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Biographies of Famous Scientists, his life and achievements
Biographies of Famous Scientists:
- Who is Alfred Kinsey: Biography
- Who is Alfred Nobel: Biography
- Who is Anders Celsius: Biography
- Who is Andre Marie Ampère: Biography
- Who is Andreas Vesalius: Biography
- Who is Angel Alcala: Biography
- Who is Antoine Lavoisier: Biography
- Who is Antonie van Leeuwenhoek: Biography
- Who is Antonio Meucci: Biography
- Who is Antony Hewish: Biography
- Who is Aristotle: Biography
- Who is Arnold Orville Beckman: Biography
- Who is Arnold Sommerfeld: Biography
Who is Alfred Kinsey: Biography
Early Life and Education:Born in Hoboken, New Jersey in June 1894, Alfred Kinsey’s father taught engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. Kinsey graduated from Columbia High School, Hoboken, and his father insisted him to acquire a degree in engineering at Stevens. After two years, Kinsey recognized that engineering was not his passion, so he was transferred to Bowdoin College, Maine to study biology.
Contributions and Achievements:Kinsey finally got a B.S. in biology and psychology in 19After that, he was listed in a doctoral program in zoology at Harvard University, where he got his Sc.D. in 19He took a teaching position in the department of zoology at Indiana University where he remained for the remainder of his career.
Kinsey had already become a big name in entomology by the mid-1930s. His research on gall wasps is considered as the pivotal point in the field of entomology. Meanwhile his interest in human sexuality bore fruit when, in 1938, the Indiana University publication, Daily Student, issued an editorial calling for extensive information about and testing for venereal diseases, a serious health problem that had then stormed the nation.
Kinsey requested permission to design a noncredit course on marriage with about hundred enrolled participants, in which several issues pertaining to sexuality were addressed. Soon he gave up his research on gall wasps and concentrated fully on human sexuality. His projects gained funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Research Council in 1942 so established the Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana. He conducted interviews from 5,300 males and 5,940 females on which he based his groundbreaking works.
His publication about male sexuality was issued out in 1948 which sold over a half million copies. The female version, one the other hand, was printed five years later, however to a less warm reception.
Later Life and Death:The research work of Alfred Kinsey almost ended after the release of “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female”. He had allegedly offended thousands of Americans and the U.S. congress exerted pressure on Dean Rusk, the incharge of the Rockefeller Foundation, to unilaterally terminate the financial support of the institute.
After failing to raise funding from other means, Kinsey unfortunately gave up his extraordinary efforts that revolutionized sexuality research. The institute, however, survived and is still functioning as an independent organization under Indiana University.
Alfred Kinsey died on August 25, 1956 of a heart ailment and pneumonia. He was 62 years old.
Who is Alfred Nobel: Biography
Early Life:Alfred Nobel was born on 21 October, 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden. He was the third out of the four sons to the Swedish family. His father, Immanuel Nobel, an engineer and a prosperous arms manufacturer, encouraged his four sons to pursue mechanical fields. When Alfred was just nine years old, his family moved to Saint Petersburg in 1842, where his father started a “torpedo” works. Here young Alfred received his early education by private tutors. He studied chemistry with Professor Nikolay Nikolaevich Zinin.
At the age of 18 he traveled to United States where he spent four years studying chemistry and also worked for sometime under John Ericsson. During this time he also went to Paris where he was first introduced to nitroglycerin, a volatile, explosive liquid first made by an Italian scientist, Ascanio Sobrero in 18With the end of the war his father’s weapon’s business collapsed leaving the family poor. As a result the family had to rely on the earnings of his mother, Andriette Ahlsell Nobel who worked at the grocery store.
Contributions and Achievements:After the family business got bankrupt, Alfred devoted himself to the study of explosives and sought a way to make the aggressive explosion of liquid nitroglycerin somehow more controllable. In 1863 he succeeded in exploding nitroglycerin from a distance with a gunpowder charge, and two years later he patented the mercury fulminate detonator which is a critical component for the development of high explosives. Nobel then built up factories in Hamburg and Stockholm, and soon New York and California.
Unfortunately his name became controversial after many serious accidents in the transit and use of his intrinsically unstable product, including an 1864 explosion at their factory in Heleneborg in Stockholm that killed Nobel’s younger brother Emil, among other casualties.
In order to improve the image of his business, Nobel put all his efforts to produce a safer explosive. In 1866 he discovered that when nitroglycerin was incorporated in an absorbent still substance like kieselguhr (porous clay) it became safer and more convenient to handle. He called this mixture dynamite and received a patent in 18The same year he demonstrated his explosive for the first time at a quarry in Redhill, Surrey, England. After a few months he also developed a more powerful explosive by the name of ‘Gelignite’, (also called blasting gelatin). He made this by absorbing nitroglycerin into wood pulp and sodium or potassium nitrate.
Later Life:During November 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Nobel signed his last will and testament and established the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality. The executors of his will formed the Nobel Foundation to fulfill his wishes. The statutes of the foundation were formally adopted on June 29, 1900 and the first prize was awarded in 1901.
