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This Day in Science History

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June 2


Pete Conrad

Born 2 Jun 1930; died 8 Jul 1999.

Charles Peter Conrad, American astronaut, was the third man to walk on the moon during the Apollo 12 mission (14-24 Nov, 1969). He had other experience in space on Gemini 5 (launched 21 Aug 1965, logging a new space endurance record of 8 days), on Gemini 11 (launched 18 Sep 1966, first orbit rendezvous and docking), and the Skylab 2 mission (1973). After service as a U.S. Navy test pilot, Conrad had been selected in 1962 to join NASA's second group of astronauts. On 14 Feb1996, Conrad was a crew member for a record-breaking flight around the world in a Lear jet. He died at age 69 from internal injuries after he crashed on his motorcycle.

Clair Cameron Patterson

Born 2 Jun 1922; died 5 Dec 1995.

U.S. geochemist who in 1953 made the first precise measurement of the Earth's age, 4.55 billion years. He pioneered in three major areas of geochemical research. (1) He provided the first reliable ages of the earth and meteorites (1962), using analysis of the isotopic compositions and concentrations of lead in terrestrial materials and meteorites. This has been a benchmark for researchers. (2) He established the patterns of isotopic evolution of lead on earth, by analysis of critical rocks, sediments and waters of the planet. Thus he created a powerful tool for identifying, tracing and evaluating the nature of the major geochemical reservoirs in the crust, mantle, and oceans. (3) He studied environmental lead pollution.


VTOL Plane

In 1954, the first test of a VTOL airplane takes place when a Convair XFY-1 Pogo demonstrated a vertical takeoff and landing. It was known as a "Tail Sitter," but as prototype to test the concept, its glory flared, and faded in a matter of months. The XFY-1 was a prototype of a point-defense interceptor fighter intended for the Navy. The sole virtue was that it didn't need a runway, for the XFY-1 was built to sit upright on its tail, and take off straight up, using enormous contra-rotating propellers on its nose. After takeoff, a Tail Sitter changed from helicopter style vertical flight to airplane by simply pushing over from the vertical ascent to conventional horizontal flight. In landing, the process was reversed to land on its tail. It was too difficult to fly.

Radio patent

In 1896, the first radio patent was issued to Guglielmo Marconi in England for his wireless telegraphy apparatus (U.K. 12,039) for "Improvements in Transmitting Electrical Impulses and Signals, and in Apparatus Therefor." Improvements are given in a later Marconi patent, No. 7,777 of 1900.

Publishing "Principia"

In 1686, the publication of Newton's Principia was arranged in London at the Royal Society. The minutes of the meeting record that the astronomer Edmund Halley would "undertake the business of looking after it and printing it at his own charge."

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_02.htm


June 3


Ransom Eli Olds

Born 3 June 1864; died 26 Aug 1950.

American inventor and automobile manufacturer, designer of the three-horsepower, curved-dash Oldsmobile, the first commercially successful American-made automobile and the first to use a progressive assembly system, which foreshadowed modern mass-production methods. When young, he worked in his father's machine and repair shop, in Lansing, Mich., where he experimented with small steam engines. In 1887, for a distance of one block, Olds drove Lansing's first automobile, an experimental steam vehicle. He continued to work with steam, gasoline and electric power. Eventually he produced a gasoline-powered vehicle that seated four persons and could do 18 miles per hour on level ground.

J. Presper Eckert, Jr

Died 3 June 1995 (born 9 Apr 1919)

J(ohn) Presper Eckert, Jr. was an American engineer and coinventor of the first general-purpose electronic computer, a digital machine that was the prototype for most computers in use today. In 1946, Eckert with John W. Mauchly fulfilled a government contract to build a digital computer to be used by the U.S. Army for military calculations. They named it ENIAC for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer. By 1949, they had started a manufacturing company for their BINAC computer. This was followed by a business oriented computer, UNIVAC (1951), which was put to many uses and spurred the growth of the computer industry. By 1966 Eckert held 85 patents, mostly for electronic inventions.


First American spacewalk

In 1965, the first American astronaut to make a spacewalk was Major Edward White II, when he spent 20 minutes outside the Gemini 4 capsule during Earth orbit at an altitude of 120 miles. A tether and 25 foot airline were wrapped in gold tape to form a single, thick cord. He used a hand-held 7.5 pound oxygen jet propulsion gun to maneuver. The launch had taken place a few hours earlier on the same day. During the remainder of the flight, pilot White and his crewmate commander McDivitt completed 12 scientific and medical experiments. The total time in orbit was almost 98 hours, making 62 orbits. Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei A. Leonov, had made the first ever spacewalk for 10 minutes about three months earlier.

Hale telescope

In 1948, the 200-inch (5.08 m) reflecting Hale telescope at the Palomar Mountain Observatory in California was dedicated. This was the first in the world with a 200-inch lens, which after casting was permitted to cool slowly over an 11 month period. The resulting 20-ton glass disk then required 11 years of careful grinding and polishing. The telescope was officially named after Dr. George Ellery Hale who conceived, designed and promoted this telescope, though he died before it was completed. On 1 Feb 1949, studies first began with observations were first made of the constellation Coma Berenices.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_03.htm


June 4


Heinrich Otto Wieland

Born 4 June 1877; died 5 Aug 1957.

German chemist, winner of the 1927 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his studies of steroid chemistry in which he determined the molecular structure of bile acids. He is also noted for studying the conversion of food into energy. In 1912, he began work on bile acids, secretions of the liver known for the best part of a century to consist of a large number of substances. He studied three of them: cholic acid, deoxycholic acid, and lithocholic acid, finding that they were all steroids, very similar to each other, and all convertible into cholanic acid. After 1921, he studied some curious alkaloids including toxiferin (curare's active ingredient), bufotalin (in venom from toads), and phalloidine and amatine (poisonous ingredients in the deadly amanita mushroom).

Maurice Fréchet

Died 4 June 1973 (born 2 Sep 1878)

Maurice René Fréchet was a French mathematician known chiefly for his contribution to real analysis. He is credited with being the founder of the theory of abstract spaces, which generalized the traditional mathematical definition of space as a locus for the comparison of figures; in Fréchet's terms, space is defined as a set of points and the set of relations. In his dissertation of 1906, he investigated functionals on a metric space and formulated the abstract notion of compactness. In 1907, he discovered an integral representation theorem for functionals on the space of quadratic Lebesgue integrable functions. He also made important contributions to statistics, probability and calculus.


Solar Eclipse

In 780 BC, the first total solar eclipse reliably recorded by the Chinese was noted. A clay tablet retrieved from the ancient city of Ugarit, Syria (as it is now) gives the oldest eclipse record, with two interpretations of the date being regarded as plausible. The date most favoured by recent authors on the subject is 5 Mar 1223, although alternatively 3 May 1375 has also been proposed as plausible

First Canadian nuclear power plant

In 1962, the first electricity from nuclear fission in Canada was generated at the Nuclear Power Demonstration reactor (NPD), 3 km east of Rolphton, Ontario, along the Ottawa River's south shore. It supplied to the Ontario power grid. This was the prototype CANDU reactor (CANada Deuterium Uranium pressurized heavy water reactor), fuelled with natural uranium and using heavy water as the moderator and coolant. Its design and development was done by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), a federal crown corporation established in 1952. Critically was first attained earlier on 11 Apr 1962, and the first full power was on 28 Jun 1962. It was shut down for economic reasons on 5 May 1987

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_04.htm


June 5


John Couch Adams

Born 5 June 1819; died 21 Jan 1892.

British mathematician and astronomer, one of two people who independently discovered the planet Neptune. On 3 Jul 1841, Adams had entered in his journal: "Formed a design in the beginning of this week of investigating, as soon as possible after taking my degree, the irregularities in the motion of Uranus ... in order to find out whether they may be attributed to the action of an undiscovered planet beyond it." Adams made many other contributions to astronomy, notably his studies of the Leonid meteor shower (1866) where he showed that the orbit of the meteor shower was very similar to that of a comet. He was able to correctly conclude that the meteor shower was associated with the comet. Adams considered the motion of the Moon, and studied terrestrial magnetism.

Augustus Edward Hough Love

Died 5 June 1940 (born 17 Apr 1863)

British geophysicist and mathematician who discovered a major type of earthquake wave that was subsequently named for him. Love assumed that the Earth consists of concentric layers that differ in density and postulated the occurrence of a seismic wave confined to the surface layer (crust) of the Earth which propagated between the crust and underlying mantle. His prediction was confirmed by recordings of the behaviour of waves in the surface layer of the Earth. He proposed a method, based on measurements of Love waves, to measure the thickness of the Earth's crust. In addition to his work on geophysical theory, Love studied elasticity and wrote A Treatise on the Mathematical Theory of Elasticity, 2 vol. (1892-93).



