Era – Second Industrial

1822 – Louis Pasteur – bio

Louis Pasteur was born in 1822 in France and is known for discovering pasteurization (heating beverages to kill bacteria in them) and vaccination. Vaccination is the process of exposing a patient to a vaccine, which causes a low level infection, stimulating the immune system to develop antibodies, creating an immunity against the disease. He explained […]

1881 – Fleming – bio

Alexander Fleming was born in 1881 in Scotland. He was the first to isolate penicillin after observing its antibiotic effect. He also discovered that bacteria could develop resistance to penicillin under certain conditions. PRECURSOR: -0600 – Sushruta -0460 – Hippocrates 0129 – Galen 0980 – ibn Sina 1514 – Vesalius 1578 – Harvey 1632 – […]

1853 – Lorentz – bio

Hendrik Antoon Lorentz was born in 1853 in Arnhem, The Netherlands. He was a physicist who advanced the description of the electron and collaborated with Pieter Zeeman to describe the Zeeman effect, for which both men were awarded the nobel prize for physics in 1902. The Zeeman effect describes how a magnetic field causes light […]

1853 – Ricci-Curbastro – bio

Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro was born in Italy in 1853 and is known as the inventor of tensor calculus, which became an essential building block for relativity theory. He was a professor of mathematics at the University of Padua. He worked on differential equations and differential geometry, building on the contributions made by Gauss and Riemann. His […]

1898 – Leo Szilard – bio

Leo Szilard was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1898, and was a physicist. He is mostly known for creating the idea of a chain reaction and held a patent with Enrico Fermi for the nuclear reactor. He also invented the linear particle accelerator, and created ideas for the cyclotron and electron microscope. PRECURSOR: 1831 – […]

1854 – mercury vacuum pump

In 1854, Heinrich Geissler invented the mercury displacement vacuum pump, which led to high quality vacuum tubes, which in turn led to the invention of the transistor. PRECURSOR: -0460 – Democritus 1206 – suction pump 1643 – barometer 1650 – vacuum pump SUBSEQUENT: 1855 – vacuum tube 1875 – Crookes’ tube 1897 – electron discovered […]

1879 – Korzybski – bio

Alfred Habdank Sharbek Korzybski was born in 1879 in Warsaw, Poland. He founded the theory of general semantics which deals with developing an awareness of the difference between layers of abstraction that separate symbols (such as words) and the events they represent. PRECURSOR: -0384 – Aristotle 1839 – Peirce 1848 – Frege 1861 – Whitehead […]

1856 – Tesla – bio

Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 in Croatia, studied physics and mathematics and made his most significant contributions in the fields of electrical engineering and electro-magnetic fields. He is best known for advancing the alternating current (AC) electrical power distribution system and the electrical induction motor. He was involved in research into x-rays. He invented […]

1804 – Jacobi – bio

Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi was born in 1804 in Germany and was a mathematician. He made key contributions to the study of elliptic functions and also in the area of differential equations. The Hamilton-Jacobi equation was a classical mechanics forerunner of the quantum mechanics Schroedinger equation. PRECURSOR: 0200 – Diophantus 1707 – Euler 1736 – […]

1854 – Maxwell’s Fish-Eye Lens

In 1854, James Clerk Maxwell conceived of a perfect spherical lens while pondering the eye of a kipper (fish) that was served for breakfast. When light moves from one medium (like air) to another (like glass or water) it is bent as its speed changes. The degree to which it is bent is called the […]