Happy Birthday, Lord Rayleigh

Bridget Paulus November 12, 2018

Ever wonder why the sky is blue? Lord Rayleigh answered this question, explaining that the color comes from the scattering of sunlight off small particles in the atmosphere. A prolific scientist, Rayleigh made notable contributions to a wide range of fields, including optics, acoustics, and fluid flow. He is best known for discovering argon, an accomplishment for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

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Thomas Forrister October 23, 2018

Starting with photography, William D. Coolidge had a lifelong interest in light and images. His pursuits in electrical engineering drove him to develop the incandescent light bulb, using ductile tungsten as the wire filament. This tungsten method lit the way for further developments in X-ray and radiology technology, helping medical professionals more accurately diagnose their patients.

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Caty Fairclough October 5, 2018

“Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace.” — Robert Hutchings Goddard Known as the “Father of Modern Rocketry”, Robert Hutchings Goddard was an innovator, engineer, and physicist. While Goddard made many advancements in his time, such as creating and testing the first liquid-propelled rocket on Earth, his idea of sending a rocket to the Moon was not accepted by the public. Despite this setback, Goddard continued to reach for the stars.

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Jenn Nguyen September 30, 2018

As a hydraulics engineer, Nora Stanton Blatch Barney paved the way for women in engineering, architecture, and mathematics. Influenced by her grandmother and mother, Barney was also a key figure in the woman suffrage movement in the United States. Throughout her life and career, the courageous engineer never shied away from forging ahead and left a lasting impression on New York City infrastructure.

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Thomas Forrister August 31, 2018

Hermann von Helmholtz was a German scientist, doctor, and philosopher who made advances in many scientific fields, including electrodynamics, optics, and thermodynamics. He invented several devices, such as the ophthalmoscope and the polyphonic siren, and is also known for the Helmholtz coil. By exploring the philosophy of science, Helmholtz made accurate connections about the laws of nature, perception, and empiricism.

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Caty Fairclough August 13, 2018

Contributing to the development of a famous fluid dynamics equation, naming the phenomenon of fluorescence, and advancing the field of geodesy: These are a few of the many accomplishments of Irish physicist and mathematician Sir George Gabriel Stokes…

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Thomas Forrister August 8, 2018

Paul Dirac was a theoretical physicist who laid the foundations for quantum theory as we now know it. He was highly motivated by the pursuit of mathematical beauty, and his calculations led him to predict the existence of antimatter and reconcile special relativity with quantum mechanics. Regarded as the founder of quantum electrodynamics, Dirac played an important role in the development of atomic theory for the 20th century and beyond.

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Thomas Forrister August 1, 2018

Considered the “Father of Nuclear Medicine”, George de Hevesy was a radiochemist who was just as interested in chemical processes as he was in their outcomes. Among his many discoveries, de Hevesy is best known for expanding the applications of X-ray florescence and using radioactive isotopes as tracers to study chemical processes. He also helped discover a chemical element and cofounded the field of radioactivation analysis.

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Caty Fairclough July 25, 2018

Rosalind Franklin knew that she wanted to pursue a career in science from a young age. This ambition led her to become a chemist and X-ray crystallographer. Her work in these roles helped to advance how we understand the inner workings of DNA, the study of virology, and more.

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Thomas Forrister July 18, 2018

Hendrik Lorentz was a Dutch physicist who clarified the concept of the electron within an atom and theorized the connection between electricity, magnetism, and light. Not only did Lorentz win the Nobel Prize for his work in electron theory, he also illuminated the path to other branches of theoretical physics, including quantum mechanics as well as general and special relativity.

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Jenn Nguyen July 9, 2018

Jacob Perkins, also known as the “Father of the Refrigerator”, had a wide range of interests that extended further than the common household appliance. This mechanical inventor had 21 American and 19 English patents, which is no surprise, given his curiosity and ingenuity. Let’s take a moment to appreciate a few of Perkins’ major contributions…

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