This great man died of a stroke on 10 December 1896 at Sanremo, Italy and was buried in Norra begravningsplatsen in Stockholm.
Who is Anders Celsius: Biography
Early Life and Career:Born in Uppsala, Sweden, Anders Celsius was raised a Lutheran. His father, Nils Celsius, was an astronomy professor. Celsius completed his education in his home town; north of Stockholm. He showed an extraordinary talent in mathematics from childhood. He studied at Uppsala University where, like his father, he joined as a professor of astronomy in 1730.
Contributions and Achievements:In his efforts to build a astronomical observatory in Sweden, Celsius visited several of the famous European astronomy sites from 1732 to 17At the time, English and French astronomers debated about the actual shape of the earth. To resolve this dispute, teams were sent to the “ends” of the world to assess the precise local positions. Pierre Louis de Maupertuis headed the expedition to the north and Celsius joined as his assistant.
The expedition to Lapland, the northernmost part of Sweden, continued from 1736 to 17Newton’s theory about the flattening of the earth at the poles was finally confirmed in 1744 after all measurements were taken.
Celsius went back to Uppsala after the expedition. He is considered to be the first astronomer to analyze the changes of the earth’s magnetic field at the time of a northern light and assess the brightness of stars with measuring tools.
At Uppsala Observatory, Celsius favored the division of the temperature scale of a mercury thermometer at air pressure of 760mm of mercury into 100°C, where 100 was taken as the freezing point and 0 as the boiling point of water.
Due to the elaborated fixation of the measuring environment and methods, this account was thought to be more precise compared to that of Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit and Rene-Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur.
Celsius was an avid admirer of the the Gregorian calendar, which was adapted in Sweden in 1753, just nine years after his death. “Degree Celsius”, the unit of temperature interval, has been named after this brilliant scientist.
Later Life and Death:Celsius became the secretary of the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala in 1725 where he remained until his death. He died of tuberculosis in 1744.
Who is Andre Marie Ampère: Biography
Education and Career:Andre Marie was born in Lyon, France on 20 January 17He grew up at the family property at Poleymieux-au-Mont-d’Or near Lyon. His father, Jean-Jacques Ampère was an affluent businessman and local government official. Young Ampère spent most of his time reading in the library of his family home, and developed a great interest in history, geography, literature, philosophy and the natural sciences. His father gave him Latin lessons and encouraged him to pursue his passion for mathematics.
At a very young age he rapidly began to develop his own mathematical ideas and also started to write a thesis on conic sections. When he was just thirteen, Ampère presented his first paper to the Academie de Lyon. This paper consisted of the solution to the problem of constructing a line of the same length as an arc of a circle. His method involved the use of infinitesimals, but unfortunately his paper was not published because he had no knowledge of calculus then. After some time Ampère came across d’Alembert’s article on the differential calculus in the Encyclopedia and felt the urge to learn more about mathematics.
Ampère took few lessons in the differential and integral calculus from a monk in Lyon, after which he began to study the works of Euler and Bernoulli. He also acquired a copy of the 1788 edition of Lagrange’s Mecanique analytique, which he studied very seriously.
From 1797 to 1802 Ampère earned his living as a mathematics tutor and later he was employed as the professor of physics and chemistry at Bourg Ecole Centrale. In 1809 he got appointed as the professor of mathematics at the Ecole Polytechnique, a post he held until 18He was also appointed to a chair at Universite de France in 1826 which he held until his death.
In 1796 Ampère met Julie Carron, and got married in 1799.
Contribution:During 1820, the Danish physicist, H.C Ørsted accidentally discovered that a magnetic needle is acted on by a voltaic current – a phenomenon establishing a relationship between electricity and magnetism. Ampère on becoming influenced by Ørsted’s discovery performed a series of experiments to clarify the exact nature of the relationship between electric current-flow and magnetism, as well as the relationships governing the behavior of electric currents in various types of conductors. Moreover he demonstrated that two parallel wires carrying electric currents magnetically attract each other if the currents are in the same direction and repel if the currents are in opposite directions.
On the basis of these experiments, Ampère formulated his famous law of electromagnetism known as Ampère’s law. This law is mathematical description of the magnetic force between two electrical currents.
His findings were reported in the Académie des Sciences a week after Ørsted’s discovery. This laid the foundation of electrodynamics.
Death:Ampère died at Marseille on 10 June, 1836 and was buried in the Cimetière de Montmartre, Paris. The SI unit of measurement of electric current, the ampere, is named after him.
Who is Andreas Vesalius: Biography
Early Life and Education:Born in Brussels, Belgium in a family of physicians and pharmacists, Andreas Vesalius’s father was court apothecary to Charles V of Spain, the Holy Roman Emperor. Vesalius learned medicine from the University of Louvain and the University of Paris. He later obtained his medical degree from the University of Padua in 15After his graduation, Vesalius became very interested in anatomy.
