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#551 2019-05-17 00:58:30

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

518) Lester Allan Pelton

Lester Allan Pelton (September 5, 1829 – March 14, 1908) was an American inventor who contributed significantly to the development of hydroelectricity and hydropower in the American Old West as well as world-wide. In the late 1870s, he invented the ‘Pelton water wheel’, at that time the most efficient design of the impulse water turbine. Recognized as one of the fathers of hydroelectric power, he was awarded the Elliott Cresson Medal during his lifetime and is an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Early life and youth

Lester A. Pelton was born in a log-cabin in rural Vermilion Twp., Erie County, Ohio. His grandfather, Captain Josiah Pelton, who lost most of his assets as a sea-captain during the War-of-1812 era, shortly later brought his family to Ohio. Lester's father was Allen Pelton, and his mother was Fanny Cuddeback, from another local early pioneer family. As a youngster, Lester worked on his family's farm and probably attended the nearby "Cuddeback" grade-school.

In 1850, young Pelton, along with several other local males, emigrated from Ohio to participate in the California gold rush. He was not successful as a gold-miner, but he fished the Sacramento River and sold his catch locally; and he worked in wood-milling and carpentry. In 1860, after the gold strikes in the nearby Sierra Nevada he relocated to Camptonville—near the Yuba River and the California Mother Lode country—where he made his living as a millwright and carpenter. Pelton spent much of his time reading and observing mining activity; his work and studies gained him critical knowledge of mining equipment and processes and related engineering principles. 

Inventing the Pelton wheel

Pelton's ideas for improving the turbine water wheel came from his studies of mining equipment and operations in California's gold rush country. Summary descriptions of the local technology observed by Pelton, and of the science by which his turbine water wheel extracts kinetic energy from a coursing mountain stream follow...
Steam-heat powered much of local mining activities but required a lot of wood for fuel; nearby forests were routinely decimated. Turbine water wheels also were used to supply power, but these were inefficient in converting the kinetic energy of mountain streams to horsepower. D.P. Stern reports: "According to a 1939 article by W. F. Durand of Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering, Pelton's invention started from an accidental observation some time in the 1870s. Pelton was watching a spinning water turbine when the key holding its wheel onto its shaft slipped, causing it to become misaligned. Instead of the jet hitting the cups in their middle, the slippage made it hit near the edge; rather than the water flow being stopped, it was now deflected into a half-circle, coming out again with reversed direction. Surprisingly, the turbine now moved faster. That was Pelton's great discovery. In other turbines the jet hit the middle of the cup and the splash of the impacting water wasted energy."

Experimenting and modelling, Pelton improved upon the efficiency of the Knight wheel (developed earlier by the Knight Foundry at nearby Sutter Creek). The Knight wheel received the streamflow jet slightly off-center and at an angle into a single turbine cup. Alternatively, the Pelton wheel—by deploying a split double cup (in effect two cups side-by-side), then splitting the impinging water-jet directly onto the common vane of the double cup—captured a stream's kinetic energy more efficiently. There were two prime results of Pelton's design: it consolidated the introduction of a new physical science into the ancient human quest to develop hydropower, i.e., the science of the impulse turbine as opposed to the reaction turbine; and it revolutionized the use of turbines adapted for high head (i.e., elevation energy) sites. Before Pelton, almost all water turbines were reaction machines powered by water pressure, or head, while Pelton's wheel was powered by the kinetic energy of a high velocity water-jet  which could be conveniently developed from a small mountain stream.

Building the Pelton wheel

In the late 1870s Pelton modeled, tested and manufactured his first turbine wheel, dubbed the Pelton Runner—later referring to the impulse blades only—at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City, California.  In 1878, at the Mayflower Mine in Nevada City, he installed the first operational Pelton wheel. At that time the Knight Foundry wheel was being sold as the industry standard, but in a head-to-head competition staged in 1883 at the Idaho Mine in nearby Grass Valley, Pelton's design proved much more efficient.  The Pelton design provided 90 percent efficiency (of converting streamflow kinetic energy to horsepower) while the next best competitor achieved less than 77 percent—at a time when most extant water wheels typically rated less than 40 percent.  The Pelton wheel also provided sustained power during (typical) lowflow conditions in a mountain stream. In 1887 a miner attached Pelton's wheel to a dynamo and produced the first hydroelectric power in the Sierra Nevada.

In 1895, the largest installation of Pelton's wheel during his lifetime was accomplished at the North Star Mine Powerhouse, Grass Valley, California, by the engineer Arthur De Wint Foote, who designed and installed an over-sized wheel of 30 feet diameter; it performed successfully, greatly increasing the hydropower delivered by the Pelton runners to produce compressed air for mining operations.

Pelton patented his wheel as well as his novel design of the double cup runner, and in 1888 formed the Pelton Water Wheel Company in San Francisco to supply the growing demand for hydropower and hydroelectricity throughout the West and world-wide.  'Pelton' is a trademark name for the products of that company, but the term is widely used generically for similar impulse turbines.

Death, legacy and awards

Pelton died in California at the age of seventy-eight and is interred at his family cemetery site in Vermilion, Ohio. His Pelton Runner design is still used to produce hydroelectric power in the United States and around the world, as shown here. Later designs such as the Turgo turbine, first patented in 1919, and the Banki turbine were inspired by the Pelton wheel.

In 1895, The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, awarded Lester Pelton the Elliott Cresson Medal, since renamed the Benjamin Franklin Medal, for Pelton's accomplishments of invention in technology. In 2006, he was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Alexandra, Virginia, formerly in Akron, Ohio. There are memorials and monuments celebrating Pelton and the Pelton Runner mounted in Camptonvlle, California, in the Miners Foundry in Nevada City, California, and at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., California Resort at Disneyland in Anaheim, among other sites.

In 1958, the actor William Hudson was cast as Pelton in the episode "Wheel of Fortune" on the syndicated television anthology series, ‘Death Valley Days’, hosted by Stanley Andrews. The episode focuses on Pelton's development of the principles of hydraulic mining

pelton-lester-image.jpg


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

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

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#552 2019-05-19 00:10:18

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

519) Joseph Swan

Joseph Swan, in full Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, (born October 31, 1828, Sunderland, Durham, England—died May 27, 1914, Warlingham, Surrey), English physicist and chemist who produced an early electric lightbulb and invented the dry photographic plate, an important improvement in photography and a step in the development of modern photographic film.

After serving his apprenticeship with a druggist in his native town, Swan became first assistant and later partner in a firm of manufacturing chemists in Newcastle. Working with wet photographic plates, he noticed that heat increased the sensitivity of the silver bromide emulsion. By 1871 he had devised a method of drying the wet plates, initiating the age of convenience in photography. Eight years later he patented bromide paper, the paper commonly used in modern photographic prints.

