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#501 2019-02-08 01:21:36

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

468) Federico Faggin

Federico Faggin received a Laurea degree in Physics, summa cum laude, from the University of Padua, Italy, in 1965, and moved to Silicon Valley in 1968. He developed the MOS Silicon Gate Technology in 1968; the world’s first microprocessor, the Intel 4004 in 1971, and several highly-successful microprocessors, like the Intel 8080 and the Z80 produced by Zilog, his first startup company. Faggin was CEO of several high-tech startup companies he founded and directed since 1974.

He is currently president of Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation, dedicated to the science of consciousness. Faggin received many international awards, including the 2009 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, from President Barack Obama.

Federico Faggin (born 1 December 1941) is an Italian physicist, inventor and entrepreneur, widely known for designing the first commercial microprocessor. He led the 4004 (MCS-4) project and the design group during the first five years of Intel's microprocessor effort. Most importantly, Faggin created in 1968, while working at Fairchild Semiconductor, the self-aligned MOS silicon gate technology (SGT) that made possible dynamic memories, non-volatile memories, CCD image sensors, and the microprocessor. In addition, he further developed at Intel his original SGT into a new methodology for random logic chip design that was essential to the creation of the world's first single chip microprocessor and all other early Intel microprocessors. He was co-founder (with Ralph Ungermann) and CEO of Zilog, the first company solely dedicated to microprocessors. He was also co-founder and CEO of Cygnet Technologies and of Synaptics.

In 2010 he received the 2009 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor the United States confers for achievements related to technological progress.

In 2011, Faggin founded the Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation to support the scientific study of consciousness at US universities and research institutes. In 2015, the Faggin Foundation helped to establish a $1 million endowment for the Faggin Family Presidential Chair in the Physics of Information at UC Santa Cruz to promote the study of "fundamental questions at the interface of physics and related fields including mathematics, complex systems, biophysics, and cognitive science, with the unifying theme of information in physics."

Federico Faggin has been a Silicon Valley resident since 1968 and is a naturalized US citizen.

Education and early career

Born in Vicenza, Faggin received a laurea degree in physics, summa cum laude, at the University of Padua, Italy. Federico grew up in an intellectual environment. His father, Giuseppe Faggin, was a scholar who wrote many academic books and translated, with commentaries, the Enneads of Plotinus from the original Greek into modern Italian. Federico manifested, from an early age, a strong interest in technology and decided to attend a technical high school in Vicenza: I.T.I.S (Istitituto Tecnico Industriale Statale) Alessandro Rossi, rather than follow the family tradition of classical studies.

Olivetti R&D Labs

At age 19, after his graduation from I.T.I.S. Alessandro Rossi, a technical high school in Vicenza, Federico Faggin took a job at Olivetti, in Italy, where he co-designed and led the implementation of a small digital transistor computer with 4 K × 12 bit of magnetic memory (1960). The Olivetti R&D was the environment where, a few years later, the Olivetti Programma 101, the world's first programmable desktop electronic calculator, became a reality (1964). After this first work experience, Faggin studied physics at the University of Padua and taught the electronics laboratory course for 3rd year physics students in the academic year 1965-1966.


In 1967 he worked at SGS Fairchild, now STMicroelectronics, in Italy, where he developed SGS's first MOS metal-gate process technology MOS and designed its first two commercial MOS integrated circuits. SGS sent him to California in February 1968 and when Fairchild sold its interests in SGS-Fairchild, Faggin accepted a job offer from Fairchild to complete the development of the Silicon Gate Technology.

Life and accomplishments in Silicon Valley

Fairchild Semiconductor

The silicon-gate technology (SGT) is one of the most influential technologies to have ever fueled the progress of microelectronics since the MOS transistor. Without the SGT the first microprocessor could not have been made in 1970-1971.

In February 1968 Federico Faggin joined Fairchild Semiconductor in Palo Alto where he was the project leader of the MOS Silicon Gate technology with self-aligned gate, and the inventor of its unique process architecture. The SGT became the basis of all modern NMOS and CMOS integrated circuits. It made possible the creation of semiconductor memories in 1969–1970, the first microprocessor in 1970–1971, and the first CCD and EPROM (electrically programmable read only memories) with floating silicon gates (1970-1971). The SGT replaced the incumbent aluminum-gate MOS technology and within 10 years was adopted worldwide, eventually making obsolete the original integrated circuits built with bipolar transistors.

The Fairchild 3708

At Fairchild, Faggin also designed the world's first commercial integrated circuit using Silicon Gate Technology with self aligned MOSFET transistors: the Fairchild 3708. The 3708 was an 8-bit analog multiplexer with decoding logic, replacing the equivalent Fairchild 3705 that used metal-gate technology. The 3708 was 5 times faster, had 100 times less junction leakage and was much more reliable than the 3705, demonstrating the superiority of SGT over metal-gate MOS. See also: Faggin, F., Klein T. (1969). "A Faster Generation of MOS Devices With Low Threshold Is Riding The Crest of the New Wave, Silicon-Gate IC's." Electronics, 29 Sept. 1969.


Federico Faggin joined Intel from Fairchild In 1970 as the project leader and designer of the MCS-4 family, which included the 4004, the world's first single-chip microprocessor. Fairchild was not taking advantage of the SGT and Faggin was burning with the desire of using his new technology to design advanced chips.

The 4004 (1971) was made possible by the advanced capabilities of the silicon gate technology (SGT) being enhanced through the novel random logic chip design methodology that Faggin created at Intel. It was this new methodology, together with his several design innovations, that allowed him to fit the microprocessor in one small chip. A single-chip microprocessor — an idea that was expected to occur many years in the future — became possible in 1971 by using SGT with two additional innovations: (1) "buried contacts" that doubled the circuit density, and (2) the use of bootstrap loads with 2-phase clocks—previously considered impossible with SGT— that improved the speed 5 times, while reducing the chip area by half compared with metal-gate MOS.

The design methodology created by Faggin was utilized for the implementation of all Intel's early microprocessors and later also for Zilog's Z80.

The Intel 4004 — a 4-bit CPU (central processing unit) on a single chip — was a member of a family of 4 custom chips designed for Busicom, a Japanese calculator manufacturer. The other members of the family (constituting the MCS-4 family) were: the 4001, a 2k-bit metal-mask programmable ROM with programmable input-output lines; the 4002, a 320-bit dynamic RAM with a 4-bit output port; and the 4003, a 10-bit serial input and serial/parallel output, static shift register to use as an I/O expander. Faggin promoted the idea of broadly marketing the MCS-4 to customers other than Busicom by showing to Intel management how customers could design a control systems using the 4004. He designed and built a 4004 tester using the 4004 as the controller of the tester, thus convincing Bob Noyce to renegotiate the exclusivity clause with Busicom that didn't allow Intel to sell 4004's to other customers.

In 2009, the four contributors to the 4004 were inducted as Fellows of the Computer History Museum. Ted Hoff, head of Application Research Department, formulated the architectural proposal and the instruction set with assistance from Stan Mazor and working in conjunction with Busicom's Masatoshi Shima. However none of them was a chip designer and none was familiar with the new Silicon Gate Technology (SGT). The silicon design was the essential missing ingredient to making a microprocessor since everything else was already known. Federico Faggin led the project in a different department without Hoff's and Mazor's involvement. Faggin had invented the original SGT at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1968 and provided additional refinements and inventions to make possible the implementation of the 4004 in a single chip. With routine help from M. Shima, Faggin completed the chip design in January 1971.

Intel's early microprocessors

Faggin's silicon design methodology was used for implementing all Intel's early microprocessors.

The Intel 8008 was the world's first single-chip 8-bit CPU and, like the 4004, was built with p-channel SGT. The 8008 development was originally assigned to Hal Feeney in March 1970 but was suspended until the 4004 was completed. It was resumed in January 1971 under Faggin's direction utilizing the basic circuits and methodology he had developed for the 4004, with Hal Feeney doing the chip design. The CPU architecture of the 8008 was originally created by CTC, Inc., to power the Datapoint 2200 intelligent terminal.

The Intel 4040 microprocessor (1974) was a much improved, machine-code-compatible version of the 4004 CPU allowing it to interface directly with standard memories and I/O devices. Federico Faggin created the 4040s architecture and supervised Tom Innes who did the design work.

The 8080 microprocessor (1974) was the first high-performance 8-bit microprocessor in the market, using the faster n-channel SGT. The 8080 was conceived and designed by F. Faggin and designed by Masatoshi Shima under Faggin's supervision. The 8080 was a major improvement over the 8008 architecture, yet it retained software compatibility with it. It was much faster and easier to interface to external memory and I/O devices than the 8008. The high performance and low cost of the 8080 let developers use microprocessors for many new applications, including the forerunners of the personal computer.

When Faggin left Intel at the end of 1974 to found Zilog with Ralph Ungermann, he was R&D department manager responsible for all MOS products, except for dynamic memories.


Zilog was the first company entirely dedicated to microprocessors started by Federico Faggin and Ralph Ungermann in November 1974. F. Faggin was Zilog's President and CEO until the end of 1980 and he conceived and designed the Z80-CPU and its family of programmable peripheral components. He also co-designed the CPU whose project leader was M.Shima.[20] The Z80-CPU was a major improvement over the 8080, yet it retained software compatibility with it. Much faster and with more than twice as many registers and instructions of the 8080, it was part of a family of components that included several intelligent peripherals (the Z80-PIO, a programmable parallel input-output controller; the Z80-CTC, a programmable counter-timer; the Z80-SIO, programmable serial communications interface controller, and the Z80-DMA, programmable direct memory access controller). This chip family allowed the design of powerful and low-cost microcomputers with performance comparable to minicomputers. The Z80-CPU had a substantially better bus structure and interrupt structure than the 8080 and could interface directly with dynamic RAM, since it included an internal memory-refresh controller. The Z80 was used in many of the early personal computers as well as in game consoles such as the ColecoVision and Game Boy. The Z80 is still in volume production in 2017 as a core microprocessor in various systems on a chip.

The Zilog Z8 micro controller (1978) was one of the first single-chip microcontrollers in the market. It integrated an 8-bit CPU, RAM, ROM and I/O facilities, sufficient for many control applications. Faggin conceived the Z8 in 1974, soon after he founded Zilog, but then decided to give priority to the Z80. The Z8 was designed in 1976–78 and is still in volume production today (2017).

The Communication CoSystem

The Communication CoSystem (1984). The Cosystem was conceived by F. Faggin and designed and produced by Cygnet Technologies, Inc., the second startup company of Faggin. Attached to a personal computer and to a standard phone line, the CoSystem could automatically handle all the personal voice and data communications of the user, including electronic mail, data-base access, computer screen transfers during a voice communication, call record keeping, etc. The patent covering the CoSystem is highly cited in the personal communication field.


In 1986 Faggin co-founded and was CEO of Synaptics[23] until 1999, becoming Chairman from 1999 to 2009. Synaptics was initially dedicated to R&D in artificial neural networks for pattern-recognition applications using analog VLSI. Synaptics introduced the I1000, the world's first single-chip optical character recognizer in 1991. In 1994, Synaptics introduced the touchpad to replace the cumbersome trackball then in use in laptop computers. The touchpad was broadly adopted by the industry. Synaptics also introduced the early touchscreens that were eventually adopted for intelligent phones and tablets; applications that now dominate the market. Faggin came up with the general product idea and led a group of engineers who further refined the idea through many brainstorming sessions. F. Faggin is a co-inventor of 10 patents assigned to Synaptics. He is chairman emeritus of Synaptics.


During his tenure as president and CEO of Foveon, from 2003 to 2008, Faggin revitalized the company and provided a new technological and business direction resulting in image sensors superior in all critical parameters to the best sensors of the competition, while using approximately half the chip size of competing devices. Faggin also oversaw the successful acquisition of Foveon by the Japanese Sigma Corporation in November 2008.

Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation

Founded in 2011 the "Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation" supports the scientific study of consciousness at US universities and research institutes. The purpose of the Foundation is to advance the understanding of consciousness through theoretical and experimental research. Faggin's interest in consciousness has his roots in the study of artificial neural networks at Synaptics, a company he started in 1986, that prompted his inquiry into whether or not it is possible to build a conscious computer.


On the silicon gate technology and the Fairchild 3708

Faggin, F., Klein, T., and Vadasz, L.: Insulated Gate Field Effect Transistor Integrated Circuits with Silicon Gates. The Silicon Gate Technology with self-aligned gates was presented by its developer Federico Faggin at the IEEE International Electron Device Meeting on 23 October 1968, in Washington D.C. This new technology empowered the design of dynamic RAM memories, non-volatile memories, CCD sensors and the microprocessor.

Federico Faggin and Thomas Klein.: "A Faster Generation of MOS Devices with Low Thresholds is Riding the Crest of the New Wave, Silicon-Gate IC's". The article published in Electronics (29 September 1969) introduces the Fairchild 3708, the world's first commercial integrated circuit using Silicon Gate Technology, designed by Federico Faggin at Fairchild in 1968.