Contributions and Achievements:During that time, scholars thought that the work of the ancient Greek physician Galen was an authority when it came to human anatomy. As Greek and Roman laws had disallowed the dissection of human beings, Galen had evidently reasoned out analogies related to human anatomy after studying pigs and apes. Vesalius knew that it was absolutely essential to analyze real corpses to study the human body.
Vesalius resurrected the use of human dissection, regardless of the strict ban by the Catholic Church. He soon began to realize that Galen’s work was an evalution of the dissection of animals, not human beings. Vesalius once demonstrated that men and women have the same number of ribs, contrary to the biblical story of Adam and Eve which tells that Eve was brought into existence from one of Adam’s ribs, and that men had one less rib as compared to women. Vesalius proved that belief wrong.
Vesalius published his influential book aboout human anatomy “De Humani Commis Fabrica” (The Structure of The Human Body) in 15It contained over 200 anatomical illustrations. The work was the earliest known precise presentation of human anatomy. It disgraced several of Galen’s doctrines, for instance the Greek belief that blood has the ability to flow between the ventricles of the heart, and that the mandible, or jaw bone, was made up of more than one bones. Particularly, his visual representation of the muscles was found to be very accurate. The seven volumes of the book laid down a solid understanding of human anatomy as the groundwork for all medical practice and curing.
Later Life and Death:Andreas Vesalius was appointed as a court physician to Charles V of Spain and his family. Vesalius’s bravery and intelligence, however, made many conservative physicians and Catholic clergy his worst enemies. They charged him of being involved in body snatching.
He was accused of murder in 1564 for the dissection of a Spanish noble who, his disputants said, was still alive. Vesalius was also accused of atheism. King Philip II, however, reduced his sentence to a pilgrimage of penitence to the Holy Land. Regrettably on his way back, his vessel was badly harmed by a storm. Vesalius was rescued from the sea, but he died shortly thereafter.
Who is Angel Alcala: Biography
Early Life and Personal BackgroundAngel Alcala was born on the first of March in 19He and his family were from Cauayan, Negros Occidental. His mother Crescenciana Chua and his father Porfirio Alcala were residing in Caliling, a coastal village in Negros Occidental. Because of his exposure to a coastal setup, it is no wonder where Angel Alacala’s awareness and love for marine life came from. While they lived in a humble and rural setup, their simple living had always been supported by the bounty of the sea.
Porfirio Alcala, Angel’s father, was a fish farmer. He had made his living and supported his family by being one of the fish farmers who took care of fish ponds that head steady supplies of milkfish for sale in the local and neighboring markets. The life-long love for marine creatures began when Angel Alcala was young. This was because as the eldest child, he had helped his father take care of the fish ponds where he worked.
When he wasn’t helping his father he along with his brothers would spend most of their time catching crabs, shellfish, and shrimps which would then be served as their meals at home. Fostering a love for the marine life surrounding him wasn’t hard. Having spent a lot of time near the coral reefs and shallow waters, it is evident how the beauty of the sea had captured the heart of Angel Alcala right from the beginning.
Academic BackgroundHis early years in school had been indicative of his thirst for knowledge and desire to excel. He finished his high school years in Kabankalan Academy where he was one of the scholars. He had also been an active member of the academy’s debate team, and had taken part in their Boy Scout troop as well as other extra-curricular activities.
It was in 1948 when Angel Alcala took his pre-medicine course. He had his courses which made him earn his undergraduate degree in Silliman University, the oldest American building and institution in the Philippines, and the oldest university in Asia that was founded by the Americans. Because of his promising potential and evident intelligence, he was later on accepted to be a student of the University of the Philippines’s College of Medicine.
However, Alcala decided not to let the opportunity go due to the financial circumstances that his family faced. In 1951, he had finished the biological studies he started at the Silliman University and he graduated as the magna cum laude of his batch. Despite having given up the opportunity at the University of the Philippines, Angel Alcala was marked to make a change in history after his graduation from the Silliman University.
Careers and AchievementsShortly after Angel Alcala graduated, he already had a career waiting for him. He was invited to become one of the teachers in Silliman University’s Biology Department, and he had accepted. It was 4 years later when the turning point in his career had arrived.
Walter C. Brown who happened to be one of the Fulbright professors of Stanford University arrived at Silliman University. He had then taken Alcala as one of his protégés and their partnership paved the way for numerous scientific researches concerning biology in the Philippines. They worked together on several publications and went on numerous field trips to come up with data for their researches and publications.
It was Walter Brown who had helped Angel Alcala to get started on his herpetology-related works. Together, they became the authors of “Observations on the Amphibians of the Mount Halcon and Mount Canlaon Areas,” a paper which was published in the 1955 edition of the Silliman Journal.
Another 4 years later, Alcala was on his way to Stanford University. Through the support of Walter Brown, Alcala was granted a well-deserved Fulbright/Smith-Mundt Fellowship which was what had helped him earn his master’s degree. In 1964, Alacala went back to Stanford to finish his doctorate and two years later, he became one of the associate professors of Silliman University. Around that time, he had already gained recognition for his works related to herpetology.
