Archive for History of Science and Technology

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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 […]

1887 – Ramanujan – bio

Srinivasa Ramanujan was born in 1887 in southern India. He was a self taught mathematical genius, who learned by reading books and often struggled with studies in school other than mathematics because of his intense focus. At the age of fifteen, he learned how cubic equations had been solved and developed his own technique to […]

1823 – Betti – bio

Enrico Betti was born in the Tuscany region of Italy in 1823 and was a mathematician. He established proofs and demonstrations of many propositions in Galois theory. He did developmental work on the theory of elasticity. He established a topological classification system based on connectivity that would extend across many dimensions. PRECURSOR: -0325 – Euclid […]

1822 – Hermite – bio

Charles Hermite was born in the Lorraine region of France in 1822 and was a mathematician. He made contributions to number theory, algebra, and elliptic functions. He used elliptic functions to solve a fifth degree algebraic equation. In 1873, he proved that “e” is a transcendental number. PREQUISITE: 1707 – Euler 1736 – Lagrange 1777 […]

1894 – Lemaitre – bio

George Lemaitre was born in 1894 in Belgium and was an astronomer and physicist who became known for promoting the theory of an expanding universe. In 1927, he published an article titled, “A Homogeneous Universe of Constant Mass and Increasing Radius accounting for the Radial Velocity of Extra Galactic Nebulae”, which used the relativity equations […]

1845 – Cantor – bio

Georg Cantor was born in 1845, in Russia, but spent most of his life in Germany and is known as a German mathematician who invented set theory. In 1874, he published a paper titled, “On a Characteristic Property of All Real Algebraic Numbers”, which examined relationships between the elements of two sets. Cantor also did […]

1861 – Engel – bio

Friedrich Engel was born in 1861 in Saxony (now Germany) and was a mathematician primarily known for collaborating with Sophus Lie to publish, “Theory of Transformation Groups”. He did his doctoral studies under the guidance of Felix Klein. He studied the history of non-euclidean geometry and translated some of the papers of Lobachevsky from Russian […]

1031 – Shen Kuo

Shen Kuo was born in 1031 in Qiantang (Hangzhou today) in Eastern China. He excelled in the fields of astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, medicine, literature, engineering, and was also known as a diplomat and expert at military strategy. Both his knowledge and assorted skills were encyclopedic. PRECURSOR: -0325 – Euclid 0220 – Ma Jun 0283 […]

1814 – Sylvester – bio

James Joseph Sylvester was born in London, England in 1814. He was a mathematician who did significant work on group theory, matrix theory and determinants. He often collaborated with Arthur Cayley and used matrix theory to study geometries of higher dimensions. PRECURSOR: 1501 – Cardano 1625 – de Witt 1642 – Seki 1646 – Leibniz […]