Some years earlier, in 1860, Swan developed a primitive electric light, one that utilized a filament of carbonized paper in an evacuated glass bulb. Lack of a good vacuum and an adequate electric source, however, resulted in a short lifetime for the bulb and inefficient light. His design was substantially the one used by Thomas A. Edison nearly 20 years later. In 1880, after the improvement of vacuum techniques, both Swan and Edison produced a practical lightbulb. Three years later, while searching for a better carbon filament for his lightbulb, Swan patented a process for squeezing nitrocellulose through holes to form fibres. In 1885 he exhibited his equipment and some articles made from the artificial fibres. The textile industry has utilized his process. Swan was knighted in 1904.

joseph-swan-4-sized.jpg


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

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

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#553 2019-05-21 00:50:57

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

520) Henry Albert Fleuss

Henry Albert Fleuss (13 June 1851 – 6 January 1932) was a pioneering diving engineer, and Master Diver for Siebe, Gorman & Co. of London.
Fleuss was born in Marlborough, Wiltshire in 1851.

In 1878 he was granted a patent which improved rebreathers. His apparatus consisted of a rubber mask connected to a breathing bag, with (estimated) 50-60% O2 supplied from a copper tank and CO2 scrubbed by rope yarn soaked in a solution of caustic potash, the system giving a duration of about three hours. Fleuss tested his device in 1879 by spending an hour submerged in a water tank, then one week later by diving to a depth of 5.5m in open water, upon which occasion he was slightly injured when his assistants abruptly pulled him to the surface.

Fleuss's apparatus was first used under operational conditions in November 1880 by Alexander Lambert, lead diver of the Severn Tunnelconstruction project. Trained by Fleuss, he was able to close a submerged sluice door in the tunnel which had defeated the best efforts of hard hat divers due to the danger of their air supply hoses becoming fouled on submerged debris, and the strong water currents in the workings.

The same apparatus was later used several times to rescue mine workers in flooded workings.

Some time before the First World War, the Fleuss-Davis independent breathing set for hardhat divers appeared. This device consisted of two 10-cubic-foot (280 L) tanks, one each for compressed air and oxygen. The gases were mixed in a manifold between the two tanks and the diver's mouthpiece. The manufacturer claimed success of this unit to depths of 66 feet.

Fleuss also invented the Fleuss vacuum pump, which was a double action Guericke type pump which delivers an almost constant suction. It uses a cylinder divided in halves: as one half of the cylinder is filled with air, the other half is evacuating air to the atmosphere by one stroke of the pump. The next stroke reverses this action, producing the constant flow.

(Standard diving dress (also known as hard-hat or copper hat equipment, or heavy gear) is a type of diving suit that was formerly used for all underwater work that required more than breath-hold duration, which included marine salvage, civil engineering, pearl shell diving and other commercial diving work, and similar naval diving applications. Standard diving dress has largely been superseded by lighter and more comfortable equipment.)

(A rebreather is a breathing apparatus that absorbs the carbon dioxide of a user's exhaled breath to permit the rebreathing (recycling) of the substantially unused oxygen content, and unused inert content when present, of each breath. Oxygen is added to replenish the amount metabolised by the user. This differs from an open-circuit breathing apparatus, where the exhaled gas is discharged directly into the environment.)

Fleuss_Apparatus1.gif


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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#554 2019-05-23 00:03:31

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

521) Sir William Siemens

Sir William Siemens, in full Charles William Siemens, original name Karl Wilhelm Siemens, (born April 4, 1823, Lenthe, Prussia [now in Germany]—died Nov. 19, 1883, London, Eng.), German-born English engineer and inventor, important in the development of the steel and telegraph industries.

After private tutoring, Siemens was sent to a commercial school at Lübeck in order to enter his uncle’s bank. But his elder brother, Werner Siemens, deciding that engineering was more suitable, sent him to a technical school at Magdeburg for three years. Financed by his uncle, he then studied chemistry, physics, and mathematics for a year at the University of Göttingen, where his brother-in-law was a professor of chemistry. Through his brother’s influence he became an apprentice-student, without fee, in an engineering factory making steam engines in Magdeburg. While there, he determined to sell Werner’s electroplating process; after modest success in Hamburg, William traveled to London, arriving in March 1843 with only a few pounds in cash. He sold the process to Elkingtons of Birmingham for £1,600. He returned to Germany to complete his studies and then went again to England in February 1844 with the intention of selling further inventions.

Finding that the patent laws in England were encouraging, William boldly decided to settle there as an inventor, but he found it difficult to make a living until his water meter, invented in 1851, began to earn large royalties. He could now afford an office in London and a house in Kensington, where he lived with his younger brothers, Carl (1829–1906) and August Friedrich (1826–1904), until his marriage in 1859 to Anne Gordon, the sister of an engineering professor at the University of Glasgow. The same year, he also received British citizenship.

Beginning in 1847, William and his brother Friedrich had attempted to apply to industrial processes the regenerative principle, by which heat escaping with waste gases was captured to heat the air supplied to a furnace, thus increasing efficiency. In 1861 William used this principle in his patent for the open-hearth furnace that was heated by gas produced by low-grade coal outside the furnace. This invention, first used in glassmaking, was soon widely applied in steelmaking and eventually supplanted the earlier Bessemer process of 1856. William’s achievements were recognized by his membership in the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1860 and by his election as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1862. Tempted by the prospect of profits as well as royalties, he started his own steelworks at Landore, South Wales, in 1869; but, although it flourished for some years, he was losing money by the 1880s.

Meanwhile, he had made yet another reputation and fortune in electric telegraphy. Beginning in 1850, he had acted as English agent for his brother Werner’s firm, Siemens & Halske of Berlin, a connection he maintained until 1858, when he became managing partner of the separate London firm founded under the same name; the firm was engaged in electrical testing for cable firms and in the manufacturing of apparatus. The English firm laid, in 1874, the electrical cable from Rio de Janeiro to Montevideo and, in 1875, the first direct link from Britain to the United States.

Thereafter, William worked on electric lighting and electric traction. He invented improvements in arc lights and had them installed in the British Museum and elsewhere. A few months before he died he was responsible for the Portrush electric railway in Northern Ireland. He played a full part in professional life: he acted as president of various professional organizations including the British Association for the Advancement of Science, received honorary degrees from various universities and many foreign orders, and was knighted in the year of his death. He left a large fortune but no children.

William_Siemens.jpg


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

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

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#555 2019-05-25 00:01:38

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

522) Sir Charles Algernon Parsons

Sir Charles Algernon Parsons, (born June 13, 1854, London—died Feb. 11, 1931, Kingston, Jamaica), British engineer whose invention of a multi-stage steam turbine revolutionized marine propulsion.

Parsons entered the Armstrong engineering works at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1877. In 1889, after working for several other companies, he established his own works at Newcastle for the manufacture of steam turbines, dynamos, and other electrical apparatus.

The turbine Parsons invented in 1884 utilized several stages in series; in each stage the expansion of the steam was restricted to the extent that allowed the greatest extraction of kinetic energy without causing the turbine blades to overspeed. Parsons’ turbine was fitted with a condenser in 1891 for use in electric generating stations, and in 1897 it was successfully applied to marine propulsion in the “Turbinia,” a ship that attained a speed of 34 1/2 knots, extraordinary for the time. The turbine was soon used by warships and other steamers.

