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#601 2019-08-25 00:15:25

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
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Re: crème de la crème

567) Ray Tomlinson

Raymond Samuel Tomlinson (April 23, 1941 – March 5, 2016) was a pioneering American computer programmer who implemented the first email program on the ARPANET system, the precursor to the Internet, in 1971; he is internationally known and credited as the inventor of email. It was the first system able to send mail between users on different hosts connected to ARPANET. Previously, mail could be sent only to others who used the same computer. To achieve this, he used the @ sign to separate the user name from the name of their machine, a scheme which has been used in email addresses ever since. The Internet Hall of Fame in its account of his work commented "Tomlinson's email program brought about a complete revolution, fundamentally changing the way people communicate".

Early life and education

Tomlinson was born in Amsterdam, New York, but his family soon moved to the small, unincorporated village of Vail Mills, Broadalbin, New York. He attended Broadalbin Central School in nearby Broadalbin, New York. Later he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York where he participated in the co-op program with IBM. He received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from RPI in 1963.

After graduating from RPI, he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to continue his electrical engineering education. At MIT, Tomlinson worked in the Speech Communication Group and developed an analog-digital hybrid speech synthesizer as the subject of his thesis for the master's degree in electrical engineering, which he received in 1965.

Career

In 1967 he joined the technology company of Bolt, Beranek and Newman (now BBN Technologies), where he helped develop the TENEX operating system including the ARPANET Network Control Program, implementations of Telnet, and implementations on the self-replicating programs Creeper and Reaper. He wrote a file transfer program called CPYNET to transfer files through the ARPANET. Tomlinson was asked to change a program called SNDMSG, which sent messages to other users of a time-sharing computer, to run on TENEX. He added code he took from CPYNET to SNDMSG so messages could be sent to users on other computers—the first email.
The first email Tomlinson sent was a test. It was not preserved and Tomlinson describes it as insignificant, something like "QWERTYUIOP". This is commonly misquoted as "The first e-mail was QWERTYUIOP". Tomlinson later commented that these "test messages were entirely forgettable and I have, therefore, forgotten them."
At first, his email messaging system was not considered important. Its development was not a directive of his employer, with Tomlinson merely pursuing it "because it seemed like a neat idea". When Tomlinson showed it to a colleague, Tomlinson said "Don't tell anyone! This isn't what we're supposed to be working on".
Tomlinson said he preferred "email" over "e-mail", "e-male," and "emale," joking in a 2010 interview that "I'm simply trying to conserve the world's supply of hyphens" and that "the term has been in use long enough to drop the hyphen".

Death

Tomlinson died at his home in Lincoln, Massachusetts, on March 5, 2016, from a heart attack. He was 74 years old.

Awards and honors

•    In 2000 he received the George R. Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award from the American Computer Museum (with the Computer Science Department of Montana State University).
•    In 2001 he received a Webby Award from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for lifetime achievement. Also in 2001 he was inducted into the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame.
•    In 2002 ‘Discover’ magazine awarded him its Innovative Innovating Award of Innovation.
•    In 2004, he received the IEEE Internet Award along with Dave Crocker.
•    In 2009, he along with Martin Cooper was awarded the Prince of Asturias award for scientific and technical research.
•    In 2011, he was listed 4th in the MIT150 list of the top 150 innovators and ideas from MIT.
•    In 2012, Tomlinson was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#602 2019-08-27 00:08:38

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
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Re: crème de la crème

568) Sir John Bennet Lawes, 1st Baronet

Sir John Bennet Lawes, 1st Baronet, (born Dec. 28, 1814, Rothamsted, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, Eng.—died Aug. 31, 1900, Rothamsted), English agronomist who founded the artificial fertilizer industry and Rothamsted Experimental Station, the oldest agricultural research station in the world.

Lawes inherited his father’s estate, Rothamsted, in 1822. In 1842, after long experimentation with the effects of manures on potted plants and field crops on his estate, he patented a process for treating phosphate rock with sulfuric acid to produce superphosphate. That year he opened the first fertilizer factory, thus initiating the artificial fertilizer industry. The following year, the chemist J.H. (later Sir Henry) Gilbert joined him, and they began a collaboration lasting more than a half century; Lawes considered 1843 the year of the station’s foundation. Together, the pair studied the effects of different fertilizers on crops. They also researched animal nutrition, including the value of different fodders and the sources of animal fat.

In 1867 the Royal Society awarded Lawes and Gilbert jointly a Royal Medal. In 1882 Lawes was created a baronet. Seven years later he ensured the continuation of the Rothamsted experiments by setting up the Lawes Agricultural trust.

Sir John Bennet Lawes invented artificial fertilizer when he discovered superphosphates, his name for the combination of rock phosphate with sulfuric acid. The synthesis of fertilizer had profound implications on agricultural practices, as it freed farmers from absolute dependence on animals to produce manure to feed and nourish their crops. Lawes famously stated that his discovery of synthetic fertilizer established that agriculture can be an artificial process, or one that is not completely bound to the vagaries of nature. In the practical realm, his discovery led to the establishment of the fertilizer industry, which became an important segment; in the scientific realm, Lawes collaborated with Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert to found the Rothamsted Experimental Station (RES), where the pair performed their "classical experiments" on the effects of artificial fertilizers on soil conditions and crop yields.

John Bennet Lawes was born on December 28, 1814, at Harpenden, in Hertfordshire, England. His father owned the Rothamsted estate, which Lawes inherited in 1822. After several unsuccessful attempts at obtaining a university education (studying at University College, London under A. T. Thomson, at Eton College, and at Oxford’s Brasenose College), Lawes returned to farm the family manor in 1834.

Over the next eight years, Lawes experimented with both organic and inorganic fertilizers. Traditionally, farmers fertilize with manure, thus making them dependent on animals to produce this natural fertilizer. Seeking to free farmers from this dependence, Lawes experimented with the use of ground-up animal bones, which proved to be an excellent fertilizer. He subsequently discovered that sulfuric acid, a cheap byproduct of many industrial applications, could perform the same function as grinding at much less expense. His next innovation was to substitute rock phosphate, derived from the petrified residues of bird excreta, for the animal bone, which had the same limiting effects as manure.

In 1842, Lawes patented his phosphate-sul-furic acid mixture as "superphosphate," the first artificial fertilizer. Within the next year, he had established a superphosphates manufacturing facility in Deptford, importing Chilean nitrates for the necessary nitrogen content, and he later founded the Lawes Chemical Company Ltd., which manufactured other agricultural chemicals in addition to superphosphates. Lawes thus founded the artificial fertilizer industry, a segment that would have profound effects upon the future of agriculture.

Also in 1843, Lawes commenced his collaboration with Joseph Henry Gilbert, who he appointed as the chemist at Rothamsted Laboratory, as he dubbed his manor, as the first agricultural experimental station in the world. Lawes and Gilbert continued their partnership over the next 57 years at what came to be known as the Rothamsted Experimental Station, which continues to this day the research that Lawes and Gilbert initiated.

Lawes and Gilbert commenced nine long-term experiments that became known as the Rothamsted Classical Experiments (one project was abandoned in 1878, leaving eight ongoing experiments). Lawes and Gilbert endeavored to track the effects on crop yields of the elements known to be contained in manure—namely, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. The experiments compared trial plots fed different combinations and concentrations of these minerals with plots fertilized with manure. Lawes conscientiously recorded the weight of the produce yielded by each crop for future comparison, and Gilbert sampled the soil for chemical analysis. Their efforts held practical implications for farmers, who fertilized their crops according to the results reported from the RES.

Lawes gained recognition for his pioneering efforts, as the Royal Society inducted him into its fellowship in 1854 and awarded him and Gilbert its royal medal in 1867. In 1878, he became a fellow of the Institute of Chemistry, and in 1882, the title of baronet was bestowed on him. The Royal Society of Arts awarded him its 1894 Albert medal, and Lawes received honorary degrees from Cambridge, Oxford, and Edinburgh Universities, representing quite a distinction for a man who never earned a university degree on his own.

Lawes died on August 31, 1900, at the Rothamsted manor. More than a decade before this, though, in 1889, he established the Lawes Agricultural Trust to fund the ongoing efforts of the Rothamsted Experimental Station and to support the continuation of the classical experiments, which continued after his death with very few modifications.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#603 2019-08-29 00:28:34

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

569) Willem Johan Kolff

Willem Johan Kolff (February 14, 1911 – February 11, 2009), also known as Pim Kolff, was a pioneer of hemodialysis as well as in the field of artificial organs. Willem is a member of the Kolff family, an old Dutch patrician family. He made his major discoveries in the field of dialysis for kidney failure during the Second World War. He emigrated in 1950 to the United States, where he obtained US citizenship in 1955, and received a number of awards and widespread recognition for his work.

Netherlands

Born in Leiden, Netherlands, Kolff was the eldest of a family of 5 boys. Kolff studied medicine in his hometown at Leiden University, and continued as a resident in internal medicine at Groningen University. One of his first patients was a 22-year-old man who was slowly dying of renal failure. This prompted Kolff to perform research on artificial renal function replacement. Also during his residency, Kolff organized the first blood bank in Europe (in 1940). Kolff's first prototype dialyzer was developed in 1943, built from orange juice cans, used auto parts, and sausage casings. Over a two year span, Kolff had attempted to treat 15 people with his machine, but all had died. In 1945, Kolff successfully treated his first patient, a 67 year old woman, from renal failure using his hemodialysis machine.

During World War II, he was in Kampen, where he was active in the resistance against the German occupation. Simultaneously, Kolff developed the first functioning artificial kidney. He treated his first patient in 1943, and in 1945 he was able to save a patient's life with hemodialysis treatment. In 1946 he obtained a PhD degree summa cum laude at University of Groningen on the subject. It marks the start of a treatment that has saved the lives of millions of acute or chronic renal failure patients ever since.

United States

When the war ended, Kolff donated his artificial kidneys to other institutions to spread familiarity with the technology. In Europe, Kolff sent machines to London, Amsterdam, and Poland. Another machine sent to Dr. Isidore Snapper at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City was used to perform the first human dialysis in the United States on January 26, 1948 under the supervision of Drs. Alfred P. Fishman and Irving Kroop.