In 1988, he resigned from his post in Silliman University, but he had already been their vice president for research then. Three years later, he returned to the university but was then given the honor to be their president. In the interval, he had served as the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development or PCARMD executive director.
Research and LegacyHis 30 years of experience in the field wasn’t just a long 3-decade period in his life. During his time, he had made major contributions to marine biology research efforts in the Philippines and had authored over 160 scientific papers as well as books on the subjects he was involved in. Angel Alcala was the first Filipino scientist to have come up with several comprehensive studies concerning the Philippine reptiles and amphibians. He had also made minor contributions for mammals and aves.
From the 400 already known species of reptiles and amphibians, 50 more were added due to the efforts and works of Angel Alcala. Because of his works concerning marine life and herpetology, even foreign researchers now have reliable bases for the establishment of conservation programs in the country.
In 1994, he was given the Field Museum Founders’ Council Award of Merit for contributions to environmental biology. He is also a recipient of the Magsaysay Award for Public Service. He is currently the director of the Silliman University-Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management, concurrently the director of the Commission on Higher Education Zonal Research Center, and Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences of the university as well.
Who is Antoine Lavoisier: Biography
Early Life and Education:After having a formal education in law and literature, Lavoisier studied science under some of the most well-known figures of the day. He helped develop the first geological map of France and the main water supply of Paris in 1769 at a young age of This earned him a membership of the Royal Academy of Sciences in 17The same year he managed to purchase a part-share in the ‘tax farm’, a private tax collection agency.
Contributions and Achievements:Lavoisier started working on such processes as combustion, respiration and the calcination or oxidation of metals in 17His influential research helped discard the old prevailing theories which dealt with absurd combustion principle called Phlogiston. He gave modern explanations to these processes. His concepts about the nature of acids, bases and salts were more logical and methodical. Lavoisier introduced a chemical element in its modern sense and demonstarted how it should be implemented by composing the first modern list of the chemical elements.
His revolutionary approaches helped many chemists realize the fundamental processes of science and implement the scientific method. This proved to be the turning point in scientific and industrial chemistry. Lavoisier was hired by the Government to continue his research into a number of practical questions with a chemical bias, for instance the production of starch and the distillation of phosphorus.
Louis XVI arranged the Gunpowder Commission in 1775 to ameliorate the supply and quality of gunpowder and cope up with the inadequacies which had affected France’s war efforts. Lavoisier, as a leader of the Commission, presented its reports and monitored its implementation. He dramatically increased the output so that France could even export gun powder, which turned out to be a major factor in France’s war effort in the Revolution and the Napoleonic wars.
Lavoisier also applied his scientific principles to agriculture when he bought some land at Frenchines, near Blois, central France. His efforts bore fruit after short span of time and he described his observations in the 1788 book “Results of some agricultural experiments and reflections on their relation to political economy”, which is considered highly influential in agriculture and economics.
Later Life and Death:Regardless of his extraordinary services to the nation and to mankind, Antoine Lavoisier’s connections to the fax agency proved to be fatal to him, for he died in May 1794 during the reign of terror. The Revolutionaries guillotined some 28 tax farmers, including Lavoisier and his father-in-law.
Who is Antonie van Leeuwenhoek: Biography
Early Life and Education:Born on October 24, 1632 in Delft, The Netherlands, van Leeuwenhoek was entirely self-taught and did not receive a formal degree. His primitive approach, dismissing any type of scientific dogma, made him think freely, and directed him only towards his own passion and interests.
Contributions and Achievements:Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was a salesman by profession who traded household linen. He often took magnifying glasses to judge the quality of cloth. Leeuwenhoek employed his own lenses of diamond shavings, which he got from Delft-diamond cutters. He constructed his own microscopes which were basically simple instruments consisting of a single lens. The product, containing two metal plates set to each other with a fixed lens in between, was however with high precision, and able to perform magnifications of around 300x.
The object intended to be magnified was put on top of a movable metal holder, and focusing took place by way of a screw provided at the back. The whole thing was less than 10 cm in size.
Van Leeuwenhoek’s microscopes were actually very strong magnifying glasses, having considerable similarities with the composite microscopes of the time. It was Leeuwenhoek’s passion, skill and the quality to illuminating the objects properly that made him discover the microscopic objects. He analyzed things like tooth plaque, stagnant water, baker’s yeast, sperm and blood.
Reinier de Graaf, a Delft physician, brought van Leeuwenhoek to the Royal Society, where he published his uniquely detailed findings in Dutch, consisting of only 200 letters.
Later Life and Death:Leeuwenhoek gained worldwide fame with these observations, however he wrote in 1716 that he “did not strive for fame, but [was] driven by an inner craving for knowledge”. This great scientist died on August 16, 1723 at the age of 90.
