Era – Second Industrial

1815 – Boole – bio

George Boole was born in Lincoln, England in 1815 and was a mathematician. He is most known for his work reducing logic to a form of algebra. In 1854, Boole’s book on logic, “An Investigation of the Laws of Thought on Which are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities” was published. This created […]

1844 – Boltzmann – bio

Ludwig Boltzmann was born in 1844 in Vienna, Austria and was a physicist and mathematician. He is considered to be the “father” of statistical mechanics for his work on the statistical nature of gases. Maxwell and Gibbs also contributed to this area independently. When most other scientists thought that atoms were only statistical theoretical constructs, […]

1800 – voltaic pile (battery)

A voltaic pile is a group of galvanic cells that are joined together as a circuit in series, forming an electric battery. While it is possible that primitive batteries were in use for several thousand years prior, Alessandro Volta, assembled the first well documented working battery. Volta was following up on Luigi Galvani’s famous experiment […]

1896 – Zeeman effect

The Faraday effect showed magnetic fields interact with beams of light by rotating the plane of polarization of the light. Lorentz hypothesized that a magnetic field would also effect the frequency of light given off. Then, in 1896 Pieter Zeeman discovered that when you place an atom that is emitting photons into a magnetic field, […]

1850 – Heaviside – bio

Oliver Heaviside was born in London in 1850 and was a mathematician and electrical engineer. He started out as a telegraph operator then began publishing research papers on telegraphy and made contributions to the electromagnetic principles involved in telegraph line transmission. He adapted Maxwell’s equations to create a pair of linear differential equations that describe […]

1807 – Fourier analysis

Harmonic analysis deals with the mathematical representation of combinations of waves. In the abstract worlds of mathematics, trigonometric functions (like a sine wave) are often used to represent waveforms, but these usually present simple waves. In the real world, waves tend to be more complex. By combining the simple waveforms in many different ways, these […]

1873 – Lie Groups

Topology is the study of how spaces are shaped and connected without worrying about distances. Some properties of spaces are preserved even when the space is being stretched and deformed. Often, the space that is being studied is called a manifold. A line and a circle are simple one dimensional topological manifolds. A plane and […]

1845 – Roentgen – bio

Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen was born in Prussia (which is the Rhine province of western Germany today) in 1845 and was a physicist who is known for his discovery of x-rays. Hittorf, Pulyui, Tesla, Sanford and Lenard all noticed fluorescence in materials caused by the strange invisible rays emanating from electrified vacuum tubes, but it was […]

1872 – Erlangen Program

In 1872, Felix Klein, at the age of 23, having just been appointed as a professor at the University of Erlangen in Germany, published a manifesto that described a new direction for geometry. Klein was attempting to unify classical Euclidean geometry with the new non-Euclidean geometries and some elements of topology by showing that some […]

1834 – soliton

A soliton is a waveform that appears more like a lump or pulse than a conventional wave. In 1834, a Scottish engineer named Scott Russell noticed that the bow wave caused by a boat in a canal continued after the boat was suddenly stopped. Russell followed the wave on horseback for over a mile along […]