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1854 – Maxwell’s Fish-Eye Lens

In 1854, James Clerk Maxwell conceived of a perfect spherical lens while pondering the eye of a kipper (fish) that was served for breakfast. When light moves from one medium (like air) to another (like glass or water) it is bent as its speed changes. The degree to which it is bent is called the […]

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 […]

1900 – Pauli – bio

Wolfgang Pauli was born in Vienna, Austria in 1900 and was a physicist known as one of the creators of quantum mechanics. He particularly become known for the “Pauli Exclusion Principle” which states that no two electrons can be in the same quantum state at the same time. PRECURSOR: 1831 – Maxwell 1838 – Mach […]

1858 – Planck – bio

Max Planck was born in 1858 in Kiel, Germany and was the physicist responsible for creating the beginnings of quantum theory. Planck was working on a description of electromagnetic radiation when he discovered that energy is only radiated in discrete bundles, or quanta. A constant derived from the equation he produced is now known as […]

1864 – Minkowski – bio

Hermann Minkowski was born in Lithuania in 1864 and was a mathematician who also did work in mathematical physics and relativity. “Minkowski Space” is a manifold constructed with three space-like dimensions and one time-like dimension to create the four dimensional spacetime continuum associated with relativity theory. When he taught at a science and technology university […]

1854 – Poincare – bio

Henri Poincare was born in Nancy, France in 1854 and was a mathematician, physicist and philosopher. He may be best known for posing a theoretical problem in topology called “the Poincare Conjecture” which is a problem in topology about how a sphere can be defined by dealing with the characteristics of a three dimensional manifold. […]

1885 – Kaluza – bio

Theodore Kaluza was born in Oppeln, Germany in 1885. He was a mathematician and physicist who is most noted for his contribution to “Kaluza-Klein” theory. This theory, named for the work done by both Kaluza and Oscar Klein, deals with field equations that attempted to unify Einstein’s theory of gravition and and Maxell’s electromagnetic theory […]

1777 – Gauss – bio

1777 - Gauss - bio

“Mathematics is the queen of sciences and number theory the queen of mathematics. She often condescends to render service to astronomy and other natural sciences, but in all relations she is entitled to the first rank.” Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss was born in Braunschweig, Germany in 1777. He made great contributions to mathematics, but was […]

1873 – electromagnetic waves

In 1873, James Clerk Maxwell published a textbook called, “A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism” which compiled all known electromagnetic theory at that date including some of his previous work on equations related to electricity and magnetism. Maxwell theorized that light was an electromagnetic wave and tied together light, electricity and magnetism which had been […]

1879 – Einstein – bio

Albert Einstein was born in Wurttemburg, Germany in 1879 and become known as one of the greatest physicists and thinkers. PRECURSOR: -0300 – Euclid 1564 – Galileo 1642 – Newton 1777 – Gauss 1826 – Riemann 1831 – Maxwell 1838 – Mach 1849 – Klein 1853 – Lorentz 1854 – Poincare 1858 – Planck CONCURRENT: […]