In addition to the chairmanship of C.A. Parsons and Company, Parsons held directorial positions on the boards of several other electrical supply and engineering companies. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society (1898), was awarded the Royal Society’s Rumford Medal (1902), and was president of the Institute of Marine Engineers (1905–06) and of the British Association (1919–20). He was knighted in 1911 and given the Order of Merit in 1927.
In addition to his turbine, Parsons invented a mechanical reducing gear, which, when placed between the turbine and a screw propeller, greatly improved the efficiency of both. He also invented nonskid automobile chains. A collection of his scientific papers and addresses was published in 1934.

parsons.jpg


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

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

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#556 2019-05-27 00:50:59

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

523) Inge Lehmann

Inge Lehmann, (born May 13, 1888, Copenhagen, Denmark—died February 21, 1993, Copenhagen), Danish seismologist best known for her discovery of the inner core of Earth in 1936 by using seismic wave data. Two boundary regions, or discontinuities, are named for her: one Lehmann discontinuity occurs between Earth’s inner and outer core at a depth of roughly 5,100 km (about 3,200 miles), and the other occurs at a depth of approximately 200 km (about 120 miles) beneath Earth’s surface in the upper mantle.

Inge Lehmann was born to Alfred Lehmann, a psychology professor, and Ida Tørsleff. Growing up in Copenhagen, she attended a high school that treated girls and boys equally—a progressive idea at the time. In 1907 she began her study of mathematics at the University of Copenhagen, intending to obtain a candidata magisterii (cand.mag.; comparable to a master’s degree). From the autumn of 1910 to December 1911, Lehmann attended Newnham College, Cambridge, but fatigue and overwork forced her return to Copenhagen.

Lehmann did not attend school between 1911 and 1918, instead serving as an actuarial assistant. She returned to the University of Copenhagen in 1918 and graduated with a cand.mag. in mathematics in 1920. She continued studying mathematics at the University of Hamburg during the fall of 1922, before taking another position as an actuarial assistant in 1923, this time working with a professor in the actuarial science department at the University of Copenhagen. In 1925 she became an assistant to the head of the Royal Danish Geodetic Institute, and part of her work involved setting up Denmark’s first seismic stations near Copenhagen, as well as in Ivigtut and Scoresbysund (now Ittoqqortoomiit), Greenland. Because of her growing interest in that topic, she again enrolled in the University of Copenhagen and studied seismology during the summer of 1927, later graduating with a ‘magister scientiarum’ (master of science) in 1928. That same year Lehmann was appointed as the state geodesist and was made the head of the Seismological Department of the Royal Danish Geodetic Institute. She held the latter post until her retirement in 1953.

The bulk of Lehmann’s work at the Seismological Department invlved managing the seismological stations both in Denmark and in Greenland, as well as collecting seismograph information and creating the bulletins associated with the stations. She became interested in determining the location of earthquake epicentres more accurately from the data her seismographs provided. She did so by correlating the primary seismic wave forms collected.. She was also interested in calculating the travel times of various types of seismic waves through the planet.

In 1929, while examining seismograph data collected after a large earthquake in New Zealand, Lehmann noticed that seismographs stationed in the Russian cities of Swerdlowsk (Yekaterinburg) and Irkutsk collected seismic waves with amplitudes that were higher than she had expected. She also discovered that some waves traveling away from the earthquake’s focus appeared to have been “bent.” It was known at the time that Earth’s core deflected secondary (S) waves and some primary (P) waves—thereby creating shadow zones behind the core—as those waves traveled outward from an earthquake’s focus to its antipode on the other side of the planet. In 1936, Lehmann published her findings in a paper that posited a three-shelled model of Earth’s interior (which was made up of the mantle, outer core, and inner core), with seismic waves traveling through each shell at different but constant velocities. The model included Earth’s core but also postulated the existence of an inner core. It was not until 1970 that advances in seismographs provided unequivocal evidence of the inner core’s existence. The boundary between the inner and outer core, which occurs at a depth of roughly 5,100 km (about 3,200 miles), is known as the Lehmann discontinuity.

Lehmann is also known for researching Earth’s mantle. Working with American seismologist Beno Gutenberg in 1954, she noticed the existence of a region in Earth’s upper mantle in which seismic waves travel faster. That region, which spans perhaps 50 km (about 31 miles) and is also known as the Lehmann discontinuity, occurs about 200 km (120 miles) below Earth’s surface.

In addition to her discoveries, Lehmann cofounded the Danish Geophysical Society (1936) and chaired the organization in 1941 and 1944. She was awarded the William Bowie Medal of the American Geophysical Union in 1971 for her contributions in the field of geophysics and received the Medal of the Seismological Society of America in 1977. The American Geophysical Union created the Inge Lehmann Medal in her honour in 1995, and, starting in 1997, it was awarded to researchers displaying “outstanding contributions to the understanding of the structure, composition, and dynamics of the Earth’s mantle and core.”

Inge-lehmann-google-doodle.jpg


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

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

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#557 2019-05-29 00:02:20

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

524) John Kemp Starley

John Kemp Starley (1854 –1901) was an English inventor and industrialist who is widely considered the inventor of the modern bicycle, and also originator of the name Rover.

Starley was born on 14 December 1854 and lived on Church Hill, Walthamstow, London, England. He was the son of a gardener, John Starley, and Mary Ann (née Cippen). In 1872 he moved to Coventry to work with his uncle James Starley, an inventor. He worked with his uncle and William Hillman for several years building Ariel cycles.

In 1877, he started a new business ‘Starley & Sutton Co’ with William Sutton, a local cycling enthusiast. They set about developing bicycles that were safer and easier to use than the prevailing penny farthing or "ordinary" bicycles. They started by manufacturing tricycles, and by 1883 their products were being branded as "Rover".

In 1885, Starley made history when he produced the Rover Safety Bicycle. The ‘Rover’ was a rear-wheel-drive, chain-driven cycle with two similar-sized wheels, making it more stable than the previous high wheeler designs. Cycling magazine said the Rover had "set the pattern to the world" and the phrase was used in their advertising for many years.

In 1889, the company became ‘J. K. Starley & Co. Ltd’ and in the late 1890s, it had become the Rover Cycle Company Ltd.

Starley died suddenly on 29 October 1901, and was succeeded as managing director of the firm by Harry Smyth. Soon after Starley's death the Rover company began building motorcycles and then cars.

John Kemp Starley was born on Christmas Eve 1855, at Church Hill, Walthamstow, (north) east London. His father John Starley was a market gardner and his mother was born Mary Ann Cippen.

John Kemp moved to Coventry at the age of 17 following in the footsteps of his uncle James Starley (b. Albourne, West Sussex).

James Starley had brought an entirely new industry - the bicycle industry - to Coventry, when the city’s industrial fortunes were at a low. James Starley with William Hillman also patented the ‘Ariel’ bicycle in 1870 - one of the world’s first Penny Farthings.

Starley & Sutton produced the first ‘Rover’ in 1884. The design evolved significantly in just one year, resulting in the 1885 design shown on this website.

John Kemp formed J.K. Starley and Co. Ltd, in 1888, with the ‘Rover’ safety bicycle already firmly established as the bicycle that ‘set the fashion to the world’ (The Cyclist). The Rover Cycle Co. was formed in 1896. In 1898, Meteor Works moved from West Orchard Coventry to a purpose built factory in Queen Victoria Road, Coventry.

John Kemp Starley died suddenly in 1901. The company produced the Imperial Rover motorcycle in 1902 and the first Rover motorcar in 1904. In 1905 the company name became the Rover Co. Ltd.

