Κυριακή, 27 Απριλίου 2014

Newsletter for Sunday 27 April


TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY
NEWSLETTER - 27 APRIL

Feature for Today
On 27 Apr 1846, Charles Joseph Van Depoele was born, a Belgian-American inventor who was one of the major contributors to the electric industry, especially in the field of transportation.

His 243 U.S. patents included motors, dynamos, lighting, electric railway systems, overhead trolley systems and underground railway systems. Other electrically powered mechanisms he designed included a conveyor, telpher system, rock drill, power-hammer and coal-mining machine.

Despite such a productive life, and great significance in the electric industry of his era, perhaps now his name is unfamiliar to you. If so, you will enjoy reading more about his background and invention in this Obituary of Charles Joseph Van Depoele from the Transations of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (1892).

Book of the Day
On 27 Apr 1896, Wallace Hume Carothers was born, the American chemist who developed the first synthetic polymer fibre to be spun from a melt, a polyamide. Today's Science Store pick is Enough for One Lifetime: Wallace Carothers, Inventor, by Matthew E. Hermes. Carothers took an infant science called polymer chemistry, defined it, and guided it toward its present maturity. Hermes tells the story of Carothers's sudden dramatic research successes, the discoveries and his relentless slide into depression, alcohol, and suicide. New  Price $38.95. Also available Used from $19.61 (as of time of writing).

Yesterday's pick: Wormwood Forest: A Natural History of Chernobyl, by Mary Mycio.

For picks from earlier newsletters, see the Today in Science Science Store home page.


Quotations for Today
"Part of the strength of science is that it has tended to attract individuals who love knowledge and the creation of it. ... Thus, it is the communication process which is at the core of the vitality and integrity of science."
- Philip Hauge Abelson, American physical chemist (born 27 Apr 1913) Quotes Icon

"If a single cell, under appropriate conditions, becomes a man in the space of a few years, there can surely be no difficulty in understanding how, under appropriate conditions, a cell may, in the course of untold millions of years, give origin to the human race."
- Herbert Spencer, English sociologist and philosopher (born 27 Apr 1820) Quotes Icon

"All great scientists have, in a certain sense, been great artists; the man with no imagination may collect facts, but he cannot make great discoveries."
Karl Pearson, English mathematician (died 27Apr 1936) Quotes Icon

QUIZ
Before you look at today's web page, see if you can answer some of these questions about the events that happened on this day. Some of the names are very familiar. Others will likely stump you. Tickle your curiosity with these questions, then check your answers on today's web page.
Births

Wallace Carothers, born 27 Apr 1896, was an American chemist who developed polymers (long-chain molecules) including first successful synthetic rubber, neoprene (1931). He also produced (1935), the first synthetic polymer fibre to be spun from a melt, a  polyamide.
What is the common name of the polyamide he developed?

The Morse Code was name after its American inventor, who was born 27 Apr 1791. Independent of similar efforts in Europe, he developed an electric telegraph (1832-35), after which he created his famous code in 1838.
What is this inventor's first name?
Deaths

Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902) was an American who established a Day to be recognized in the U.S. to highlight a certain activity. It was first observed in Nebraska on 10 Apr 1872. Since 1885, the day has been also been celebrated in Nebraska as a public holiday on Morton's birthday in his honour.
By what name is this Day known?
Events

On 27 Apr 1970, the discovery of element 105, was announced at the American Physical Society meeting in Washington, D.C. The work was done by Albert Ghiorso at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, California. It has been named hahnium.
What is the origin of the name: hahnium?

On 27 Apr of a certain year, the first U.S. patent for an electric hearing aid was issued, titled a Device for Aiding the Deaf to Hear. The device employed bone conduction by which sound is passed through vibration of the skull bone. It was not until two decades later that the first commercially available hearing aid was produced by another inventor.
In which decade was this first electric hearing aid U.S. patent issued?

Answers

When you have your answers ready to all the questions above, you'll find all the information to check them, and more, on the April 27 web page of Today in Science History. Or, try this link first for just the brief answers.

Fast answers for the previous newsletter for April 26: a faint electromagnetic radiation throughout the universe with a frequency consistent with the mathematical predictions of the big bang model; Charles Richter; ammonia; the decade including the year 1961; Harlow Shapley.

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