In 1950, Kolff left the Netherlands to seek opportunities in the US. At the Cleveland Clinic, he was involved in the development of heart-lung machines to maintain heart and pulmonary function during cardiac surgery. He also improved on his dialysis machine. At Brigham and Women's Hospital, with funding from New York real estate developer David Rose he developed the first production artificial kidney, the Kolff Brigham Artificial Kidney, manufactured by the Edward A. Olson Co. in Boston Massachusetts, and later the Travenol Twin-Coil Artificial Kidney.

He became head of the University of Utah's Division of Artificial Organs and Institute for Biomedical Engineering in 1967, where he was involved in the development of the artificial heart, the first of which was implanted in 1982 in patient Barney Clark, who survived for four months, with the heart still functioning at the time of Clark's death.

In 1976 Kolff became a corresponding member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Impact

Kolff is considered to be the Father of Artificial Organs, and is regarded as one of the most important physicians of the 20th century. He obtained more than 12 honorary doctorates at universities all over the world, and more than 120 international awards, among them the Harvey Prize in 1972, AMA Scientific Achievement Award in 1982, the Japan Prize in 1986, the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research in 2002, and the Russ Prize in 2003. In 1990 Life Magazine included him in its list of the 100 Most Important Persons of the 20th Century. He was a co-nominee with William H. Dobelle for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2003. Robert Jarvik, who worked in Kolff's laboratory at the University of Utah beginning in 1971, credited Kolff with inspiring him to develop the first permanent artificial heart.

Kolff died three days short of his 98th birthday on February 11, 2009, in a care center in Philadelphia. On February 29, 2012, Yad Vashem recognized Willem Johan Kolff and his wife as Righteous Among the Nations, for their part in concealing a Jewish medical colleague and his son.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#604 2019-08-31 00:51:40

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

570) Lewis Howard Latimer

Lewis Howard Latimer (September 4, 1848 – December 11, 1928) was an American inventor and patent draftsman for the lightbulb and telephone.

Biography

Lewis Howard Latimer was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on September 4, 1848, the youngest of four children of Rebecca Latimer (1823 – August 13, 1910) and George Latimer (July 4, 1818 – May 29, 1897). George Latimer had been the slave of James B. Gray of Virginia. George Latimer ran away to freedom to Boston, Massachusetts, in October 1842, along with his wife Rebecca, who had been the slave of another man. When Gray, the owner, appeared in Boston to take them back to Virginia, it became a noted case in the movement for abolition of slavery, gaining the involvement of such abolitionists as William Lloyd Garrison. Eventually funds were raised to pay Gray $400 for the freedom of George Latimer.

Lewis Latimer joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 15 on September 16, 1863, and served as a Landsman on the USS Massasoit. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy on July 3, 1865, he gained employment as an office boy with a patent law firm, ‘Crosby Halstead and Gould’, with a $3.00 per week salary. He learned how to use a set square, ruler and other tools. Later, after his boss recognized his talent for sketching patent drawings, Latimer was promoted to the position of head draftsman earning $20.00 a week by 1872.

He married Mary Wilson Lewis on November 15, 1873, in Fall River, Massachusetts. She was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the daughter of William and Louisa M. Lewis. The couple had two daughters, Emma Jeanette (June 12, 1883 – February 1978) and Louise Rebecca (April 19, 1890 – January 1963). Jeanette married Gerald Fitzherbert Norman, the first black person hired as a high school teacher in the New York City public school system, and had two children: Winifred Latimer Norman (October 7, 1914 – February 4, 2014), a social worker who served as the guardian of her grandfather's legacy; and Gerald Latimer Norman (December 22, 1911 – August 26, 1990), who became an administrative law judge.

For 25 years, from 1903 until his death in 1928, Lewis Howard Latimer lived with his family in a home on Holly Avenue in what is now known as East Flushing section of Queens, New York. Lewis Howard Latimer died on December 11, 1928, at the age of 80. Approximately sixty years after his death, his home was moved from Holly Avenue to 137th Street in Flushing, Queens, which is about 1.4 miles northwest of its original location.

Technical work and inventions

In 1874, he co-patented (with Charles W. Brown) an improved toilet system for railroad cars called the Water Closet for Railroad Cars (U.S. Patent 147,363).

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell employed Latimer, then a draftsman at Bell's patent law firm, to draft the necessary drawings required to receive a patent for Bell's telephone.

In 1879, he moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, with his brother William, his mother Rebecca, and his wife Mary. Other family members, his brother George A. Latimer and his wife Jane, and his sister Margaret and her husband Augustus T. Hawley and their children, were already living there. Lewis was hired as assistant manager and draftsman for the U.S. Electric Lighting Company, a company owned by Hiram Maxim, a rival of Thomas A. Edison.

In 1881, Latimer, along with Joseph Nichols, invented a light bulb with a carbon filament, an improvement on Thomas Edison's original paper filament, which would burn out quickly, and sold the patent to the United States Electric Company in 1881. He received a second patent on January 17th 1882 for the "Process of Manufacturing Carbons", an improved method for the production of lightbulb carbon filaments.

The Edison Electric Light Company in New York City hired Latimer in 1884, as a draftsman and an expert witness in patent litigation on electric lights. While at Edison, Latimer wrote the first book on electric lighting, ‘Incandescent Electric Lighting’ (1890) and supervised the installation of public electric lights throughout New York, Philadelphia, Montreal, and London. When that company was combined in 1892 with the Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric, he continued to work in the legal department. In 1911, he became a patent consultant to law firms.

Legacy

•    Latimer is an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work on electric filament manufacturing techniques.
•    The Latimer family house is on Latimer Place in Flushing, Queens. It was moved from the original location to a nearby small park and turned into the Lewis H. Latimer House Museum in honor of the inventor.

•    Latimer was a founding member of the Flushing, New York, Unitarian Church.
•    A set of apartment houses in Flushing are called "Latimer Gardens".
•    P.S. 56 in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, is named Lewis H. Latimer School in Latimer's honor.
•    An invention program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is named after him.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#605 2019-09-02 00:15:57

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

571) Edwin Herbert Land

Edwin Herbert Land, (born May 7, 1909, Bridgeport, Conn., U.S.—died March 1, 1991, Cambridge, Mass.), American inventor and physicist whose one-step process for developing and printing photographs culminated in a revolution in photography unparalleled since the advent of roll film.

While a student at Harvard University, Land became interested in polarized light, i.e., light in which all rays are aligned in the same plane. He took a leave of absence, and, after intensive study and experimentation, succeeded (1932) in aligning submicroscopic crystals of iodoquinine sulfate and embedding them in a sheet of plastic. The resulting polarizer, for which he envisioned numerous uses and which he dubbed Polaroid J sheet, was a tremendous advance. It allowed the use of almost any size of polarizer and significantly reduced the cost.

With George Wheelwright III, a Harvard physics instructor, Land founded the Land-Wheelwright Laboratories, Boston, in 1932. He developed and, in 1936, began to use numerous types of Polaroid material in sunglasses and other optical devices. Polaroid was later used in camera filters and other optical equipment.

Land founded the Polaroid Corporation, Cambridge, Mass., in 1937. Four years later he developed a widely used, three-dimensional motion-picture process based on polarized light. During World War II he applied the polarizing principle to various types of military equipment.

Land began work on an instantaneous developing film after the war. In 1947 he demonstrated a camera (known as the Polaroid Land Camera) that produced a finished print in 60 seconds. The Land photographic process soon found numerous commercial, military, and scientific applications. Many innovations were made in the following years, including the development of a colour process. Land’s Polaroid Land cameras, which were able to produce developed photographs within one minute after the exposure, became some of the most popular cameras in the world.
Land’s interest in light and colour resulted in a new theory of colour perception. In a series of experiments he revealed certain conflicts in the classical theory of colour perception. He found that the colour perceived is not dependent on the relative amounts of blue, green, and red light entering the eye; he proposed that at least three independent image-forming mechanisms, which he called retinexes, are sensitive to different colours and work in conjunction to indicate the colour seen.

Land received more than 500 patents for his innovations in light and plastics. In 1980 he retired as chief executive officer of Polaroid but remained active in the field of light and colour research by working with the Rowland Institute of Science, a nonprofit centre supported by the Rowland Foundation, Inc., a corporation that Land founded in 1960. Under Land’s direction, Rowland researchers discovered that perception of light and colour is regulated essentially by the brain, rather than through a spectrum system in the retina of the eye, as was previously believed.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#606 2019-09-04 00:52:57

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

572) Pyotr Kapitsa

Pjotr Leonidovich Kapitsa was born in Kronstadt, near Leningrad, on the 9th July 1894, son of Leonid Petrovich Kapitsa, military engineer, and Olga Ieronimovna née Stebnitskaia, working in high education and folklore research.

Kapitsa began his scientific career in A.F. Ioffe’s section of the Electromechanics Department of the Petrograd Polytechnical Institute, completing his studies in 1918. Here, jointly with N.N. Semenov, he proposed a method for determining the magnetic moment of an atom interacting with an inhomogeneous magnetic field. This method was later used in the celebrated Stern-Gerlach experiments.

At the suggestion of A.F. Ioffe in 1921 Kapitsa came to the Cavendish Laboratory to work with Rutherford. In 1923 he made the first experiment in which a cloud chamber was placed in a strong magnetic field, and observed the bending of alfa-particle paths. In 1924 he developed methods for obtaining very strong magnetic fields and produced fields up to 320 kilogauss in a volume of 2 cubic centimeters. In 1928 he discovered the linear dependence of resistivity on magnetic field for various metals placed in very strong magnetic fields. In his last years in Cambridge Kapitsa turned to low temperature research. He began with a critical analysis of the methods that existed at the time for obtaining low temperatures and developed a new and original apparatus for the liquefaction of helium based on the adiabatic principle (1934).

Kapitsa was a Clerk Maxwell Student of Cambridge University (1923-1926), Assistant Director of Magnetic Research at Cavendish Laboratory (1924-1932), Messel Research Professor of the Royal Society (1930-1934), Director of the Royal Society Mond Laboratory (1930-1934). With R.H. Fowler he was the founder editor of the International Series of Monographs on Physics (Oxford, Clarendon Press).