JK-Starley-1.jpg


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

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

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#558 2019-05-31 00:47:42

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

525) François Coignet

François Coignet (10 February 1814 – 30 October 1888) was a French industrialist of the nineteenth century. He was a pioneer in the development of structural prefabricated and reinforced concrete. Coignet was the first to use iron-reinforced concrete as a technique for constructing building structures.

Biography

Coignet, along with his brothers Louis (b. 1819) and Stephane (b. 1820), took over the family business of a chemical plant in Lyon in 1846. In 1847 he built some concrete houses using poured cement that was not reinforced with any iron.

In 1851 Coignet decided to settle near Paris, in the Saint-Denis neighborhood. There in 1852 he opened a second plant where he obtained a patent for cement clinker. Coignet then built a cement factory there using exposed lime walls. He followed the pisé de terre system, rammed earth method of construction, in building the plant. This was his first time he worked with this method in concrete. Later he took out a patent in England entitled "Emploi de Beton" which gave details of his construction techniques.

Coignet started experimenting with iron-reinforced concrete in 1852 and was the first builder ever to use this technique as a building material. He decided as a publicity stunt, and for promotional purposes of his cement business, to build a house made of ‘béton armé’, a type of reinforced concrete. In 1853 he built the first iron reinforced concrete structure anywhere, a four-story house at 72 rue Charles Michels. This location was near his family cement plant in St. Denis, a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris. The house was designed by local architect Theodore Lachez.

This house was inspected in 1855 by a committee of fourteen architects led by Henri Labrouste. In Labrouste’s report he said that all the work for the house was done entirely of cement and artificial stone. It also showed that Coignet made use of different materials of little value and mixed with lime and water to make decorative moldings and cornice that crowned the building. The railing was also a molded concrete mass. He had taken out a patent in March of that year entitled ‘Béton Économique’ which showed how inexpensive aggregates could be used in concrete. He then proceeded to build several more concrete houses that still stand to this day.
This report showed that Coignet made a concrete mixture of ash and slag with lime and used the mud in rammed earth method of construction. The report said it had doubts of the soundness of Coignet's techniques and that it could be dangerous. The house has been abandoned for many years and squatters have taken over the property from time to time. While it has deteriorated, it still stands going into the twenty-first century - some 150 years later! The now famous house, classed as a world patrimony, has been classified a historical monument since 1998.

Coignet had an exhibit at the 1855 Paris Exposition to show his technique of reinforced concrete. At the exhibit he forecasted that the technique would replace stone as a means of construction. In 1856 he patented a technique of reinforced concrete using iron ‘tirants’. In 1861 he put out a publication on his techniques.

Coignet is the inventor of moulded concrete which is known as ‘Béton Coignet’. He had much success at building with this type of concrete. He became a renowned building contractor and showed his many designs, including the molded concrete church of Le Vesinet near Paris. This church with its 130-foot spire is the first modern monumental building built in concrete.

Construction projects

One of Coignet's largest projects was the eighty seven miles of "aqueduct de la Vanne" (Paris metropolitan water supply) with over four miles of arches of over 100 foot high spans. He built the aqueduct between 1867 and 1874.

Coignet also helped construct the lighthouse of Port Said (Egypt) and the high retaining walls of the Passy Cemetery and Trocadéro Cemetery in Paris.

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

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

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#559 2019-06-02 00:06:01

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

526) James Blyth (engineer)

Professor James Blyth (4 April 1839 – 15 May 1906) was a Scottish electrical engineer and academic at Anderson's College, now the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow. He was a pioneer in the field of electricity generation through wind power and his wind turbine, which was used to light his holiday home in Marykirk, was the world's first-known structure by which electricity was generated from wind power. Blyth patented his design and later developed an improved model which served as an emergency power source at Montrose Lunatic Asylum, Infirmary & Dispensary for the next 30 years. Although Blyth received recognition for his contributions to science, electricity generation by wind power was considered uneconomical and no more wind turbines were built in the United Kingdom until 1951, some 64 years after Blyth built his first prototype.

Early life

James Blyth was born in Marykirk, Kincardineshire, on 4 April 1839 to John Blyth, an innkeeper and small farmer, and his wife Catherine. He attended the Marykirk parish school and later, the Montrose Academy before winning a scholarship to the General Assembly Normal School, Edinburgh in 1886. After graduating as a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Edinburgh in 1861, Blyth taught mathematics at Morrison's Academy in Crieff and established the technical and scientific curriculum for the newly established George Watson's College in Edinburgh.

Blyth completed his Master of Arts in 1871 and in the same year married Jesse Wilhelmena Taylor at the United Presbyterian Church in Athol Place, Edinburgh. They had two sons and five daughters, two of whom died in infancy.

Career

In 1880 Blyth was appointed Freeland Professor of Natural Philosophy at Anderson's College, Glasgow, which became the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College in 1886. Whilst teaching at the technical college he pursued an active research programme with a particular interest in the generation and storage of electricity from wind power. Blyth was liked by his students and colleagues who admired his hard working nature, down-to-earth attitude and willingness to roll up his sleeves. He was also well known in the local community through a series of popular lectures and demonstrations.

In July 1887 Blyth built a cloth-sailed wind turbine (or "windmill") in the garden of his holiday cottage in Marykirk and used the electricity it produced to charge accumulators; the stored electricity was used to power the lights in his cottage, which thus became the first house in the world to be powered by wind-generated electricity. In a paper delivered to the Philosophical Society of Glasgow on 2 May 1888, Blyth described the wind turbine as being "of a tripod design, with a 33-foot windshaft, four arms of 13 feet with canvas sails, and a Burgin dynamo driven from the flywheel using a rope". The turbine produced enough power to light ten 25-volt bulbs in a "moderate breeze" and could even be used to power a small lathe.

Over the next few years Blyth experimented with a number of different designs. The final design operated for the next 25 years and produced surplus electricity which Blyth offered to the people of Marykirk to light the main street of the town. But his offer was rejected, as the people thought electricity was "the work of The Devil". Blyth was awarded a UK patent for his "wind engine" in November 1891. In 1895 he licensed the Glasgow engineering company, Mavor and Coulson, to build a second, improved turbine, which was used to supply emergency power to the Lunatic Asylum, Infirmary and Dispensary of Montrose; the system operated successfully for the next 30 years.

Blyth's original wind generator was the first known structure by which electricity was generated from wind power, but its lack of a braking mechanism meant it was prone to damage in strong winds. In the winter of 1887, some months after Blyth's first wind generator was built, American, Charles F. Brush built the first automatically operated wind turbine. The design of Brush's machine allowed it to be shut down manually to protect it from wind damage.The improved design of the turbine built for the Montrose Lunatic Asylum (which was based on Thomas Robinson's anemometer design) went some way towards solving this problem but it could not be guaranteed to stall in very strong winds.

In 1891 Blyth presented a paper to the Royal Society of Edinburgh espousing his belief in the benefits of renewable energy sources, particularly wind but also wave energy. Later that year he was awarded the Brisbane Gold Medal by the Royal Scottish Society of Arts for his work in producing electrical energy from wind, but his wind turbine was not considered to be economically viable.

