-1717) produced a winnowing machine (c.1720). He inherited his father's mill, invented the fantail to turn windmills into the wind automatically (1750), a machine for dressing grain (patented 14 Mar 1768) and the spring sail to quickly furl the sails of a windmill to avoid storm damage (1772). His attempts from 1778 to construct a threshing machine were unsuccessful, based on earlier designs by others that rubbed the grain. From about 1784, Meikle instead developed a machine using the idea of a strong revolving drum and fixed beater bars to flail the grain like a flax-scutching machine of his time used to beat the fibres from flax plants. Saving much manual work, the machine separated the grain, from the cobs, stalks or husks and cleaned it. He patented it 9 Apr 1788. [Image right: Interior view of threshing machine]
  Abraham De Moivre
 Died 27 Nov 1754 (born c. 26 May 1667).   quotes
French mathematician who was a pioneer in the development of analytic trigonometry and in the theory of probability. He published The Doctrine of Chance in 1718. The definition of statistical independence appears in this book together with many problems with dice and other games. He also investigated mortality statistics and the foundation of the theory of annuities. He died in poverty, and correctly predicted the day of his own death. He found that he was sleeping 15 minutes longer each night and from this the arithmetic progression, calculated that he would die on the day that he slept for 24 hours.

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NOVEMBER 27 – EVENTS – Science events on November 27th
  Sodium atmosphere
Thumbnail - Sodium atmosphere
(NASA)
  In 2001, sodium was detected in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet by the Hubble Space Telescope. The planetary atmosphere of HD 209458b was the first outside our solar system to be measured. The planet, informally known as Osiris, was the first transiting planet discovered (5 Nov 1999). It orbits the sun-like star designated HD 209458. Later measurements with the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (2003-4), found an enormous ellipsoidal envelope of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen around the planet with a temperature that reaches 10,000°C, resulting in a significant "tail" of atoms moving at speeds greater than the escape velocity.« [Image: artist's visualization of the planet crossing in front of its sun-like star.]
Booklist for Hubble Space Telescope.
  Living liver donor
  In 1989, Dr. Christoph Broelsch's team of doctors at the University of Chicago Hospitals implanted part of a woman's liver in her 21-month-old daughter in the world's first successful living donor liver transplant. Alyssa Smith from Schertz, Texas, received a portion of her mother Teri's liver. Dr Broelsch performed the first liver transplant using a segment of a cadaver liver while at the University of Hannover in 1984. At the University of Chicago, he performed the first segmental transplant in the United States (1985), the first split-liver transplant (one donor, two recipients) in the U.S. (1988) and developed the technique for transplantation from a living donor.
Booklist for Liver Surgery.
  Hydrogen-fuelled space vehicle
  In 1963, the first flight of a space vehicle powered by a liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen fuel combination was made by a Centaur II. It was one of a family of liquid fuelled upper stage vehicles designed to deliver a satellite to its operational orbit. The Centaur was originally designed to provide payload capacity for high altitude satellites, and lunar and planetary space probes. This Centaur was the upper stage on an Atlas rocket, AC-2, launched from the Atlantic Missile Range at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Centaur's payload was a satellite, which it successfully put into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. (An earlier Centaur was on a failed suborbital launch attempt in mid-1962; the Atlas vehicle exploded due to insulation problems.) [Image: Centaur rocket in an artist's visualization]
by Virginia P Dawson.
Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket 1958-2002, by Virginia P. Dawson and Mark D. Bowles. - book suggestion.
  Tutankhamun's tomb antechamber entered
  In 1922, the Antechamber to the tomb of Tutankhamun was entered. Howard Carter was “astonished by the beauty and refinement of the art displayed by the objects surpassing all we could have imagined...” He also recorded in his notes, “It soon became obvious that we were but on the threshold of the discovery...” When they saw “...a sealed doorway between the two guardian statues of the King, the mystery gradually dawned upon us. We were but in the anterior portion of a tomb. Behind that closed doorway was the tomb- chamber ... We then examined the plaster and seal-impressions upon the closed doorway. ... all bearing the insignia of the King.” The sepulchral chamber itself was not opened until 16 Feb 1923. [Image: one of two life-sized wooden statues that protected the eternal rest of the Pharaoh.]
The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen, by Howard Carter and A. C. Mace. - book suggestion.
Booklist for Howard Carter.
  Nobel's will
Thumbnail - Nobel's will
  In 1895, Alfred Nobel had his will drawn up in Paris, then deposited in a bank in Stockholm. In it, he provided for most of his fortune to be put in trust to establish the Nobel Prizes. As the inventor of new, more powerful explosives used in the weapons of war, he left a legacy to reward those persons who provided benefits to mankind. Prizes were to be established in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology, literature and a prize for peace. He died a year later, 10 Dec 1896, of a cerebral hemorrhage at his villa in San Remo, Italy, leaving this surprize at the opening of his will.
Booklist for Alfred Nobel.
  Electric motor
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Patent design
(source)
  In 1834, the electric motor was invented by Thomas Davenport. American inventor of what was probably the first commercially successful electric motor, which he used with great ingenuity to power a number of established inventions. Though several other inventors had experimented with motors, Davenport was the first to secure a US patent (No. 132 on 25 Feb 1837) for his direct current motor. He incorporated the concept of the electromagnet invented by Joseph Henry in a way that produced a rotary motion using his own idea of a commutator and brushes to control the direction of current flow.
  Friction match
Thumbnail - Friction match
  In 1826, John Walker (1781-1859), an English pharmacist from Stockton-on-Tees, invented the first practical, strike-anywhere, friction match, which he first sold on 7 Apr 1827, though he refused to patent his creation. He used three-inch splints of wood, tipped with potassium chlorate, antimony sulphide, and gum arabic. The match head was ignited by drawing it through a fold of fine glasspaper. By 1829, similar matches called “Lucifers” were sold throughout London. Their difference was added sulphur to aid combustion, and white phosphorus. Matchmaking workers quickly developed a bone disease called “phossy jaw” from the phosphorus. Phosphorus sesquisulphide replaced the deadly white phosphorus in the strike-anywhere match during the early twentieth century.   more


- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



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