In 1934 he returned to Moscow where he organized the Institute for Physical Problems at which he continued his research on strong magnetic fields, low temperature physics and cryogenics.

In 1939 he developed a new method for liquefaction of air with a lowpressure cycle using a special high-efficiency expansion turbine. In low temperature physics, Kapitsa began a series of experiments to study the properties of liquid helium that led to discovery of the superfluidity of helium in 1937 and in a series of papers investigated this new state of matter.

During the World War II Kapitsa was engaged in applied research on the production and use of oxygen that was produced using his low pressure expansion turbines, and organized and headed the Department of Oxygen Industry attached to the USSR Council of Ministers.

Late in the 1940’s Kapitsa turned his attention to a totally new range of physical problems. He invented high power microwave generators – planotron and nigotron (1950- 1955) and discovered a new kind of continuous high pressure plasma discharge with electron temperatures over a million K.

Kapitsa is director of the Institute for Physical Problems. Since 1957 he is a member of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was one of the founders of the Moscow Physico-Technical Institute (MFTI), and is now head of the department of low temperature physics and cryogenics of MFTI and chairman of the Coordination Council of this teaching Institute. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics and member of the Soviet National Committee of the Pugwash movement of scientists for peace and disarmament.

He was married in 1927 to Anna Alekseevna Krylova, daughter of Academician A.N. Krylov. They have two sons, Sergei and Andrei.

Pyotr Kapitsa died on April 8, 1984.

kapitsa-pyotr-image.jpg


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#607 2019-09-06 00:03:16

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

573) Ernest Orlando Lawrence

Ernest Orlando Lawrence, (born August 8, 1901, Canton, South Dakota, U.S.—died August 27, 1958, Palo Alto, California), American physicist, winner of the 1939 Nobel Prize for Physics for his invention of the cyclotron, the first particle accelerator to achieve high energies.

Lawrence earned a Ph.D. at Yale University in 1925. An assistant professor of physics at Yale (1927–28), he went to the University of California, Berkeley, as an associate professor and became full professor there in 1930.

Lawrence first conceived the idea for the cyclotron in 1929. One of his students, M. Stanley Livingston, undertook the project and succeeded in building a device that accelerated hydrogen ions (protons) to an energy of 13,000 electron volts (eV). Lawrence then set out to build a second cyclotron; when completed, it accelerated protons to 1,200,000 eV, enough energy to cause nuclear disintegration. To continue the program, Lawrence built the Radiation Laboratory at Berkeley in 1931 and was made its director.

One of Lawrence’s cyclotrons produced technetium, the first element that does not occur in nature to be made artificially. His basic design was utilized in developing other particle accelerators, which have been largely responsible for the great advances made in the field of particle physics. With the cyclotron, he produced radioactive phosphorus and other isotopes for medical use, including radioactive iodine for the first therapeutic treatment of hyperthyroidism. In addition, he instituted the use of neutron beams in treating cancer.

During World War II he worked with the Manhattan Project as a program chief in charge of the development of the electromagnetic process of separating uranium-235 for the atomic bomb. In 1957 he received the Enrico Fermi Award from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Besides his work in nuclear physics, Lawrence invented and patented a colour-television picture tube. In his honour were named the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory at Livermore, California; and element 103, lawrencium.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#608 2019-09-08 00:57:49

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

574) Sergei Vasilievich Lebedev

(B. Lublin, Poland, 13 July 1874; d. Leningrad, U.S.S.R., 2 May 1934)

Lebedev was the son of a priest. When he was eight, his father died and the family moved to Warsaw, where he received his Gymnasium training. In 1895 he entered the University of St. Petersburg, where he studied organic chemistry with Favorsky. Upon graduation in 1900 he was employed by the Institute of Communications to study the steel of railroad rails. However, wishing to return to academic work, in 1906 he spent some time at his own expense at the Institute Pasteur and the Sorbonne in Paris. After returning to St. Petersburg he began independent study of the chemistry of unsaturated hydrocarbons, a subject to which he devoted the rest of his life.

His extensive investigations of the conditions and products of polymerization of divinyl hydrocarbons led to his dissertation in 1913, for which he received the Tolstoy prize. He became a docent at the university and, in 1915, professor of chemistry at the Women’s Pedagogical Institute. In 1917 he was named professor of chemistry at the Military Medical Academy, where he remained until his death. He found the laboratory at this institution in very poor condition and succeeded in building it into one of the best organic laboratory in the Soviet Union. He continued his researches on many types of unsaturated compounds, investigating both their polymerization and hydrogenation. During World War I he began studies on the chemistry of petroleum. In 1925 he organized a petroleum laboratory at Leningrad University, where he found that the pyrolysis of petroleum produced hydrocarbons diethylene compounds such as he had previously studied.

In 1926, realizing that a severe shortage of rubber existed in the Soviet Union, he began the work for which he is best know. His earlier studies on polymerization had often yielded rubberlike polymers, and and ample source of divinyl was then available from petroleum. He gathered a group of seven chemists (five of them his students) to investigate the production of synthetic rubber. The work was at first carried on only in the chemists ’spare time. They soon found a better method for producing divinyl from alcohol. In 1927 they obtained a form of synthetic rubber by polymerizing divinyl in the presence of sodium. In 1928 the petroleum laboratory at the university was converted to a laboratory for synthetic rubber. By 1930 the process was being carried out in and experimental plant. Full factory production began in 1932-1933. The polymer had a structure different from that of natural rubber, but Lebedev showed that it was a fully satisfactory substitute.

Lebedev received many honors in the Soviet Union. He was made a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences in 1928 and a member in 1932. He received the Order of Lenin in 1931. A laboratory for the study of high molecular-weight compounds was founded under his direction at the Academy of Sciences, although his plans for its development were cut short by his death in 1934.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#609 2019-09-10 02:17:40

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

575) George William Manby

Captain George William Manby  (28 November 1765 – 18 November 1854) was an English author and inventor. He designed an apparatus for saving life from shipwrecks and also the first modern form of fire extinguisher.

Life

Manby went to school at Downham Market. Although he claimed to have been a friend there of Horatio Nelson, this is unlikely to be true as Nelson would have left the school (if he ever attended) before Manby started. He volunteered to fight in the American War of Independence, aged 17, but was rejected because of his youth and his small size. Instead, he entered the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, and then joined the Cambridgeshire Militia where he gained the rank of captain.

He married in 1793 and inherited his wife's family's estates, but left her in 1801 after being shot by her lover and moved to Clifton, Bristol. There, he published several books, including ‘The History and Antiquities of St David's’ (1801), ‘Sketches of the History and Natural Beauties of Clifton’ (1802), and ‘A Guide from Clifton to the Counties of Monmouth, Glamorgan, etc.’ (1802). In 1803, his pamphlet ‘An Englishman's Reflexions on the Author of the Present Disturbances’, on Napoleon's plans to invade England, came to the attention of the Secretary of War, Charles Yorke, who was impressed and recommended Manby to be appointed as Barrack-Master at Great Yarmouth.

On 18 February 1807, as a helpless onlooker, he witnessed a Naval ship, HMS Snipe run aground 60 yards off Great Yarmouth during a storm, with (according to some accounts) a total of 214 people drowned, including French prisoners of war, women and children. Following this tragedy, Manby experimented with mortars, and so invented the ‘Manby Mortar’, later developed into the breeches buoy, that fired a thin rope from shore into the rigging of a ship in distress. A strong rope, attached to the thin one, could be pulled aboard the ship. His successful invention followed an experiment as a youth in 1783, when he shot a mortar carrying a line over Downham church. His invention was officially adopted in 1814, and a series of mortar stations were established around the coast. It was estimated that by the time of his death nearly 1000 persons had been rescued from stranded ships by means of his apparatus.

An earlier, similar design to Manby's invention was made in the late 18th century by the French agronomist and inventor Jacques Joseph Ducarne de Blangy. Manby's invention was independently arrived at, and there is no suggestion that he copied de Blangy's idea.

Manby also built an "unsinkable" ship. The first test indeed proved it to be floating when mostly filled with water; however, the seamen (who disliked Manby) rocked the boat back and forth, so that it eventually turned over. The boatmen depended on the cargo left over from shipwrecks, and may have thought Manby's mortar a threat to their livelihood.

In 1813 Manby invented the "Extincteur", the first portable pressurised fire extinguisher. This consisted of a copper vessel of 3 gallons of pearl ash (potassium carbonate) solution contained within compressed air. He also invented a device intended to save people who had fallen through ice.

In 1821 he sailed to Greenland with William Scoresby, for the purpose of testing a new type of harpoon for whaling, based on the same principles as his mortar. However, his device was sabotaged by the whalers. He published his account as ‘Journal of a Voyage to Greenland’, containing observations on the flora and fauna of the Arctic regions as well as the practice of whale hunting.

In 1828 the King of Denmark (via his consul) presented Manby with a gold medal "accompanied with a letter, communicating His Majesty's gracious approbation of his philanthopic and arduous exertions in saving the crews of shipwrecked vessels.

He was the first to advocate a national fire brigade, and is considered by some to be a true founder of the RNLI. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1831 in recognition of his many accomplishments.

In later life Manby became obsessed with Nelson, turning his house into a Nelson museum filled with memorabilia and living in the basement.

Manby also became one of the godfathers of Augustus Onslow Manby Gibbes (1828–1897), the youngest son of the Collector of Customs for Great Yarmouth from 1827 to 1833, Colonel John George Nathaniel Gibbes (1787–1873).


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#610 2019-09-12 00:05:14

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

576) Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil, byname of Raymond Kurzweil, (born February 12, 1948, Queens, New York, U.S.), American computer scientist and futurist who pioneered pattern-recognition technology and proselytized the inevitability of humanity’s merger with the technology it created.

Kurzweil was raised in a secular Jewish family in Queens, New York. His parents fostered an early interest in science, allowing him to work as a computer programmer for the Head Start program at age 14. In 1965 he earned first prize in the International Science Fair with a computer program that could write music that mimicked the styles of great composers. The program marked the beginning of his career-long attempt to re-create pattern recognition, or the ability to find order in complex data. It was Kurzweil’s belief that pattern recognition formed the basis of human thought.

