Happy Birthday, Hermann von Helmholtz

Thomas Forrister August 31, 2018

Hermann von Helmholtz was a German scientist, doctor, and philosopher who made advances in many scientific fields, including electrodynamics, optics, and thermodynamics. He invented several devices, such as the ophthalmoscope and the polyphonic siren, and is also known for the Helmholtz coil. By exploring the philosophy of science, Helmholtz made accurate connections about the laws of nature, perception, and empiricism.

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Caty Fairclough August 13, 2018

Contributing to the development of a famous fluid dynamics equation, naming the phenomenon of fluorescence, and advancing the field of geodesy: These are a few of the many accomplishments of Irish physicist and mathematician Sir George Gabriel Stokes…

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Thomas Forrister August 8, 2018

Paul Dirac was a theoretical physicist who laid the foundations for quantum theory as we now know it. He was highly motivated by the pursuit of mathematical beauty, and his calculations led him to predict the existence of antimatter and reconcile special relativity with quantum mechanics. Regarded as the founder of quantum electrodynamics, Dirac played an important role in the development of atomic theory for the 20th century and beyond.

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Thomas Forrister August 1, 2018

Considered the “Father of Nuclear Medicine”, George de Hevesy was a radiochemist who was just as interested in chemical processes as he was in their outcomes. Among his many discoveries, de Hevesy is best known for expanding the applications of X-ray florescence and using radioactive isotopes as tracers to study chemical processes. He also helped discover a chemical element and cofounded the field of radioactivation analysis.

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Caty Fairclough July 25, 2018

Rosalind Franklin knew that she wanted to pursue a career in science from a young age. This ambition led her to become a chemist and X-ray crystallographer. Her work in these roles helped to advance how we understand the inner workings of DNA, the study of virology, and more.

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Thomas Forrister July 18, 2018

Hendrik Lorentz was a Dutch physicist who clarified the concept of the electron within an atom and theorized the connection between electricity, magnetism, and light. Not only did Lorentz win the Nobel Prize for his work in electron theory, he also illuminated the path to other branches of theoretical physics, including quantum mechanics as well as general and special relativity.

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Jenn Nguyen July 9, 2018

Jacob Perkins, also known as the “Father of the Refrigerator”, had a wide range of interests that extended further than the common household appliance. This mechanical inventor had 21 American and 19 English patents, which is no surprise, given his curiosity and ingenuity. Let’s take a moment to appreciate a few of Perkins’ major contributions…

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Caty Fairclough June 19, 2018

What sparked Blaise Pascal’s interest in mathematics? One possibility is that when Pascal’s father tried to put off teaching it to his son, it didn’t go as planned. Instead, the delay piqued Pascal’s interest and he wound up teaching himself mathematics, developing an early fascination with the subject. Today, Blaise Pascal is known for his work in mathematics as well as in other areas, such as philosophy and theology.

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Thomas Forrister June 10, 2018

The early 1800s were difficult for the townsfolk of Dijon, France. They’d made several attempts to supply the region with clean water by drilling wells, but the wells were too few, too dirty, and too dry. Fortunately, Henry Darcy, an engineer and Dijon native dedicated to public service, found a solution. His study of fluid dynamics for the project led to the formulation of the equation now known as Darcy’s law, as well as other contributions to hydraulics.

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Thomas Forrister May 21, 2018

Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis was a French physicist with a passion for mechanics. He spent much of his time contemplating the nature of movement in machinery and introduced the concept of kinetic energy in relation to work. When he extended these ideas to rotating machinery, his sphere of influence grew: The Coriolis force and subsequent Coriolis effect are observed in rotating systems with applications in engineering, meteorology, stellar dynamics, and more.

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Caty Fairclough May 13, 2018

What’s at the center of the earth? To answer this question, Inge Lehmann, a Danish geophysicist and seismologist, used seismic waves generated by earthquakes to study the middle of the planet. Her results revealed what truly lies at the center of the earth: a solid inner core inside a molten outer core.

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