Blyth's other research interests included the relative efficiency of different forms of lighting, telephone communication, and microphones; he also contributed entries on a number of topics for the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Later life and death

Blyth's son, Vincent James (1874–1916), and his son-in-law, George Edwin Allan (1870–1955), both became demonstrators, assistants and lecturers in the Department of Natural Philosophy. Blyth himself was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Glasgow in 1900. He died from apoplexy at his home in Glasgow on 15 May 1906. His friend Dr. James Colville remembered him as "a true man of science...one who by insight, patient toil, and mechanical ingenuity did much in his day to explain and illustrate many of the facts of physical science."

Legacy

‘The Professor James Blyth Memorial Committee’, composed of Blyth's former students and associates, was established in March 1907 to raise funds for a memorial to him. The memorial eventually took the form of endowing the Blyth Memorial Prizes, and erecting a wall plaque in the College. The turbine at Montrose Asylum was dismantled in 1914. Britain's first public utility wind turbine did not come into operation until 1951, when a prototype turbine built by John Brown Engineering of Glasgow was installed at Costa Head, Orkney.

Publications

•    Blyth, James ‘On the application of wind power to the generation and storage of electricity’, Paper read before the Philosophical Society of Glasgow, 2 May 1888
•    Blyth, James ‘On the application of wind power to the production of electric currents’, Transactions of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts, vol. 13, (1894), pp. 170–181. Paper read before the Society on 25 January 1892.

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

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

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#560 2019-06-04 00:04:56

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

527) Hubert Cecil Booth

British inventor Herbert Cecil Booth (4 July 1871 – 14 January 1955) is credited with inventing the first vacuum cleaner, which he demonstrated to a royal audience at Buckingham Palace in 1901.

Despite the advances in technology made during the Industrial Revolution, everyday life during the nineteenth century still held its discomforts. Despite the increase in cheap, machine-made goods that allowed even the middle classes to own carved and upholstered furniture, fringed brocade draperies, and attractively-patterned woven rugs, the methods for keeping it all clean—wiping dust from furniture; shaking dust and lint from textiles; sweeping floors, stairs, and wall surfaces; and dragging heavy rugs outside to beat the dirt out of them— proved to only move dirt and dust from one surface to another. The non-stop effort required to keep up the appearance of a clean home proved daunting to many housewives, who spent hours on hands and knees scrubbing dirt-covered floors or brushing rugs. For wealthier families, the prospect of spring cleaning required them to actually leave their home for several days, while servants tore the house apart in search of dirt. Soot from coal fires, ash from wood stoves, dust, and dirt, not to mention microorganisms: these were the source of many a housewife and cleaning woman's frustration. While floor wax had been in use since 1870—a development of a Wisconsin flooring manufacturer named Samuel Curtis Johnson—as a way of protecting wood surfaces from the abrasion created by dirt, it did little to remove dirt from flooring surfaces. And the increasing use of electric light was quick to shine a harsh light on the growing problem.

A Knack for all Things Mechanical

Herbert Cecil Booth was among those canny minds who set to work addressing the practical problems of daily living. Like others before him, he sought to end the frustration of keeping a clean house. While housewives continued to arm themselves with brooms, whisks, dustpans, and carpet sweepers—a rolling box invented by Michigan native Melvin Bissell that swept dirt from carpets using rotating cylindrical brushes—Booth and others realized there must be a better way.

Born in Glouchester, England in 1871, Booth was one of six sons born to lumber merchant Abraham Booth. Upon reaching adulthood, Booth moved to London and enrolled at the City and Guilds College where he studied civil and mechanical engineering. His first job after college graduation was at the firm of Maudsley Son and Field, which was known throughout England for its engines. Booth's obvious talent for all things mechanical soon caught the eye of others, and he eventually left Maudsley Son to join a firm that designed and built huge wheels along the lines of those developed by American engineer G. W. G. Ferris in the early 1890s. The Ferris Wheel, rotated by a steam-driven engine and providing horizontal seating around its rim, was causing a stir at fairgrounds across Great Britain.

Led the Battle against Dust

As a man, Booth was not directly involved in the problem of accumulated dust and dirt. In fact, if he had not chanced upon a demonstration of an American invention he would likely have never entered the fray. However, during one day in 1901, he happened to be inside the Empire Music Hall when his interest was captured by a demonstration of a mechanical aspirator, or cleaning machine. The machine—developed by a St. Louis, Missouri railway worker to clean rail cars—consisted of a motor, a hose attachment, and a large box, into which pressurized air focused through jets blew dust and other debris. While the machine certainly stirred up dust, it ultimately proved ineffective in collecting and removing it. Booth asked the man demonstrating the machine whether suction rather than pressure wouldn't work better. The demonstrator indignantly replied that suction had been tried on numerous occasions but didn't work.

Several types of pressurized aspirators were already in use when Booth first witnessed the cleaning machine demonstration at the Empire. One such type required two operators: one to operate a suction-creating bellows mechanism and the other to move the suction tube across the surface to be cleaned of debris. Ives W. McGaffey had patented one primitive version of this manual floor cleaner as early as 1869. Another early invention used manpower as well, the operator being required to turn a crank, which in turn caused pulleys to set into motion a cleaning apparatus, which in turn did little or nothing to remove dirt. More imaginative was the Teeterboard, a teeter-totter-like contraption that required one person to generate suction by rocking while another positioned the cleaning nozzle.

Booth's mind quickly went to work on the problem. Several days later, while discussing his thoughts on the subject during a dinner with friends at a London restaurant, he attempted to illustrate his idea by unfolding his handkerchief, placing it on the plush velvet seat of his chair, placing his lips upon the handkerchief, and inhaling. Witnessing their friend choking on the quantity of dust he had managed to draw out from the chair, Booth's friends also witnessed an invention in the making.

Booth patented his new invention, dubbed the Puffing Billy, that same year. Consisting of a suction pump attached to a hollow implement, the contraption also included a flexible tube open at one end and connected to an impurity collector that served as a filter. Although the machine's description might bring to mind the twentieth-century canister vacuum, the suction pump in Booth's original Puffing Billy was so large and cumbersome that it was necessary to transport it from house to house in a horse-drawn cart. Its size was due to the fact that many houses in London were not yet wired for electricity, requiring the machine's power source to be either coal or oil. The machine's gasoline-powered generator had to be powerful and hence large— and loud. Because of its size, the bright red Puffing Billy remained outside the home to be cleaned atop its cart, attached to a hose measuring 82 feet in length. As electricity gained in popularity, Booth went to work and developed a portable version of his contraption in 1906.

Founding the British Vacuum Cleaner Company to market his new invention, Booth decided that operating it in front of an audience would result in sales. He approached a local restaurateur with his proposal to clean the dining room for free, and it was accepted. News of Booth's new contraption quickly reached the palace, and one of Booth's very first jobs was to clean the carpet running down the center aisle of Westminister Abbey in preparation for the coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902. A cleaning machine was eventually installed in Buckingham Palace, while another one was brought to Windsor Castle. With the cost of each machine the equivalent of thousands of dollars, Booth's company earned profits by hiring out its cleaning services on a subscription basis, allowing uniformed vacuum operators to make regularly scheduled cleaning runs through the city. For 13 pounds—the annual wages of a scullery maid—a home could now be thoroughly cleaned.