In 1981, a epidemic disease, later to be named as AIDS, was briefly described by Dr. Michael Gottlieb in the newsletter of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. This was the first notice to be published on AIDS, though it had not yet been given that name. Gottlieb was in his first research position as assistant professor of medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles. Despite the medical profession's refusal to acknowledge the AIDS crisis, he pursued early immune deficiency cases and urged the publication of his findings. He left UCLA in 1987 to open a private practice, he has devoted his career to treating AIDS patients and fostering AIDS research. He was one of the first researchers to test the drug AZT on AIDS patients.

Apple II

In 1977, first personal computer, the Apple II, went on sale. They were the invention of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. They have the 6502 microprocessor, ability to do Hi-res and Lo-res color graphics, sound, joystick input, and casette tape I/O. They have a total of eight expansion Slots for adding peripherials. Clock speed is 1MHz and, with Apple's Language Card installed, standard memory size is 64kB. (The Apple I designation referred to an earlier computer that was not much more than a board. You had to supply your own keyboard, monitor and case.) The Apple II was one of three prominent personal computers that came out in 1977. Despite its higher price, it quickly pulled ahead of the TRS-80 and the Commodore Pet.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_05.htm


June 6


David Scott

Born 6 June 1932

American astronaut who was the first to drive a wheeled vehicle on the moon on 31 Jul 1971. Gemini 8 was launched 16 Mar 1966, with Scott and Neil Armstrong as crew and conducted the first docking in space with an Agena. Scott flew on the Apollo 9 mission, launched 3 Mar 1969, a ten-day earth-orbit test of the first complete set of Apollo hardware. On 26 Jul 1971, Scott was launched on the Apollo 15 mission. He was in command of its Lunar Module which made the fourth lunar landing, became the seventh person to walk on the moon and the first to use the Lunar Rover vehicle on the moon's surface. This was part of a three day scientific investigation, with about 77 kg of rock samples collected, and an ALSEP science station left at the landing site to continue monitoring the lunar environment

Carl Jung

Died 6 June 1961 (born 26 Jul 1875)

Dr. Carl (Gustav) Jung was a Swiss psychologist. He met and collaborated with Freud in Vienna in (1907-13), but then developed his own theories, which he called "analytical psychology" to distinguish them from Freud's psychoanalysis or Adler's individual psychology. Jung proposed and developed the concepts of the extroverted and introverted personality, archetypes, and the collective unconscious. The "father" of Psychoanalysis, his work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion. He held chairs at Basel and Zürich.


Edison patent

In 1899, Thomas A. Edison was issued a patent for his "Filament for And Process of Incandescent Lamps" (U.S. No. 626,460). "I form a filament of highly-refractory non-conducting material which is preferably porous, and incorporate therein isolated particles of carbon, so as to produce spark gaps between the particles, whereby high-tension currents, either alternating, continuous, or intermittent, will be conducted from particle to particle of the carbon to raise the filament to incandescence. ... The highly refractory material I prefer to use ... is an oxid or oxids of the rare earths - such as the oxid of zirconium, thorium and others."

First public museum

In 1683, the general public were admitted for the first time to the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford. This was the first public museum to open in Britain, and perhaps in the world. The building had multiple purposes: the basement contained a chemistry laboratory, the ground floor was used for lectures and it was the top floor which housed a collection of curiosities acquired by Elias Ashmole and donated to the university. A fortnight earlier, the "formal inauguration ceremony" was attended by the Duke and Duchess of York and the Princess Anne, on 21 May 1683 followed by a private view for members of the University on the afternoon of 24 May 1683

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_06.htm


June 7


Bernard Flood Burke

Born 7 June 1928
American astronomer who discovered that the giant planet Jupiter emits radio waves (1955). Burke and Kenneth L. Franklin, astronomers at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, were scanning the sky for radio waves from galaxies. By chance, they found a radio signal that resembled short bursts of static, similar to interference by lightning on home radios. After weeks of study, finding the signals were periodic, four minutes earlier each day, they pin-pointed Jupiter as the source. Never before had radio sounds from a planet in our solar system been detected. Later it was discovered that the radio waves were circularly polarized, so a magnetic field was involved.

Alan M. Turing

Died 7 June 1954 (born 23 Jun 1912)

Alan Mathison Turing was an English mathematician and logician who pioneered in the field of computer theory and who contributed important logical analyses of computer processes. He made major contributions to mathematics, cryptanalysis, logic, philosophy, and biology and to the new areas later named computer science, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and artificial life.


Solar power plant

In 1980, the first U.S. solar power plant was dedicated. It was sited at the Natural Bridge National Monument, Utah, and at the time the world's largest. An array of over 250,000 solar cells arranged in 12 long rows provided 100-kilowatts. The plant provided elecricity for the park's visitor center, staff residences, maintenance facilities and water sanitation system, which were otherwise 38 miles away from the nearest alternate power line. The power plant was part of a joint venture of MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and the Dept. of Energy.

European nuclear laboratory

In 1950, a European nuclear physics laboratory, complete with cyclotron was proposed by Nobel Prize winner, Isidor I. Rabi, to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). He represented the U.S. at the 5th General Conference, but was able to speak also with support from European scientists. The role of Unesco would be to initiate the project with a sum of about $5,000 to cover the cost of selecting the site, and to act "as a catalytic agent in obtaining the practical collaboration of scientists from various countries in the region. By 1952, the third session of its provisional Council decided to locate in Switzerland. CERN (Centre Européenne de Recherche Nucléaire) was ratified on 29 Sep 1954.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_07.htm


June 8


Tim Berners-Lee

Born 8 Jun 1955

English computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium, which oversees its continued development. In 1984, he took up a fellowship at CERN, to work on distributed real-time systems for scientific data acquisition and system control. While there , in 1989, he proposed a global hypertext project, to be known as the World Wide Web, which permitted people to collaborate by sharing knowledge in a web of hypertext documents. On 6 Aug 1991, the first World Wide Web site was made available to the Internet at large, giving information on a browser and how to set up a Web server. He then expanded its reach, always nonprofit, to become an international mass medium.

Augusto Righi

Died 8 Jun 1920 (born 27 Aug 1850)

Italian physicist who showed that radio waves displayed characterics of light wave behaviour in the manner of reflection, refraction, polarization and interference. Thus the nature of radio waves was similar to light, but with the difference of greater wavelength and a part of the same electromagnetic spectrum as light. He discovered magnetic hysteresis (1880). He was the first person to generate microwaves, and opened a whole new area of the electromagnetic spectrum to research and subsequent application. By 1900 also began work on X-rays. In 1903 he wrote the first paper on wireless telegraphy. His improvements on the work of Hertz were passed along to Guglielmo Marconi, who studied in Righi’s laboratory.


U.S. missile mail

In 1959, the first official U.S. missile mail was launched from the submarine USS Barbero at about 100 miles off the Atlantic Coast to the Mayport Auxiliary Naval Station near Jacksonville, Florida. The 36-foot Regulus 1 winged missile carried 3,000 letters, delivering about 22 minutes after launch. The letters included one from President Eisenhower. The mail carried four-cent stamps. Rocket airmail in the U.S. had its first launch in the U.S. on 23 Feb 1936 in an 11-foot rocket with 15-foot wingspread fueled by liquid oxygen and alcohol.*Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield declared the experiment a success: "Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia."


In 1918, Nova Aquila, the brightest nova since Kepler's nova of 1604, was discovered in the constellation of Aquila the eagle, a 1st magnitude star 6 degrees north of the Scutum star cloud. For the months that it shone, it was the brightest star in the sky, briefly half a million times brighter than the sun, but seen from 1200 light years (70,000 trillion miles) away. Between 1899 and 1936 there were 20 fairly bright novae, and five of those were in this same small area of the sky, the constellation Aquila. Seven years later Nova Aquila had faded to a bluish star apparently much smaller and denser than our sun. (Aquila belonged to Zeus, and was the eagle that carried the mortal Ganymede to the heavens to serve as Zeus' cup bearer.)

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_08.htm


June 9


Johann Gottfried Galle

Born 9 Jun 1812; died 10 Jul 1910.