F. Faggin, T. Klein: Silicon-Gate Technology. "Solid State Electronics", 1970, Vo. 13, pp. 1125–1144

On the 4004 microprocessor

F. Faggin and M. E. Hoff: "Standard Parts and Custom Design Merge in a Four-chip Processor Kit". Electronics, 24 April 1972
F. Faggin, et al.: "The MCS-4 An LSI Microcomputer System". IEEE 1972 Region Six Conference


"The Birth of the Microprocessor" by Federico Faggin. Byte, March 1992, Vol.17 No.3, pp. 145–150.
"The History of the 4004" by Federico Faggin, Marcian E. Hoff Jr., Stanley Mazor, Masatoshi Shima. IEEE Micro, December 1996, Volume 16 Number 6.
"The 4004 microprocessor of Faggin, Hoff, Mazor, and Shima". IEEE Solid State Circuits Magazine, Winter 2009 Vol.1 No.1.
"The MOS silicon gate technology and the first microprocessors" by Federico Faggin. La Rivista del Nuovo Cimento, year 2015, issue 12-December. SIF (Italian Physical Society)
"How we made the microprocessor" by Federico Faggin. Nature Electronics, Vol. 1, January 2018. Published online: 8 January 2018
1988: Marconi International Fellowship Award "for his pioneering contributions to the implementation of the microprocessor, a principal building block of modern telecommunications"
1988: Gold Medal for Science and Technology from the Italian Prime Minister
1988: title of "Grande Ufficiale" from the President of the Italian Republic
1994: W. Wallace McDowell Award "For the development of the Silicon Gate Process, and the first commercial microprocessor."
1994: Laurea honoris causa in Computer Science from the University of Milan (Italy).
1996: Ronald H. Brown American Innovator Award, with M. Hoff and S. Mazor
1996: a Lifetime Achievement Award by P.C. Magazine for "technical excellence".
1997: Kyoto Prize, with M. Hoff, S. Mazor and M. Shima
1996: inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame, with M. Hoff and S. Mazor
1997: George R. Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award by the American Computer Museum, with M. Hoff and S. Mazor
1997: Masi Civilta' Veneta Prize
2001: Dr. Robert Noyce Memorial Award by the Semiconductor Industry Association, with M. Hoff and S. Mazor
2003: Laurea honoris causa in Electronic Engineering from the University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy)
2003: AeA/Stanford Executive Institute Award for Outstanding Achievement in the High Tech Industry by an Alumnus
2006: European Inventor of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award by EPO (European Patent Office)
2007: Laurea honoris causa in Electronic Engineering from the University of Pavia (Italy)
2008: Laurea honoris causa in Electronic Engineering from the University of Palermo (Italy)
2009: Laurea honoris causa in Computer Sciences from the University of Verona (Italy)
2009: Fellow of the Computer History Museum "for his work as part of the team that developed the Intel 4004, the world's first commercial microprocessor."
2009: National Medal of Technology and Innovation from U.S. President Barack Obama
2011: The 2011 George R. Stibitz Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Computer Museum (Bozeman, MT): "For foundational contributions to the development of the modern technological world, including the MOS silicon gate technology that led to the realization of the world's first Microprocessor in 1971."

Source: the book written by Angelo Gallippi titled: Faggin, Il padre del chip intelligente (Faggin, the father of the intelligent chip). Editor Adnkronos, Rome, first edition September 2002, covers the above-mentioned awards (pp. 279–285). Its second edition, February 2012, titled Federico Faggin, il padre del microprocessor (Federico Faggin, the father of the microprocessor). Editor Tecniche nuove, Milan, covers also the topic of Faggin's interest in consciousness and his Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation (pp. 182–187). Angelo Gallippi, a physicist, has been teaching Scientific and Technical Communication at the University La Sapienza in Rome. He is author of a dozen books and of an English-Italian Dictionary of informatics and multimedia (text translated from book cover in Italian)

2012: Global Information Technology Award from the President of the Republic of Armenia.
2012: Honorary Ph.D from the Polytechnic University (Armenia)
2012: Premio Franca Florio, given by Ministro Francesco Profumo and Prof. Ing. Patrizia Livreri
2013: Honorary Ph.D in science from Chapman University (CA)
2014: Enrico Fermi Award, given by the Italian Society of Physics: "For the invention of the MOS silicon gate technology that led him to the realization in 1971 of the first modern microprocessor."


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.


#502 2019-02-10 00:13:10

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

469) Thomas Harold Flowers

Thomas Harold Flowers,  (22 December 1905 – 28 October 1998) was an English engineer with the British Post Office. During World War II, Flowers designed and built Colossus, the world's first programmable electronic computer, to help solve encrypted German messages.

Early life

Flowers was born at 160 Abbott Road, Poplar in London's East End on 22 December 1905, the son of a bricklayer. Whilst undertaking an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering at the Royal math, Woolwich, he took evening classes at the University of London to earn a degree in electrical engineering. In 1926, he joined the telecommunications branch of the General Post Office(GPO), moving to work at the research station at Dollis Hill in north-west London in 1930. In 1935, he married Eileen Margaret Green and the couple later had two children, John and Kenneth.

From 1935 onward, he explored the use of electronics for telephone exchanges and by 1939, he was convinced that an all-electronic system was possible. A background in switching electronics would prove crucial for his computer designs.

World War II

Flowers' first contact with wartime codebreaking came in February 1941 when his director, W. Gordon Radley was asked for help by Alan Turing, who was working at Bletchley Park the government codebreaking establishment, 50 mi (80 km) north west of London in Buckinghamshire. Turing wanted Flowers to build a decoder for the relay-based Bombe machine, which Turing had developed to help decrypt German Enigma codes. The decoder project was abandoned but Turing was impressed with Flowers's work, and in February 1943 introduced him to Max Newman who was leading the effort to automate part of the cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher. This was a high-level German code generated by a teletypewriter in-line cipher machine, the SZ40/42, one of their Geheimschreiber (secret writer) systems, called "Tunny" (tunafish) by the British. It was a much more complex system than Enigma; the decoding procedure involved trying so many possibilities that it was impractical to do by hand. Flowers and Frank Morrell (also at Dollis Hill) designed the Heath Robinson, in an attempt to automate the cryptanalysis of the Lorenz SZ-40/42 cipher machine.
Flowers proposed a more sophisticated alternative, using an electronic system, which his staff called Colossus, using perhaps 1,800 thermionic valves (vacuum tubes) instead of 150 and having only one paper tape instead of two (which required synchronisation) by generating the wheel patterns electronically. Because the most complicated previous electronic device had used about 150 valves, some were sceptical that the system would be reliable. Flowers countered that the British telephone system used thousands of valves and was reliable because the electronics were operated in a stable environment with the circuitry on all the time. The Bletchley management were not convinced and merely encouraged Flowers to proceed on his own. He did so at the Post Office Research Labs, using some of his own funds to build it. Flowers had first met (and got on with) Turing in 1939 but was treated with disdain by Gordon Welchman, because of his advocacy of valves rather than relays. Welchman preferred the views of Wynn-Williams and Keene of the British Tabulating Machine Company (BTM) who had designed and constructed the Bombe and wanted Radley and "Mr Flowers of Dollis Hill" removed from work on Colossus for "squandering good valves".

Despite the success of Colossus, the Heath Robinson approach was still valuable for solving certain problems. The final development of the concept was a machine called Super Robinson that was designed by Tommy Flowers. This one could run four tapes and was used for running depths and "cribs" or known-plaintext attack runs.  On 2 June 1943, Flowers was made a member of the Order of the British Empire.

In 1994, a team led by Tony Sale(right) began a reconstruction of a Colossus at Bletchley Park. Here, in 2006, Sale supervises the breaking of an enciphered message with the completed machine.

Flowers gained full backing for his project from the director of the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hill, W. G. Radley. With the highest priority for acquisition of parts, Flowers's team at Dollis Hill built the first machine in eleven months. It was immediately dubbed 'Colossus' by the Bletchley Park staff for its immense proportions. The Mark 1 Colossus operated five times faster and was more flexible than the previous system, named Heath Robinson, which used electro-mechanical switches. The first Mark 1, with 1500 valves, ran at Dollis Hill in November 1943; it was delivered to Bletchley Park in January 1944 where it was assembled and began operation in early February. The algorithms used by Colossus were developed by W.T. Tutte and his team of mathematicians. Colossus proved to be efficient and quick against the twelve-rotor Lorenz cipher SZ42 machine.

In anticipation of a need for additional computers, Flowers was already working on Colossus Mark 2 which would employ 2,400 valves. The first Mark 2 went into service at Bletchley Park on 1 June 1944 and immediately produced vital information for the imminent D-Day landings planned for Monday 5 June (postponed 24 hours by bad weather). Flowers later described a crucial meeting between Dwight D. Eisenhowerand his staff on 5 June, during which a courier entered and handed Eisenhower a note summarising a Colossus decrypt. This confirmed that Adolf Hitler wanted no additional troops moved to Normandy, as he was still convinced that the preparations for the Normandy Landingswere a feint. Handing back the decrypt, Eisenhower announced to his staff, "We go tomorrow". Earlier, a report from Field Marshal Erwin Rommel on the western defences was decoded by Colossus and revealed that one of the sites chosen as the drop site for a US parachute division was the base for a German tank division and the site was changed.

Years later, Flowers described the design and construction of the computers. Ten Colossi were completed and used during the Second World War in British decoding efforts and an eleventh was ready for commissioning at the end of the war. All but two were dismantled at the end of the war, "The remaining two were moved to a British Intelligence department, GCHQ in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where they may have played a significant part in the codebreaking operations of the Cold War". They were finally decommissioned in 1959 and 1960. A functioning Colossus Mark II was rebuilt by a team of volunteers led by Tony Sale between 1993 and 2008. It is on display at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.

Front view of the Colossus rebuild showing, from right to left (1) The "bedstead" containing the message tape in its continuous loop and with a second one loaded. (2) The J-rack containing the Selection Panel and Plug Panel. (3) The K-rack with the large "Q" switch panel and sloping patch panel. (4) The double S-rack containing the control panel and, above the image of a postage stamp, five two-line counter displays. (5) The electric typewriter in front of the five sets of four "set total" decade switches in the C-rack.

Post-war work and retirement

After the war, Flowers received little recognition for his contribution to cryptanalysis. The government granted him £1,000 payment which did not cover Flowers' personal investment in the equipment; he shared much of the money amongst the staff who had helped him build and test Colossus. Flowers applied for a loan from the Bank of England to build another machine like Colossus but was denied the loan because the bank did not believe that such a machine could work. He could not argue that he had already designed and built many of these machines because his work on Colossus was covered by the Official Secrets Act. It was not until the 1970s that Flowers' work in computing was fully acknowledged. His family had known only that he had done some 'secret and important' work. He remained at the Post Office Research Station where he was Head of the Switching Division. He and his group pioneered work on all-electronic telephone exchanges, completing a basic design by about 1950, which led on to the Highgate Wood Telephone Exchange. He was also involved in the development of ERNIE. In 1964, he became head of the advanced development at Standard Telephones and Cables Ltd., where he continued to develop electronic telephone switching including a pulse amplitude modulation exchange, retiring in 1969.

In 1976, he published “Introduction to Exchange Systems”, a book on the engineering principles of telephone exchanges.
In 1977 Flowers was made an honorary Doctor of Science by Newcastle University.
In 1980 he was the first winner of the Martlesham Medal in recognition of his achievements in computing.
In 1993, he received a certificate from Hendon College, having completed a basic course in information processing on a personal computer.

Flowers died in 1998 aged 92, leaving a wife and two sons. He is commemorated at the Post Office Research Station site, which became a housing development, with the main building converted into a block of flats and an access road called Flowers Close. He was honoured by London Borough of Tower Hamlets, where he was born. An Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centre for young people, the Tommy Flowers Centre, opened there in November 2010. The centre has closed but the building is now the Tommy Flowers Centre, part of the Tower Hamlets Pupil Referral Unit.

In September 2012, his wartime diary was put on display at Bletchley Park. A road in Kesgrave, near the current BT Research Laboratories, is named Tommy Flowers Drive.

On 12 December 2013, 70 years after he created Colossus, his legacy was honoured with a memorial commissioned by BT, successor to Post Office Telephones. The life-size bronze bust, designed by James Butler, was unveiled by Trevor Baylis at Adastral Park, BT's research and development centre in Martlesham Heath, near Ipswich, Suffolk. BT also began a computer science scholarship and award in his name.

On 29 September 2016 BT opened the Tommy Flowers Institute for ICT training at Adastral Park to support the development of postgraduates transferring into industry. The institute focuses on bringing ICT-sector organisations together with academic researchers to solve some of the challenges facing UK businesses, exploring areas such as cybersecurity, big data, autonomics and converged networks. The launch event was attended by professors from Cambridge, Oxford, East Anglia, Essex, Imperial, UCL, Southampton, Surrey, and Lancaster as well as representatives from the National Physical Laboratory, Huawei, Ericsson, CISCO, ARM and ADVA.


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.


#503 2019-02-12 00:24:26

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

470) Herman Frasch

German-born American chemist

Herman Frasch, the son of a prosperous apothecary, was born in Gaildorf, Württemberg (now part of Germany) on Christmas Day 1851. He studied at the gymnasium in Halle but rather than attend the university, he decided to immigrate to the United States in 1868. Frasch taught at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and continued to study chemistry with an eye to becoming an expert in a newly-emerging field, petroleum .

The oil industry in the United States began with the opening of the Titusville, Pennsylvania, oil field in 1859. In 1870, John D. Rockefeller  formed Standard Oil—which refined a majority of the oil in the country—in Cleveland, Ohio. Frasch sold his patent for an improved process for refining paraffin wax to a subsidiary of Standard Oil in 1877 and moved to Cleveland to open a laboratory and consulting office. Soon he became the city's outstanding chemical consultant. In 1882, he sold to the Imperial Oil Company in Ontario, Canada, a process for reducing the high sulfur content of petroleum, which gave it a disagreeable odor and caused the kerosene refined from it to burn poorly. When Standard Oil discovered a field of "sour oil" in Indiana and Ohio, the company hired Frasch as a full time consultant, bought his process and the Empire Oil Company he had recently purchased in Ontario, and gave him charge of the American petroleum industry's first experimental research program. Frasch's process for removing sulfur, patented in 1887, was to treat the petroleum with a variety of metallic oxides to precipitate the sulfur and recover the oxides for further use. He continued with Standard Oil as special consultant for the development of new petroleum by-products and became wealthy. He refused to join Standard Oil as an executive, choosing instead to be a lifetime consultant.