Transformed Twentieth-Century Society

Booth's bright red Puffing Billy, hauled through the streets by its dapper operators, transformed the Edwardian home. The removal of years of accumulated dust from rugs, draperies, and furnishings established a new standard of cleanliness. In fact, hiring Booth's machine soon became a status symbol among fashionable households, and the lady of the house would even host vacuum tea parties to entertain her friends while the white-coated Puffing Billy staff invaded her home with their hoses and Booth's invention roared on the street outside. Booth's list of clients grew to include Wilhelm II of Germany, Nicholas II of Russia, the House of Commons, and numerous department stores and homes in the wealthy sections of London.

In addition to homes, Booth and his machine were called into service for less typical jobs. During World War I fifteen Puffing Billys and their staff were dispatched to vacuum the huge iron girders of London's Crystal Palace, a huge, glass-walled public building that had been built to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. Requisitioned for use as a naval barracks, the building released over 26 tons of dust, accumulated in mounds over six inches high over the sixty years it had been standing.

The success of the Puffing Billy proved mixed for its inventor. His company was the recipient of numerous fines for illegal parking, having earned the ire of customer's neighbors who were irritated by the noise of Booth's machine and cabdrivers tired of having to calm frightened horses. He also spent the next two decades defending his patent from the infringement claims of dozens of other inventors who previously registered vacuum cleaner models. In every court battle, he ultimately won; his design was the only configuration of suction, filter, and collection box that actually trapped and captured dust and dirt.

Provided Starting-Point for Others

As might be expected, the quest to perfect the vacuum cleaner went on, leaving Booth and his invention ultimately in the shadows. A woman named Corinne Doufour developed a device that sucked dust into a wet sponge—the first filtered vacuum system. David E. Kennedy elaborated on Booth's idea, as well as the innovations of a Missouri railroad worker, and created a mechanical monster: a machine that was installed in the basement with connections to each room via a sequence of pipes, rather like forced hot air heating systems are today. Even with the success of the suction-cleaning method, others still persisted in finding a powerless way to clean, among them the inventor of 1917's Success Hand Pump, which involved an accordion and a hefty supply of arm strength in its so-called powerless cleaning process.

Meanwhile, back in the United States, other minds were hard at work on the problem of accumulated dust. The firm of Chapman and Skinner developed a portable suction cleaner a year before Booth completed his own model. A Canton, Ohio, janitor with asthma named James Murray Spangler patented his own device in 1908. Featuring a suction system similar to Booth's, Spangler's machine incorporated rotating brushes powered by a small electric motor attached to a wood and tin frame, used an old pillowcase as a dust collector, and was pushed around using a broom handle. Small and lightweight—the 0 model weighed in at only 40 pounds-Spangler's upright design proved to be practical as well. Calling his company the Electric Suction Sweeper Company, Spangler went into business with his cousin, a saddle and harness manufacturer named William H. Hoover, and began producing their product— redesigned in aluminum and including wheels—in 1907. The result of their ability to mass-produce Spangler's design and their continued improvements resulted in a machine that bears Hoover's name even today.

Advances in vacuum-type cleaners continued. Air Way began marketing the first disposable paper filter in 1920. In 1921 Swedish inventor Axel Wenner-Gren opened the Electrolux Company to sell a canister vacuum that incorporated sled-like runners to allow it to be dragged rather than pushed across the floor. Rexair marketed the first bagless cleaner in 1936. While innovative, the Rexair cleaner was also expensive due to its hydro-technology, and by 1974 Electrolux had become the largest manufacturer of vacuum cleaners in the world.

Later in his life, Booth wrote a short book titled ‘The Origin of the Vacuum Cleaner’, which recounted his development of the first suction cleaner. He died in Croyden, England, on January 14, 1955, at the age of eighty-four.

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

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

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#561 2019-06-06 00:10:58

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

528) Philo Farnsworth

Philo Farnsworth, in full Philo Taylor Farnsworth II, (born August 19, 1906, Beaver, Utah, U.S.—died March 11, 1971, Salt Lake City, Utah), American inventor who developed the first all-electronic television system.

Farnsworth was a technical prodigy from an early age. An avid reader of science magazines as a teenager, he became interested in the problem of television and was convinced that mechanical systems that used, for example, a spinning disc would be too slow to scan and assemble images many times a second. Only an electronic system could scan and assemble an image fast enough, and by 1922 he had worked out the basic outlines of electronic television.

In 1923, while still in high school, Farnsworth also entered Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, as a special student. However, his father’s death in January 1924 meant that he had to leave Brigham Young and work to support his family while finishing high school.

Farnsworth had to postpone his dream of developing television. In 1926 he went to work for charity fund-raisers George Everson and Leslie Gorrell. He convinced them to go into a partnership to produce his television system. Farnsworth moved to Los Angeles with his new wife, Pem Gardner, and began work. He quickly spent the original $6,000 put up by Everson and Gorrell, but Everson procured $25,000 and laboratory space from the Crocker First National Bank of San Francisco. Farnsworth made his first successful electronic television transmission on September 7, 1927, and filed a patent for his system that same year.

Farnsworth continued to perfect his system and gave the first demonstration to the press in September 1928. His backers at the Crocker First National Bank were eager to be bought out by a much larger company and in 1930 made overtures to the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), which sent the head of their electronic television project, Vladimir Zworykin, to evaluate Farnsworth’s work. Zworykin’s receiver, the kinescope, was superior to that of Farnsworth, but Farnsworth’s camera tube, the image dissector, was superior to that of Zworykin. Zworykin was enthusiastic about the image dissector, and RCA offered Farnsworth $100,000 for his work. He rejected the offer.

Instead, Farnsworth joined forces with the radio manufacturer Philadelphia Storage Battery Company (Philco) in 1931, but their association only lasted until 1933. Farnsworth formed his own company, Farnsworth Television, which in 1937 made a licensing deal with American Telephone & Telegraph(AT&T) in which each company could use the other’s patents. Buoyed by the AT&T deal, Farnsworth Television reorganized in 1938 as Farnsworth Television and Radio and purchased phonograph manufacturer Capehart Corporation’s factory in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to manufacture both devices. Production of radios began in 1939.

RCA had not taken Farnsworth’s rejection lightly and began a lengthy series of court cases in which RCA tried to invalidate Farnsworth’s patents. Zworykin had developed a successful camera tube, the iconoscope, but many other necessary parts of a television system were patented by Farnsworth. Finally, in 1939, RCA agreed to pay Farnsworth royalties for his patents.

The years of struggle and exhausting work had taken their toll on Farnsworth, and in 1939 he moved to Maine to recover after a nervous breakdown. World War II halted television development in America, and Farnsworth founded Farnsworth Wood Products, which made ammunition boxes. In 1947 he returned to Fort Wayne, and that same year Farnsworth Television produced its first television set. However, the company was in deep financial trouble. It was taken over by International Telephone and Telegraph (IT&T) in 1949 and reorganized as Capehart-Farnsworth.

Farnsworth was retained as vice president of research. Capehart-Farnsworth produced televisions until 1965, but it was a small player in the industry when compared with Farnsworth’s longtime rival RCA.

