## Archive for History of Science and Technology

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Humphry Davy was born in Cornwall, England, in 1778 and was known as a chemist. Davy used electric current from a voltaic pile to perform early forms of electrolysis and discovered sodium, potassium, barium, calcium, strontium and magnesium. He was the first to isolate barium and boron. He created the first electric arc lamp by […]

Otto Hahn was born in Germany in 1879 and is considered to be the ‘father’ of nuclear chemistry. Hahn worked in the area of radiochemistry, at the time a new field that involved the study of radioactivity. He discovered several radioactive isotopes. He was nominated many times for Nobel prizes in both the fields of […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]