Frasch turned his attention to sulfur, the substance his process removed from petroleum. The island of Sicily held a virtual monopoly on this valuable mineral from which sulfuric acid, industry's most vital chemical, was made. While Sicilian sulfur deposits were near the earth's surface and more easily mined, sulfur deposits in Texas and Louisiana were deeper, and American laborers were unwilling to go into sulfur mines. Frasch believed that sulfur could be melted and pumped from the ground in much the same manner petroleum was, but boiling water was not hot enough to liquefy the sulfur. He organized the Union Sulfur Company in 1892, and two years later began employing the method he had patented a year earlier. His process required three concentric pipes to be sunk into the sulfur deposit. Water, superheated under pressure to above 241°F (116°C), was pumped into the sulfur deposit through the outside pipe. Compressed air was forced down the center pipe, and through the center pipe the melted sulfur flowed to the surface where it was pumped into bins to solidify. The major problem with this method was the cost of heating the water, but the discovery of the East Texas oil fields in the early twentieth century provided an inexpensive, readily available fuel supply. Frasch expanded his research into the use of sulfur as an insecticide and a fungicide. Other companies infringed on his patent rights, and his company disappeared, but the use of the Frasch process enabled the United States to become self-sufficient in the production of sulfur needed to supply its growing chemical industry.

Frasch died in Paris on May 1, 1914. Among his honors was the Perkin Medal in 1912. His greatest honor was the distinction of having two chemical processes, one for producing sulfur and the other for removing sulfur from petroleum, carry his name.


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.


#504 2019-02-14 00:20:25

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

471) Nicholas Callan

Father Nicholas Joseph Callan (22 December 1799 – 10 January 1864) was an Irish priest and scientist from Darver, County Louth, Ireland. He was Professor of Natural Philosophy in Maynooth College in County Kildare from 1834, and is best known for his work on the induction coil.

Early life and education

He attended school at an academy in Dundalk. His local parish priest, Father Andrew Levins, then took him in hand as an altar boy and Mass server, and saw him start the priesthood at Navan seminary. He entered Maynooth College in 1816. In his third year at Maynooth, Callan studied natural and experimental philosophy under Dr. Cornelius Denvir. He introduced the experimental method into his teaching, and had an interest in electricity and magnetism.

Callan was ordained a priest in 1823 and went to Rome to study at Sapienza University, obtaining a doctorate in divinity in 1826. While in Rome he became acquainted with the work of the pioneers in electricity such as Luigi Galvani (1737–1798) who was a pioneer in modern obstetrics and Alessandro Volta (1745–1827) who is known especially for the development of the electric battery. In 1826, Callan returned to Maynooth as the new Professor of Natural Philosophy (now called physics), where he also began working with electricity in his basement laboratory at the college.

Induction coil

Influenced by William Sturgeon and Michael Faraday, Callan began work on the idea of the induction coil in 1834. He invented the first induction coil in 1836. An induction coil produces an intermittent high-voltage alternating current from a low-voltage direct current supply. It has a primary coil consisting of a few turns of thick wire wound around an iron core and subjected to a low voltage (usually from a battery). Wound on top of this is a secondary coil made up of many turns of thin wire. An iron armature and make-and-break mechanism repeatedly interrupts the current to the primary coil, producing a high-voltage, rapidly alternating current in the secondary circuit.

Callan invented the induction coil because he needed to generate a higher level of electricity than currently available. He took a bar of soft iron, about 2 feet (0.61 m) long, and wrapped it around with two lengths of copper wire, each about 200 feet (61 m) long. Callan connected the beginning of the first coil to the beginning of the second. Finally, he connected a battery, much smaller than the enormous contrivance just described, to the beginning and end of winding one. He found that when the battery contact was broken, a shock could be felt between the first terminal of the first coil and the second terminal of the second coil.

Further experimentation showed how the coil device could bring the shock from a small battery up the strength level of a big battery. So, Callan tried making a bigger coil. With a battery of only 14 seven-inch (178 mm) plates, the device produced power enough for an electric shock "so strong that a person who took it felt the effects of it for several days." Callan thought of his creation as a kind of electromagnet; but what he actually made was a primitive induction transformer.

Callan's induction coil also used an interrupter that consisted of a rocking wire that repeatedly dipped into a small cup of mercury (similar to the interrupters used by Charles Page). Because of the action of the interrupter, which could make and break the current going into the coil, he called his device the "repeater." Actually, this device was the world's first transformer. Callan had induced a high voltage in the second wire, starting with a low voltage in the adjacent first wire. And the faster he interrupted the current, the bigger the spark. In 1837 he produced his giant induction machine: using a mechanism from a clock to interrupt the current 20 times a second, it generated 15-inch (380 mm) sparks, an estimated 60,000 volts and the largest artificial bolt of electricity then seen.

The 'Maynooth Battery' and other inventions

Callan experimented with designing batteries after he found the models available to him at the time to be insufficient for research in electromagnetism. ‘The Year-book of Facts in Science and Art’, published in 1849, has an article titled "The Maynooth Battery" which begins "We noticed this new and cheap Voltaic Battery in the Year-book of Facts, 1848, p. 14,5. The inventor, the Rev. D. Callan, Professor of Natural Philosophy in Maynooth College, has communicated to the Philosophical Magazine, No. 219, some additional experiments, comparing the power of a cast-iron (or Maynooth) battery with that of a Grove's of equal size." Some previous batteries had used rare metals such as platinum or unresponsive materials like carbon and zinc. Callan found that he could use inexpensive cast-iron instead of platinum or carbon. For his Maynooth battery he used iron casting for the outer casing and placed a zinc plate in a porous pot (a pot that had an inside and outside chamber for holding two different types of acid) in the centre. Using a single fluid cell he disposed of the porous pot and two different fluids. He was able to build a battery with just a single solution.
While experimenting with batteries, Callan also built the world's largest battery at that time. To construct this battery, he joined together 577 individual batteries ("cells"), which used over 30 gallons of acid. Since instruments for measuring current or voltages had not yet been invented, Callan measured the strength of a battery by measuring how much weight his electromagnet could lift when powered by the battery. Using his giant battery, Callan's electromagnet lifted 2 tons. The Maynooth battery went into commercial production in London. Callan also discovered an early form of galvanisation to protect iron from rusting when he was experimenting on battery design, and he patented the idea.

He died in 1864 and is buried in the cemetery in St. Patrick's College, Maynooth.


The Callan Building on the north campus of NUI Maynooth, a university which was part of St Patrick's College until 1997, was named in his honour. In addition, Callan Hall in the south campus, was used through the 1990s for first year science lectures including experimental & mathematical physics, chemistry and biology. The Nicholas Callan Memorial Prize is an annual prize awarded to the best final year student in Experimental Physics.


•    ‘Electricity and Galvanism’ (introductory textbook), 1832

(An induction coil or "spark coil" (archaically known as an inductorium or Ruhmkorff coil[1] after Heinrich Rühmkorff) is a type of electrical transformer used to produce high-voltage pulses from a low-voltage direct current (DC) supply. To create the fluxchanges necessary to induce voltage in the secondary coil, the direct current in the primary coil is repeatedly interrupted by a vibrating mechanical contact called an interrupter. Invented in 1836 by Nicholas Callan, with additional research by Charles Grafton Page and others, the induction coil was the first type of transformer. It was widely used in x-ray machines, spark-gap radio transmitters, arc lighting and quack medical electrotherapy devices from the 1880s to the 1920s. Today its only common use is as the ignition coils in internal combustion engines and in physics education to demonstrate induction.)


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.


#505 2019-02-16 00:14:35

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

472) Vladimir Pavlovich Barmin

Vladimir Pavlovich Barmin (4 March [O.S. 17 March 1909] 1909 in Moscow – 17 July 1993 in Moscow) was a Soviet scientist, designer of the first soviet rocket launch complexes.

An asteroid, 22254 Vladbarmin, was named in his honor.

Honours and awards

•    Hero of Socialist Labour (1956)
•    Lenin Prize (1957)
•    Stalin Prize (1943)
•    USSR State Prize, three times (1967, 1977, 1985)
•    Six Orders of Lenin
•    Order of the October Revolution
•    Order of Kutuzov 1st class
•    Order of the Red Banner of Labour, twice
•    Jubilee Medal "In Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary since the Birth of Vladimir Il'ich Lenin"
•    Medal "In Commemoration of the 800th Anniversary of Moscow"

Scientist. Born Vladimir Il'ich Barmin in Moscow, Russia, he was best known for being the chief designer of the rocket launch pads for the Soviet Union's space explorations. After graduation from the Moscow Higher Technical School in 1930, he worked at the Kompressor Plant. In 1941, he became director and chief designer of the design office and started working on compressor construction, plus refrigeration engineering, for airplane and early jet fuels. After World War II, he was assigned to develop the launch equipment for the Russian copies of German missiles. He served in position as chief engineer of development of launch pads and planned Soviet lunar bases until the project was terminated in 1974. He has received two USSR State Prizes in 1943, 1967, one Lenin Prize in 1957, five Orders of Lenin, two other orders, various medals and was named an Academician of the Academy of Sciences in 1966. He died at age 84 in Moscow, Russia.

Vladimir Pavlovich Barmin was an outstanding Soviet scientist in the field of mechanics and rocket engineering. Hero of Socialist Labor (1956). Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1966). Laureate of the Lenin (1957) Prize, Stalin (1943) and two State Prizes (1967, 1977) of the USSR. Professor MVTU (1960). He graduated from the Moscow Higher Technical School (1930). Since 1931 he taught at the Moscow Higher Technical University. Since 1941 - chief and chief designer of the design bureau.

Since 1946 Barmin was the chief, then the general designer of the state design bureau of the special. machine building (GSKB Spetsmash, since 1967 - KB general mechanical engineering) of the Ministry of General Mechanical Engineering of the USSR to develop rocket and space launch complexes, organized on the basis of the SKB "Compressor". Beginning in 1947, under the leadership of Barmin, reliable mobile and stationary launching complexes for the preparation and launch of ballistic missiles R-1, P-2 (1948-52), R-11, R-5 and P-5M (1954- 56). At the same time, work was begun in his design bureau to solve the problem of launching missiles from mines. The Mayak silo launcher (1960) designed for this purpose made it possible to conduct a series of scientific research trials, as a result of which, in the period 1958-63, a large group of silos were designed.

In the post-war years, the State Union Design Bureau of Special Machine Building under the leadership of Barmin became the head developer of the ground technological equipment of the Republic of Kazakhstan, ground and mine PU. Since 1963 GSKB took part in the development of the launch complex of a new generation of the "OS" type with the UR-100 missile. He is the author of many scientific works on launching complexes of modern missiles, issues of compressor construction, refrigeration, etc. Under his direct supervision, the first launching complexes, which have no analogues in the world practice for rocket and space systems, have been developed, and a unique technological equipment for these complexes has been created. One of the pioneers of rocket education. From February 1, 1946 to August 25, 1947 he was a teacher at the country's first department of jet weapons. He was awarded 7 orders. He died on July 17, 1993.


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.


#506 2019-02-18 00:21:57

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

473) Gustaf Dalén

Nils Gustaf Dalén (30 November 1869 – 9 December 1937) was a Swedish Nobel Laureate and industrialist, the founder of the AGA company and inventor of the AGA cooker and the Dalén light. In 1912 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his "invention of automatic regulators for use in conjunction with gas accumulators for illuminating lighthouses and buoys".

Early years

Dalén was born in Stenstorp, a small village in Falköping Municipality, Västra Götaland County. He managed the family farm, which he expanded to include a market garden, a seed merchants and a dairy. In 1892 he invented a milk-fat tester to check milk quality of the milk delivered and went to Stockholm to show his new invention for Gustaf de Laval. de Laval was impressed by the self-taught Dalén and the invention and encouraged him to get a basic technical education. He was admitted to the Chalmers University of Technology where he earned his Master's degree and a Doctorate on leaving in 1896. Dalén was much the same type of inventor as Gustaf de Laval, not afraid of testing "impossible" ideas, but Dalén was much more careful with the company economy. The products should have a solid market place before he introduced a new product.

Career with AGA

In 1906 Dalén became chief engineer at the Gas Accumulator Company (manufacturer and distributor of acetylene) and in 1909 when AGA was founded, he was appointed the managing director for the company. During his life, AGA was one of the most innovative companies in Sweden and produced a large variety of products that grew every year. Finally in the early 1970s AGA was forced to reduce the number of markets it was involved in and concentrate on the production of gases for industrial use.

In 1909 he ascended to the position of Managing Director of the renamed company Svenska Aktiebolaget Gasaccumulator (AGA). AGA developed lighthouses using Dalén's products. In 1910 the company bought a large real estate in Lidingö and built a production plant that was completed around 1912, when they moved out from the facilities in Stockholm.

Dalen light

Initially Dalén worked with acetylene (IUPAC: ethyne), a flammable and sometimes explosive hydrocarbon gas. Dalén invented Agamassan (Aga), a substrate used to absorb the gas allowing safe storage and hence commercial exploitation.

Acetylene produced an ultra-bright white light which superseded the less bright LPG as the fuel of choice for lighthouse illumination.

Dalén exploited the new fuel, developing the Dalén light which incorporated another invention, the sun valve. This device allowed the light to operate only at night, conserving fuel, and extending their service life to over a year.

The 'Dalen Flasher' was a device that, except for a small pilot light, only consumed gas during the flash stage. This reduced gas consumption by more than 90%. The AGA lighthouse equipment worked without any type of electric supply and was thus extremely reliable.

To a rugged coastal area like Scandinavia, his mass-produced, robust, minimal maintenance buoys were a significant boon to safety and livelihood. AGA Lighthouses covered the entire Panama Canal.