German astronomer who on 23 Sep 1846, was the first to observe the planet Neptune, whose existence had been predicted in the calculations of Leverrier. Leverrier had written to Galle asking him to search for the 'new planet' at a predicted location. Galle was then a member of the staff of the Berlin Observatory and had discovered three comets. In 1838, while assistant to Johann Franz Encke, Galle discovered the dark, inner C ring of Saturn at the time of the maxium ring opening. In 1851, he became professor of astronomy at Breslau and director of the observatory there. In 1872, he proposed the use of asteroids rather than regular planets for determinations of the solar parallax, a suggestion which was successful in an international campaign (1888-89).

Alvan Graham Clark

Died 9 Jun 1897 (born 10 Jul 1832)

U.S. astronomer, one of an American family of telescope makers and astronomers who supplied unexcelled lenses to many observatories in the U.S. and Europe during the heyday of the refracting telescope. He began a deep interest in astronomy while still at school, then joined the family firm of Alvan Clark & Sons, makers of astronomical lenses. In 1861, testing a new lens, he looked through it at Sirius and observed faintly beside it, Sirius B, the twin star predicted by Friedrich Bessel in 1844. Carrying on the family business, after the deaths of his father and brother, Clark made the 40" lenses of the Yerkes telescope (still the largest refractor in the world). Their safe delivery was a source of anxiety. He died shortly after their first use.


Goddard's rocket aircraft

In 1931, Robert Goddard patented a rocket-fueled aircraft design (U.S. No. 1,809,271). However, it drew no military interest from either the Army or the Navy, despite its innovative design, since even the government following the great Depression had limited resources to fund proper research. The invention was designed to utilize the energy of the gas blast of a rocket without dissipation to obtain the maximum propulsive effect by driving one or more turbine elements, which in turn could turn propellers for driving the plane in the usual manner at low altitudes. The invention also proposes using the reaction of the gas blast itself at such higher altitudes where the air is so thin that propellers would be useless.

Einstein published

In 1905, Albert Einstein published his analysis of Planck's quantum theory and its application to light. His article appeared in Annalen der Physik. Though no experimental work was involved, it was for these insights that Einstein earned his Nobel Prize.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_09.htm


June 10


Edward O. Wilson

Born 10 June 1929

Edward Osborne Wilson is an American biologist recognized as the world's leading authority on ants who has conducted extensive studies of the ecology and evolution of the ant. He has travelled the world studying ant populations, and he has discovered several new ant species. These currently number practically 9,000, but Wilson predicts that count will someday total nearly 20,000. He also estimates that within these species there are over a million billion individuals. In 1967, he co-published The Theory of Island Biogeography, a study of islands, which examines the relation between island size, the number of species contained, and their evolutionary balance. He is also active in sociobiology, a genetic study of social behaviour.

André-Marie Ampère

Died 10 June 1836 (born 22 Jan 1775)

French mathematician and physicist who founded and named the science of electrodynamics, now known as electromagnetism. His interests included mathematics, metaphysics, physics and chemistry. In mathematics he worked on partial differential equations. Ampère made significant contributions to chemistry. In 1811 he suggested that an anhydrous acid prepared two years earlier was a compound of hydrogen with an unknown element, analogous to chlorine, for which he suggested the name fluorine. He produced a classification of elements in 1816. Ampère also worked on the wave theory of light. By the early 1820's, Ampère was working on a combined theory of electricity and magnetism, after hearing about Oersted's experiments.



In 1952, Mylar® was registered as a DuPont trademark for an extraordinarily strong polyester film that grew out of the development of Dacron® in the early 1950s. During the 1960s its superior strength steadily replaced cellophane because of its its superior strength, heat resistance, and excellent insulating properties. The unique qualities of the film made new consumer markets in magnetic audio and video tape, capacitor dielectrics, packaging and batteries possible. By the 1970s, it become DuPont’s best-selling film, despite mounting competition. It is also used as food wrap, for balloons, and by instrument manufacturers to produce high-quality drumheads.

Curved space

In 1854, G.F. Bernhard Riemann proposed that space is curved in a lecture titled Über die Hypothesen welche der Geometrie zu Grunde liegen. He described the old-fashioned Euclidean plane geometry and solid geometry, respectively, as two-, and three-dimensional examples of what we now call Riemann spaces with zero curvature. Saying that the space is curved, rather than flat or Euclidean, is another way saying that the familiar properties of Euclidean geometry - such as the Pythagorean theorem - do not hold. He went on to suggest that all physical laws become simpler when expressed in higher dimensions. Einstein in 1915 used Rieman’s work in his theory of General Relativity which incorporated time as the fourth dimension.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_10.htm


June 11


Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Born 11 Jun 1910; died 25 Jun 1997.

French naval officer, oceanographer, marine biologist and ocean explorer, known for his extensive underseas investigations. He was co-inventor of the aqualung which made SCUBA diving possible (1943). Cousteau the developed the Conshelf series of manned habitats, the Diving Saucer, a process of underwater television and numerous other platforms and specialized instruments of ocean science. In 1945 he founded the French Navy's Undersea Research Group. He modified a WWII wooden hull minesweeper into the research vesselCalypso, in 1950. An observation dome added to the foot of Calypso's bow was found to increase the ship's stability, speed and fuel efficiency.

Daniel Kirkwood

Died 11 Jun 1895 (born 27 Sep 1814)

American mathematician and astronomer who noted in about 1860 that there were several zones of low density in the minor-planet population. These gaps in the distribution of asteroid distances from the Sun are now known as Kirkwood gaps. He explained the gaps as resulting from perturbations by Jupiter. An object that revolved in one of the gaps would be disturbed regularly by the planet's gravitational pull and eventually would be moved to another orbit. Thus gaps appeared in the distribution of asteroids where the orbital period of any small body present would be a simple fraction of that of Jupiter. Kirwood showed that a similar effect accounted for gaps in Saturns rings.


Mercury capsule patent

In 1963, the Mercury space capsule was patented by Faget, Meyer, Chilton, Blanchard, Kehlet, Hammack and Johnson (U.S. No. 3,093,346). It was assigned to NASA. The invention was described as a "manned capsule configuration capable of being launched into orbital flight and returned to the earth's surface." The invention was to provide "protection for its occupant from the deleterious effects of large pressure differentials, high temperatures, micrometerorite collisions, high level acoustical noise, and severe inertial and impact loads." The patent was applied for on 6 Oct 1959. Mercury 1 had already flown, on 5 May 1961, in a 15-min sub-orbital flight carrying Alan B. Shepard before the patent was issued.

Duryea patent

In 1895, the first U.S. patent for a gasoline-driven automobile by a U.S. inventor was issued to Charles E. Duryea (No. 540,648). Early in 1896, the Duryea Motor Wagon Co. set up shop in Springfield, Mass. to manufacture multiple units to a gasoline-powered vehicle that he built with his brother, Frank. The company's assembly of 13 identical machines that year is considered to be the first instance of serial production of American cars. The only surviving 1896 Duryea is on exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum. As this is the first U.S. automobile company, and the first to produce any quantity, the Duryea brothers are considered "Fathers of the American Automobile Industry".

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_11.htm


June 12


Sir David Gill

Born 12 June 1843; died 24 Jan 1914.

Scottish astronomer known for his measurements of solar and stellar parallax, showing the distances of the Sun and other stars from Earth, and for his early use of photography in mapping the heavens. From his first training as a watchmaker, he progressed to the timekeeping requirements of astronomy. He designed, equipped, and operated a private observatory near Aberdeen. In 1877, Gill and his wife measured the solar parallax by observing Mars from Ascension Island. To determine parallaxes, he perfected the use of the heliometer, a telescope that uses a split image to measure the angular separation of celestial bodies. He later redetermined the solar parallax to such precision that his value was used for almanacs until 1968.

Silvanus Phillips Thompson

Died 12 June 1916 (born 19 Jun 1851)

British physicist and historian of science. He was a recognised authority upon electricity, magnetism and acoustics and his writings are numerous including Elementary Lessons in Electricity and Magnetism published in 1881 which ran through some 40 editions and reprints. He was also known for contributions in electrical machinery, optics, and X rays. In 1884, he published his epoch-making work Dynamo-electric Machinery: a Manual for Students of Electrotechnics. Practically every designer of electrical machines gleaned his first information on the subject from this work. His lectures to the Royal Institution on Light, visible and invisible in book form and Polyphase Electric Currents and Motors were published in 1896.


Human powered flight

In 1979, the Gossamer Albatross flew across the English Channel, an airplane powered solely by human power. Cyclist Bryan Allen used a pedalling mechanism.

