Era – Second Industrial

1822 – Mendel – bio

Born in 1822 in Austria, Gregor Johann Mendel founded the science of genetics. Mendel grew pea plants and studied variations in them. He conceived of pairs of heredity “factors” (which would later be called genes) that create dominant and recessive traits in inheritance. At the time, chromosomes had just been discovered, but there was not […]

1815 – Geissler – bio

Johann Geissler was born in German in 1815 and is known for the invention of the Geissler tube. Prior to creating his tubes, in 1855, Geissler developed a new way to use mercury displacement in a vacuum pump that was more efficient than previous pump designs. The new low pressure created by the mercury pump […]

1890 – Vannevar Bush – bio

Vannevar Bush was born in 1890 in Massachusetts, USA and was an engineer and inventor. Known as an administrator, he directed the “Manhattan Project” (which produced the first atomic bomb) in its early years, and also worked on analog computing devices and created a concept he called the “memex” which was designed to store a […]

1815 – Lovelace – bio

Born in England in 1815, Ada Augusta Byron married William King, becoming Ada Augusta King, but has been known as Ada Lovelace because her husband was named Earl of Lovelace, making her the Countess of Lovelace. Ada Lovelace studied Babbage’s “difference engine”, and earned the distinction of being called the first programmer because she published […]

1805 – Hamilton – bio

William Rowan Hamilton was born in 1805 in Dublin, Ireland and was a mathematician, physicist and astronomer. In mathematics, he studied number theory and various forms of algebras, eventually producing an extension to complex numbers (combinations of real numbers and “imaginary” units that involve the square root of negative one) that is known as quaternions. […]

1857 – Tsiolkovsky – bio

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was born in Russia in 1857 and has become known as the father of astronautics and space science. He was a school math teacher who proposed using liquid propellants for rockets instead of the then standard solid fuels. He worked on designs for rockets and other space related hardware including: steering thrusters, multi-stage […]

1819 – Foucault – bio

Leon Foucault was born in Paris, France in 1819 and was a physicist. He is best known for his demonstration of the rotation of Earth under a swinging pendulum (now known as Foucault pendulums). He also gave the name “gyroscope” to another device he used to investigate the motion of the planet. In 1850, Foucault […]

1895 – Fuller – bio

Buckminster Fuller was born in Milton, Massachusetts in 1895 and was an engineer, designer, inventor, architect, mathematician, futurist and philosopher. He is most recognized for promoting the geodesic dome (first constructed by Walther Bauersfeld), which he patented in 1954. The dome concept was based upon his system of vector geometry, which he called Energetic Synergetic […]

1889 – Wittgenstein – bio

Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in 1889 in Vienna, Austria and was a philosopher, mathematician and logician. He concentrated in the philosophy of mathematics and theories about the use of language. In 1922, he published a book-length work called, “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” that explored the relationship between language and reality and was presented as propositions representing logical […]

1859 – Riemann hypothesis

The Riemann hypothesis is named after Bernhard Riemann, who worked on a technique to predict the distribution of prime numbers. Mersenne and Fermat worked on formulas that can predict *some* prime numbers but not all of them. In 1737 Euler followed up on their work, eventually showing that the summation series of the reciprocals of […]