Who is Antonio Meucci: Biography
Early Life and Academic BackgroundOn April 13 1808, an inventor was born at Via dei Serragli 44 in the San Frediano region of Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, which is now found in the Italian Republic. Antonio Meucci was the eldest child of the nine children to Domenica Pepi and Amatis Meucci. Antonio’s mother was mainly the housekeeper and his father at times local police member and government clerk. Unfortunately, there were four out of the nine of Meucci’s siblings that did not survive or get through childhood.
In November 1821, Meucci at 15 was admitted to Florence Academy of Fine Arts where he became the youngest student who took up mechanical and chemical engineering. Two years later and due to insufficient funds, he stopped full-time schooling. The financial crisis did not stop him from continuing his studies by working part-time as an assistant gate-keeper and customs official for the government of Florentine. Later on, Antonio Meucci became employed as a stage technician at the Teatro della Pergola and assisted Artemio Canovetti.
In the year 1834, Meucci put up a kind of acoustic telephone to be able to communicate between the control room and the stage at the Teatro della Pergola. This type of telephone was built basing on the pipe telephone principles utilized on ships and still currently functions.
On August 7, 1837 Meucci married Esterre Mochi, a costume designer who happened to work at the same theatre where he worked part time.
From 1833 to 1834, Antonio Meucci was imprisoned for the period of three months with Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi because he was accused to be a part of the conspiracy which involved the Italian unification movement.
Career in ScienceMeucci and his wife immigrated to Cuba in 1835 where he accepted a job at which was at that time, the greatest theater in the Americas. In Havana, he created a water purification system and he reconstructed the Gran Teatro.
As Meucci’s contract with the Governor expired in 1848, he was asked by a pal’s doctors to take a job at Franz Anton Mesmer’s therapy systems on rheumatic patients. That made him developed a renowned method of using electric shocks to give remedy to illness and consequently experimentally developed a piece of equipment in which one could use to hear the inarticulate voice of a person. The device was called by him as “telegrafo parlante” or talking telegraph. The fame which reached Samuel F. B. Morse in the U.S. inspired Meucci to make inventing his way of living.
On April 13, 1850, Meucci and his wife moved to United States and lived in the Clifton borough of Staten Island, New York. Meucci then decided that they would settle down there for the rest of their lives. In Staten Island, Meucci helped numerous countrymen obligated to the Italian Unification movement and who had broken out political persecution. He spent his savings in Cuba to build a tallow candle factory which became the first of its kind in the U.S. to intentionally give jobs to the numerous Italian exiles. However, in 1854, his wife Ester became an invalid because of rheumatoid arthritis. Despite it, Antonio Meucci continued with his experiments.
Meucci studied the electromagnetic voice communication principles for a lot of years and in 1856, he was able to finally recognize his dream of broadcasting his voice through wires. He set up a telephone-life piece of equipment in his house to be able to communicate with his, that time, ill wife. Several notes of Meucci supposedly written in 1857 give description to the basic principles of electromagnetic transmission of sound and voice or the telephone.
Meucci constructed allegedly the electromagnetic telephones. He structured a working model, supposedly an electromagnetic, but was not an acoustic version, which he made a way of making a connection with his basement laboratory and second floor bedroom. More importantly, he built this to be in touch with his wife. Between the years 1856 and 1870, Meucci was able to develop more than 30 various types of telephones basing on this prototype.
Meucci intended to pursue on developing his prototypes yet he lacked budget to support it and his candle factory became bankrupt. He looked for some Italian capitalists who are very willing to back up financially the project but because of the military expeditions in Italy, investment was unstable for everyone in the country. What Meucci did was publish his invention in the New York Italian-language newspaper even though no copy of these reports has been found.
Meucci did not give up his invention because on December 12, 1871, he was able to set up an agreement with Sereno G. P. Breguglia Tremeschin, Angelo Antonio Tremeschin, and Angelo Zilio Gandi to represent the Telettrofono Company. He was then funded to apply for full patency. His lawyer then submitted a caveat entitled “Sound Telegraph” on December 28, 1871 in the US Patent Office.
Despite all these, the caveat submitted by Meucci was not granted patent because it did not describe an electric telephone. They went on trial and Meucci’s invention and work, like several other inventors during his time, was structured mostly on the basis of earlier acoustic principles. Even though earlier experiments were presented as evidence, the final case was dropped eventually due to his death on October 18, 1889.
Who is Antony Hewish: Biography
Early Life and Academic BackgroundHe was the youngest of three sons of a banker. He grew up in Newquay which was on the Atlantic coast and this made him develop a love for the ocean as well as boats.
Antony Hewish went to King’s College in Taunton. He earned his undergraduate degree at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge but this period of his study was interrupted by having war service for the Royal Aircraft Establishment and also the Telecommunications Research Establishment. It was at the latter where he got to work with Martin Ryle. There, he got involved with working on airborne radar-counter-measure devices.
He returned to Cambridge in 1946 where he completed his degree. Immediately after, he joined Martin Ryle’s research team which was in the Cavendish Laboratory. In 1952, he obtained his PhD from Cambridge and also became a fellow at the Gonville and Caius College where he earned his undergraduate degree.