AGA cooker

In 1922 he patented his invention of the AGA cooker. Most of the testing for the cooker was made in his private kitchen in his Villa Ekbacken that was built when AGA moved to Lidingö in 1912 but that he never actually had a chance to see with his own eyes. His family helped him with the development work, checking temperatures, airflow etc., as the development work proceeded.

Personal life

His parents were Anders and Lovisa Dalén. He married Elma Persson in 1901. They had four children, two daughters and two sons;

•    Maja, married Silfverstolpe (1904–1995)
•    Gunnar (1905–1970)
•    Anders (1907–1994)
•    Inga-Lisa, married Keen (1910–2006)

The accident in 1912

Early in 1912, Dalén was blinded in an acetylene explosion during a test of maximum pressure for the accumulators. Later the same year he was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics. Too ill to attend the presentation, Dalén had his brother, ophthalmologist Professor Albin Dalén of the Caroline Institute, stand in his place.

The presentation speech praised the quality of sacrificing personal safety in scientific experimentation, a compliment that compared Dalén with Nobel himself. Despite his blindness, Dalén controlled AGA until his death in 1937. He received over 100 patents during his lifetime.

Honours and awards

•    Nobel Prize for Physics 1912
•    Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
•    Member of the Academy of Science and Engineering


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.


#507 2019-02-20 00:36:03

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

474) Marie Van Brittan Brown

Marie Van Brittan Brown (October 30, 1922 – February 2, 1999) was an African-American inventor, becoming the originator of the home security system (U.S. Patent 3,482,037) in 1966, along with her husband Albert Brown, a patent was granted in 1969. Brown was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York; she died there at the age of 76.


Marie Van Brittan Brown's father was born in Massachusetts and her mother's roots originated from Pennsylvania. Brown and her husband lived at 151-158 & 135th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, New York. She worked as a nurse and her husband was an electronics technician, so they did not always have normal hours or simultaneously work. Marie and Albert Brown had two children. Their daughter, Norma, followed in her mother's footsteps and became a nurse as well as creator of her own inventions


Brown cited the inspiration for her invention as the long time it would take for police to arrive at a house after being called by residents. Brown did not always feel safe when she was home alone at times, because the crime rate had risen in her neighborhood. Having to answer the door to know who was on the other side was not something Brown liked to do. Brown's system had a set of four peep-holes and a camera that could slide up and down to look at each one. Anything and everything the camera picked up would appear on a monitor. Also, a resident could unlatch the door by remote control. The system included a device that enabled a homeowner to use a television set to view the person at the door and hear the caller's voice. The home security system that she and her husband invented allowed the monitor to be in a different room, and all of this was possible via a radio controlled wireless system. If the person viewing the images on the monitor did not feel safe they could press a button that would send an alarm to police or security. She and her husband cited other inventors in their patent, such as Edward D. Phiney and Thomas J. Reardon. Thirteen inventors who came along after Brown have cited her patent, with the latest being in 2013. Even now, over fifty years later, her invention is being used by smaller businesses and living facilities.

Although the system was originally intended for domestic uses, many businesses began to adopt her system due to its effectiveness. For her invention she received an award from the National Science Committee.

How Marie Van Brittan Brown Became an Inventor

Marie Van Brittan (1922-1999) was born and raised in Jamaica, Queens. She became a nurse, who like most nurses, did not work regular 9-5 hours. Her husband, Albert Brown, was an electronics technician.  When she was home alone at odd hours of the day or night, she sometimes felt concerned. The crime rate in their neighborhood had increased, and everyone in the neighborhood knew that police response time in their area was notoriously slow.  Marie wanted a way to feel less vulnerable.   
Working with her husband, Albert, the two began devising a home security system. One issue that bothered Marie was having to answer the door to identify a visitor. Soon they had a plan for a motorized camera that was attached to a cabinet added to the door.  The camera could move up and down to take views through four separate peep holes. The top spot would reveal the identity of a tall person; the lowest one would show if a child was at the door. The other peep holes could capture any person between these two heights.

A television monitor was placed in the Browns’ bedroom, and Albert used a radio-controlled wireless system to feed the images seen at the door back to the monitor. A two-way microphone also permitted conversation with the person at the door.

If the homeowner was concerned about the person at the door, a button could be pushed that would sound an alarm to signal a security firm, a neighborhood watchman, or it could alert a nearby neighbor.  If, however, the person was a friend, a button could be pushed that would unlock the door remotely so that the visitor could come in.
As anyone who has visited an apartment in recent times knows, units exactly like the one the Browns invented are used in multi-dwelling buildings throughout the country.  Today the technology for such a system has shrunk drastically, but the invention is just the same.

Patent Application Filed in 1966

The patent application was filed on August 1,1966 under the names of Marie Van Brittan Brown and Albert L. Brown, both of 151-58 135th Avenue, Jamaica, New York.  The  application states that the invention being described is “a video and audio security system for a house under control of the occupant thereof.  Occupant can see who is at the door…” An audio system permits the occupant to converse with the person at the door.

In the mid-1960s no one was creating home surveillance systems.  Therefore, Marie and Albert were applying for a patent on what would truly be a “first.”  In citing the patents that their application relied upon in order to create the system, the Browns noted only three previous patents: the invention of the television system by Edward D. Phinney (approved February 7, 1939), an identification system created by Thomas J. Reardon (approved November 24, 1959), and a remotely-operated control of the scanning system (approved June 28, 1966).

Today the Browns’ patent is referenced by 13 subsequent inventors who trace their own creation back to having made use of some aspect of the Browns’ closed-circuit system. The most recent patent that referenced the Browns’ invention was in 2013.

In a column in The New York Times (December 6, 1969) that was devoted to writing about approved patents, the reporter led with the Browns’ December 2, 1969 approval for Patent #3,482,037: “The patent drawings show a receiver resembling a small bedside television set, with a screen displaying a video picture of the visitor….A microphone and speaker permit voice communication with the person at the door, and then one button can sound an alarm; another can open the door if the resident determines that’s a safe course of action.”

In an interview with the Times, Mrs. Brown pointed out that with the patented system, “a woman alone could set off an alarm immediately by pressing a button, or if the system were installed in a doctor’s office, it might prevent holdups by drug addicts.”

The article noted that the Browns did not yet have a manufacturer for the system but they intended to install one in their own home, and then would try to interest home builders.

Unfortunately, the media stories on the Browns end after the patent approval was announced in 1969. Marie Van Brittan Brown did receive an award from the National Scientists Committee for her work but no year for the award can be identified.

Next/Market Insights reports that the do-it-yourself home security sector will be a 1.5 billion business by 2020. Whether or not the Browns made a profit from their invention was not reported in the press, but the answer is no. As a black woman on her own, it would have been very difficult to sell an idea into what was totally a male business world.    what we do know is that Marie Van Brittan Brown’s idea laid the groundwork for a very important form of home security.
Marie Brown died in Queens on February 2, 1999 at the age of 76.  She had two children.


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.


#508 2019-02-22 00:13:29

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

475) Leila Denmark

Leila Alice Denmark (née Daughtry; February 1, 1898 – April 1, 2012) was an American pediatrician in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the world's oldest practicing pediatrician until her retirement in May 2001 at the age of 103, after 73 years. She was a supercentenarian, living to the age of 114 years, 60 days. On December 10, 2011, at age 113 years 312 days, she became one of the 100 oldest people ever. (This record has since been surpassed.) At her death she was the 5th-oldest verified living person in the world and the 3rd-oldest verified living person in the United States.

A pioneering female doctor, medical researcher, and an outspoken voice in the pediatric community, Denmark was one of the few supercentenarians in history to gain prominence in life for reasons other than longevity. She is credited as co-developer of the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine. She started treating children in 1928. By the time of her retirement, Denmark was treating grandchildren and great-grandchildren of her first patients.

Early life and education

Born in Portal, Georgia, Leila Alice Daughtry was the third of 12 children of Elerbee and Alice Cornelia (Hendricks) Daughtry. Her paternal uncle was Missouri Congressman James Alexander Daugherty. She was the elder sister of Clyde Daughtry (1910–85), who is known for shooting the only known authentic color footage of the attack on Pearl Harbor. She attended Tift College in Forsyth, Georgia, where she trained to be a teacher. She studied chemistry and physics at Mercer University in Macon. She decided to attend medical school when her fiancé John Eustace Denmark (1899–1990) was posted to Java, Dutch Indies, by the United States Department of State, as no wives were allowed to accompany their spouses to that post.

Daughtry was the only woman in the 1928 graduating class of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, and the third woman ever to graduate from the school with a medical degree.

John Eustace Denmark had returned from his overseas assignment and they married on June 11, 1928, soon after she received her medical diploma. They had one child together, Mary, on November 19, 1930. Leila Denmark was a registered Democrat and a practicing Baptist.

Medical career

Denmark accepted a residency at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and moved to the Virginia-Highland neighborhood with her husband. Denmark was the first physician on staff when Henrietta Egleston Hospital, a pediatric hospital, opened on the Emory University campus. She also developed a private practice, seeing patients in a clinic at her home.

Denmark devoted a substantial amount of her professional time to charity. By 1935, she was a listed staff member at the Presbyterian Church Baby Clinic in Atlanta, while serving at Grady and maintaining a private practice. She conducted research from the 1930s, and especially from 1933 to 1944 in the diagnosis, treatment, and immunization of whooping cough, then frequently fatal to children. Denmark is credited as co-developer of the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine, with support from Eli Lilly and Company, and Emory University. For this, she was awarded the Fisher Prize in 1935.

Denmark discussed her views on child-rearing in her book “Every Child Should Have a Chance” (1971). She was among the first doctors to object to adults smoking cigarettes around children, and to pregnant women using drugs. She believed that drinking cow's milk is harmful. She also recommended that children and adults should eat fresh fruit rather than drinking fruit juices, and drink only water. On March 9, 2000, the Georgia General Assembly honored Denmark in a resolution.

Later life

On her 100th birthday in 1998, Denmark refused a slice of cake because there was too much sugar in it. When she refused cake again on her 103rd birthday, she explained to the restaurant's server that she had not eaten any food with added sugar for 70 years.

She wrote a second book, with Madia Bowman, titled “Dr. Denmark Said It!: Advice for Mothers from America's Most Experienced Pediatrician” written in 2002. Denmark later retired in 2002 because her eyesight was getting too weak for more involved tasks, such as examining children's throats.

Denmark lived independently in her Cumming, Georgia home until age 106. She moved to Athens, Georgia to live with her only child, Mary (Denmark) Hutcherson. On February 1, 2008, Denmark celebrated her 110th birthday, becoming a supercentenarian. According to Hutcherson, Denmark's health deteriorated severely in the autumn of 2008 but later improved as she neared her 111th birthday. She died in 2012 at the age of 114 and 2 months. She was one of the few supercentenarians notable for something other than their longevity. A new Forsyth County, Georgia high school constructed 2016-2018 is located near her former home and is named after Dr. Denmark.

Awards and honors

•    1935, the Fisher Award for "outstanding research in diagnosis, treatment, and immunization of whooping cough for her work on the vaccine"
•    1953, named Atlanta's Woman of the Year
•    1970, Distinguished Service Citation from Tift College as a "devout humanitarian who has invested her life in pediatric services to all families without respect to economic status, race, or national origin…. Devoted Humanitarian, Doctor par excellence, Generous Benefactor."
•    1980, Distinguished Alumni Award, Tift College
•    1980, Community Service Award, sponsored by television station WXIA, Atlanta, Georgia
•    1981, Book of Golden deeds Award, Buckhead Exchange Club, Atlanta
•    1982, Citation, Citizens of Portal, Georgia, jointly with her husband, John Eustace Denmark, for Outstanding Achievement and Service
•    1989, Shining Light Award, Atlanta Gas Light Company
•    1998, Lifetime Achievement Award, Atlanta Business Chronicle
•    2000, Georgia General Assembly passed a resolution honoring her
•    2000, Heroes, Saints and Legends Award, Wesley Woods
•    2000, Honorary doctorate, Emory University
•    2016, a new high school in Forsyth County, Georgia, to be opened in 2018, was named in her memory.
•    2019, named to the Georgia Women of Achievement hall of fame.


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.


#509 2019-02-24 00:12:04

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

476) Maria Goeppert Mayer

Maria Goeppert Mayer, née Maria Goeppert, (born June 28, 1906, Kattowitz, Ger. [now Katowice, Pol.]—died Feb. 20, 1972, San Diego, Calif., U.S.), German-born American physicist who shared one-half of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Physics with J. Hans D. Jensen of West Germany for their proposal of the shell nuclear model. (The other half of the prize was awarded to Eugene P. Wigner of the United States for unrelated work.)

Maria Goeppert studied physics at the University of Göttingen (Ph.D., 1930) under a committee of three Nobel Prize winners. In 1930 she married the American chemical physicist Joseph E. Mayer, and a short time later she accompanied him to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Over the next nine years she was associated with Johns Hopkins as a volunteer associate. During that time she collaborated with Karl Herzfeld and her husband in the study of organic molecules. She became a U.S. citizen in 1933. In 1939 she and her husband both received appointments in chemistry at Columbia University, where Maria Mayer worked on the separation of uranium isotopes for the atomic bomb project. The Mayers published Statistical Mechanics in 1940. Although they remained at Columbia throughout World War II, Maria Mayer also lectured at Sarah Lawrence College (1942–45).

