Archive for History of Science and Technology

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1901 – Fermi – bio

Enrico Fermi was born in Rome, Italy in 1901 and was known as a physicist who helped to create the first nuclear reactor. He worked on the project known as “Chicago Pile-1” which created the first controlled nuclear fission reaction. Subatomic particles that follow Fermi-Dirac statistics are called “fermions” in his honor. At Los Alamos, […]

1786 – electrical stimulation

In 1786, in Bologna Italy, Luigi Galvani noticed that the muscles of a dead frog twitched when they came in contact with a metal probe and there were sparks visible between the probe and the frog muscle. Galvani made the assumption that the sparks came from the frog muscle. His associate, Alessandro Volta disagreed with […]

1408 – Yongle Encyclopedia

The Yongle encyclopedia was an attempt to compile all knowledge available to the Ming Dynasty empire of China in 1408. Over two thousand scholars spent four years compiling the work, which was commissioned by the Yongle emperor. The finished product of 917,480 pages was bound into over eleven thousand volumes, most of which have been […]

1844 – Benz – bio

Karl Benz was born in Muhlberg, Germany in 1844 under the name, Karl Friedrich Michael Vaillant. (Vaillant was his mothers last name and Benz his fathers) He is credited with building the first car in 1885. Benz studied locksmithing, locomotive engineering, and mechanical engineering. He helped launch a foundry and sheet metal workshop. He worked […]

1646 – Leibniz – bio

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1646 and became known primarily for his contributions to philosophy and mathematics but was also accomplished in many other fields. He created the modern binary number system that is used by computers and at the same time as Newton, invented calculus. He invented the mathematical sign […]

1930 – Cooper – bio

Leon Cooper was born in 1930 in New York, USA. He is most known for discovering how electrons pair together, creating a state of less resistance, known as superconductivity. These are now called, “Cooper pairs”. Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer, built on this concept to create a theory of superconductivity in 1957. The three of them […]

1930 – Rudolph Kalman – bio

Rudolph Kalman was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1930 and was known for his work in mathematics and electrical engineering. The “Kalman filter” is an algorithm known as a linear quadratic estimation, and is used in time series analysis and applied to signal processing, trajectory optimization, and econometrics. This means it is used widely in […]

1913 – Erdos – bio

Paul Erdos was born in 1913 in Hungary and was a mathematician. He had an eccentric personality and was one of the most prolific mathematicians in history, either writing or collaborating on 1,475 papers. He did work in number theory, set theory, and probability theory, and is credited with founding the field of discrete mathematics. […]

1765 – Niepce – bio

Nicephore Niepce was born in 1765 in France and invented photography and developed the first internal combustion engine. In 1807, the Niepce brothers: Nicephore and Claude, demonstrated the first internal combustion engine and were granted a patent for the design. It used a combination of moss, coal dust, and resin for fuel. PRECURSOR: 1206 – […]

1948 – Moravec – bio

Hans Moravec was born in Austria in 1948 and has contributed influential work in robotics and artificial intelligence. He has also done work in the fields of transhumanism and space tethers (space elevator). In 1998, in “Mind Children”, he wrote, “it is comparatively easy to make computers exhibit adult level performance on intelligence tests or […]