As a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kurzweil created a computer program that helped high-school students choose a college to attend. He then sold the service to a publisher for $100,000 plus royalties. He graduated from MIT in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and literature. Four years later he established Kurzweil Computer Products, Inc., which developed technology that allowed computers to read text printed in any normal typeface. Under Kurzweil’s direction, the company also pioneered a flatbed scanner and a text-to-speech synthesizer and used all three inventions to build a reading machine for the blind. A commercial version of the machine was developed, which led to the sale of the company to the Xerox Corporation in 1980; Kurzweil was a consultant for Xerox until 1995. A friendship with musician Stevie Wonder led Kurzweil to launch a business that created professional-quality music synthesizers in 1982. That venture was sold to the Korean instrument manufacturer Young Chang in 1990.

In 1987 another company founded by Kurzweil spawned the first commercial speech-recognition system and in 1997 was sold to a concern that later teamed with the Microsoft Corporation to market speech-recognition software for personal computers. In 1997 and 1999 he founded firms that produced software using artificial intelligence for financial analysis and medical training. Kurzweil also explored the possibilities of technology in creating art, founding a company in 1998 that produced software capable of creating paintings and poetry. His Web site, KurzweilAI.net, was founded in 2001 and featured articles on the future of technology, as well as Ramona, a virtual-reality woman who conversed with users. In 2003 Kurzweil cofounded a company that sold nutritional supplements aimed at extending the human life span, and in 2005 he cofounded a company that released a handheld print reader for the blind.

Kurzweil attracted the attention of the general public with his daring prognostications about how technology would shape the future. He explicated an array of prescient theories in The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990), which anticipated the explosion in popularity of the Internet. Kurzweil also wrote 'The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life' (1993), which details a diet that he had used to help cure himself of diabetes. His book 'The Age of Spiritual Machines' (1999) presents a vision of the 21st century as a time when computer technology would have advanced far enough to allow machines to operate on a level equivalent to that of the human brain. Computers, he predicted, would make complex decisions, appreciate beauty, and even experience emotions. Moreover, Kurzweil believed that as humans transferred the information in their brains to computers, the distinction between man and machine would become blurred. He further augured the convergence of human life with technology in 'Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever' (2004), coauthored with Terry Grossman, and 'The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology' (2005). Transcendent Man (2009), a documentary, chronicles Kurzweil’s life and features interviews with both supporters and detractors of his predictions.

In 2000 Kurzweil was awarded the U.S. National Medal of Technology in recognition of his many innovations. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office, in 2002.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#611 2019-09-14 01:03:11

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

577) Charles Mantoux

Born : 1877
Died : 1947

French physician, born May 14, 1877, Paris; died 1947.

Biography of Charles Mantoux

Charles Mantoux attended the University of Paris, a student of Pierre Paul Broca (1824-1880) – one of the founders of modern brain surgery – and the well-known pathologist and paediatrician Victor-Henri Hutinel (1849-1933). For reasons of health Mantoux chose to settle in Cannes, working in a tuberculosis sanatorium. Because long vacation periods enjoyed by employees of the sanatoriums, he was able to continue to work in Paris.

In 1908 Mantoux presented his first work on intradermal reactions to the French Academy of Sciences and published an article on this in 1910. He showed that his intradermal reaction test was more sensitive than the older Pirquet subcutaneous tests using tuberculin, and the Mantoux-test completely superseded the Pirquet method in all countries - except for Norway. The Mantoux' test, however, was invented by Felix Mendel, and is therefore entered here as Mendel-Mantoux.

Mantoux undertook a long series of other research work on tuberculosis. He developed a test for screening cattle for tuberculosis and applied this to pigs and horses. This was of great practical benefit with regards to public health, and he developed the test in the guinea pig for experimental studies of the rate of development of the allergic reaction.

Mantoux also undertook radiological studies of tuberculosis and wrote extensively on pleural effusion, and on the fever of tuberculosis. He was one of the earliest clinicians to employ artificial pneumothorax and study its effects on lung cavities. All of this work was done away from major universities and institutions.


It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#612 2019-09-16 01:30:10

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

578) Aleksei Nikolaevich Krylov

(B.Visyaga, Simbirskoy province [now Ulynovskaya oblast], Russia, 15 august 1863; d. Leningrad, U.S.S.R., 26 October 1945)

Krylov was born on the estate of his father, Nikolai Aleksandrovich Krlov, a former artillery officer. In 1878 he entered the Maritime High School in St. Oetersburg. When he left in 1884 he was appointed to the copas unit of the Main Hydrographic Administration, where he began research on a theory of compass deviation, a problem to which he often returned. In 1888 Krylov joned the department of ship construction of the Petersburg Maritime Academu where he received through mathematical grounding under the guidance of A. N. Korkin, a distinguished disciple of Chebyshev. In 1890 Krylov graduated first in his class from the Maritime Academy and at Korkin’s suggestion remained there to teach mathematics. he taught various theoretical and engineering sciences for almost fifty years at this milrary-maritine institute, creating from among his students a large school of shipbuilders who were both engineers and scientists. From 1900 to 1908, he directed the experimental basin, where he engaged in extensive research and tested models of various vessels. Krylov’s work covered an unusually wide spectrum of the problem of what Euler referred to as navel science: theories of buoyancy, stability, rolling and pitching, vibration, and performance, and compass theories. His investigations always ledc to a numerical answer. He proposed new and easier methods of calculating the stuctural elemetns of a ship, and his tables of seaworthiness quickly received worldwide acceptance. From 1908 to 1910 Krylov, who had attained the rank of general, served as chief inspector for shipbuilding and was a preseident of the Naritime Engineering Committee. His courage and integrity led to conflicts with officials of the Maritime ministry and to his refusal to do further work for them.

In 1914, Moscow University awarded Krylov the degree of doctor of applied mathematics, honor is causa, and the Russian Academy of science elected him a corresponding member. he was elected to full membership in 1916.

After the October Revolution, Krylov sided with the Soviet Government. During this period he continued to be both active and productive. From 1927 to 1932 he was director of the Physics and Mathematics Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. He also played an important role in the organization, in 1929, of the division of engineering sciences of the Soviet Academy. The title of honor scientist and engineer of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic was conferred upon Krylov in 1939, and in 1943 he was awarded the state prize (for his work in compass theory) and the title of hero of socialist labor.

While using mathematics and mechanics to work out his theory of ships, Krylov simultaneously improved the methods of both disciplines, especially that in the theory of vibrations and that of approximate calculations. In a paper on forced vibrations of fixed-section pivots (1905), he presented an original development of Fourier’s method or solving boundary value problems, pointing out its applicability to a series of important questions: for example, the theory of steam-driven machine indicators, the measurement of gas pressure in th conduit of an instrument, and the twisting vibrations of a roller with a flywheel on its end. Closely related to this group of problems was his ingenious and practical method for increasing the speed of convergence in Fourier and related series (1912). he also derived a new method for solving the secular equation that serves to determine the frequency of small vibrations in mechanical systems (1931). This method is simpler than those of Lagrange, Laplace, Jacobi, and Leverrie. In addition, Krylov perfected several methods for the approximate solution of ordinary differential equations (1917).

In his mathematical education and his general view of mathematics, Krylov belonged to the Peterburg school of Chebyshev,. Most representatives of this school, using concrete problems as their point of departure, developed primarily in a purely theoretical direction. Krylov, however, proceed from theoretical foundations to the effective solution of practical engineering problems.

Krylov’s practical interest were combined with a deep understand of the ideas and methods of classical mathematics and mechanics of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries; and in the works of Newton, Euler, and Gauss he found forgotten methods that were applicable a to the solution of contemporary problems.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#613 2019-09-18 00:51:16

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

579) Hannes Alfvén

Hannes Alfvén, in full Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén, (born May 30, 1908, Norrköping, Sweden—died April 2, 1995, Djursholm), astrophysicist and winner, with Louis Néel of France, of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1970 for his essential contributions in founding plasma physics—the study of plasmas (ionized gases).

Alfvén was educated at Uppsala University and in 1940 joined the staff of the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. During the late 1930s and early ’40s he made remarkable contributions to space physics, including the theorem of frozen-in flux, according to which under certain conditions a plasma is bound to the magnetic lines of flux that pass through it. Alfvén later used the concept to explain the origin of cosmic rays.

In 1939 Alfvén published his theory of magnetic storms and auroral displays in the atmosphere, which immensely influenced the modern theory of the magnetosphere (the region of Earth’s magnetic field). He discovered a widely used mathematical approximation by which the complex spiral motion of a charged particle in a magnetic field can be easily calculated. Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), the study of plasmas in magnetic fields, was largely pioneered by Alfvén, and his work has been acknowledged as fundamental to attempts to control nuclear fusion.

After numerous disagreements with the Swedish government, Alfvén obtained a position (1967) with the University of California, San Diego. Later he divided his teaching time between the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and the University of California.

Alfvén was an early supporter of “plasma cosmology,” a concept that challenges the big-bang model of the origin of the universe. Those who support the theory of plasma cosmology hold that the universe had no beginning (and has no forseeable end) and that plasma—with its electric and magnetic forces—has done more to organize matter in the universe into star systems and other large observed structures than has the force of gravity. Much of Alfvén’s early research was included in his Cosmical Electrodynamics (1950). He also wrote On the Origin of the Solar System (1954), Worlds-Antiworlds (1966), and Cosmic Plasma (1981).

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#614 2019-09-20 00:37:32

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

580) Rasmus Lerdorf

Rasmus Lerdorf (born 22 November 1968) is a Danish-Canadian programmer. He co-authored and inspired the PHP scripting language, authoring the first two versions of the language and participating in the development of later versions led by a group of developers including Jim Winstead (who later created blo.gs), Stig Bakken, Shane Caraveo, Andi Gutmans, and Zeev Suraski. He continues to contribute to the project.