In 1961, he transferred to Churchill College and became the Director of Studies in Physics. From 1961 to 1969, he was a lecturer and was also a reader from 1969 to 19He became the Professor of Radio Astronomy from 1971 onwards until his year of retirement. When Martin Ryle died in 1977, it was Hewish who assumed the leadership of the radio astronomy group in Cambridge and also became the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory head from 1982 to 1988.
Hewish had been influenced to have his own researches on astronomy because of his experience in electronics as well as antennas. Jack Ratcliffe, one of his teachers, also played a role in developing Antony’s interest in radio astronomy. Ratcliffe gave a course on electromagnetic theory when Hewish was attending his final undergraduate year. During that time, Ratcliffe was the head of the Cavendish Laboratory too.
Career in ScienceThe first research Antony Hewish did was about how radiation behaved in inhomogeneous transparent media—this also became one of his lifelong interests. At that time the first 2 radio “stars” had just been discovered. Hewish realized how the scintillation or what was called the “twinkling” of these stars can be used for probing how conditions are in the ionosphere. This would also allow him to estimate winds in the region.
He then developed his theory of diffraction through phase-modulating screens. He setup some radio interferometers to see where his ideas can take him. Because of this experiment, he was able to make the first measurements for the height as well as the physical space occupied by plasma clouds which were in the ionosphere. He was also able to estimate wind speeds in the area.
After the interplanetary scintillation discoveries in Cambridge, he then developed similar methods for getting measurements of solar wind from the ground. His innovations were later on adopted in Japan, the USA, and India, especially for purposes of long-term studies. Another breakthrough he was able to do was to come up with a high-angular resolution for radio astronomy which was equal to in interferometer which has a baseline of a thousand kilometers—this was something which had not been previously achieved in the field.
In 1965, Hewish was able to obtain the funds for making the antenna which won the Nobel Prize recognition. Two years later, the antenna was completed and with it, the sky survey for detecting scintillating sources began to happen in July. By chance, the information gathered was exactly what was needed for the detection of pulsars.
It was one of his students named Jocelyn Bell who was able to discover the radio source which was then first recognized as a pulsar. They published a paper announcing their discovery, and though it had five authors, Hewish’s name was first, and Bell’s next. Because of the contribution of Bell for the discovery of the first pulsar, there was even a controversy about the Nobel Prize which Hewish won with Ryle. It was even called the “No-Bell” prize since the supervisor of Jocelyn Bell, Fred Hoyle, believed that she should also have shared the Nobel Prize in honor of her part in the discovery. Bell, however, stated that she was not upset not having won the Nobel Prize.
Legacy and Latter YearsToday, the phase array instrument which Hewish developed is still a useful instrument. It is still being used, and it has continued to improve over the years. Its main use is for supporting the daily observations of different scintillations and for mapping any kind of disturbance, more specifically the large-scale ones that solar winds have. It also makes seeing the interplanetary weather conditions possible. It can be added to spacecrafts for bringing back useful information from the atmosphere where they are located.
Antony Hewish was able to develop a certain association with London’s Royal Institution. The director then was Sir Lawrence Bragg. Hewish was even invited to co-deliver what was known as the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture about the Exploration of the Universe in 19After that, he held his Friday Evening Discourses where relevant topics would be discussed with the interested individuals. In 1977, he was made one of the professors of the Royal Institution.
Apart from the Nobel Prize for Physics, Hewish also received other awards such as the Eddington Medal in 1969, the IOP Charles Vernon Boys Prize in 1970, the IURS John Howard Dellinger Medal in 1972, the William Hopkins Prize in 1973, and the Hughes Medal in 1997, among many others.
Who is Aristotle: Biography
Early Life and Contributions:One of the prominent names of history, this famous personality was a Greek philosopher, was born in Stagira in North Greece, the son of Nichomachus, the court physician to the Macedonian royal family. He was trained first in medicine, and then in 367BC was sent to Athens to study philosophy with Plato. He stayed at Plato’s Academy until about 3He has also been under the supervision of Alexander the Great.
Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in his time as his writings constitute a first at creating a broad system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics. Besides this his piece of work also includes other subjects, including physics, poetry, theater, music, rhetoric, government and ethics.
Though a bright pupil, Aristotle opposed some of Plato’s teachings, and when Plato died, Aristotle was not appointed head of the Academy. After leaving Athens, Aristotle spent some time traveling, and possibly studying biology, in Asia Minor and its islands. He returned to Macedonia in 338 to tutor Alexander the Great, after Alexander conquered Athens, Aristotle returned to Athens and set up a school of his own, known as the Lyceum. After Alexander’s death, Athens revolted against Macedonian rule, and Aristotle’s political situation became unstable. Therefore to keep away from being put to death, he fled to the island of Euboea, where he died soon after.