Blue galaxies

In 1965, the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe is supported by the announcement of the discovery of new celestial bodies know as blue galaxies.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_12.htm


June 13


Luis W. Alvarez

Born 13 Jun 1911; died 1 Sep 1988.

American experimental physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1968 for work that included the discovery of many resonance particles (subatomic particles having extremely short lifetimes and occurring only in high-energy nuclear collisions). Alvarez invented a radio distance and direction indicator. During World War II, he designed a landing system for aircrafts and a radar system for locating planes. He participated in the development of the atomic bomb at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M. (1944-45). He suggested the technique for detonating the implosion type of atomic bomb. Later, he helped develop the hydrogen bubble chamber, used to detect subatomic particles. This research led to the discovery of over 70 elementary particles and resulted in a major revision ofnuclear theories.

James Clerk Maxwell

Born 13 Jun 1831; died 5 Nov 1879.

Scottish physicist and mathematician. Maxwell's researches united electricity and magnetism into the concept of the electro-magnetic field. In London, around 1862, Maxwell calculated that the speed of propagation of an electromagnetic field is approximately that of the speed of light. He proposed that the phenomenon of light is therefore an electromagnetic phenomenon. The four partial differential equations, now known as Maxwell's equations, first appeared in fully developed form in Electricity and Magnetism (1873). He died relatively young; some of the theories he advanced in physics were only conclusively proved long after his death. Maxwell's ideas also paved the way for Einstein's special theory of relativity and the quantum theory.

James B. Pollack

Died 13 Jun 1994

American scientist who was a NASA researcher and who helped develop the theory that atomic war would result in a "nuclear winter" as a world-renowned expert in the study of planetary atmospheres and particulates using nongrey radiative transfer techniques. In other work, he examined evolutionary climate change on all the terrestrial planets and detailed models of the early evolution of the giant gas planets. He made fundamental contributions to the design of numerous NASA missions. Pollack discovered the first real evidence that the clouds of Venus are composed of sulphuric acid. He explained the reason for the paradox that Saturn's rings showed low microwave emissivity but high radar reflectivity.


Pioneer 10

In 1983, space probe vehicle Pioneer 10 crossed the orbit of Neptune and became the first man-made object to leave our Solar System. It was launched 2 Mar 1972. It is moving in a straight line away from the Sun at a constant velocity of about 12 km/sec. Some 30 years after its launch, on 27 Apr 2002, NASA made successful contact with telemetry received from Pioneer 10 when it was at a distance from Earth of 7.57 billion miles, and the round-trip time for the signal (at the speed of light) was 22-hr 35-min. The probe sent information from the one scientific instrument that was still working, the Geiger Tube Telescope. The spacecraft is heading generally towards the red star Aldebaran, which forms the eye of Taurus (The Bull).


In 1611, a publication on the newly discovered phenomenon of sunspots was dedicated. Narratio de maculis in sole observatis et apparente earum cum sole conversione. ("Narration on Spots Observed on the Sun and their Apparent Rotation with the Sun"). This first publication on such observations, was the work of Johannes Fabricius, a Dutch astronomer who was perhaps the first ever to observe sunspots. On 9 Mar 1611, at dawn, Johannes had used his telescope to view the rising sun and had seen several dark spots on it. He called his father to investigatethis new phenomenon with him. The brightness of the Sun's center was very painful, and the two quickly switched to a projection method by means of a camera obscura.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_13.htm


June 14


Charles-Augustin de Coulomb

Born 14 June 1736; died 23 Aug 1806

French physicist best known for the formulation of Coulomb's law, which states that the force between two electrical charges is proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Coulombic force is one of the principal forces involved in atomic reactions. The inverse-square relationship is also seen in the relationship of the gravitation force between masses. In 1777, he invented a torsion balance which he subsequently modified for electrical measurements. He also did research on friction of machinery, on windmills, and on the elasticity of metal and silk fibres.

Pierre-Charles L'Enfant

Died 14 June 1875 (born 2 Aug 1754)

French-born and educated as an architect, L'Enfant came to the U.S. as a French engineer who assisted the American Continental Army in its fight against the British during the American Revolution. Appointed by President Washington in 1791 to design the new federal city, L'Enfant designed the basic plan for Washington, D.C., based on many European cityscapes. L'Enfant was dismissed from his job in 1792 following professional disagreements and personality clashes with the three commissioners appointed by President Washington to oversee the project.


Atomic submarine Nautilus

In 1952, the keel was laid for the first American atomic submarine Nautilus in a ceremony attended by President Harry S. Trumann. It was built by the Electric Boat Company division of General Dynamics Corp. at Groton, Conn., under the supervision of Captain Hyman George Rickover. Its liquid-cooled atomic reactor provided power for steam turbines. The submarine was launched in early 1954, commisioned later that year. It was tested under nuclear power on 17 Jan 1955 and completed 22 Apr 1955.

Univac 1

In 1951, the Univac1 was unveiled in Washington, DC. and dedicated as the world's first commercial computer. The Univac was manufactured for the U.S. Census Bureau by Remington Rand Corp. The massive computer was 8 feet high, 7-1/2 feet wide and 14-1/2 feet long. It could retain a maximum of 1000 numbers and was able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, sort, collate and take square and cube roots. Its transfer rate to and from magnetic tape was 10,000 characters per second. This was five years after the ENIAC, the first electronic computer in the U.S., was completed.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_14.htm


June 15


Georg Wüst

Born 15 Jun 1890; died 8 Nov 1977.

Georg Adolf Otto Wüst was a German oceanographer who, by collecting and analyzing many systematic observations, developed the first essentially complete understanding of the physical structure and deep circulation of the Atlantic Ocean. He used the distribution of ocean properties to obtain clues about motions within the ocean. Wüst also invented the concept of the "core layer," the layer of water within the ocean that has the most extreme values with respect to one or more properties and therefore is the least mixed and thus shows the path of motion.

Jean-François Pilatre de Rozier

Died 15 Jun 1785

French physicist and aeronaut who, with Marquis Francois Laurant d'Arlandes, became the first men to fly. Their hot-air balloon, built by the Montgolfier brothers, lifted off from La Muettte, a royal palace in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris. They flew nearly 6 miles in 25 mins, reaching an altitude of around 300-ft. King Louis XVI, who offered to send two prisoners for the test flight, but Rozier wanted to deny criminals the glory of being the first men to go into the atmosphere. Rozier died in attempt to cross English Channel in an apparatus composed of two balloons, one filled with hydrogen and the other with warm air. Thus, he was also the first man to die in an air crash.«


Transatlantic plane flight

In 1919, Capt. John Alcock (pilot) and Lt. Arthur W. Browne (navigator) successfully completed the first, non-stop, transatlantic, airplane flight. They flew from Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland in 16 hr 12 min and won the prize offered by the London Daily Mail. Their aircraft was a Vickers Vimy (which was originally designed as a bomber to be used during WW I.) They faced many problems. Their radio broke down shortly after take off. Fog and drizzle prevented the fliers from seeing anything for much of the journey. They aimed to land in a green field but instead it turned out to be a bog. The plane suffered some damage when it hit the ground and sank into the bog. Both Alcock and Brown came away unhurt.

Lightning experiment

In 1752, Ben Franklin's kite-flying experiment proved lightning and electricity were related while flying a kite with a key attatched. In Sep 1752, he equipped his house with a lightning rod, connecting it to bells that ring when rod is electrified. He explained how to perform a kite experiment in the 19 Oct 1752 issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette. He had earlier proposed use of lightning rods to protect houses in a 2 Mar 1750 letter to Collinson and in the same year, on 29 Jul 1750, he devised an experiment involving a sentry-box with a pointed rod on its roof, to be erected on hilltop or in church steeple, with rod attached to a Leyden jar which would collect the electrical charge, and thus prove lightning to be a form of electricity.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_15.htm


June 16


Julius Plücker

Born 16 June 1801; died 22 May 1868.

German mathematician and physicist whose work suggested the far-reaching principle of duality, which states the equivalence of certain related types of theorems. He also discovered that cathode rays (electron rays produced in a vacuum) are diverted from their path by a magnetic field, a principle vital to the development of modern electronic devices, such as television. At first alone and later with the German physicist Johann W. Hittorf, Plücker made many important discoveries in spectroscopy. Before Bunsen and Kirchhoff, he announced that spectral lines were characteristic for each chemical substance and this had value to chemical analysis. In 1862 he pointed out that the same element may exhibit different spectra at different temperatures.