Early life and education

Lerdorf was born in Disko Island on Greenland and moved to Denmark in his early years. Lerdorf's family moved to Canada from Denmark in 1980, and later moved to King City, Ontario in 1983. He graduated from King City Secondary School in 1988, and in 1993 he graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Design Engineering. He contributed to the Apache HTTP Server and he added the LIMIT clause to the mSQL DBMS. A variant of this LIMIT clause had already been around for a decade in mainframe relational database management systems (like Oracle Rdb running on VAX/VMS, formerly from Digital Equipment Corporation), but apparently it had not yet been picked up by the emerging PC-based databases. It was later adapted by several other SQL-compatible DBMS. He released the first version of PHP in 1995.

Career

From September 2002 to November 2009 Lerdorf was employed by Yahoo! Inc. as an Infrastructure Architecture Engineer. In 2010, he joined WePay in order to develop their application programming interface. Throughout 2011 he was a roving consultant for startups. On 22 February 2012 he announced on Twitter that he had joined Etsy.
In July, 2013 Rasmus joined Jelastic as a senior advisor to help them with the creation of new technology.

Lerdorf is a frequent speaker at Open Source conferences around the world. During his keynote presentation at OSCMS 2007, he presented a security vulnerability in each of the projects represented at the conference that year.

Lerdorf also appeared at the WeAreDevelopers Conferences 2017 and 2019, making a speech on the history of PHP, the new PHP 7 release in 2017, and the 25 years of PHP.

Awards

In 2003, Lerdorf was named in the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35.

(PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (or simply PHP) is a general-purpose programming language originally designed for web development. It was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994; the PHP reference implementation is now produced by The PHP Group PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page, but it now stands for the recursive initialism PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.)

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#615 2019-09-22 00:24:44

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

581) Justus von Liebig

Justus, baron von Liebig, (born May 12, 1803, Darmstadt, Hesse-Darmstadt [Germany]—died April 18, 1873, Munich, Bavaria), German chemist who made significant contributions to the analysis of organic compounds, the organization of laboratory-based chemistry education, and the application of chemistry to biology (biochemistry) and agriculture.

Training And Early Career

Liebig was the son of a pigment and chemical manufacturer whose shop contained a small laboratory. As a youth, Liebig borrowed chemistry books from the royal library in Darmstadt and followed their “recipes” in experiments he conducted in his father’s laboratory. At the age of 16, after studying pharmacy for six months under the tutelage of an apothecary at Heppenheim, he persuaded his father that he wanted to pursue chemistry, not the apothecary trade. In 1820 he began his study of chemistry with Karl Kastner at the Prussian University of Bonn, following Kastner to the University of Erlangen in Bavaria, where Liebig ultimately received his doctorate in 1822. His diligence and brilliance was noticed by the Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt and his ministers, who funded his further chemistry studies under Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac in Paris between 1822 and 1824. While in Paris, Liebig investigated the dangerous explosive silver fulminate, a salt of fulminic acid. Concurrently, the German chemist Friedrich Wöhler was analyzing cyanic acid. Liebig and Wöhler jointly realized that cyanic acid and fulminic acid represented two different compounds that had the same composition—that is, the same number and kind of atoms—but different chemical properties. This unexpected conclusion, which was later codified under the concept of isomerism by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, led to a lifelong friendship between Liebig and Wöhler and to a remarkable collaborative research partnership, frequently conducted via correspondence.

Liebig’s scientific work with fulminates, together with his fortunate meeting with the influential German naturalist and diplomat Alexander von Humboldt, who was always keen to patronize younger talent, led to Liebig’s appointment at the small University of Giessen in May 1824. As Liebig later observed in his fragmentary autobiography, “at a larger university, or in a larger place, my energies would have been divided and dissipated, and it would have been much more difficult, perhaps impossible, to reach the goal at which I aimed.”

Foundations Of Organic Chemistry

Liebig succeeded in institutionalizing the independent teaching of chemistry, which hitherto in German universities had been taught as an adjunct to pharmacy for apothecaries and physicians. Furthermore, he expanded the realm of chemistry teaching by formalizing a standard of training based upon practical laboratory experience and by focusing attention upon the uncultivated field of organic chemistry. The key to his success proved to be an improvement in the method of organic analysis. Liebig burned an organic compound with copper oxide and identified the oxidation products (water vapour and carbon dioxide) by weighing them, directly after absorption, in a tube of calcium chloride and in a specially designed five-bulb apparatus containing caustic potash. This procedure, perfected in 1831, allowed the carbon content of organic compounds to be determined to a greater precision than previously known. Moreover, his technique was simple and quick, allowing chemists to run six or seven analyses per day as opposed to that number per week with older methods. The rapid progress of organic chemistry witnessed in the early 1830s suggests that Liebig’s technical breakthrough, rather than the abandonment of the belief that organic compounds might be under the control of “vital forces,” was the key factor in the emergence of biochemistry and clinical chemistry. The five-bulb potash apparatus he designed for carbon dioxide absorption rapidly became, and remains to this day, emblematic of organic chemistry.

Liebig’s introduction of this new method of analysis led to a decade of intensive investigation of organic compounds, both by Liebig and by his students. Liebig himself published an average of 30 papers a year between 1830 and 1840. Several of these investigative reports became highly significant to further developments in the theory and practice of organic chemistry. Most noteworthy among these writings were his series of papers on the nitrogen content of bases, joint work with Wöhler on the benzoyl radical (1832) and on the degradation products of urea (1837), the discovery of chloral (trichloroethanal, 1832), the identification of the ethyl radical (1834), the preparation of acetaldehyde (ethanal, 1835), and the hydrogen theory of organic acids (1838). He also popularized, but did not invent, the Liebig condenser, still used in laboratory distillations.

Liebig’s analytical prowess, his reputation as a teacher, and the Hessian government’s subsidy of his laboratory created a large influx of students to Giessen in the 1830s. Indeed, so many students were drawn to Liebig that he had to expand his facilities and systematize his training procedures. A considerable number of his students, some 10 per semester, were foreigners. Maintaining a devoted following among foreign audiences helped firmly to establish Liebig’s emphasis on laboratory-based teaching and research in foreign countries and in other German states. For example, the Royal College of Chemistry founded in London in 1845, the Lawrence Scientific School established at Harvard University in 1847, and Hermann Kolbe’s large laboratory at Leipzig in Saxony in 1868 were all modeled upon Liebig’s program.

One of the major investigations that Liebig collaboratively pursued with Wöhler was an analysis of the oil of bitter almonds in 1832. After demonstrating that the oil could be oxidized to benzoic acid (benzenecarboxylic acid), the two chemists postulated that both substances, as well as a large number of derivatives, contained a common group, or “radical,” which they named “benzoyl.” This research, based upon Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius’s electrochemical and dualistic model of inorganic composition, proved to be a landmark in classifying organic compounds according to their constituent radicals.

The radical theory, together with a large accumulation of data from organic analysis experiments, provided Liebig and Wöhler sufficient background to begin to analyze the complex organic compounds in urine. Between 1837 and 1838 they identified, analyzed, and classified many of the constituents and degradation products of urine, including urea (carbamide), uric acid, allantoin, and uramil. Among their conclusions, uramil was reported to be produced by “innumerable metamorphoses” of uric acid—itself a degradation product, they conjectured, of flesh and blood. This magnificent investigation, which astonished British chemists when Liebig reported it to the British Association for the Advancement of Science during a visit to Britain in 1837, gave contemporary physicians new insight into the pathology of many kidney and urinary bladder diseases. Later, in 1852, Liebig provided physicians with simple chemical procedures whereby they could quantitatively determine the amount of urea in urine. In another work of practical use to physicians, he determined the oxygen content of the air by quantifying its adsorption in an alkaline solution of pyrogallol (benzene-1,2,3-triol).

Developments In Agricultural, Animal, And Food Chemistry

Liebig’s realization that organic chemistry could be used as a tool to investigate living processes led him to abandon pure chemistry in 1840. In that year he published Die organische Chemie in ihrer Anwendung auf Agricultur und Physiologie (Chemistry in Its Applications to Agriculture and Physiology). In this German publication, which soon appeared in English and French translations, Liebig claimed that because “perfect agriculture is the true foundation of all trade and industry,” a “rational system of agriculture cannot be formed without the application of scientific principles.” Only the chemist, he argued dogmatically, could tell the farmer the best means of feeding plants, the nature of the different soils, and the action of particular manures upon them. By analyzing soils, Liebig showed that the prevailing “humus theory” in which a plant’s carbon content was claimed to have originated principally from leaf mould, and not from atmospheric photosynthesis, was fallacious. On the other hand, Liebig argued incorrectly for years that atmospheric ammonia and nitrates in the soil were more important direct sources of plant nitrogen than manures, whose principal function he viewed as providing trace minerals from the products of decomposition that remained in the soil. In order to provide these minerals more efficiently, Liebig began to develop “chemical manures” in 1845. Although Liebig’s claim was later proven to be incorrect, and his fertilizers were shown to be inefficient and uneconomic, investigations conducted at the Rothamsted Experimental Station in Hertfordshire by his English pupil J.H. Gilbert, together with the landowner John Bennet Lawes, led to the discovery of superphosphates, which were readily developed as fertilizers.

Sulfuric acid production for fertilizers accelerated both the industrialization of Europe and the vertical integration of chemical industries. Liebig’s aphorism of 1843, that the measure of a country’s civilization lay in the amount of sulfuric acid it consumes every year, became widely known. Both directly and indirectly, Liebig was an influential figure in the development of scientific agriculture and, thus, in increasing food production at a time when a rising European population was undergoing vast urban and industrial expansion.

In 1842 Liebig published a sequel, Die organische Chemie in ihrer Anwendung auf Physiologie und Pathologie (Animal Chemistry or Organic Chemistry in Its Applications to Physiology and Pathology), which is considered to be a foundational writing of modern biochemistry. In this work, Liebig employed analyses and highly speculative equations in an attempt to unravel the metabolic routes by which foodstuffs were transformed into flesh and blood and whereby tissues were degraded into animal heat, muscular work, and secretions and excretions. Although many of the details were later shown to be wrong, his novel approach of examining metabolism from a chemical viewpoint inspired decades of further research. A false hypothesis in science can often be fruitful; by demonstrating the errors of Liebig’s schemes, many important principles were discovered. For instance, Liebig was wrong in claiming that fermentation and putrefaction were merely dynamic reshufflings of the constituent parts of chemical substances; yet his claim prompted many physicians to espouse a chemical theory of disease that challenged the predominant sanitarian view that disease was spread by the poisonous miasma that arose from accumulated sewage.