After the war Mayer’s interests centred increasingly on nuclear physics, and in 1945 she became a volunteer professor of physics in the Enrico Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago. She received a regular appointment as full professor in 1959. From 1948 to 1949 Mayer published several papers concerning the stability and configuration of protons and neutrons that constitute the atomic nucleus. She developed a theory that the nucleus consists of several shells, or orbital levels, and that the distribution of protons and neutrons among these shells produces the characteristic degree of stability of each species of nucleus. A similar theory was developed at the same time in Germany by J. Hans D. Jensen, with whom she subsequently collaborated on ‘Elementary Theory of Nuclear Shell Structure’ (1955). The work established her as a leading authority in the field. Also noted for her work in quantum electrodynamics and spectroscopy, Mayer accepted an appointment at the University of California at San Diego in 1960, as did her husband.

(Shell nuclear model, description of nuclei of atoms by analogy with the Bohr atomic model of electron energy levels. It was developed independently in the late 1940s by the American physicist Maria Goeppert Mayer and the German physicist J. Hans D. Jensen, who shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1963 for their work. In the shell nuclear model, the constituent nuclear particles are paired neutron with neutron and proton with proton in nuclear-energy levels that are filled, or closed, when the number of protons or neutrons equals 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, or 126, the so-called magic numbers that indicate especially stable nuclei. The unpaired neutrons and protons account for the properties of a particular species of nucleus as valence electrons account for the chemical properties of the various elements. The shell model accurately predicts certain properties of normal nuclei, such as their angular momentum; but for nuclei in highly unstable states, the shell model is no longer adequate and must be modified or replaced by another model, such as the liquid-drop model, collective model, compound-nucleus model, or optical model.)

Physicist Maria Goeppert-Mayer predicted the existence of double photon absorption decades before it was observed, and shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 for developing the “nuclear shell model.”

Goeppert-Mayer was born on June 28, 1906 in Germany, and studied physics at the University of Göttingen under Nobel laureate Max Born. In 1931, she wrote a groundbreaking thesis that examined the theory of double photon reactions, which would not be observed for more than 30 years.

She moved to the United States with her husband, chemist Joseph Mayer, and spent much of her early career working at U.S. universities for little or no money. In 1946, she got a job working at Argonne National Laboratory, where she would make her Nobel-winning discovery two years later.

She developed the “nuclear shell model,” which “explains why the nuclei of some atoms are more stable than others and why some elements have many different atomic forms, called ‘isotopes,’ while others do not,” according to the Argonne National Laboratory.

German physicist J. Hans Daniel Jensen independently reached the same conclusions at the same time as Goeppert-Mayer. The two later met, wrote a book together on the nuclear shell model and won the Nobel Prize for their work, sharing it with Eugene Wigner, whose work helped lead to the nuclear shell model.


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.


#510 2019-02-26 00:12:24

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

477) Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, original name in full Cecilia Helena Payne, (born May 10, 1900, Wendover, Eng.—died Dec. 7, 1979, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.), British-born American astronomer who discovered that stars are made mainly of hydrogen and helium and established that stars could be classified according to their temperatures.

Payne entered the University of Cambridge in 1919. A lecture by astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington on his expedition to the island of Principe that confirmed Einstein’s theory of general relativity inspired her to become an astronomer. Eddington encouraged her ambition, but she felt there were more opportunities for a woman to work in astronomy in the United States than in Britain. In 1923 she received a fellowship to study at the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge, Mass., after a correspondence with its director, Harlow Shapley.

Beginning in the 1880s, astronomers at Harvard College such as Edward Pickering, Annie Jump Cannon, Williamina Fleming, and Antonia Maury had succeeded in classifying stars according to their spectra into seven types: O, B, A, F, G, K, and M. It was believed that this sequence corresponded to the surface temperature of the stars, with O being the hottest and M the coolest. In her Ph.D. thesis (published as Stellar Atmospheres [1925]), Payne used the spectral lines of many different elements and the work of Indian astrophysicist Meghnad Saha, who had discovered an equation relating the ionization states of an element in a star to the temperature to definitively establish that the spectral sequence did correspond to quantifiable stellar temperatures. Payne also determined that stars are composed mostly of hydrogen and helium. However, she was dissuaded from this conclusion by astronomer Henry Norris Russell, who thought that stars would have the same composition as Earth. (Russell conceded in 1929 that Payne was correct.) Payne received the first Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College for her thesis, since Harvard did not grant doctoral degrees to women. Astronomers Otto Struve and Velta Zebergs later called her thesis “undoubtedly the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”

Payne remained at Harvard as a technical assistant to Shapley after completing her doctorate. Shapley had her discontinue her work with stellar spectra and encouraged her instead to work on photometry of stars by using photographic plates, even though more accurate brightness measurements could be made by using recently introduced photoelectric instruments. Payne later wrote, “I wasted much time on this account.…My change in field made the end of the decade a sad one.” During this period, however, Payne was able to continue her stellar spectral work with a second book, 'Stars of High Luminosity' (1930), which paid particular attention to Cepheid variables and marked the beginning of her interest in variable stars and novae.

In 1933 Payne traveled to Europe to meet Russian astronomer Boris Gerasimovich, who had previously worked at the Harvard College Observatory and with whom she planned to write a book about variable stars. In Göttingen, Ger., she met Sergey Gaposchkin, a Russian astronomer who could not return to the Soviet Union because of his politics. Payne was able to find a position at Harvard for him. They married in 1934 and often collaborated on studies of variable stars. She was named a lecturer in astronomy in 1938, but even though she taught courses, they were not listed in the Harvard catalog until after World War II.

In 1956 Payne was appointed a full professor at Harvard and became chairman of the astronomy department. She retired in 1966. She wrote an autobiography, The Dyer’s Hand, that was posthumously collected in 'Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: An Autobiography and Other Recollections' (1984).


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.


#511 2019-02-28 01:11:52

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

478) Igor Gorynin

Igor Vasilievich Gorynin (10 March 1926 – 9 May 2015) was a Russian metallurgist, creator of many new titanium and aluminium alloys, and reactor steels. He was the director of the Prometey Central Scientific Research Institute Of Structural Materials.


Igor Gorynin was born in Leningrad in 1926. He graduated from the Department of Metallurgy of the Leningrad Polytechnical Institute in 1949 After graduation he worked for a few months for the transformer plant in Zaporizhia (Zaporozhye Transformer Plant) then started to work for the Central Research Institute of Structural Materials Prometey. Since 1977 he has been the director of the Institute.

In 1957 he became a Candidate of Science for his works on plastic deformation on the properties for the high-strength steels for ship hulls.

In 1967 he became a Doctor of Science for his work on the construction materials for nuclear reactors. In 1971 he became a Professor, in 1979 he became a Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences and since 1984 a Full member of the Academy. In 1989 he was elected to Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union (from the Academy of Science) and took part in the historic dissolution of the USSR. He died at the age of 89 in Saint PEtersburg in 2015.


Gorynin wrote on doping of metallic alloy and its effects on plastic deformations and physical properties of the alloys. These works allowed him to create a number of alloys with unique properties. Among the most important Gorynin materials are weldable titanium alloys for machine building and shipbuilding. He also created high-strength aluminum alloys. These alloys are claimed to have the highest specific strength of all known weldable metallic materials.

Gorynin invented of the radiation hardened steels used for nautical and stationary nuclear reactors and other compositional and functional materials with special requirements. He was a leader of the World Association of Materials Science. He is the member of the RAS Bureau of the Department of Chemistry and Science of Materials, member of the Presidium of St. Petersburg RAS Scientific Center, the Chairman of the RAS Coordination Council on the problems of the studies and creation of structural materials for the thermonuclear reactors, the Chairman of the RAS National Committee on welding, the President of the Interregional Union of Scientific and Engineering Public Associations, the member of the International Organizational Committee of the World Titanium Congress, etc.


Igor Gorynin was awarded

two orders of the Red Banner of Labour (1959, 1970);
Lenin Prize (1963);
USSR State Prize (1974);
Order of Lenin (1981);
Order of the October Revolution (1986);
Russian Federation State Prize (1994 and 2006);
Order of Merit for the Fatherland 2nd (2002) and 3rd (1996) class;
Order of Saint Daniil of Moscow (1996);
La Crus de Comendator al Merito Belgo-Hispanico) (1997);
Alexei Krylov prize (2001);
Dmitry Chernov's medal (2001)


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.


#512 2019-03-02 01:14:43

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

479) Marguerite Perey

Marguerite Catherine Perey (19 October 1909 – 13 May 1975) was a French physicist and a student of Marie Curie. In 1939, Perey discovered the element francium by purifying samples of lanthanum that contained actinium. In 1962, she was the first woman to be elected to the French Académie des Sciences, an honor denied to her mentor Curie. Perey died of cancer in 1975.

Early life

Perey was born in 1909 in Villemomble, France, just outside Paris where the Curie's Radium Institute was located. Although she hoped to study medicine, the death of her father left the family in financial difficulties.

Perey earned a chemistry diploma from Paris' Technical School of Women's Education in 1929; while not a "degree", it did qualify her to work as a chemistry technician. At the age of 19, she interviewed for a job with Marie Curie at Curie's Radium Institute in Paris, France, and was hired. Marie Curie took on a mentoring role to Perey, taking her on as her personal assistant.

Research and career

Under Marie Curie's guidance at the Radium Institute, Perey learned how to isolate and purify radioactive elements, focusing on the chemical element actinium (discovered in Curie's laboratory in 1899 by chemist André-Louis Debierne). Perey spent a decade sifting out actinium from all the other components of uranium ore, which Curie then used in her study of the decay of the element. Marie Curie died of aplastic anemia only five years after Perey began working with her, but Perey and Debierne continued their research on actinium and Perey was promoted to radiochemist.

In 1935, Perey read a paper by American scientists claiming to have discovered a type of radiation called beta particles being emitted by actinium and was skeptical because the reported energy of the beta particles didn't seem to match actinium. She decided to investigate for herself, theorizing that actinium was decaying into another element (a daughter atom) and that the observed beta particles were actually coming from that daughter atom. She confirmed this by isolating extremely pure actinium and studying its radiation very quickly; she detected a small amount of alpha radiation, a type of radiation that involves the loss of protons and therefore changes an atom's identity. Loss of an alpha particle (consisting of 2 protons and 2 neutrons) would turn actinium (element 89, with 89 protons) into the theorized but never-before-seen element 87. Perey named the element francium, after her home country, and it joined the other alkali metals in Group 1 of the periodic table of elements.

Perey received a grant to study at Paris' Sorbonne, but because she didn't have a bachelor's degree, the Sorbonne required her to take courses and obtain the equivalent of a B.S. to fulfill their PhD program requirements before she could earn her doctorate. She graduated from the Sorbonne in 1946 with a Doctorate of Physics. After obtaining her PhD, Perey returned to the Radium Institute as a senior scientist and worked there until 1949.

Perey was made the head of the department of nuclear chemistry at the University of Strasbourg in 1949, where she developed the University's radiochemistry and nuclear chemistry program and continued her work on francium. She founded a laboratory that in 1958 became the Laboratory of Nuclear Chemistry in the Center for Nuclear Research, for which she served as director. She also served as a member of the Atomic Weights Commission from 1950 to 1963.

Ironically Perey hoped that francium would help diagnose cancer, but in fact it itself was carcinogenic, and Perey developed bone cancer which eventually killed her. Perey died on May 13, 1975 (age 65). She is credited with championing better safety measures for scientists working with radiation.

Perey's archives with materials dating from 1929 to 1975 were left at the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg. They include laboratory notebooks, course materials from her work as professor of nuclear chemistry, papers from her laboratory directorship, and publications.. All documents are now currently held at the Archives départamentales du Bas-Rhin (Departamental archives of the Bas-Rhin).

Biography & Contributions

Marguerite Catherine Perey was a French physicist born on October 19, 1909 – died on May 13, 1975. Perey was discovered francium element by purifying samples of lanthanum that contained actinium.

Perey spent a decade to extract actinium from all the other components of uranium ore, which Curie then used in her study of the decay of the element. A few years later Perey first noticed that the actinium she purified was emitting unexpected radiation. After further study she was able to isolate new element which she named francium.

Eka-caesium was discovered in 1939 by Marguerite Perey of the Curie Institute in Paris, France when she purified a sample of actinium-227 which had been reported to have decay energy of 220 keV. Perey noticed decay particles with an energy level below 80 keV. Perey thought this decay activity might have been caused by a previously unidentified decay product, one which was separated during purification, but emerged again out of the pure actinium-227.

Various tests eliminated the possibility of the unknown element being thorium, radium, lead, bismuth, or thallium. The new product exhibited chemical properties of an alkali metal, which led Perey to believe that it was element 87, caused by the alpha decay of actinium-227.Perey then attempted to determine the proportion of beta decay to alpha decay in actinium-227. Her first test put the alpha branching at 0.6%, a figure which she later revised to 1%.

Perey named the new isotope actinium-K (now referred to as francium-223) and in 1946, she proposed the name catium for her newly discovered element, as she believed it to be the most electropositive cation of the elements. Later it was named as francium.

Francium Element

Francium [Eka-caesium] is one of the two least electronegative elements, the other being caesium. Francium is a highly radioactive metal that decays into astatine, radium, and radon. Francium is the most unstable of the naturally occurring elements: its most stable isotope, francium-223, has a half-life of only 22 minutes. Francium coprecipitates with several caesium salts, such as caesium perchlorate, which results in small amounts of francium perchlorate.

It will additionally coprecipitate with many other caesium salts, including the iodate, the picrate, the tartrate, the chloroplatinate, and the silicotungstate. Francium also coprecipitates with silicotungstic acid, and with perchloric acid, without another alkali metal as a carrier, which provides other methods of separation.


Perey was elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 1962, making her the first woman elected to the Institut de France. Although a significant step, her election as a "corresponding member" rather than a full member came with limited privileges.