Wernher von Braun

Died 16 June 1977 (born 23 Mar 1912)

Wernher Magnus Maximilian von Braun was a German-born American engineer who was one of the most important developers of rockets and their evolution to applications in space exploration. His interest began as a teenager in Germany, and during WW II he led the development of the deadly V–2 ballistic missile for the Nazis (which role remains controversial). After war, he was taken to use his knowledge to produce rockets for the U.S. Army. In 1960, he transferred to the newly formed NASA and became director of Marshall Space Flight Center and chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle used to put men on the moon. His contributions include the Explorer satellites; Jupiter, Pershing, Redstone and Saturn rockets, and Skylab.«



In 1922, Henry A. Berliner demonstrated the first helicopter prototype for representatives of the U.S. Bureau of Aeronautics in College Park, Maryland. Berliner made this first ever controlled horizontal helicopter flight in a war-surplus Nieuport 23 fighter with tilting tail rotor, and a short-span upper wing with 14-ft helicopter blades at the tips. It was powered with a Bentley 220 hp engine to the front which turned the two counter-rotating lifting rotors through a series of geared shafts. The two rotors could tilt slightly in opposite directions to control yaw. Two sets of five 36-in x 8-in louvers, located below each rotor, opened and closed differentially to provide roll control by presenting a flat surface, which reacted against the rotor downwash.


In 1911, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) was incorporated, a predecessor of IBM (1924). Earlier, in 1890, Dr. Herman Hollerith had constructed an electromechanical machine using perforated cards for use in the U.S. census, and in 1896 he founded the Tabulating Machine Co. to construct sorting machines. In 1911, CTR was the result of the merger of the Tabulating Company (founded by Hollerith), the Computing Scale Company, and the International Time Recording Company)

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_16.htm


June 17


Alexander Alexandrovich Friedmann

Born 17 Jun 1888; died 16 Sep 1925

Russian mathematician who was the first to work out a mathematical analysis of an expanding universe consistent with general relativity, yet without Einstein’s cosmological constant. In 1922, he developed solutions to the field equations, one of which clearly described a universe that began from a point singularity, and expanded thereafter. In his article On the Curvature of Space received by the journal Zeitschrift für Physik on 29 Jun 1922, he showed that the radius of curvature of the universe can be either an increasing or a periodic function of time. In Jul 1925, he made a record-breaking 7400-m balloon ascent to make meteorological and medical observations. A few weeks later he fell ill and died of typhus.

Thomas S. Kuhn

Died 17 Jun 1996 (born 18 Jul 1922) Quotes Icon

Thomas Samuel Kuhn was an American historian philosopher of science who was the author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), one of the most widely read and influential books in 20th-century social sciences, humanities, and philosophy. He pointed out that scientific research and thought are defined by "paradigms," or trusted theories, concepts, methods and experiments. Such paradigms are accepted by scientists, who continue to extend, refine, explain and measure results until they meet an problem that cannot be resolved within the established framework. Such anomaly or contradiction eventually requires an intellectual revolution, such as the paradigm shifts from Ptolemaic cosmology to Copernican heliocentrism.


Chinese H-bomb

In 1967, China tested its first hydrogen bomb. This was China's sixth nuclear test, and its first full scale radiation implosion (Teller-Ulam) weapon test. The device contained U-235, lithium-6 deuteride, and U-238. It was detonated at 2960 m over the Lop Nur Test Ground after being dropped from an airplane, and had a yield of 3.3 megatons. (It was conducted only 32 months after Chinas's first atomic test, 16 Oct 1964, the shortest elapsed time for any nuclear weapons state. The country's first test was an atomic bomb, a pure-fission U-235 implosion fission device named "596." That device weighed 1550 kg with a 22 kiloton yield. No plutonium was available at the time of this first bomb was tested.)

Pan Am

1947, the first globe-circling passenger airline was inaugurated by Pan Am Airways as it left New York. The fare to travel around the world was $1700.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_17.htm


June 18


Allan Rex Sandage

Born 18 Jun 1926.

U.S. astronomer who (with Thomas A. Matthews) discovered, in 1960, the first optical identification of a quasi-stellar radio source (quasar), a starlike object that is a strong emitter of radio waves. Although a strange source of radio emission, in visible light, it looked like a faint star. Yet this object was emitting more intense radio waves and ultraviolet radiation than a typical star

Arthur Edwin Kennelly

Died 18 Jun 1939 (born 17 Dec 1861)

Irish-American electrical engineer who was a prominent contributor to the science of electrical engineering. For six years he worked for Thomas Edison at West Orange Laboratory, then branched out as a consultant. Upon his co-discovery (with Oliver Heaviside) of the radio reflecting properties of the ionosphere in the upper atmosphere, the stratum was called the Kennelly-Heaviside layer.


Solar neutrino count

In 2001, the result of experiments counting previously undetected, but theoretically predicted, solar neutrinos was announced by a collaboration of Canadian, American and British scientists led by Arthur McDonald. They detected all three types of solar neutrinos (electron, muon and tau), using the SNO (Solar Neutrino Observatory) consisting of 9,456 photomultiplier tubes lining a stainless steel tank containing 1,000 tons of heavy water (D2O) 6800-ft deep in a nickel mine at Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The combined results agreed with the total flux calculated using the standard computer model of the Sun, thus finally confirming the long-standing theory accounting for the various nuclear reactions taking place within the Sun.

First American woman in space

In 1983, at 7:33 am EDT, Space Shuttle Challenger was launched on its own second flight. This was the seventh shuttle mission, and the first to carry a woman crew member. Sally K. Ride, mission specialist, became America's first woman in space. During the mission, two communications satellites deployed (ANIK C-2 for TELESAT Canada and PALAPA-B1 for Indonesia). Canisters in the cargo bay held variety of experiments including ones studying effects of space on social behavior of ant colony in zero gravity. Ten experiments mounted on Shuttle Pallet Satellite (SPAS-01) performed research in forming metal alloys in microgravity and use of remote sensing scanner.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_18.htm


June 19


Blaise Pascal

Born 19 Jun 1623; died 19 Aug 1662

French mathematician, physicist, child prodigy. He laid the foundation for the modern theory of probabilities. In hydrodynamics he formulated what came to be known as Pascal's law of pressure, and invented the syringe and hydraulic press. Pascal invented the first digital calculator to help his father with his work collecting taxes. He worked on it for three years (1642-45). The device, called the Pascaline, resembled a mechanical calculator of the 1940s. This, almost certainly, makes Pascal the second person to invent a mechanical calculator for Schickard had manufactured one in 1624. He died at the young age of 39 having been sickly and physically weak through life. Autopsy showed he had been born with a deformed skull.

Diego de Torres Villarroel

Died 19 Jun 1770 (born c.1693)

mathematician and writer, famous in his own time as the great maker of almanacs that delighted the Spanish public, now remembered for his Vida, picaresque memoirs that are among the best sources for information on life in 18th-century Spain. While young, his career encompassed being a dancer, musician, bullfighter, poet, lock picker, and seller of patent medicines. Later, upon reading a book on solid geometry, he turned to mathematics. In 1721 he wrote his first almanac, and in 1726 he was made professor of mathematics at the University of Salamanca.


First woman in space

In 1963, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova returned to Earth after spending nearly three days as the first woman in space. She had been interested in parachute jumping when she was young, and that expertise was one of the reasons she was picked for the cosmonaut program. She became the first person to be recruited without experience as a test pilot. On 16 Jun 1963, Tereshkova was launched into space aboard Vostok 6, and became the first woman to travel in space. Her radio name was "Chaika," Russian for "seagull." Her flight made 48 orbits of Earth. Tereshkova never made a second trip into space. She became an important member of the Communist Party and a representative of the Soviet government.


In 240 BC, Eratosthenes, a Greek astronomer and mathematician, estimated the circumference of the earth. As the director of the great library of Alexandria, he read in a papyrus book that in Syene, approaching noon on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, shadows of temple columns grew shorter. At noon, they were gone. The sun was directly overhead. However, a stick in Alexandria, far to the north, could cast a pronounced shadow. Thus, he realized that the surface of the Earth could not be flat. It must be curved. Not only that, but the greater the curvature, the greater the difference in the shadow lengths. By measurement on the ground and application of geometry, he calculated the circumference of the earth.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_19.htm


June 20


Reginald Crundall Punnett

Born 20 June 1875; died 3 Jan 1967.