Liebig grew increasingly interested in the chemistry of food, especially in discovering better ways to cook meat in order to preserve its nutritional qualities. In his 1847 publication Chemische Untersuchung über das Fleisch (Research on the Chemistry of Food), Liebig described a particular “extract of meat” prepared by low-pressure evaporation of the soup from lean meat, and he claimed it to be a valuable restorative for the sick, wounded, and ill-nourished. In later editions of his popular Chemische Briefe (Familiar Letters on Chemistry), he pointed out that in countries such as South America and Australia, where cattle were routinely slaughtered for their hides or tallow, his meat extract could be prepared extremely economically. Belgian railway engineer Georg Giebert followed up this suggestion and, in 1865, began to market, with Liebig’s promotional assistance, Liebig’s extract of meat as a nutritious food for invalids and the labouring classes. In the same decade Liebig also improved the commercial processing of artificial milk for infants, the baking of whole-meal bread, and the silvering of mirrors.

Later Life

Liebig remained in Giessen for 28 years, where the Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt made him a baron in 1845. In 1852, fatigued from teaching, he moved to the University of Munich, where he no longer offered practical instruction but pursued his own interests and concentrated upon popular lecturing and writing. Through the popularity of his Familiar Letters on Chemistry, he became viewed as an elder statesman of science, and he regularly commented on broader issues including scientific methodology, the opposition to materialism, and the dangers of failing to recycle sewage or replace soil nutrients that were harvested as animal and human food.
Liebig was frequently hot-tempered and quarrelsome by nature, and he tenaciously upheld his own particular viewpoints. As editor of the monthly Annalen der Pharmacie und Chemie, which he founded in 1832 and which continued until 1998 as Liebigs Annalen, he publicized both his own work and that of his pupils while also using its pages to criticize the work of other chemists. A giant among 19th-century German chemists, his charismatic power as a teacher and friend was aptly conveyed by his former student A.W. Hofmann: “Each word of his carried instruction, every intonation of his voice bespoke regard; his approval was a mark of honour, and of whatever else we might be proud, our greatest pride of all was having him for our master.”

Liebig was buried in Munich’s Südfriedhof Cemetery. Statues were erected in his honour at Darmstadt, Giessen, and Munich. Liebig’s former laboratories in Giessen are now the Liebig Museum.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#616 2019-09-24 00:07:20

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

582) Kōnosuke

Kōnosuke, (born Nov. 27, 1894, Wakayama prefecture, Japan—died April 27, 1989, Ōsaka), Japanese industrialist who founded the math Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., the largest manufacturer of consumer electric appliances in the world.

His parents having died, math began work at age 9 as an errand boy. At age 16 he began working for the Ōsaka Electric Light Company, and he quit his job as an inspector there at age 23 to start a company that would sell electric plug attachments of his own design. His inventive marketing strategies helped the math Electric grow, and in 1935 he reorganized the company under the name it still holds. math managed to prevent his company from being broken up by the U.S. occupation authorities after World War II, and by the 1950s the math Electric Industrial Co. was the chief manufacturer of washing machines, refrigerators, and television sets for Japanese homes. In the decades that followed, the company became internationally famous for such products as electrical equipment, computer chips, and videocassette recorders under such brand names as Panasonic, Quasar, and National.

He was president of the company until 1961, at which time he became chairman of the board of directors. His influential business philosophy, which called for the production of essential consumer goods in abundance at the lowest possible prices, was widely adopted in the egalitarian, consumer-oriented society that emerged in Japan in the second half of the 20th century.

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#617 2019-09-26 00:20:07

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

583) Stanley Mazor

Stanley Mazor is an American microelectronics engineer who was born on 22 October 1941 in Chicago, Illinois. He is one of the co-inventors of the world's first microprocessor, the Intel 4004, together with Ted Hoff, Masatoshi Shima, and Federico Faggin.

Early years

Mazor was born to Jewish parents, As a youth, Mazor's family moved to California, where he attended Oakland High School from which he graduated in 1959. He enrolled in San Francisco State University (SFSU), majoring in math and studying helicopter design and construction as a hobby. Mazor met his future wife Maurine at SFSU and they wed in 1962. Around the same time, he became interested in computers and learned to program SFSU’s IBM 1620 computer, taking a position as a professor’s assistant and teaching other students to use the technology. Meanwhile, he continued to study computer architecture in technical manuals outside of school.

Career summary

In 1964, he became a programmer with Fairchild Semiconductor, followed by a position as computer designer in the Digital Research Department, where he co-patented “Symbol,” a high-level language computer.

In 1969, he joined the year-old Intel Corporation, and was soon assigned to work with Ted Hoff on a project to help define the architecture of a microprocessor—often dubbed a “computer-on-a-chip”—based on a concept developed earlier by Hoff. The Japanese calculator manufacturer Busicom asked Intel to complete the design and manufacture of a new set of chips. Credited along with Faggin, Hoff, and Masatoshi Shima of Busicom as co-inventor, Mazor helped define the architecture and the instruction set for the revolutionary new chip, dubbed the Intel 4004.

Although there was an initial reluctance on the part of Intel marketing to undertake the support and sale of these products to general customers, Hoff and Mazor joined Faggin, designer of the 4004 and project leader, and actively campaigned for their announcement to the industry and helped define a support strategy that the company could accept. Intel finally announced the 4004 in 1971.

After working as a computer designer for six years, Mazor moved to Brussels, Belgium where he continued to work for Intel, now as an application engineer helping customers to use the company’s products. He returned to California the following year, and began teaching, first in Intel’s Technical Training group, and later at Stanford University and the University of Santa Clara. Various teaching engagements took him around the world, including Stellenbosch, South Africa; Stockholm, Sweden; and Nanjing, China. In 1984, Mazor joined Silicon Compiler Systems. In 2008, Mazor was the Training Director of BEA Systems.

Publications

In 1993, then working at Synopsys, he coauthored, with Patricia Langstraat, a book on chip design language entitled 'A Guide to VHDL'. Over the course of his career, Mazor has also published fifty articles.

Recognition

Along with his co-inventors Hoff, Faggin, and Shima, he has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Ron Brown American Innovator Award, the 1997 Kyoto Prize, and induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 2009 the four were inducted as Fellows of the Computer History Museum "for their work as the team that developed the Intel 4004, the world's first commercial microprocessor." In 2010, Mazor and his co-inventors Hoff and Faggin, were awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Barack Obama.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

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#618 2019-10-02 00:21:08

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Re: crème de la crème

584) Gordon Gould

Gordon Gould, in full Richard Gordon Gould, (born July 17, 1920, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Sept. 16, 2005, New York), American physicist who played an important role in early laser research and coined the word laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation).

Gould received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., in 1941 and a master’s degree in physics from Yale University two years later. He then worked on the Manhattan Project but was released from the project because of his membership in a communist political group (which he left in 1948). He started teaching physics at the City College of New York in 1946, and he entered graduate school at Columbia University, New York City, in 1949.

He came up with the idea of the laser and its name in 1957. He had discussed the idea with physicist Charles Townes, who had invented the maser, which amplified microwave radiation. Gould took Townes’s advice that he should write down his ideas and notarize them as a first step of applying for a patent. Gould left Columbia and joined the defense research firm Technical Research Group (TRG) in 1958 to work on building a laser. Believing that he first needed to have a working prototype, he waited until 1959 to apply for a patent, but by that time Townes and physicist Arthur Schawlow had filed such an application and his was rejected. With the initial support of TRG and with his notarized notebook as his main piece of evidence, Gould fought Townes and Schawlow’s award of the laser patent. After many years of litigation, he prevailed, and in 1977 he was issued the first of the four U.S. basic laser patents that he was eventually granted. The laser industry then fought the award of patents to Gould to avoid paying him millions of dollars in royalties, but he finally prevailed in 1987.

During the legal struggle over the laser patents, Gould taught at the Polytechnic Institute of New York from 1967 to 1973, and he founded an optical communications company, Optelecom, in 1973. He retired from Optelecom in 1985, and he was inducted into the (U.S.) National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1991.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

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#619 2019-10-04 00:48:58

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Re: crème de la crème

585) Hans Christian Gram

Hans Christian Joachim Gram (13 September 1853 – 14 November 1938) was a Danish bacteriologist noted for his development of the Gram stain, still a standard technique to classify bacteria and make them more visible under a microscope.

Early life and education

Gram was the son of Frederik Terkel Julius Gram, a professor of jurisprudence, and Louise Christiane Roulund.

He studied at the University of Copenhagen, and was an assistant in botany to the zoologist Japetus Steenstrup. His study of plants introduced him to the fundamentals of pharmacology and the use of the microscope.

Gram entered medical school in 1878 and graduated in 1883. He travelled throughout Europe between 1878 and 1885.

Career

Gram stain

In Berlin, in 1884, Gram developed a method for distinguishing between two major classes of bacteria. This technique, the Gram stain, continues to be a standard procedure in medical microbiology. This work gained Gram an international reputation. The stain later played a major role in classifying bacteria. Gram was a modest man, and in his initial publication he remarked, "I have therefore published the method, although I am aware that as yet it is very defective and imperfect; but it is hoped that also in the hands of other investigators it will turn out to be useful."

A Gram stain is made using a primary stain of crystal violet and a counterstain of safranin. Bacteria that turn purple when stained are called 'Gram-positive', while those that turn red when counterstained are called 'Gram-negative'.

Other work

Gram's initial work concerned the study of red blood cells in men. He was among the first to recognise that macrocytes were characteristic of pernicious anaemia.
In 1891, Gram taught pharmacology, and later that year was appointed professor at the University of Copenhagen. In 1900, he resigned his chair in pharmacology to become professor of medicine. As a professor, he published four volumes of clinical lectures which became widely used in Denmark. He retired from the University of Copenhagen in 1923, and died in 1938.