The French Academy of Science Wilde Prize (1950)
The French Academy of Science Le Conte Prize (1960)
The City of Paris Science Grand Prize (1960)
Officier of the Légion d'Honneur (1960)
Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris (1960)
Elected correspondante of the Académie des Sciences (Paris, 1962). First woman to be elected to the Académie since its founding in 1666.
Lavoisier Prize of the Académie des Sciences (1964)
Silver Medal of the Société Chimique de France (1964)
Commandeur of the Ordre National du Mérite (1974)


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.


#513 2019-03-04 00:12:49

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

480) Jonathan Swift

The author of the classic 'Gulliver’s Travels' (1726), Jonathan Swift was a major figure of English literature. Also a satirist, cleric and political pamphleteer, Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland on November 30, 1667, seven months after the death of his father. Deprived of a bread earner and father, the family became very poor and had to rely on the aid of relatives to survive. Jonathan did not lead a healthy childhood, suffering from Meniere’s disease which causes dizziness, vertigo, nausea, and hearing loss affecting the inner ear. Early in age, Jonathan was sent to live with his uncle, Godwin Swift who supported him and gave him the best education possible.

Swift attended the Kilkenny Grammar School from 1674 to 1682 and later enrolled in the Trinity College in Dublin where he earned a B.A. degree. Although Swift wanted to continue studying for a M.A. degree, he was unable to do so due to political unrest during the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Upon moving to Leicester, England, Swift took up a job working as a secretary to Sir William Temple, a retired diplomat. Living at his home in Moore Park, Surrey, Swift was introduced to a number of politically influential people. Also at Moore Park, Swift, then 22 years of age met Stella, daughter of another employee at Moore Park who was only 6 years old. They formed an affectionate friendly relationship and Swift became her tutor and mentor. Sir William Temple helped Swift gain admission into Oxford University using his influential connections. In 1692, Swift graduated with a M.A. degree.

After returning from Ireland where he served as an Anglican priest for a year, Swift was requested by Temple to assist him in writing his memoirs, managing and publishing his work after his death. Swift started work on his own writing during this time as well and wrote 'The Battle of the Books' (1704).

In 1700, Swift was appointed Chaplin to Lord Berkeley and in 1701 Trinity College Dublin made him a Doctor of Divinity. In 1704, Swift published his humorous take on religion, 'A Tale of the Tub'. Swift became an active figure of the Dublin society and politics becoming a blunt critic in efforts of improving Ireland. After joining the Tories in 1710, Swift wrote many noted political pamphlets including 'The Conduct of the Allies' (1711), 'The Public Spirit of the Whigs' (1714), 'Meditation on a Broomstick' (1703) and 'A Modest Proposal'.

In 1713, Swift formed the literary club, Scriblerus along with Alexander Pope and others. He also became the dean of St. Patrick’s in Dublin. Swift continued writing, often under a pseudonym, an example being 'Draiper Letters' (1724) under the name M.B. Draiper. Swift also published his masterpiece, 'Gulliver’s Travels' under the pen name Lemuel Gulliver in 1726. An immediate best-seller, the book has inspired many theater and film adaptations. The novel represents the culmination of Swift’s years spent in politics with Whigs and Tories and also deals with socio-political issues hidden between the lines.

Swift drowned in grief when his beloved Stella died in 1728. Swift’s health had already started to decline due to Alzhimer’s. Jonathan Swift passed away on October 19, 1745. He is buried beside Stella in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.


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.


#514 2019-03-06 00:10:46

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

481) Arthur Eddington

Arthur Eddington, in full Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, (born December 28, 1882, Kendal, Westmorland, England—died November 22, 1944, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire), English astronomer, physicist, and mathematician who did his greatest work in astrophysics, investigating the motion, internal structure, and evolution of stars. He also was the first expositor of the theory of relativity in the English language.

Early Life

Eddington was the son of the headmaster of Stramongate School, an old Quaker foundation in Kendal near Lake Windermere in the northwest of England. His father, a gifted and highly educated man, died of typhoid in 1884. The widow took her daughter and small son to Weston-super-Marein Somerset, where young Eddington grew up and received his schooling. He entered Owens College, Manchester, in October 1898, and Trinity College, Cambridge, in October 1902. There he won every mathematical honour, as well as Senior Wrangler (1904), Smith’s prize, and a Trinity College fellowship (1907). In 1913 he received the Plumian Professorship of Astronomy at Cambridge and in 1914 became also the director of its observatory.

From 1906 to 1913 Eddington was chief assistant at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, where he gained practical experience in the use of astronomical instruments. He made observations on the island of Maltato establish its longitude, led an eclipse expedition to Brazil, and investigated the distribution and motions of the stars. He broke new ground with a paper on the dynamics of a globular stellar system. In ‘Stellar Movements and the Structure of the Universe’ (1914) he summarized his mathematically elegant investigations of the motions of stars in the Milky Way.

During World War I he declared himself a pacifist. This arose out of his strongly held Quaker beliefs. His religious faith also found expression in his popular writings on the philosophy of science. In ‘Science and the Unseen World’ (1929) he declared that the world’s meaning could not be discovered from science but must be sought through apprehension of spiritual reality. He expressed this belief in other philosophical books: ‘The Nature of the Physical World’ (1928), ‘New Pathways of Science’ (1935), and ‘The Philosophy of Physical Science’ (1939).

During these years he carried on important studies in astrophysics and relativity, in addition to teaching and lecturing. In 1919 he led an expedition to Príncipe Island (West Africa) that provided the first confirmation of Einstein’s theory that gravity will bend the path of light when it passes near a massive star. During the total eclipse of the sun, it was found that the positions of stars seen just beyond the eclipsed solar disk were, as the general theory of relativity had predicted, slightly displaced away from the centre of the solar disk. Eddington was the first expositor of relativity in the English language. His ‘Report on the Relativity Theory of Gravitation’ (1918), written for the Physical Society, followed by ‘Space, Time and Gravitation’ (1920) and his great treatise ‘The Mathematical Theory of Relativity’ (1923)—the latter considered by Einstein the finest presentation of the subject in any language—made Eddington a leader in the field of relativity physics. His own contribution was chiefly a brilliant modification of affine (non-Euclidean) geometry, leading to a geometry of the cosmos. Later, when the Belgian astronomer Georges Lemaître produced the hypothesis of the expanding universe, Eddington pursued the subject in his own researches; these were placed before the general reader in his little book ‘The Expanding Universe’ (1933). Another book, ‘Relativity Theory of Protons and Electrons’ (1936), dealt with quantum theory. He gave many popular lectures on relativity, leading the English physicist Sir Joseph John Thomson to remark that Eddington had persuaded multitudes of people that they understood what relativity meant.

Philosophy Of Science

His philosophical ideas led him to believe that through a unification of quantum theory and general relativity it would be possible to calculate the values of universal constants, notably the fine-structure constant, the ratio of the mass of the proton to that of the electron, and the number of atoms in the universe. This was an attempt, never completed, at a vast synthesis of the known facts of the physical universe; it was published posthumously as ‘Fundamental Theory’ (1946), edited by Sir Edmund Taylor Whittaker, a book that is incomprehensible to most readers and perplexing in many places to all, but which represents a continuing challenge to some.

Eddington received many honours, including honorary degrees from 13 universities. He was president of the Royal Astronomical Society (1921–23), the Physical Society (1930–32), the Mathematical Association (1932), and the International Astronomical Union (1938–44). He was knighted in 1930 and received the Order of Merit in 1938. Meetings of the Royal Astronomical Society were often enlivened by dramatic clashes between Eddington and Sir James Hopwood Jeans or Edward Arthur Milne over the validity of scientific assumptions and mathematical procedures. Eddington was an enthusiastic participant in most forms of athletics, confining himself in later years to cycling, swimming, and golf.

Eddington’s greatest contributions were in the field of astrophysics, where he did pioneer work on stellar structure and radiation pressure, subatomic sources of stellar energy, stellar diameters, the dynamics of pulsating stars, the relation between stellar mass and luminosity, white dwarf stars, diffuse matter in interstellar space, and so-called forbidden spectral lines. His work in astrophysics is represented by the classic ‘Internal Constitution of the Stars’ (1925) and in the public lectures published as ‘Stars and Atoms’ (1927). In his well-written popular books he also set forth his scientific epistemology, which he called “selective subjectivism” and “structuralism”—i.e., the interplay of physical observations and geometry. He believed that a great part of physics simply reflected the interpretation that the scientist imposes on his data. The better part of his philosophy, however, was not his metaphysics but his “structure” logic. His theoretical work in physics had a stimulating effect on the thought and research of others, and many lines of scientific investigation were opened as a result of his work.


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.


#515 2019-03-08 00:42:42

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

482) Herta Müller

Herta Müller, Müller also spelled Mueller, (born August 17, 1953, Nițchidorf, Romania), Romanian-born German writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009 for her works revealing the harshness of life in Romania under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu. The award cited Müller for depicting “the landscape of the dispossessed” with “the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose.”

Müller, of German Swabian descent, grew up in Banat, a German-speaking region of totalitarian Romania. She attended the University of Timișoara and, as a student, became involved with Aktionsgruppe Banat, a group of writers fighting for freedom of speech. After graduating, she worked from 1977 to 1979 as a translator at a machine factory, a job from which she was fired for refusing to cooperate with the Securitate, the notoriously vast and ruthless Romanian secret police. Her first book, a collection of short stories titled ‘Niederungen’ (1982; Nadirs), was censored by the Romanian government, but she won a following in Germany when the complete version of the book was smuggled out of the country. After publishing a second book of stories, ‘Drückender Tango’ (1984; “Oppressive Tango”)—which, like her first collection, depicted frankly the general misery of life in a small Romanian village similar to her own German-speaking hometown—she was forbidden to publish again in Romania, and in 1987 she emigrated with her husband, author Richard Wagner, and moved to Germany.

Her first novel, ‘Der Mensch ist ein grosser Fasan auf der Welt’ (The Passport), was published in Germany in 1986. Although her circumstances had changed, her work continued to present and examine the formative experiences of her life: themes such as totalitarianism and exile pervade her work. Her style was described by Romanian journalist Emil Hurezeanu as “lively, poetic, [and] corrosive.” Among Müller’s later novels were ‘Reisende auf einem Bein’ (1989; Traveling on One Leg), ‘Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jäger’ (1992; The Fox Was Ever the Hunter), ‘Herztier’ (1994; The Land of Green Plums), and ‘Heute wär ich mir lieber nicht begegnet’ (1997; The Appointment). In 1998 Müller received the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (the world’s richest literary prize) for ‘The Land of Green Plums’. The novel ‘Atemschaukel’ (The Hunger Angel) was published in 2009.

In addition to fiction, she published volumes of poetry and essays, including in the latter category ‘Hunger und Seide’ (1995; “Hunger and Silk”), Der König verneigt sich und tötet (2003; “The King Bows and Kills”), and ‘Immer derselbe Schnee und immer derselbe Onkel’ (2011; “Always the Same Snow and Always the Same Uncle”).


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.


#516 2019-03-10 00:44:07

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

483) Tracy Hall

Howard Tracy Hall (October 20, 1919 – July 25, 2008) was an American physical chemist and the first person who grew a synthetic diamond by a reproducible, verifiable, and witnessed process, using a press of his own design.

Early life

Howard Tracy Hall was born in Ogden, Utah in 1919. He often used the name H. Tracy Hall or, simply, Tracy Hall. He was a descendant of Mormon pioneers and grew up on a farm in Marriott, Utah. When still in the fourth grade, he announced his intention to work for General Electric. Hall attended Weber College for two years, and married Ida-Rose Langford in 1941. He went to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he received his BSc in 1942 and his MSc in the following year. For the next two years, he served as an ensignin the U.S. Navy. Hall returned to the University of Utah in 1946, where he was Henry Eyring's first graduate student, and was awarded his PhD in physical chemistry in 1948. Two months later, he realized his childhood dream by starting work at the General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady, New York. He joined a team focused on synthetic diamond making, codenamed "Project Superpressure" headed by engineer Anthony Nerad.

The invention

As with many important inventions, the circumstances surrounding Hall's synthesis is the object of some controversy. What is undoubted is that he produced synthetic diamond in a press of his own design on December 16, 1954 and that he and others could do it over and over in the following week and that success led to the creation of a major super materials industry. What is also undoubted is that Hall was one of a group of about a half dozen of researchers who had focused on the syntheses for almost four years. These years had seen a succession of failed experiments, an increasingly impatient management, and a complex blend of sharing and rivalries among the researchers.

Hall's success, in his telling of the story, came about because of his determination to go his own way with a radical redesign of the press, which employed a doughnut-shaped binding ring (the belt) which confined the sample chamber and two curved and tapered pistons which pressed on the sample chamber. He "bootlegged" the machining of the first hardened steel version of this press, which showed some promise, and eventually got management to approve the construction of it in the tougher, much more expensive Carboloy (tungsten carbide dispersed in cobalt, also known as Widia). However, his experiments were "relegated" (Hall claimed) to a smaller, antique, leaky 400 ton press, rather than a more expensive and new thousand ton press used by other members of the team.

The composition of the starting material in the sample chamber, catalyst for the reaction, and the required temperature and pressure were little more than guesses. Hall used iron sulfide and a form of powdered carbon as the starting material, with tantalum disks to conduct the electricity into the cell for heating it. The experiment was conducted at about 100,000 atmospheres, 1600 °C and took about 38 minutes.[4] Upon breaking open the sample, clusters of diamond octahedral crystals were found on the tantalum metal disks, which apparently acted as a catalyst.

GE went on to make a fortune with Hall's invention. GE rewarded Hall with a $10 savings bond, in addition to his regular salary.