Farnsworth became interested in nuclear fusion and invented a device called a fusor that he hoped would serve as the basis for a practical fusion reactor. He worked on the fusor for years, but in 1967 IT&T cut his funding.

He moved to Brigham Young University, where he continued his fusion research with a new company, Philo T. Farnsworth Associates, but the company went bankrupt in 1970.

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

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

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#562 2019-06-08 01:21:27

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

529) Ernst Boris Chain

Sir Ernst Boris Chain, (born June 19, 1906, Berlin, Ger.—died Aug. 12, 1979, Mulrany, Ire.), German-born British biochemist who, with pathologist Howard Walter Florey (later Baron Florey), isolated and purified penicillin (which had been discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming) and performed the first clinical trials of the antibiotic. For their pioneering work on penicillin Chain, Florey, and Fleming shared the 1945 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

Chain graduated in chemistry and physiology from the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin and then engaged in research at the Institute of Pathology, Charité Hospital, Berlin (1930–33). Forced to flee Germany because of the anti-Semitic policies of Adolf Hitler, he went first to the University of Cambridge, working under Sir Frederick G. Hopkins, and then (1935) to the University of Oxford, where he worked with Florey on penicillin.

Chain served as the director of the International Research Centre for Chemical Microbiology, Superior Institute of Health, Rome, from 1948 until 1961. He then joined the faculty of Imperial College, University of London, where he was professor of biochemistry (1961–73), professor emeritus and senior research fellow (1973–76), and fellow (1978–79). Chain was knighted in 1969.

In addition to his work on antibiotics, Chain studied snake venoms; the spreading factor, an enzyme that facilitates the dispersal of fluids in tissue; and insulin.

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

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

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#563 2019-06-10 00:51:12

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

530) Donna Strickland

Donna Strickland, in full Donna Theo Strickland, (born May 27, 1959, Guelph, Ontario, Canada), Canadian physicist who was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics for her invention of chirped pulse amplification (CPA), a method of making pulses of laser light of high power and short duration. She shared the prize with American physicist Arthur Ashkin and French physicist Gérard Mourou. She was the third woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Physics, after Marie Curie (1903) and Maria Goeppert Mayer(1963).

Strickland received a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1981. She went to the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, for graduate school, where Mourou was her doctoral supervisor. She received her doctorate from that institution in 1989.

By the mid-1980s the intensity that a short laser pulse could deliver hit a plateau because it was impossible to amplify such a pulse any further without damaging the laser system. Strickland and Mourou devised a method in which a short laser pulse was stretched so its peak power was reduced. (When the pulse is stretched, the frequency of the laser light undergoes a change called a chirp, hence the name of the technique.) This stretched pulse could then be safely amplified because of its low peak power. The pulse was then compressed back into a short pulse, thus increasing its intensity. The paper they published on CPA in 1985 was Strickland’s first. Since the invention of CPA, the intensity that can be delivered in a short laser pulse has increased to the petawatt range (1 petawatt = {10}^{15} watts), and the time of a pulse has decreased to a femtosecond ({10}^{−15} second). Such short intense laser pulses are now used in industry for precise cutting and in medicine for LASIK surgery.

Strickland was a research associate at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa from 1988 to 1991. She then worked at the laser division of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, from 1991 to 1992. From 1992 to 1997 she was on the technical staff of the Advanced Technology Center for Photonics and Opto-electronic materials at Princeton University. She joined the physics department of the University of Waterloo in 1997, where she became an associate professor.

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

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

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#564 2019-06-13 00:58:30

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

531) Edwin H. Armstrong

Edwin H. Armstrong, in full Edwin Howard Armstrong, (born December 18, 1890, New York, New York, U.S.—died January 31/February 1, 1954, New York City), American inventor who laid the foundation for much of modern radioand electronic circuitry, including the regenerative and superheterodyne circuits and the frequency modulation (FM) system.

Early Life.

Armstrong was from a genteel, devoutly Presbyterian family of Manhattan. His father was a publisher and his mother a former schoolteacher. Armstrong was a shy boy interested from childhood in engines, railway trains, and all mechanical contraptions.

At age 14, fired by reading of the exploits of Guglielmo Marconi in sending the first wireless message across the Atlantic Ocean, Armstrong decided to become an inventor. He built a maze of wireless apparatus in his family’s attic and began the solitary, secretive work that absorbed his life. Except for a passion for tennis and, later, for fast motor cars, he developed no other significant interests. Wireless was then in the stage of crude spark-gap transmitters and iron-filing receivers, producing faint Morse-code signals, barely audible through tight earphones. Armstrong joined in the hunt for improved instruments. On graduating from high school, he commuted to Columbia University’s School of Engineering.

In his junior year at Columbia, Armstrong made his first, most seminal invention. Among the devices investigated for better wireless reception was the then little understood, largely unused Audion, or three-element vacuum tube, invented in 1906 by Lee De Forest, a pioneer in the development of wireless telegraphy and television. Armstrong made exhaustive measurements to find out how the tube worked and devised a circuit, called the regenerative, or feedback, circuit, that suddenly, in the autumn of 1912, brought in signals with a thousandfold amplification, loud enough to be heard across a room. At its highest amplification, he also discovered, the tube’s circuit shifted from being a receiver to being an oscillator, or primary generator, of wireless waves. As a radiowave generator, this circuit is still at the heart of all radio-television broadcasting.

Armstrong’s priority was later challenged by De Forest in a monumental series of corporate patent suits, extending more than 14 years, argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court, and finally ending—in a judicial misunderstanding of the nature of the invention—in favour of De Forest. But the scientific community never accepted this verdict. The Institute of Radio Engineers refused to revoke an earlier gold-medal award to Armstrong for the discovery of the feedback circuit. Later he received the Franklin Medal, highest of the United States’ scientific honours, reaffirming his invention of the regenerative circuit.

This youthful invention that opened the age of electronics had profound effects on Armstrong’s life. It led him, after a stint as an instructor at Columbia University, into the U.S. Army Signal Corps laboratories in World War I in Paris, where he invented the superheterodyne circuit, a highly selective means of receiving, converting, and greatly amplifying very weak, high-frequency electromagnetic waves, which today underlies 98 percent of all radio, radar, and television reception over the airways. It brought him into early association with the man destined to lead the postwar Radio Corporation of America(RCA), David Sarnoff, whose young secretary Armstrong later married. Armstrong himself returned after the war to Columbia University to become assistant to Michael Pupin, the notable physicist and inventor and his revered teacher. In this period he sold patent rights on his circuits to the major corporations, including RCA, for large sums in cash and stock. Suddenly, in the radio boom of the 1920s, he found himself a millionaire. But he continued to teach at Columbia, financing his own research, working along with Pupin, whose professorship he inherited, on the long-unsolved problem of eliminating static from radio.

Invention Of FM Broadcasting.

In 1933 Armstrong secured four patents on advanced circuits that were to solve this last basic problem. They revealed an entirely new radio system, from transmitter to receiver. Instead of varying the amplitude, or power, of radio waves to carry voice or music, as in all radio before then, the new system varied, or modulated, the waves’ frequency (number of waves per second) over a wide band of frequencies. This created a carrier wave that natural static—an amplitude phenomenon created by electrical storms—could not break into. As a result, FM’s wide frequency range made possible the first clear, practical method of high-fidelity broadcasting.