English Mendelian geneticist who, with the English biologist William Bateson, were among the first English geneticists. They reported the discovery of two new genetic principles: the first account of genetic linkage in sweet pea; and gene interaction (1905). Punnett devised the "Punnett" square to depict the number and variety of genetic combinations. Punnett had a role in connecting Mendelism with statistics. In 1908, Punnett was asked at a lecture to explain, " if brown eyes were dominant, then why wasn't the whole country becoming brown-eyed?" Punnett in turn asked his friend the mathematician, G. H. Hardy. Out of this conversation came the Hardy-Weinberg Law which calculates how population affects genetic inheritance.

Georges Lemaître

Died 20 June 1966 (born 17 Jul 1894)

Georges (Henri) Lemaître was a Belgian astronomer and cosmologist, born in Charleroi, Belgium. He was also a civil engineer, army officer, and ordained priest. He did research on cosmic rays and the three-body problem. Lemaître formulated (1927) the modern big-bang theory. He reasoned that if the universe was expanding now, then the further you go in the past, the universe’s contents must have been closer together. He envisioned that at some point in the distant past, all the matter in the universe was in an exceedingly dense state, crushed into a single object he called the "primeval super-atom" which exploded, with all its constituent parts rushing away. This theory was later developed by Gamow and others.


Chernobyl fall-out over UK

In 1986, because of Chernobyl fall-out, the slaughter and movement of lambs in parts of Cumbria, Scotland, was temporarily banned.* Fallout in the UK from the Chernobyl accident was greatest where the passage of the cloud coincided with heavy rainfall in north Wales, Cumbria, parts of Scotland and northern Ireland. 137Cs activity concentrations in vegetation at one site in upland west Cumbria increased from 40 to 10,000 Bq kg–1 dry weight. Studies after the Chernobyl accident have shown that the transfer of radionuclides to sheep and goat products is greater than to cattle. Restrictions are imposed if any individual sheep in a flock exceeds the 1,000 Bq kg-1 (fresh weight) limit at which meat cannot enter the foodchain.

Rocket airplane

In 1939, Ernst Heinkel's He-176 experimental rocket airplane - the world's first to be propelled solely by a liquid-fuelled rocket - flew for first time, at Peenemunde, Germany. It tested an engine based on Hellmuth Walter's hydrogen peroxide-based rocket with Erich Warsitz as test pilot. It was a small aircraft, without an enclosed canopy, built almost entirely out of wood with a fixed, tricycle undercarriage. The 50-second flight of the He-176 was not spectacular, but it did provide "proof of concept" for rocket propulsion. The Reich Air Ministry showed no interest, and Heinkel abandoned rocket propulsion development. The He-176 was given to the German Technical Museum in Berlin, where it was destroyed during a WW II air raid.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_20.htm


June 21


Herbert Friedman

Born 21 Jun 1916; died 9 Sep 2000.

American rocket and satellite astronomer who made made seminal contributions to the study of solar radiation. He joined the Naval Research Laboratory in 1940 and developed defense-related radiation detection devices during WW II. In 1949, he obtained the first scientific proof that X rays emanate from the sun. When he directed the firing into space of a V-2 rocket carrying a detecting instrument. Through rocket astronomy, he also produced the first ultraviolet map of celestial bodies, and gathered information for the theory that stars are being continuously formed, on space radiation affecting Earth and on the nature of gases in space. He also made fundamental advances in the application of x rays to material analysis.

Anders Angstrom

Died 21 Jun 1874 (born 13 Aug 1814)

Anders Jonas Ångström was a Swedish physicist whose pioneering use of spectroscopy is recognised in the name of the angstrom, a unit of length equal to 10-10 metre. In 1853, he studied the spectrum of hydrogen for which Balmer derived a formula. He announced in 1862 that analysis of the solar spectrum showed that hydrogen is present in the Sun's atmosphere. In 1867 he was the first to examine the spectrum of aurora borealis (northern lights). He published his extensive research on the solar spectrum in Recherches sur le spectre solaire (1868), with detailed measurements of more than 1000 spectral lines. He also published works on thermal theory and carried out geomagnetical measurements in different places around Sweden.


World's first solar sail spacecraft

In 2005, the world's first solar sail spacecraft placed in orbit to test controlled flight was launched on a Volna rocket fired from a Russian submarine submerged in the Barents Sea. A 825-km quasi-polar orbit was intended for the 112-kg Cosmos-1 spacecraft with an eight-petalled solar sail - 650 square metres of a thin aluminium alloy coated film. The non-profit U.S. Planetary Society financed the four million dollar project, built in Russia by the Lavochkin Association and the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy. It was designed for experiments in controlled flight while in orbit, achieved by rotating each sail to change its pitch, to test the possiblility of propulsion, though very small, provided by the impact of light radiation

First civilian space pilot

In 2004, Mike Melvill became the first civilian to pilot a craft into space. By flying to 100-km (62 miles) in altitude, SpaceShipOne left the Earth’s atmosphere in a sub-orbital space flight. It was built by Burt Rutan and financed by Paul Allen. It began by riding piggy-back on its launcher White Knight to 46,000-ft (13.8-km) Then SpaceShipOne separated, glided briefly and fired its rocket for 80-sec to continue its trip to the edge of space. For re-entry, the ship's wings could swing into a new configuration for a 20-min glide back down to Mojave Airport, California. The 90-min flight ended with a safe landing on the desert airport runway. The rocket engine fuel was a solid rubber propellant with liquid nitrous oxide

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_21.htm


JUNE 22.

On Wednesday 22nd June 1960, the United States launched the world's first ever successful reconnaissance satellite GRAB 1 (Galactic Radiation And Background).

GRAB 1 world's first ever successful reconnaissance satellite launched.


James H. Pomerene
Born 22 June 1920
American computer pioneer. In Apr 1946 he joined John von Neumann and Herman Goldstine in their newly organized Electronic Computer Project at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. This project was to build a parallel stored-program computer. He designed the adder portion of the arithmetic unit and then was entirely responsible for the development and construction of the electrostatic (Williams tube) memory and became the chief engineer of the project 1951-56. Then he joined IBM to assist development of the HARVEST computer, a special system built for the National Security Agency. It had two levels of program control and also had a tape and tape library system that was fully automatic and of great capacity.

N. Howell Furman.
Born 22 June 1892; died 2 Aug 1965.
American analytical chemist whose analytical separation of uranium contributed to the development of the atomic bomb. He developed special techniques for preparing the bomb project materials, notably the sampling and analysis necessary for producing pure uranium metal. He also devised a new method of estimating traces of metals in various substances and assisted in developing an ether extraction process for the preparation of uranium oxide of the extreme purity required. His special methods also made possible greater utilization of tracer techniques with radioactive and stable isotopes.

Franz Alexander.
Born 22 June 1891; died 8 Mar 1964.
Franz (Gabriel) Alexander was a Hungarian-American physician and psychoanalyst sometimes referred to as the father of psychosomatic medicine because of his leading role in identifying emotional tension as a significant cause of physical illness.

Sir Julian Huxle.
Born 22 June 1887; died 14 Feb 1975. Quotes Icon
Sir Julian Sorell Huxley was an English biologist, philosopher, educator, and author who greatly influenced the modern development of embryology, systematics, and studies of behaviour and evolution. He studied the differential growth of different body parts, Problems of Relative Growth (1932). He wrote many popular articles and essays, especially on ornithology and evolution, and co-produced several history films, including the Private Life of the Gannet (1934). No stranger to controversy, Huxley supported the contentious view that the human race could benefit from planned parenthood using artificial insemination by donors of "superior characteristics". (He was the grandson of biologist T. H. Huxley and brother of Aldous Huxley.)

Filippo Silvestri.
Born 22 June 1873; died 10 June 1949.
Italian entomologist, best remembered for his pioneering work in polyembryony, the development of more than one individual from a single fertilized egg cell. During the late 1930s Silvestri discovered that this type of reproduction occurs in the insect species Litomatix truncatellus. His finding, resulting from a close analysis of the reproductive stages, cell division, and egg structure of these parasitic hymenopterans, attracted the attention of many biologists because of its implications for the nature of the egg and the causes of multiple generation. He also studied the morphology and biology of the Termitidae, the most highly evolved family of termites. He also made a comparative study of the form and structure of the millipede and the centipede.

William McDougall.
Born 22 June 1871; died 28 Nov 1938. Quotes Icon
British-born U.S. psychologist influential in establishing experimental and physiological psychology and author of An Introduction to Social Psychology (1908; 30th ed. 1960), which did much to stimulate widespread study of the basis of social behaviour. He was the exponent of heroic psychology: the central idea that human progress can only be determined in terms of "horme" or "drive". He believed that individuals are motivated by inherited instincts that push them toward goals, which may be unknown to them, and often without benefit or even thought of pleasure. British psychology is largely shaped by McDougall’s social psychology, which in J. Drever’s words, " is perhaps as much undervalued today as it was overvalued then."