Later years

Hall left GE in 1955 and became a full professor of chemistry and Director of Research at Brigham Young University. At BYU, he invented the tetrahedral and Cubic press systems. For many years, the first tetrahedral press was displayed in the Eyring Science center on campus at BYU. In the early 1960s, Hall invented the polycrystalline diamond (PCD). He founded Novatek and was a co-founder of MegaDiamond, both of Provo, Utah.

On Sunday, July 4, 1976, he became a bishop in 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' and served five years. Later he served a church mission to southern Africa with his wife, Ida-Rose Langford. He died on July 25, 2008 in Provo, Utah at the age of 88. He had seven children, 35 grandchildren and 53 great-grandchildren.

Honors and awards

•    1970 Chemical Pioneer Award by the American Institute of Chemists.
•    1972 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention: "For being the first to discover a reproducible reaction system for making synthetic diamonds from graphite, and for the concept and design of a super high pressure apparatus which not only made the synthesis possible, but brought about a whole new era of high pressure research.
•    1977 James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials from the American Physical Society.
•    1994 Utah Governor's Medal for Science and Technology.
•    2016 Weber State University dedicated its new science building in his honor: the Tracy Hall Science Center.
In popular culture
•    In the "Peekaboo" episode of Breaking Bad, Walter White mentions that Hall "invented the diamond" and received only a $10 savings bond from GE for his invention.


He was granted 19 patents in his career.


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.


#517 2019-03-12 00:45:48

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

484) Erna Schneider Hoover

Dr. Erna Schneider Hoover (born June 19, 1926) is an American mathematician notable for inventing a computerized telephone switching method which "revolutionized modern communication" according to several reports. It prevented system overloads by monitoring call center traffic and prioritizing tasks on phone switching systems to enable more robust service during peak calling times. At Bell Laboratories where she worked for over 32 years, Hoover was described as an important pioneer for women in the field of computer technology.

Early life

Erna Schneider was born on June 19, 1926 in Irvington, New Jersey. Her family lived in South Orange, New Jersey and her father was a dentist and her mother was a teacher. She had a younger brother who died from polio at the age of five. She loved swimming, sailing, canoeing, and was interested in science at an early age. According to one source, she read the biography of Marie Curie which suggested to her that she could succeed in a scientific field despite the prevailing ideas about gender roles at the time.She graduated from Columbia High School in nearby Maplewood in 1944, which would later induct her into its hall of fame in 2007.

Hoover attended Wellesley College where she studied classical and medieval philosophy and history. She graduated from Wellesley in 1948 with honors, earning a bachelor's degree, and she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and was honored as a Durant Scholar. She earned her Ph.D from Yale University in philosophy and foundations of mathematics in 1951.


Hoover was a professor at Swarthmore College from 1951-54 where she taught philosophy and logic. However, she had been unable to win a tenure-track position, possibly because of her gender and marital status, according to one view. In 1953, she married Charles Wilson Hoover, Jr., and he was very supportive of his wife's career pursuits. In 1954, she joined Bell Labs as a senior technical associate, and was promoted in 1956. According to one source, the internal training program was the "equivalent of a master's degree in computer science. Switching systems were moving from electronic to computer-based technologies. Problems happened when a call center would be inundated with thousands of calls in a short amount of time, overwhelming the unreliable electronic relays, and causing the entire system to "freeze up."

Hoover used her knowledge of symbolic logic and feedback theory to program the control mechanisms of a call center to use data about incoming calls to impose order on the whole system. It used computer electronic methods to monitor the frequency of incoming calls at different times. Her method gave priority to processes that were concerned with the input and output of the switch over processes that were less important such as record keeping and billing. The computer, as a result, would adjust the call center's acceptance rate automatically, greatly reducing the overloading problem. The system became known as stored program control.

Hoover's thinking about the invention happened while she was in a hospital recuperating after having given birth to her second daughter, according to several sources. Lawyers for Bell Labs handling the patent had to go to her house to visit her while she was on maternity leave so that she could sign the papers. The result of the invention was much more robust service to callers during peak load times:

To my mind it was kind of common sense ... I designed the executive program for handling situations when there are too many calls, to keep it operating efficiently without hanging up on itself. Basically it was designed to keep the machine from throwing up its hands and going berserk.
— Erna Schneider Hoover, 2008.

For her invention, termed ‘Feedback Control Monitor for Stored Program Data Processing System’, Hoover was awarded patent #3,623,007 in November 1971, one of the first software patents ever issued. The patent was applied for in 1967 and issued in 1971. As a result of her invention, she became the first woman supervisor of a technical department at Bell Labs. She headed the operations support department in 1987. The principles of her invention are still being used in telecommunications equipment in the 21st-century.

Hoover worked on various high-level applications such as research radar control programs of the Safeguard Anti-Ballistic Missile System, which were systems to intercept incoming intercontinental ballistic missile warheads. Her department worked on artificial intelligence methods, large databases, and transactional software to support large telephone networks. She worked at Bell Labs for 32 years until retiring in 1987.  In addition, she served on the boards of higher education organizations in New Jersey. As a member of the board of Trustees of The College of New Jersey, she was described as a visionary who was instrumental in increasing women faculty as well as enrolling the "best prepared high school graduates" in the state, and she helped build the college into a respected institution of higher education by lobbying extensively for state funding.


She was awarded one of the first patents for computer software. She was elected as a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2008. She received the Wellesley College alumni achievement award.


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.


#518 2019-03-13 02:40:20

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

485) Reynold B Johnson

Reynold B. Johnson (July 16, 1906 – September 15, 1998) was an American inventor and computer pioneer. A long-time employee of IBM, Johnson is said to be the "father" of the hard disk drive. Other inventions include automatic test scoring equipment and the videocassette tape.


A native of Minnesota, born to Swedish immigrants, Johnson graduated from Minnehaha Academy (1925) and went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota (BS in Educational Administration, 1929).

In the early 1930s, Johnson, then a high school science teacher in Michigan, invented an electronic test scoring machine that sensed pencil marks on a standardized form based on the multiple choice test created by Columbia University professor Benjamin D. Wood. IBM bought the rights to Reynold's invention and hired him as an engineer to work in their Endicott, New York laboratory. The test scoring machine was sold as the IBM 805 Test Scoring Machine beginning in 1937.

One of Reynold's early assignments was to develop technology that allowed cards marked with pencil marks to be converted into punched cards. That allowed punched card data to be recorded by people using only a pencil. That "mark sense" technology was widely used by businesses in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. For example, the Bell System used mark sense technology to record long distance calls and utility companies used it to record meter readings. The Federal Government used it under the name "electrographic" technology.

In 1952, IBM sent Johnson to San Jose, California, to set up and manage its West Coast Laboratory. In 1956, a research team led by Johnson developed disk data storage technology, which IBM released as the IBM 305 RAMAC. Although the first disk drive was crude by modern standards, it launched a multibillion-dollar industry.

Johnson was working with Sony on another project when he developed the prototype for a half inch videocassette tape. Lou Stevens noted that "Sony was using wider tape on reels. He cut the tape to a half an inch, and put it in a cartridge. The larger tapes weren't easy enough for kids to use, and his interest was in education and building a video textbook for kids."

Johnson retired from IBM in 1971. He obtained more than 90 patents. After his retirement, he developed the microphonograph technology used in the Fisher-Price "Talk to Me Books." The Talk to Me Books won a Toy of the Year award. This technology was also used by the National Audubon Society to aid bird watchers with songbird identification. He received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

The IEEE Reynold B. Johnson Information Storage Systems Award was established in 1991, and is each year presented to a small team or an individual that has made outstanding contributions to information storage systems.

Johnson was awarded the Franklin Institute's Certificate of Merit in 1996.

Johnson died in 1998, at the age of 92, of melanoma at Palo Alto, California.


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.


#519 2019-03-15 00:07:10

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

486) Alfred William Gallagher

Alfred William Gallagher was born at Hamilton on 17 May 1911, the first of six children of Alfred John Gallagher and his wife, Sarah Matilda Clow. Known as Willie, and later Bill, he spent his early years on the family dairy farm at Horotiu, north of Hamilton. He started at Te Kowhai School in 1916, but in 1920 moved with his family to Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty, where his father and a neighbour had bought a larger farm. Willie attended Papamoa School, then Te Puke District High School until he was 15, when he began working full time on the farm.

By 1927 Alf Gallagher was technically insolvent, and after a breakdown in his health, he divorced his wife and emigrated to Australia in 1929. Bill and his brother Henry now became responsible for the farm. Sarah Gallagher suffered a severe stroke in 1933, and three years later the family returned to Waikato. Bill’s share from the sale of the Bay of Plenty property provided the deposit for 98 acres at Horsham Downs, near Horotiu. He had met Millicent May Murray through church activities at Te Puke, and they were married there on 29 April 1936. Despite contracting poliomyelitis in 1939, Millie raised the couple’s three daughters and two sons.

Bill and Henry Gallagher, who had invented farming devices since the 1920s, realised the potential for controlling animals using electricity while working on Henry’s motorcycle: when a horse wandered into the shed and brushed against their car, Bill connected the motorcycle’s magneto to a triggering device, which electrified the car and gave the horse a shock. About 1937 he made his first electric fence (using mains power) as a cheap, practical alternative to standard post, wire and batten fencing. He developed a battery-powered design because it was then illegal to use mains supply. By 1938 a proven market existed for the prototypes, which he had been selling locally, and two years later the family moved to Hamilton East, where Bill briefly produced electric fences and ‘gas-producers’ (for gas-powered motor vehicles) with his friend Bill O’Brien and his other brother, Vivian.

During a 1940 visit to Wellington, Bill Gallagher and O’Brien were offered a short-lived job making gas-producers and electric fences. On returning to Hamilton in 1942, Bill was manpowered to work for the Colonial Ammunition Company and subsequently for a farm-machinery repair business. After the war he expanded from the garage at his Seddon Road residence into a workshop on a rear section. With six employees he successfully made gas-producers and converted old cars into tractors. His two brothers worked with him until 1950 and together they designed a spinning top-dresser. The firm undertook general repair work, manufactured the popular battery-powered electric-fence units, and also made cow bails, hay barns and cattle-stops.

In the 1950s Bill Gallagher was heavily involved with boat-building and commercial fishing. After two years’ construction, the 50-foot motor vessel Seddon Park was launched in December 1951. Gallagher operated a commercial fishing venture from Raglan in 1957, but found that trawling did not pay. The 88-foot Hamutana , which he built in 1957–58, sailed to Brisbane on hospitality trips for the Boys’ Brigade and Bible class in 1959–60, and served as a mother ship for the 1964 Auckland–Noumea yacht race. A committed Christian, Bill also hosted several church mission voyages to Pacific islands.

Gallagher Engineering was formally established as a limited liability company in 1963 with £3,000 capital. His sons, John and Bill junior, took an increasingly prominent role, phasing out top-dressers and developing other agricultural machinery. The electric-fence unit became the most successful product once the use of mains power was permitted in 1961. In 1966 the firm marketed a model made by Precision Electronics, but Gallagher worked with electrician Jack Page to produce their own mains-powered model in 1969. Gallagher Electronics was established as a separate company in 1974.

Bill Gallagher’s responsiveness to farmers’ needs, frontline salesmanship and emphasis on quality control, combined with his sons’ creative thinking and marketing, ensured further success in the early 1970s. He continued his interest in electronic research at a new Kahikatea Drive factory from 1976. He had initially been sceptical about exporting the company’s products, but after Bill junior had some success in Australia in 1967, Bill and Millie Gallagher travelled extensively in Britain promoting electric fences. Known in his later years as the ‘Admiral’, he reduced his direct involvement during the early 1980s, but continued as a director until 1989. By that time the firm was facing hard times because of the removal of farm and export subsidies.

In retirement Gallagher invented a hoist for transferring hospital patients between bed, bath and wheelchair. At Assisi Home and Hospital in Matangi he repaired wheelchairs, redesigned the boiler system, advised on a gas system and installed emergency lighting. He served on the board of managers at First Presbyterian Church in Frankton (1954–86), was a justice of the peace and a member of the Masonic lodge. In 1980 he became a Paul Harris fellow for his international community service with the Rotary Club of Frankton, and in 1990 he was appointed an MBE.

Gallagher exhibited a lively sense of humour and enjoyed clever jokes, despite his strict Christian beliefs. He disapproved of alcohol and swearing in the workplace. A slightly built man, he led a modest and unassuming lifestyle. He earned a reputation for satisfying his customers and for fairness as a boss. By the early 1990s the original Gallagher engineering company had become uneconomic and was sold. However, the power fences he had developed were being used in over 100 countries for such diverse purposes as elephant control in Malaysia and the protection of Canadian beehives from bears.

Bill Gallagher died from cancer at Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, on 8 August 1990, and was buried at Hamilton Park cemetery, Newstead. He was survived by his wife and children.


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.


#520 2019-03-17 00:16:45

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

487) Nick Holonyak Jr.

Nick Holonyak Jr. (born November 3, 1928) is an American engineer and educator. He is noted particularly for his 1962 invention of a light-emitting diode (LED) that emitted visible red light instead of infrared light; Holonyak was then working at General Electric's research laboratory in Syracuse, New York. He is a John Bardeen Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been since leaving General Electric in 1963.


In addition to introducing the III-V alloy LED, Holonyak holds 41 patents. His other inventions include the red-light semiconductorlaser, usually called the laser diode (used in CD and DVD players and cell phones) and the shorted emitter p-n-p-n switch (used in light dimmers and power tools).

In 2006, the American Institute of Physics decided on the five most important papers in each of its journals since it was founded 75 years ago. Two of these five papers, in the journal Applied Physics Letters, were co-authored by Holonyak. The first one, co-authored with S. F. Bevacqua in 1962, announced the creation of the first visible-light LED. The second, co-authored primarily with Milton Feng in 2005, announced the creation of a transistor laser that can operate at room temperatures. Holonyak predicted that his LEDs would replace the incandescent light bulb of Thomas Edison in the February 1963 issue of Reader's Digest] and as LEDs improve in quality and efficiency they are gradually replacing incandescents as the bulb of choice.