Popular recognition

On 13 September 2019, Google commemorated the anniversary of his birth with a Doodle for Canada, Peru, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, India and some European countries.

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#620 2019-10-06 00:00:17

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Re: crème de la crème

586) Benjamin Eisenstadt

Biography

Benjamin Eisenstadt (December 7, 1906 – April 8, 1996) was the designer of the modern sugar packet and developer of Sweet'N Low. He was the founder of the Cumberland Packing Corporation and a notable philanthropist.

Personal life

Benjamin Eisenstadt was born in New York City on December 7, 1906. His family was Jewish. He attended Brooklyn College.

He married Betty Gellman (1910-2001) on October 27, 1931 while living at 1250 44th Street in Brooklyn. Their children were Marvin Eisenstadt, who married Barbara; Gladys Eisenstadt; Ira Eisenstadt, who married Deirdre Howley; and Ellen Eisenstadt, who married Herbert Cohen.

Business and philanthropy

After college, Eisnstadt operated a cafeteria across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He switched to making tea bags after his cafeteria business declined.

In the mid 1940s, he invented the idea of single servings of table sugar to utilize his tea bag machinery. He proposed the idea to the major sugar producers, but was unsuccessful in attracting their interest. Since he had not secured a patent before shopping the idea around, sugar producers were then free to use his idea without paying royalties, and they did so.

In 1957 he came up with a formula for a powdered saccharin sweetener. Previously saccharin was sold as liquid drops, or tiny tablets. He mixed the saccharin with dextrose to bulk it up to a teaspoon sized portion, added cream of tartar, and calcium silicate as anti-caking agents. His Cumberland Packing Corporation marketed the product, called Sweet'N Low, in bright pink packets so that the saccharin packets would not be confused with sugar packets at restaurants.

His company was also the first to package soy sauce and other single serving condiments.

After the Cumberland Packing Corporation was on a financially successful footing, Eisenstadt devoted a part of his wealth to medical philanthropy. He became chairman of the board of the foundation for Maimonides Medical Center. During his 20 year tenure as a trustee and benefactor of this institution, he also served as secretary, and vice chairman of the board.

Death

Benjamin died at age 89 after complications from open heart surgery. When Betty died in 2001 she had removed Ellen and her children from her will.

Legacy

Maimonides Medical Center has the Eisenstadt Administration Building and the Gellman Pavilion. The Gellman Pavilion was named in memory of Dr. Abraham Gellman, the brother of Betty Gellman (1910-2001).

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

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#621 2019-10-22 00:01:23

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Re: crème de la crème

587) Rod Laver

Rod Laver, by name of Rodney George Laver, (born August 9, 1938, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia), Australian tennis player, the second male player in the history of the game (after Don Budge in 1938) to win the four major singles championships—Australian, French, British (Wimbledon), and U.S.—in one year (1962) and the first to repeat this Grand Slam (1969). Laver is considered one of the greatest players in the history of tennis.

The son of two tournament lawn tennis players, Laver was introduced early to the game. Considered too small to become a good player, he began vigorous practice as a youth in the Australian outback. Later he came to the attention of the Australian Davis Cup captain, Harry Hopman, and “Rocket,” as Laver was dubbed by Hopman, became a member of the Australian Davis Cup squad at the age of 18. He first toured overseas in 1956, and his first outstanding success was winning the Australian doubles championship with Robert Mark and the Wimbledon mixed doubles with Darlene Hard in 1959. He won the Australian singles in 1960. In Wimbledon play, Laver won the men’s singles four times (1961–62, 1968–69), the mixed doubles twice (1959–60), and the men’s doubles once (1971). In 1962 he added the Italian and German singles titles to his four Grand Slam victories. From 1959 through 1962 and in 1973 he played for the Australian team in Davis Cup competition, leading the country to victory each year he competed; in 1962 he won all three of his matches—two singles and one doubles—in the challenge (final) round.

Laver turned professional in 1963 and dominated the professional game with his power and accuracy. Open tournaments were introduced in 1968, and that year he won the first open Wimbledon championship. His championship play continued into the 1970s. In 1971 he became the first professional tennis player to surpass the $1,000,000 mark in career prize money, and he held on to his position as tennis’s all-time leading money-winner until 1978. In 1976 the 38-year-old Laver retired from professional play, having won an unprecedented 200 singles titles. However, he continued to compete at other levels, notably playing (1976–78) for the San Diego team of the World Team Tennis league.

Laver was the recipient of numerous honours. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981. In 2000 Centre Court at Melbourne Park (home of the Australian Open) was renamed Rod Laver Arena, and in 2017 the Laver Cup debuted; the annual tournament features two six-player teams (Team Europe and Team World). He cowrote the memoirs The Education of a Tennis Player (1971; with Bud Collins), which focuses on his 1969 season, and Rod Laver (2013; with Larry Writer).

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#622 2019-10-28 00:10:10

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Re: crème de la crème

588) Don Bradman

Don Bradman, by name of Sir Donald George Bradman, (born August 27, 1908, Cootamundra, New South Wales, Australia—died February 25, 2001, Adelaide, South Australia), Australian cricketer, one of the greatest run scorers in the history of the game and often judged the greatest player of the 20th century.

In Test (international) matches Bradman scored 6,996 runs for Australia and set a record with his average of 99.94 runs per contest. He scored 19 centuries (100 runs in a single innings) in Test matches against England between 1928 and 1948. On his first visit to England, in 1930, he established a Test record (eventually broken) by scoring 334 runs in one innings; in 1934, also in England, he had an innings of 304 runs. In 1948 he was captain of the Australian team that was victorious in England, four matches to none. He retired from first-class cricket in 1949 and was knighted in the same year.

Bradman, as a youth, perfected his timing by hitting a golf ball against a water tank. He developed a quick eye, deft footwork, and an uncanny judgment of bowling and also became a brilliant outfieldsman. He wrote a volume of reminiscences, Farewell to Cricket (1950), and a coaching manual, The Art of Cricket (1958).

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

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#623 2019-10-30 00:06:23

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Re: crème de la crème

589) Ptolemy

Ptolemy, Latin in full Claudius Ptolemaeus, (born c. 100 CE—died c. 170 CE), an Egyptian astronomer, mathematician, and geographer of Greek descent who flourished in Alexandria during the 2nd century CE. In several fields his writings represent the culminating achievement of Greco-Roman science, particularly his geocentric (Earth-centred) model of the universe now known as the Ptolemaic system.

Virtually nothing is known about Ptolemy’s life except what can be inferred from his writings. His first major astronomical work, the Almagest, was completed about 150 CE and contains reports of astronomical observations that Ptolemy had made over the preceding quarter of a century. The size and content of his subsequent literary production suggests that he lived until about 170 CE.

Astronomer

The book that is now generally known as the Almagest (from a hybrid of Arabic and Greek, “the greatest”) was called by Ptolemy Hē mathēmatikē syntaxis (“The Mathematical Collection”) because he believed that its subject, the motions of the heavenly bodies, could be explained in mathematical terms. The opening chapters present empirical arguments for the basic cosmological framework within which Ptolemy worked. Earth, he argued, is a stationary sphere at the centre of a vastly larger celestial sphere that revolves at a perfectly uniform rate around Earth, carrying with it the stars, planets, Sun, and Moon—thereby causing their daily risings and settings. Through the course of a year the Sun slowly traces out a great circle, known as the ecliptic, against the rotation of the celestial sphere. (The Moon and planets similarly travel backward—hence, the planets were also known as “wandering stars”—against the “fixed stars” found in the ecliptic.) The fundamental assumption of the Almagest is that the apparently irregular movements of the heavenly bodies are in reality combinations of regular, uniform, circular motions.

How much of the Almagest is original is difficult to determine because almost all of the preceding technical astronomical literature is now lost. Ptolemy credited Hipparchus (mid-2nd century BCE) with essential elements of his solar theory, as well as parts of his lunar theory, while denying that Hipparchus constructed planetary models. Ptolemy made only a few vague and disparaging remarks regarding theoretical work over the intervening three centuries, yet the study of the planets undoubtedly made great strides during that interval. Moreover, Ptolemy’s veracity, especially as an observer, has been controversial since the time of the astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546–1601). Brahe pointed out that solar observations Ptolemy claimed to have made in 141 are definitely not genuine, and there are strong arguments for doubting that Ptolemy independently observed the more than 1,000 stars listed in his star catalog. What is not disputed, however, is the mastery of mathematical analysis that Ptolemy exhibited.

Ptolemy was preeminently responsible for the geocentric cosmology that prevailed in the Islamic world and in medieval Europe. This was not due to the Almagest so much as a later treatise, Hypotheseis tōn planōmenōn (Planetary Hypotheses). In this work he proposed what is now called the Ptolemaic system—a unified system in which each heavenly body is attached to its own sphere and the set of spheres nested so that it extends without gaps from Earth to the celestial sphere. The numerical tables in the Almagest (which enabled planetary positions and other celestial phenomena to be calculated for arbitrary dates) had a profound influence on medieval astronomy, in part through a separate, revised version of the tables that Ptolemy published as Procheiroi kanones (“Handy Tables”). Ptolemy taught later astronomers how to use quantitative observations with recorded dates to revise cosmological models.

Ptolemy also attempted to place astrology on a sound basis in Apotelesmatika (“Astrological Influences”), later known as the Tetrabiblos for its four volumes. He believed that astrology is a legitimate, though inexact, science that describes the physical effects of the heavens on terrestrial life. Ptolemy accepted the basic validity of the traditional astrological doctrines, but he revised the details to reconcile the practice with an Aristotelian conception of nature, matter, and change. Of Ptolemy’s writings, the Tetrabiblos is the most foreign to modern readers, who do not accept astral prognostication and a cosmology driven by the interplay of basic qualities such as hot, cold, wet, and dry.

Mathematician

Ptolemy has a prominent place in the history of mathematics primarily because of the mathematical methods he applied to astronomical problems. His contributions to trigonometry are especially important. For instance, Ptolemy’s table of the lengths of chords in a circle is the earliest surviving table of a trigonometric function. He also applied fundamental theorems in spherical trigonometry (apparently discovered half a century earlier by Menelaus of Alexandria) to the solution of many basic astronomical problems.