Legacy:Now talking about Aristotle’s work and achievements, he was very versatile and his views on the physical sciences profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, and their influence extended well into the Renaissance, although they were ultimately replaced by Newtonian physics. In the biological sciences, some of his observations were confirmed to be accurate only for a few times. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late nineteenth century into modern formal logic. A complete account of Aristotle’s contributions to science and philosophy is beyond the scope of this exhibit, but a brief summary can be made, whereas Aristotle’s teacher Plato had located ultimate reality in Ideas or eternal forms, knowable only through reflection and reason but on the other hand Aristotle saw final authenticity in physical matter, predictable through experience.
Matter has the potential to assume whatever form a sculptor gives it, and a seed or embryo has the potential to grow into a living plant or animal form. In living creatures, the form was known with the soul, plants had the lowest kinds of souls, animals had higher souls which could feel, and humans alone had rational, reasoning souls. In turn, animals could be classified by their way of life, their actions, or, most importantly, by their parts.
Though Aristotle’s work in zoology was not without faults, it was the grandest biological synthesis of the time, and remained the vital authority for many centuries after his death. His observations on the anatomy of octopus, cuttlefish, crustaceans, and many other marine invertebrates are extremely correct, with amazing results. He described the embryological development of a chick, and distinguished whales and dolphins from fish, plus he also noticed that some sharks give birth to live young. Aristotle’s books also discuss his detailed observations that he has been doing throughout his life.
We all have come across the classification of animals into different types and the readers will be amazed to know that Aristotle’s classification of animals grouped together is used in a much broader sense than present-day biologists use. He divided the animals into two types, those with blood, and those without blood (or at least without red blood). These distinctions correspond closely to our distinction between vertebrates and invertebrates. The blooded animals, corresponding to the vertebrates, whereas the bloodless animals were classified as cephalopods (such as the octopus), crustaceans, insects, shelled animals and zoophytes also known as plant-animals.
Aristotle’s thoughts on earth sciences can be found in his thesis Meteorology, the word today means the study of weather, but Aristotle used the word in a much broader sense, covering, as he put it, “all the affections we may call common to air and water, and the kinds and parts of the earth and the affections of its parts.” In it he discussed the nature of the earth and the oceans and explained the entire hydrologic cycle. The sun moving as it does sets up processes of change, and by its agency the finest and sweetest water is every day carried up and is dissolved into vapor and rises to the upper region, where it is condensed again by the cold and so returns to the earth.
He has also discussed winds, earthquakes, thunder, lightning, rainbows, meteors, comets, and the Milky Way. Aristotle was of the view that the whole vital process of the earth takes place so gradually and in periods of time which are so immense compared with the length of our life that these changes are not observed, and before their course can be recorded from beginning to end whole nations die and are ruined.
In metaphysics, Aristotelianism had a deep influence on philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions in the Middle Ages, and it continues to influence Christian theology and the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. His followers called him Ille Philosophus (The Philosopher), or “the master of them that know,” and many accepted every word of his writings, or at least every word that did not contradict the Bible as eternal truth. All aspects of Aristotle’s philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today.
Despite the far-reaching appeal that Aristotle’s works have traditionally enjoyed, today modern scholarship questions a considerable portion of the Aristotelian quantity as genuinely Aristotle’s own. Aristotle is said to have written 150 philosophical treatises. The 30 that survive touch on a huge range of philosophical problems, from biology and physics to morals to aesthetics to politics. Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues, it is thought that the majority of his writings are now lost and only about one-third of the original works have endure but whatever has lasted is still a source of inspiration for the learners and will continue to be.
Who is Arnold Orville Beckman: Biography
Early Life, Education and Career:Born in Cullom, Illinois on April 10, 1900, Beckman was the son of a blacksmith. His interest in science developed at the age of nine, when he found a chemistry textbook in the attic and began doing the experiments. He also became interested in music at a young age. While in his teens and during his college days, Beckman played piano forming his own dance band and also accompanied the silent movies at the local theater to help finance his family and education.
Beckman attended the University of Illinois, where in 1922 he completed his graduation in chemical engineering and the following year his masters in physical chemistry. He started a PhD program at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena in 1924, but decided to return to New York and his fiancée, Mabel Meinzer. They married in 1925 and returned in Beckman’s Model T to California, where Beckman completed his PhD in photochemistry from Caltech in 19The same year he became a member of the faculty there and taught chemistry from 1929 to 1940.
Beckman’s interest in electronics and his ability in designing measuring instruments made him very popular within the chemistry department. With the approval of Robert Millikan, Caltech’s president, Beckman began accepting outside consulting work. One of the clients, Sunkist was having problems. He wanted to know what the acidity of the product was at any given time, and the methods then in use, such as litmus paper, were not working well. Beckman built the first commercially successful electronic pH meter (originally called acidimeter) in 19Beckman’s rechristened National Technical Laboratories (NTL) began promoting the acidimeter through scientific-supply catalogs.