Holonyak's parents were Rusyn immigrants from Subcarpathian Rus (at that time Czechoslovakia, currently Zakarpattia Oblast in Ukraine) ] who settled in Southern Illinois; Holonyak's father worked in a coal mine. Holonyak was the first member of his family to receive any type of formal schooling. He once worked 30 straight hours on the Illinois Central Railroad before realizing that a life of hard labor was not what he wanted and he'd prefer to go to school instead. According to Knight Ridder, "The cheap and reliable semiconductor lasers critical to DVD players, bar code readers and scores of other devices owe their existence in some small way to the demanding workload thrust upon Downstate railroad crews decades ago."

Holonyak earned his bachelor's (1950), master's (1951), and doctoral (1954) degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Holonyak was John Bardeen's first Ph.D. student there; Bardeen, a theoretical physicist, was the co-inventor of the transistor who ultimately won Nobel Prizes for that work and for the theory of superconductivity. In 1954 he went to Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he worked on silicon-based electronic devices. From 1955–1957 Holonyak served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps. From 1957–1963 he was a scientist at the General Electric Company's Advanced Semiconductor Laboratory in Syracuse, New York. In 1963, he became a professor at the University of Illinois, from which he retired fifty years later in 2013.

University of Illinois

As of 2007, he is the John Bardeen Endowed Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is investigating methods for manufacturing quantum dot lasers. He has been married to his wife Katherine for 51 years. He no longer teaches classes, but he researches full-time. He and Dr. Milton Feng run a transistor laser research center at the University funded by $6.5 million from the United States Department of Defense through DARPA.

10 of his 60 former doctoral students have developed new uses for LED technology at Philips Lumileds Lighting Company in Silicon Valley.

Awards and honors

Holonyak has been presented awards by George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Emperor Akihito of Japan and Vladimir Putin.
In 1984, Holonyak was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
In 1989, he received the IEEE Edison Medal for 'an outstanding career in the field of electrical engineering with contributions to major advances in the field of semiconductor materials and devices.' Holonyak's former student, Russell Dupuis from the Georgia Institute of Technology, won this same award in 2007.
In 1992, he received the Charles Hard Townes Award of the Optical Society of America.
In 1993, he received the NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science.
In 1995, he was awarded the $500,000 Japan Prize for 'Outstanding contributions to research and practical applications of light emitting diodes and lasers.
In 2001, he has also received the Frederic Ives Medal of the Optical Society of America.
In 2003, he was awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor.
In 2005, he was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in the area of Science.
On 9 November 2007, Holonyak was honored on the University of Illinois campus with a historical marker recognizing his development of the quantum-well laser. It is located on the Bardeen Engineering Quadrangle near where the old Electrical Engineering Research Laboratory used to stand.
In 2008, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (Announced February 14, 2008) (May 2–3, 2008 at Akron, Ohio).
In 2015, he received the Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering "For the invention, development, and commercialization of materials and processes for light-emitting diodes (LEDs)."
In September 2018 the Village of Glen Carbon, IL placed an honorary street sign on behalf of Dr. Nick Holonyak to honor the former resident of the Village. Village officials, family, and friends gathered to honor and remember Dr. Holonyak who lived with his family on South Meridian Road.
He has also received the Global Energy International Prize, the National Medal of Technology, the Order of Lincoln Medallion, and the 2004 Lemelson-MIT Prize, also worth $500,000.
Many colleagues have expressed their belief that he deserves the Nobel Prize for his invention of the red LED. On this subject, Holonyak says, "It's ridiculous to think that somebody owes you something. We're lucky to be alive, when it comes down to it." In October 2014, Holonyak reversed his stance by stating "I find this one insulting." in reaction to news that the inventors of the blue LED were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics, instead of his fellow LED researchers.


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.


#521 2019-03-19 00:41:54

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

488) Hendrik Antoon Lorentz

Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, (born July 18, 1853, Arnhem, Neth.—died Feb. 4, 1928, Haarlem), Dutch physicist and joint winner (with Pieter Zeeman) of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1902 for his theory of electromagnetic radiation, which, confirmed by findings of Zeeman, gave rise to Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

In his doctoral thesis at the University of Leiden (1875), Lorentz refined the electromagnetic theory of James C. Maxwell of England so that it more satisfactorily explained the reflection and refraction of light. He was appointed professor of mathematical physics at Leiden in 1878. His work in physics was wide in scope, but his central aim was to construct a single theory to explain the relationship of electricity, magnetism, and light. Although, according to Maxwell’s theory, electromagnetic radiation is produced by the oscillation of electric charges, the charges that produce light were unknown. Since it was generally believed that an electric current was made up of charged particles, Lorentz later theorized that the atoms of matter might also consist of charged particles and suggested that the oscillations of these charged particles (electrons) inside the atom were the source of light. If this were true, then a strong magnetic field ought to have an effect on the oscillations and therefore on the wavelength of the light thus produced. In 1896 Zeeman, a pupil of Lorentz, demonstrated this phenomenon, known as the Zeeman effect, and in 1902 they were awarded the Nobel Prize.

Lorentz’ electron theory was not, however, successful in explaining the negative results of the Michelson-Morley experiment, an effort to measure the velocity of the Earth through the hypothetical luminiferous ether by comparing the velocities of light from different directions. In an attempt to overcome this difficulty he introduced in 1895 the idea of local time (different time rates in different locations). Lorentz arrived at the notion that moving bodies approaching the velocity of light contract in the direction of motion. The Irish physicist George Francis FitzGerald had already arrived at this notion independently and in 1904 Lorentz extended his work and developed the Lorentz transformations. These mathematical formulas describe the increase of mass, shortening of length, and dilation of time that are characteristic of a moving body and form the basis of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. In 1912 Lorentz became director of research at the Teyler Institute, Haarlem, though he remained honorary professor at Leiden, where he gave weekly lectures.

Hendrik Antoon Lorentz was born at Arnhem, The Netherlands, on July 18, 1853, as the son of nursery-owner Gerrit Frederik Lorentz and his wife née Geertruida van Ginkel. When he was four years old, his mother died, and in 1862 his father married Luberta Hupkes. In those days the grade school did not only have school hours in the morning and in the afternoon, but also in the evening, when teaching was more free (in a sense resembling the Dalton method). In this way, when in 1866 the first highschool (H.B.S.) at Arnhem was opened, Hendrik Lorentz, as a gifted pupil, was ready to be placed in the 3rd form. After the 5th form and a year of study of the classics, he entered the University of Leyden in 1870, obtained his B.Sc. degree in mathematics and physics in 1871, and returned to Arnhem in 1872 to become a night-school teacher, at the same time preparing for his doctoral thesis on the reflection and refraction of light. In 1875, at the early age of 22, he obtained his doctor’s degree, and only three years later he was appointed to the Chair of Theoretical Physics at Leyden, newly created for him. In spite of many invitations to chairs abroad, he always remained faithful to his Alma Mater. From 1912 onward, when he accepted a double function at Haarlem as Curator of Teyler’s Physical Cabinet and Secretary of the “Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen” (Dutch Society of Sciences), he continued at Leyden as Extraordinary Professor, delivering his famous Monday morning lectures for the rest of his life. The far-seeing directors of Teyler’s Foundation thus enabled his unique mind to be freed from routine academic obligations, permitting him to spread his wings still further in the highest secluded realms of science, which are attainable by so few.

From the start of his scientific work, Lorentz took it as his task to extend James Clerk Maxwell’s theory of electricity and of light. Already in his doctor’s thesis, he treated the reflection and refraction phenomena of light from this standpoint which was then quite new. His fundamental work in the fields of optics and electricity has revolutionized contemporary conceptions of the nature of matter.

In 1878, he published an essay on the relation between the velocity of light in a medium and the density and composition thereof. The resulting formula, proposed almost simultaneously by the Danish physicist Lorenz, has become known as the Lorenz-Lorentz formula.

Lorentz also made fundamental contributions to the study of the phenomena of moving bodies. In an extensive treatise on the aberration of light and the problems arising in connection with it, he followed A.J. Fresnel’s hypothesis of the existence of an immovable ether, which freely penetrates all bodies. This assumption formed the basis of a general theory of the electrical and optical phenomena of moving bodies.

From Lorentz stems the conception of the electron; his view that his minute, electrically charged particle plays a rôle during electromagnetic phenomena in ponderable matter made it possible to apply the molecular theory to the theory of electricity, and to explain the behaviour of light waves passing through moving, transparent bodies.

The so-called Lorentz transformation (1904) was based on the fact that electromagnetic forces between charges are subject to slight alterations due to their motion, resulting in a minute contraction in the size of moving bodies. It not only adequately explains the apparent absence of the relative motion of the Earth with respect to the ether, as indicated by the experiments of Michelson and Morley, but also paved the way for Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

It may well be said that Lorentz was regarded by all theoretical physicists as the world’s leading spirit, who completed what was left unfinished by his predecessors and prepared the ground for the fruitful reception of the new ideas based on the quantum theory.

In 1919, he was appointed Chairman of the Committee whose task it was to study the movements of sea water which could be expected during and after the reclamation of the Zuyderzee in The Netherlands, one of the greatest works of all times in hydraulic engineering. His theoretical calculations, the result of eight years of pioneering work, have been confirmed in actual practice in the most striking manner, and have ever since been of permanent value to the science of hydraulics.

An overwhelming number of honours and distinctions from all over the world were bestowed on Lorentz. International gatherings were presided over by him with exceptional skill, both on account of his amiable and judicious personality and his masterly command of languages. Until his death he was Chairman of all Solvay Congresses, and in 1923 he was elected to the membership of the “International Committee of Intellectual Cooperation” of the League of Nations. Of this Committee, consisting of only seven of the world’s most eminent scholars, he became the President in 1925.

Through his great prestige in governmental circles in his own country, Lorentz was able to convince them of the importance of science for national production. He thus initiated the steps which finally led to the creation of the organisation now generally known under the initials T.N.O. (Dutch for Applied Scientific Research).

Lorentz was a man of immense personal charm. The very picture of unselfishness, full of genuine interest in whoever had the privilege of crossing his path, he endeared himself both to the leaders of his age and to the ordinary citizen.

In 1881 Lorentz married Aletta Catharina Kaiser, whose father, J.W. Kaiser, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, was the Director of the Museum which later became the well-known Rijksmuseum (National Gallery) of Amsterdam, and the designer of the first postage stamps of The Netherlands. There were two daughters and one son from this marriage. The eldest daughter Dr. Geertruida Luberta Lorentz is a physicist in her own right and married Professor W.J. de Haas, Director of the Cryogenic Laboratory (Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory) of the University of Leyden.

Lorentz died at Haarlem on February 4, 1928.


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.


#522 2019-03-21 00:45:01

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

489) John Wesley Hyatt

John Wesley Hyatt, (born Nov. 28, 1837, Starkey, N.Y., U.S.—died May 10, 1920, Short Hills, N.J.), American inventor and industrialist who discovered the process for making celluloid, the first practical artificial plastic.

As a young man, Hyatt trained as a printer in Illinois and then in Albany, N.Y. In 1863 he was attracted by a reward of $10,000 offered by a New York billiards company to anyone who could invent a satisfactory substitute for ivory billiard balls. Hyatt experimented with several compositions, none of which produced a successful billiard ball, but he was able to go into business with his brothers making one of the mixtures—a composite of wood pulp and shellac—into embossed checkers and dominoes. Continuing his experiments, Hyatt found that an attractive and practical plastic material could be made by mixing nitrocellulose (a flammable nitrate of common wood or cotton cellulose), camphor (a waxy resin obtained from Asian camphor trees), and alcohol and then pressing the mixture in a heated mold.

Hyatt and his brother Isaiah first attempted to market the plastic, which they patented in 1870 as Celluloid, as a substitute for hard rubber in denture plates. In 1872 they moved their Celluloid Manufacturing Company from Albany to Newark, N.J., where they put numerous patents to work in building up what became the premier celluloid company in the world. The Hyatts concentrated on forming celluloid into sheets, rods, and other unfinished shapes, usually leaving their fabrication into practical objects to licensed companies such as the Celluloid Brush Company, the Celluloid Waterproof Cuff and Collar Company, and the Celluloid Piano Key Company.

In the 1880s the Hyatts set up a company that employed a patented process for purifying water through the use of coagulants and filters. John Hyatt went on to invent a number of new or improved industrial devices, including roller bearings, sugarcane mills, and sewing machines.


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.


#523 Yesterday 00:20:59

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 27,052

Re: crème de la crème

490) Giovanni Battista Amici

Giovanni Battista Amici, (born March 25, 1786, Modena, Duchy of Modena [Italy]—died April 10, 1863, Florence), astronomer and optician who made important improvements in the mirrors of reflecting telescopes and also developed prisms for use in refracting spectroscopes (instruments used to separate light into its spectral components).

Amici served as professor of mathematics at the University of Modena from 1815 to 1825 and then became astronomer to the Grand Duke of Tuscany and director of the observatory at the Royal Museum in Florence, where he also lectured at the museum of natural history. He made major advancements in compound-microscope design and introduced (1840) the oil-immersion technique, in which the objective lens is immersed in a drop of oil placed atop the specimen under observation in order to minimize light aberrations.

His name is most often associated with improvements in the microscope and reflecting telescope, but he also put his instruments to good use. His observations of Jupiter’s satellites and certain double stars were highly esteemed. Using an improved micrometer of his own design, he made accurate measurements of the polar and equatorial diameters of the Sun. With his improved compoundmicroscope he made discoveries about the circulation of sap in plants and the processes of plant reproduction.


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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