Hermann Minkowski.
Born 22 June 1864; died 12 Jan 1909.Quotes Icon
German mathematician who developed the geometrical theory of numbers and who used geometrical methods to solve difficult problems in number theory, mathematical physics, and the theory of relativity. By 1907, Minkowski realised that the work of Lorentz and Einstein could be best understood in a non-euclidean space. He considered space and time, which were formerly thought to be independent, to be coupled together in a four-dimensional "space-time continuum". Minkowski worked out a four-dimensional treatment of electrodynamics. His idea of a four-dimensional space (since known as "Minkowski space"), combining the three dimensions of physical space with that of time, laid the mathematical foundation of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.

James Beaumont Neilson.
Born 22 June 1792; died 18 Jan 1865.
Scottish inventor who introduced the use of a hot-air blast instead of a cold-air blast for the smelting of iron. His process reduced the amount of coal needed and increased efficiency to satisfy the demands of the rail and shipbuilding industries. While manager of the Glasgow Gas-works, he had experimented with the effect of heated air on the illuminating power of gas, by bringing up a stream of it in a tube so as to surround the gas burner. He found the combustion of the gas was more intense and brighter. Then, experimenting on a common smith's fire, by blowing the fire with heated air, the effect was the same; the fire was much more brilliant, and accompanied by an unusually intense degree of heat. In 1828, he patented his hot blast method for smelting.


Life expectancy for smokers
In 2004, a study led by Richard Doll was published in the British Medical Journal, the first research that quantified the damage over the lifetime of a generation, based on a 50-year study of a group of almost 35,000 British doctors who smoked. The study found that almost half of persistent cigarette smokers were killed by their habit, and a quarter died before age 70. Further, those who quit by age 30 had the same life expectancy as a nonsmoker. Even quitting at age 50 saved six more years of life over those who continued smoking. At age 80, 65% of non-smokers were still alive, but only 32% of smokers. Fifty years before, Doll published in the same journal the first report of a study that linked cigarette smoking to lung cancer.«

Brain signals control robot.
In 1999, the first demonstration of brain signals from live rat directly controlling a robot arm was published by Nature Neuroscience. The research was hailed as a breakthrough by other scientists working to combine computing with biology. Researchers from MCP Hahnemann University medical school and Duke University taught laboratory rats to operate a water-dispensing robot by thought alone. Their aim is to restore movement to patients who are paralyzed or have had limbs amputated. At first, the robot was controlled by the rat pressing a lever and researchers identified the corresponding brain activity. Then the robot was linked to a computer interpreting the rats' brain signals. The rats gained water merely by thinking about pawing the lever.

Charon discovered.
In 1978, evidence of the first moon of Pluto was discovered by astronomer James W. Christy of the Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz. when he obtained a photograph of Pluto that showed the orb to be distinctly elongated.. Furthermore, the elongations appeared to change position with respect to the stars over time. After eliminating the possibility that the elongations were produced by plate defects and background stars, the only plausible explanation was that they were caused by a previously unknown moon orbiting Pluto at a distance of about 19,600 kilometers (12,100 miles) with a period of 6.4 days. The moon was named Charon, after the boatman in Greek mythology who took the souls of the dead across the River Styx to Pluto's underworld.

First Skylab crew returns.
In 1973, the first Skylab crew of astronauts splashed down safely after a then record 28 days in space. The Skylab was a manned, orbiting spacecraft composed of five parts: the Apollo telescope mount was a solar observatory, the multiple docking adapter, the airlock module, the instrument unit, and the orbital workshop. The Skylab itself was launched on 14 May 1973. It was first manned during the period 25 May to 22 Jun 1973, by the crew of the SL-2 mission. Next, it was manned during the period Jul 28 to 5 Sep 1973 and the final manned period was from 16 Nov 1973 - 8 Feb 1974. The crew quarters contained provisions and supplies necessary to support three-person crews for periods of up to 84 days each.

Jet airmail.
In 1946, jet airplanes were used to transport mail for the first time.

Little brown bat.
In 1937, a certain female little brown bat in Mashpee, Mass., was banded by researchers. The same bat was found two decades later, on 30 Apr 1960, in a cave on Mt. Aeolis, Vermont. It was identified from the band as 24 years old - the oldest known U.S. bat. The little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) has a wing span of 222-269 mm with glossy fur on its back and paler underside colours ranging from pale tan to dark brown. The species is the most abundant bat in the U.S., found throughout forests of North America and Alaska, in tree or cliff cavities, caves, mines and attics. On 25 Aug 1999, a newspaper reported a 33-yr-old wild bat in Switzerland. On 20 Jun 2005, a journal received an article identifying a 41-yr-old bat in Siberia.«

Typesetting machine patent.
In 1841, the first U.S. patent for a typesetting machine was issued to Frenchman Adrien Delcambre and Englishman James Hadden Young, both residing in Lisle, France (No.2,139). Their "Pianotyp" placed letters side by side in their proper places "by means of ... inclined planes upon which the types are thrown and allowed to descend by various channels meeting at one point to what we call the composing box." The machine was operated using "a number of keys similar to those of a pianoforte which act as levers which push the types [which fall] by their own gravity to the said box whenever the keys are depressed." It was patented in England* on 13 Mar 1840, and used in London (1841) to set The Phalanx weekly magazine*.«

Pin making machine.
In 1832, a pin manufacturing machine was patented by John Ireland Howe. During the 19th century the American pin industry concentrated in the Naugatuck River Valley because Howe (1793-1876) built a plant in Derby, Connecticut, to make pins with the machine he invented to shape pins in one operation instead of the 18 separate steps required for hand production. He turned for mechanical help to Robert Hoe (who built printing presses.) His first working model of a machine that would make pins, though imperfect, was exhibited that year at the American Institute Fair in New York, where Howe received a silver medal. He improved the machine during the winter of 1832-33. Howe also invented a machine to stick the pins in paper packets.

Copying by light.
In 1802, "An account of a method of copying paintings upon glass and of making profiles by the agency of light upon nitrate of silver. Invented by T. Wedgwood, Esq." was published in the Journals of the Royal Institution. Humphry Davy described the process in an article on behalf of Thomas Wedgwood (son of the famous English potter) who was working with Davy in the basement laboratory of the Royal Institution. Although they saw this chemical means could create images, neither Wedgwood nor Davy were able to permanently fix the images. Although this is cited as a precursor of photographic processes, Davy did not pursue it, and several decades passed before the more successful results achieved by Daguerre and Fox Talbot. [ Ref,: v.1 n.9, 22 June 1802, pp. 170–174.]

Royal Greenwich Observatory.
In 1675, the Royal Greenwich Observatory was created by Royal Warrant in England by Charles II. Building designed by Sir Christopher Wren (who was also a Professor of Astronomy) was commenced 10 Aug 1675 and finished the following year by John Flamsteed was appointed as the first Astronomer Royal. Its primary uses were in practical astronomy - navigation, timekeeping, determination of star positions. In 1767 the observatory began publishing The Nautical Almanac, which established the longitude of Greenwich as a baseline for time calculations. The almanac's popularity among navigators led in part to the adoption (1884) of the Greenwich meridian as the Earth's prime meridian (0° longitude) and the international time zones.

Galileo Galilei.
In 1633, Galileo Galilei was forced by the Inquisition to "abjure, curse, and detest" his Copernican heliocentric views. "I, Galileo...do swear that I have always believed, do now believe and, with God's aid shall believe hereafter, all that which is taught and preached by the ... church. I must wholly forsake the false opinion that the sun is the center of the world and moves not, and that the earth is not the center of the world and moves...." He was then condemned to the "formal prison of the Holy Office" for an undetermined amount of time which would be served at the pleasure of his judges, and required to repeat the seven penitential psalms once a week for three years. The next day the Pope specified the prison sentence should be house arrest.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_22.htm

Andrew Brown.


June 23


Alan M. Turing

Born 23 Jun 1912; died 7 Jun 1954.

Alan Mathison Turing was an English mathematician and logician who pioneered in the field of computer theory and who contributed important logical analyses of computer processes. He made major contributions to mathematics, cryptanalysis, logic, philosophy, and biology and to the new areas later named computer science, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and artificial life.