His direct involvement with his company spanned a period of almost fifty years. He continued with inventing and building scientific instruments, including the Beckman DU ultraviolet spectrophotometer (1940) and the Beckman IR-1 infrared–visible spectrophotometer (1942). His company changed its name in 1950 to Beckman Instruments, Inc. After he retired in 1983, Beckman focused on charity. He established several foundations and contributed huge amounts of dollars to scientific study and education.
He was given esteemed honors and awards for his accomplishments. In 1987 he became the 65th inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, OH, and in 2004 he earned its Lifetime Achievement Award. In1988 he won the National Medal of Technology. The following year the former American President, George H. W. Bush presented Beckman the National Medal of Science Award.
He died on May 18, 2004 at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, CA.
Who is Arnold Sommerfeld: Biography
Early Life and Educational BackgroundHe was born on the 5th of December in 1868 in Konigsberg located in the Province of East Prussia. He attended high school from 1875-1886 at Altstädtisches Gymnasium, Königsberg and was educated in mathematics as well as physics at Konigsberg’s Albertina University. For his dissertation, he was under his advisor Ferdinand von Lindemann, who was a renowned mathematician. Apart from being taught by Ferdinand von Lindemann, he also had exposure to lectures given by the mathematicians David Hilbert and Adolf Hurwitz, and Emil Wiechert, a known physicist. He was 23 when he received his Ph.D.
CareerAfter receiving his doctorate, Sommerfeld concentrated on the academe. He worked on his teaching diploma and was able to pass the national exam in 18After that, he served for a year in the military and completed the obligatory service in 18He still continued with the voluntary 8-week service for eight more years.
Sommerfeld proceeded to the University of Göttingen where he became the teaching assistant of Theodore Liebsich, who was working at the Mineralogical Institute. Liebsich was one of the professors at the University of Göttingen and also happened to be a family friend of the Sommerfelds. In 1894, Sommerfeld was given the chance to be Felix Klein’s assistant. Klein was a German mathematician known for his works on non-Euclidean geometry and complex analysis, among others. During Sommerfeld’s time with Klein he had to take notes of the lectures and managed the Mathematics Reading Room as well. Sommerfeld’s dissertation called “Habilitationsschrift” was completed while he was working under Klein and achieved completion in 18This dissertation allowed him to be one of the Privatdozents of Gottingen.
When he was a Privatdozent already, Sommerfeld himself lectured on a wide range of subjects including mathematical as well as physics lessons. Lectures given about partial differential equations were first available in the Gottingen and over his course as a teacher, he was able to compile the textbooks series called Lectures on Theoretical Physics and the partial differential equations in particular were present in Volume VI. Together with Klein, they wrote the 4-volume Die Theorie des Kreisels which was about rotating bodies. This compilation took 13 years to complete, from 1897 to 1910.
It was in 1900 when Sommerfeld became the Chair of Applied Mechanics which he held at the Königliche Technische Hochschule Aachen, as one of its extraordinarius professors. This was made possible through Klein himself. During Sommerfeld’s time in Aachen, he was able to develop the theory concerned about hydrodynamics—something that was able to retain his interest even after years from his initial exposure to it.
In 1906, Sommerfeld went to the University of Munich where he became as an ordinarius professor of physics as well as be the Theoretical Physics Institute director. It was none other than Wilhelm Rontgen himself who selected these positions to be held by Sommerfeld. These positions were held with Sommerfeld’s highest regards, and in his words, it was something much like being asked to participated in a “privileged sphere of action.”
He spent over 32 years in Munich, teaching general as well as special courses. His topics ranged from the mechanics that deformable bodies had, optics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics, mechanics, partial differential equations in physics, and even statistical mechanics. He held these lectures for four hours a week for 13 weeks during the winter and 11 weeks during the summer.
Also during his time in Munich, he came into contact with Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Back then, this theory was not yet widely accepted, and it was because of the mathematical contributions that Arnold Sommerfeld made that this theory was accepted by skeptics. He had also been one of the main proponents of quantum mechanics. Some of his contributions include the Sommerfeld–Wilson quantization rules discovered in 1915, and the Sommerfeld fine-structure constant which was discovered a year later.
In 1918, he was Albert Einstein’s successor as the chairperson of the DGP or the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, and one of the accomplishments he had was to establish a new journal which led to the establishment of the Zeitschrift für Physik, where the original research articles were published.
In 1928-1929, he travelled the world and was able to visit India, Japan, China, and the United States as well. He was known as a great theoretician and apart from his irreplaceable and timeless works in physics, he also had other contributions in other fields—most notably on the classical theory of electromagnetism.
He received the emeritus status on the first of April in 1935 but stayed on as his own replacement while his successor was still being selected. The selection process took four long years and it was not until the first of December when his replacement had been recognized.
He was the recipient of several medals like the Max-Planck Medal, Lorentz Medal, and several more acknowledgments from universities all over the world. He has been nominated for the Nobel Prize 81 times, but never received an award of his own. He died in an automobile accident in Munich on the 25th of April in 1951.
Sources: Famous Scientists