Among Ptolemy’s earliest treatises, the Harmonics investigated musical theory while steering a middle course between an extreme empiricism and the mystical arithmetical speculations associated with Pythagoreanism. Ptolemy’s discussion of the roles of reason and the senses in acquiring scientific knowledge have bearing beyond music theory.

Probably near the end of his life, Ptolemy turned to the study of visual perception in Optica (“Optics”), a work that only survives in a mutilated medieval Latin translation of an Arabic translation. The extent to which Ptolemy subjected visual perception to empirical analysis is remarkable when contrasted with other Greek writers on optics. For example, Hero of Alexandria (mid-1st century CE) asserted, purely for philosophical reasons, that an object and its mirror image must make equal angles to a mirror. In contrast, Ptolemy established this principle by measuring angles of incidence and reflection for planar and curved mirrors set upon a disk graduated in degrees. Ptolemy also measured how lines of sight are refracted at the boundary between materials of different density, such as air, water, and glass, although he failed to discover the exact law relating the angles of incidence and refraction (Snell’s law).

Geographer

Ptolemy’s fame as a geographer is hardly less than his fame as an astronomer. Geōgraphikē hyphēgēsis (Guide to Geography) provided all the information and techniques required to draw maps of the portion of the world known by Ptolemy’s contemporaries. By his own admission, Ptolemy did not attempt to collect and sift all the geographical data on which his maps were based. Instead, he based them on the maps and writings of Marinus of Tyre (c. 100 CE), only selectively introducing more current information, chiefly concerning the Asian and African coasts of the Indian Ocean. Nothing would be known about Marinus if Ptolemy had not preserved the substance of his cartographical work.

Ptolemy’s most important geographical innovation was to record longitudes and latitudes in degrees for roughly 8,000 locations on his world map, making it possible to make an exact duplicate of his map. Hence, we possess a clear and detailed image of the inhabited world as it was known to a resident of the Roman Empire at its height—a world that extended from the Shetland Islands in the north to the sources of the Nile in the south, from the Canary Islands in the west to China and Southeast Asia in the east. Ptolemy’s map is seriously distorted in size and orientation compared with modern maps, a reflection of the incomplete and inaccurate descriptions of road systems and trade routes at his disposal.

Ptolemy also devised two ways of drawing a grid of lines on a flat map to represent the circles of latitude and longitude on the globe. His grid gives a visual impression of Earth’s spherical surface and also, to a limited extent, preserves the proportionality of distances. The more sophisticated of these map projections, using circular arcs to represent both parallels and meridians, anticipated later area-preserving projections. Ptolemy’s geographical work was almost unknown in Europe until about 1300, when Byzantine scholars began producing many manuscript copies, several of them illustrated with expert reconstructions of Ptolemy’s maps. The Italian Jacopo d’Angelo translated the work into Latin in 1406. The numerous Latin manuscripts and early print editions of Ptolemy’s Guide to Geography, most of them accompanied by maps, attest to the profound impression this work made upon its rediscovery by Renaissance humanists.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

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#624 2019-11-01 00:37:44

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Re: crème de la crème

590) Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis, in full Frederick Carlton Lewis, (born July 1, 1961, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.), American track-and-field athlete, who won nine Olympic gold medals during the 1980s and ’90s.

Lewis qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in 1980 but did not compete, because of the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games. At the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, Lewis won gold medals in the 100-metre (9.9 sec) and 200-metre (19.8 sec) races, in the long jump (8.54 metres [28.02 feet]), and as a member of the U.S. 4 × 100-metre relay team, which he anchored. Lewis became the third track-and-field athlete to win four gold medals in one Olympics, joining Americans Alvin Kraenzlein (1900) and Jesse Owens, the latter of whom won the same four events at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin that Lewis won in Los Angeles.

Lewis added two more gold medals and a silver medal at the 1988 Games in Seoul, becoming the first Olympic athlete to win consecutive long-jump gold medals, with a leap of 8.72 metres (28.61 feet). Lewis had the four best jumps in the competition, and his Olympic title was part of a long string of consecutive long-jump victories that extended over several years during the 1980s. Lewis’s other gold medal at the 1988 Games came in the 100 metres (9.92 sec), after Canadian Ben Johnson, who had won in world-record time (9.79 sec), was disqualified three days later after testing positive for anabolic steroids. Lewis settled for a silver in the 200 metres.

At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Lewis won two more gold medals, including his third consecutive long-jump title, with a leap of 8.67 metres (28.44 feet). Again anchoring the U.S. 4 × 100-metre relay team, Lewis won his eighth gold medal as the team set a world and Olympic record of 37.40 sec. At age 35 Lewis was a surprise qualifier in the long jump for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, where he “ran through” his first jump and notched a ho-hum 8.14 metres (26.71 feet) on his second leap. However, his third leap of 8.5 metres (27.89 feet), though well off any records or personal bests, held up as the top jump and earned Lewis his ninth gold medal. In 1997 he retired from competition. Two years later he was named Sportsman of the Century by the International Olympic Committee.

Lewis appeared in numerous films and television series, often portraying himself. He was active in various charities, and in 2001 he established the Carl Lewis Foundation, which focused on promoting fitness. In 2011 Lewis, a Democrat, announced that he was running for a seat in the New Jersey state Senate. However, his candidacy was later challenged over the state’s residency requirement, and in September Lewis withdrew from the race.

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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#625 2019-11-03 00:32:11

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Re: crème de la crème

591) John Napier

John Napier, Napier also spelled Neper, (born 1550, Merchiston Castle, near Edinburgh, Scot.—died April 4, 1617, Merchiston Castle), Scottish mathematician and theological writer who originated the concept of logarithms as a mathematical device to aid in calculations.

Early Life

At the age of 13, Napier entered the University of St. Andrews, but his stay appears to have been short, and he left without taking a degree.

Little is known of Napier’s early life, but it is thought that he traveled abroad, as was then the custom of the sons of the Scottish landed gentry. He was certainly back home in 1571, and he stayed either at Merchiston or at Gartness for the rest of his life. He married the following year. A few years after his wife’s death in 1579, he married again.

Theology And Inventions

Napier’s life was spent amid bitter religious dissensions. A passionate and uncompromising Protestant, in his dealings with the Church of Rome he sought no quarter and gave none. It was well known that James VI of Scotland hoped to succeed Elizabeth I to the English throne, and it was suspected that he had sought the help of the Catholic Philip II of Spain to achieve this end. Panic stricken at the peril that seemed to be impending, the general assembly of the Scottish Church, a body with which Napier was closely associated, begged James to deal effectively with the Roman Catholics, and on three occasions Napier was a member of a committee appointed to make representations to the King concerning the welfare of the church and to urge him to see that “justice be done against the enemies of God’s Church.”

In January 1594, Napier addressed to the King a letter that forms the dedication of his Plaine Discovery of the Whole Revelation of Saint John, a work that, while it professed to be of a strictly scholarly character, was calculated to influence contemporary events. In it he declared:

Let it be your Majesty’s continuall study to reforme the universall enormities of your country, and first to begin at your Majesty’s owne house, familie and court, and purge the same of all suspicion of Papists and Atheists and Newtrals, whereof this Revelation forthtelleth that the number shall greatly increase in these latter daies.

The work occupies a prominent place in Scottish ecclesiastical history.

Following the publication of this work, Napier seems to have occupied himself with the invention of secret instruments of war, for in a manuscript collection now at Lambeth Palace, London, there is a document bearing his signature, enumerating various inventions “designed by the Grace of God, and the worke of expert craftsmen” for the defense of his country. These inventions included two kinds of burning mirrors, a piece of artillery, and a metal chariot from which shot could be discharged through small holes.

Contribution To Mathematics

Napier devoted most of his leisure to the study of mathematics, particularly to devising methods of facilitating computation, and it is with the greatest of these, logarithms, that his name is associated. He began working on logarithms probably as early as 1594, gradually elaborating his computational system whereby roots, products, and quotients could be quickly determined from tables showing powers of a fixed number used as a base.

His contributions to this powerful mathematical invention are contained in two treatises: Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio (Description of the Marvelous Canon of Logarithms), which was published in 1614, and Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Constructio (Construction of the Marvelous Canon of Logarithms), which was published two years after his death. In the former, he outlined the steps that had led to his invention.

Logarithms were meant to simplify calculations, especially multiplication, such as those needed in astronomy. Napier discovered that the basis for this computation was a relationship between an arithmetical progression—a sequence of numbers in which each number is obtained, following a geometric progression, from the one immediately preceding it by multiplying by a constant factor, which may be greater than unity (e.g., the sequence 2, 4, 8, 16 . . . ) or less than unity (e.g., 8, 4, 2, 1, 1/2 . . . ).

In the Descriptio, besides giving an account of the nature of logarithms, Napier confined himself to an account of the use to which they might be put. He promised to explain the method of their construction in a later work. This was the Constructio, which claims attention because of the systematic use in its pages of the decimal point to separate the fractional from the integral part of a number. Decimal fractions had already been introduced by the Flemish mathematician Simon Stevin in 1586, but his notation was unwieldy. The use of a point as the separator occurs frequently in the Constructio. Joost Bürgi, the Swiss mathematician, between 1603 and 1611 independently invented a system of logarithms, which he published in 1620. But Napier worked on logarithms earlier than Bürgi and has the priority due to his prior date of publication in 1614.

Although Napier’s invention of logarithms overshadows all his other mathematical work, he made other mathematical contributions. In 1617 he published his Rabdologiae, seu Numerationis per Virgulas Libri Duo (Study of Divining Rods, or Two Books of Numbering by Means of Rods, 1667); in this he described ingenious methods of multiplying and dividing of small rods known as Napier’s bones, a device that was the forerunner of the slide rule. He also made important contributions to spherical trigonometry, particularly by reducing the number of equations used to express trigonometrical relationships from 10 to 2 general statements. He is also credited with certain trigonometrical relations—Napier’s analogies—but it seems likely that the English mathematician Henry Briggs had a share in these.

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