Wilhelm Eduard Weber

Died 23 Jun 1891 (born 24 Oct 1804)

German physicist who investigated terrestrial magnetism. For six years, from 1831, Weber worked in close collaboration with Gauss. Weber developed sensitive magnetometers, an electromagnetic telegraph (1833) and other magnetic instruments during this time. His later work (1855) on the ratio between the electrodynamic and electrostatic units of charge proved extremely important and was crucial to Maxwell in his electromagnetic theory of light. (Weber found the ratio was 3.1074 x 108 m/sec but failed to take any notice of the fact that this was close to the speed of light.) Weber's later years were devoted to work in electrodynamics and the electrical structure of matter. The magnetic unit, weber, is named after him.


Integrated circuit

In 1964, a U.S. patent was issued to Jack S. Kilby for his invention of "Miniaturized Electronic Circuits" now known as integrated circuits (No. 3,138,743, filed 6 Feb 1959), which he assigned to his employer, Texas Instruments, where he worked. With it, he created a new way of reducing the space taken up by an electronic circuit by which "all components of an entire electronic circuit are integrated into the body of semiconductor material," for which he used germanium. Geoffrey W.A. Dummer also had the concept years earlier, but never completed a working device. A few months after Kilby's demonstration in 1964, an IC device in an improved form was independently invented by Robert Noyce at another company. Eventually, the two companies agreed to cross-license their patents.

X-15 speed record

In 1961, an X-15 jet airplane set a speed record, traveling over 3,000 mph at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_23.htm


June 24


Sir Fred Hoyle

Born 24 Jun 1915; died 20 Aug 2001

English mathematician and astronomer, best known as the foremost proponent and defender of the steady-state theory of the universe. This theory holds both that the universe is expanding and that matter is being continuously created to keep the mean density of matter in space constant. He became Britain's best-known astronomer in 1950 with his broadcast lectures on The Nature of the Universe, and he recalled coining the term "Big Bang" in the last of those talks. Although over time, belief in a "steady state" universe as Hoyle had proposed was shared by fewer and fewer scientists because of new discoveries, Hoyle never accepted the now most popular "Big Bang" theory for the origin of the universe.

Willy Ley

Died 24 Jun 1969 (born 2 Oct 1906)

German-American engineer who was a founder of the German Rocket Society. The society was the first group of men (with the sole exception of Robert Goddard) to experiment with rockets. Ley introduced Wernher von Braun to the society. Ley was consultant for the science fiction film Frau im Mond in which the countdown from ten to zero was introduced. Fiercely anti-Nazi, unlike Von Braun, in 1934, he emigrated to the U.S. rather than pursuing military applications of rocketry. In the U.S., he became a popularizer of space exploration and travel, writing many popular books.


Moon tremour

In 1975, a moon tremour, caused by a strike of Taurid meteors, was detected by the seismometer network left on the Moon's surface by American astronauts. The major series of lunar impacts between 22 - 26 Jun 1975 represented 5% of the total number of impacts detected during the eight years of the network's operation, and included numerous 1-ton meteorites. The impacts were detected only when the nearside of the Moon (where the astronauts landed) was facing the Beta Taurid radiant. At the same time, there was a lot of activity detected in Earth's ionosphere, which has been linked with meteor activity. The Taurid meteor storm crosses the Earth orbit twice a year, during the period 24 Jun to 6 Jul and the period 3 Nov to 15 Nov.

Comet spectrum

In 1881, Sir William Huggins made the first photographic spectrum of a comet (1881 III) and discovered the cyanogen (CN) emission at violet wavelengths. (This fact caused near mass hysteria 29 years later as the Earth passed thru the tail of Halley's Comet and some persons worried about the effect of this for life on Earth.) The first spectroscopic observations of comets were made made by Giovanni Donati (1864) and by Huggins in 1868 when he visually compared the spectrum of comet Winnecke (1868 II) with flame spectra and found that the bands seen in the comet and in the flame, now known as the "carbon" or "Swan Bands" were similar. Spectroscopy soon became the standard technique for studying the light of comets.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_24.htm


June 25


Rupert Wildt

Born 25 Jun 1905; died 9 Jan 1976

German-American astronomer who studyied atmospheres of planets. He identified (1932) certain absorption bands (observed by Slipher) in the spectra of Jupiter and the outer planets as indicative of ammonia and methane as minor components of these planets which are primarily composed of hydrogen and helium. He speculated (1937) that droplets of formaldehyde formed the clouds of Venus, since water was not detected. (In fact, surface water is absent on Venus, but the clouds do contain water with sulphur and sulphuric acid.) In 1939, he realized the importance of the negative hydrogen ion for stellar opacity. By the 1940s, he proposed the greenhouse theory to explain how atmospheric gases produced unexpectedly high temperatures of Venus.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Died 25 Jun 1997 (born 11 Jun 1910)

French naval officer, oceanographer, marine biologist and ocean explorer, known for his extensive underseas investigations. He was co-inventor of the aqualung which made SCUBA diving possible (1943). Cousteau the developed the Conshelf series of manned habitats, the Diving Saucer, a process of underwater television and numerous other platforms and specialized instruments of ocean science. In 1945 he founded the French Navy's Undersea Research Group. He modified a WWII wooden hull minesweeper into the research vessel Calypso, in 1950. An observation dome added to the foot of Calypso's bow was found to increase the ship's stability, speed and fuel efficiency.


SOHO accident

In 1998, contact was lost with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). It was positioned in a "halo" orbit around L-1, a gravitational balance point between Earth and the Sun about 1.5 million km (930,000 mi) away from Earth. Fortunately, a major blow to the field of Solar studied was avoided. Contact was reestablished 16 Sep 1998, and by mid-October scientists were reactivating the science instruments. Since its launch on 2 Dec 1995, SOHO gave solar science a new ability to observe simultaneously the interior and atmosphere of the Sun, and particles in the solar wind and the heliosphere. Observation of eruptions of hot, electrically charged gas, provided early warning of interactions that could affect the Earth.

Colour TV

In 1951, at 4:35 pm, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) televised the one-hour premiere of commercial colour television with a program named Premiere. It was transmitted, using the CBS Field Sequential System (not Compatible Color), from New York to four other cities: Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. The show included entertainment by leading personalities such as Arthur Godfrey, Faye Emerson, Sam Levenson, Robert Alda, Ed Sullivan, Isabel Bigley and Garry Moore, and statements by CBS executives William S. Paley and Dr. Frank Stanton. This system was not compatible with existing black-and-white TV sets and failed commercially; CBS colour broadcasts ended on 20 Oct 1951.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_25.htm


June 26


Lyman Spitzer, Jr.

Born 26 June 1914; died 31 Mar 1997

American astrophysicist who advanced knowledge of physical processes in interstellar space and pioneered efforts to harness nuclear fusion as a clean energy source. He made major contributions in stellar dynamics and plasma physics. He founded study of the interstellar medium (gas and dust between stars from which new stars are formed). Spitzer studied in detail interstellar dust grains and magnetic fields as well as the motions of star clusters and their evolution. He studied regions of star formation and was among the first to suggest that bright stars in spiral galaxies formed recently. Spitzer was the first person to propose the idea of placing a large telescope in space and was the driving force behind the development of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Joseph Montgolfier

Died 26 June 1810 (born 1740)

French ballooning pioneer, with his younger brother, Étienne. An initial experiment with a balloon of taffeta filled with hot smoke was given a public demonstration on 5 Jun 1783. This was followed by a flight carrying three animals as passengers on 19 Sep1783, shown in Paris and witnessed by King Louis XVI. On 21 Nov 1783, their balloon carried the first two men on an untethered flight. In the span of one year after releasing their test balloon, the Montgolfier brothers had enabled the first manned balloon flight in the world.


Human genome

In 2000, the completion of a working draft reference DNA sequence of the human genome was announced at the White House by President Bill Clinton, and representatives from the Human Genome Project (HGP) and the private company Celera Genomics. Clinton stated that even greater discoveries would follow from the working draft. As a draft, it contained some gaps and errors, but represented about 95% of all genes. HGP expected to use it as a scaffold for generating the high-quality reference genome sequence within three years. This provides knowledge to link genes with particular diseases, of the influence of genetics and to help discover new treatments.

Smallpox inoculations in U.S.

In 1721, the first smallpox inoculations in America were given in Boston by Dr. Zabdiel Boylston when a smallpox epidemic struck Boston, Mass. Reverend Cotton Mather, who lived in Boston, had previously heard from a slave of the practice being used in Africa. Of all the doctors Mather had urged to try it, Zabdiel Boylston, was the first doctor courageous enough to use the procedure.

Source: http://www.todayinsci.com/6/6_26.htm
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