Because the new system required a basic change in transmitters and receivers, it was not embraced with any alacrity by the established radio industry. Armstrong had to build the first full-scale FM station himself in 1939 at a cost of more than $300,000 to prove its worth. He then had to develop and promote the system, sustain it through World War II (while he again turned to military research), and fight off postwar regulatory attempts to hobble FM’s growth. When FM slowly established itself, Armstrong again found himself entrapped in another interminable patent suit to retain his invention. Ill and aging in 1954, with most of his wealth gone in the battle for FM, he took his own life.

The years have brought increasing recognition of Armstrong’s place in science and invention. FM is now the preferred system in radio, the required sound channel in all television, and the dominant medium in mobile radio, microwave relay, and space-satellite communications. Posthumously, Armstrong was elected to the pantheon of electrical greats by the International Telecommunications Union, to join such figures as André-Marie Ampère, Alexander Graham Bell, Michael Faraday, and Guglielmo Marconi.

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

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

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#565 2019-06-15 00:21:00

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

532) James Arthur Gosling,

James Gosling (born May 19, 1955) is a Canadian computer scientist, best known as the founder and lead designer behind the Java programming language.

Education and career

James Gosling received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Calgary  and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, all in computer science. He wrote a version of Emacs called Gosling Emacs (Gosmacs) while working toward his doctorate. He built a multi-processor version of Unix for a 16-way computer system while at Carnegie Mellon University, before joining Sun Microsystems. He also developed several compilers and mail systems there.

Gosling was with Sun Microsystems between 1984 and 2010 (26 years). He is known as the father of the Java programming language. He got the idea for the Java VM while writing a program to port software from a PERQ by translating Perq Q-Code to VAX assembler and emulating the hardware. He left Sun Microsystems on April 2, 2010 after it was acquired by the Oracle Corporation, citing reductions in pay, status, and decision-making ability, along with change of role and ethical challenges. He has since taken a very critical stance towards Oracle in interviews, noting that "during the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle, where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle." He clarified his position during the Oracle v Google trial over Android: "While I have differences with Oracle, in this case, they are on the right. Google totally slimed Sun. We were all really disturbed, even Jonathan Schwartz; he just decided to put on a happy face and tried to turn lemons into lemonade, which annoyed a lot of folks on Sun." However, he approved of the court's ruling that APIs should not be copyrightable.

In March 2011, Gosling left Oracle to work at Google. Six months later, he followed his colleague Bill Vass and joined a startup called Liquid Robotics. In late 2016, Liquid Robotics was acquired by Boeing. Following the acquisition, Gosling left Liquid Robotics to work at Amazon Web Services as Distinguished Engineer in May 2017.

He is an advisor at the Scala company Lightbend, Independent Director at Jelastic, and Strategic Advisor for Eucalyptus, and is a board member of DIRTT Environmental Solutions.

He is known for his love of proving "the unknown" and has noted that his favorite irrational number is square root of 2. He has a framed picture of the first 1,000 digits of square root of 2 in his office.

Contributions

Gosling initially became known as the author of Gosling Emacs, and also invented the windowing system NeWS, which lost out to X Window because Sun did not give it an open source license. He is generally credited with having invented the Java programming language in 1994. He created the original design of Java and implemented the language's original compiler and virtual machine. Gosling traces the origins of the approach to his early graduate-student days, when he created a p-code virtual machine for the lab's DEC VAX computer, so that his professor could run programs written in UCSD Pascal. In the work leading to Java at Sun, he saw that architecture-neutral execution for widely distributed programs could be achieved by implementing a similar philosophy: always program for the same virtual machine.

For his achievement, the National Academy of Engineering in the United States elected him as a Foreign Associate member. Another contribution of Gosling's was co-writing the "bundle" program, a utility thoroughly detailed in Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike's book The Unix Programming Environment.

Honors

2002: he was awarded 'The Economist Innovation Award'.
2002: he was awarded 'The Flame Award USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award'.
2007: he was made an Officer of the 'Order of Canada'. The Order is Canada's second highest civilian honor. Officers are the second highest grade within the Order.
2013: he became a fellow of the 'Association for Computing Machinery'.
2015: awarded 'IEEE John von Neumann Medal'.
2019: named a 'Computer History Museum Fellow' for the conception, design, and implementation of the Java programming language.

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

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

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#566 2019-06-17 00:11:42

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

533) 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).

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

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

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#567 2019-06-19 00:55:01

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

534) Naomi McClure-Griffiths

Naomi McClure-Griffiths (born July 11, 1975) is an American-born astrophysicist and radio astronomer who researches and lives in Australia. In 2004, she discovered a new spiral arm in the Milky Way galaxy. She was awarded the Prime Minister's Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist in 2006 and in 2015 was honored for her research in physics by receipt of the Pawsey Medal from the Australian Academy of Science.

Biography

Naomi Melissa McClure-Griffiths was born on July 11, 1975 in Atlanta Georgia. She entered Oberlin College in 1993 where she studied both French and physics and then in 1997 entered the University of Minnesota to study astrophysics. During her PhD, she participated in the International Galactic Plane Survey, leading the Southern Galactic Plane Survey to map the hydrogen gas in the Milky Way. In 2001, she relocated permanently to Australia taking up a post doctoral fellowship at the Australia Telescope National Facility as a CSIRO Bolton Fellow.
During her Fellowship McClure-Griffiths studied the movement of interstellar gases and how explosions of stars create bubbles or shells which push the gasses out of the galaxy. In their movement, chimneys of empty space may be created, two of which were discovered by McClure-Griffiths. One of the chimneys she discovered is the only known chimney to "extend through the top and bottom of the galactic plane". Then in 2004, she discovered a new spiral arm during her senior postdoctoral position. The new arm was shown on previous mappings but never identified nor given a name. McCure-Griffiths created a computer model to confirm its existence which was confirmed by her team. In 2006, she was honored with the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the year one of the annual prizes awarded as the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science. As Principal Investigator she initiated the Galactic All Sky Survey that same year and then in 2007, she was the recipient of the Powerhouse Wizard Award from the Powerhouse Museum at the Sydney Observatory. McClure-Griffiths' team took part in the international effort to complete the mapping of the Milky Way's magnetic fields in 2011. In 2015, she left CSIRO and joined the Australian National University as a professor conducting her research from the Mount Stromlo Observatory. That same year, her work in physics was recognized by receipt of the Pawsey Medal from the Australian Academy of Science.

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

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

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#568 2019-06-21 01:22:33

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

535) Hidetsugu Yagi

Hidetsugu Yagi (January 28, 1886 – January 19, 1976) was a Japanese electrical engineer from Osaka, Japan. When working at Tohoku University, he wrote several articles that introduced a new antenna designed by his colleague Shintaro Uda to the English-speaking world.

The Yagi antenna, patented in 1926, allows directional communication using electromagnetic waves, and is now installed on millions of houses throughout the world for radio and television reception. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to introduce a wireless power transmission system. He participated in establishing the Chiba Institute of Technology.

He was the fourth president of Osaka University from February 1946 to December 1946.

In 1942, he became Director of the Industrial Sciences Faculty of the Tokyo University, in 1944 he became General Director of the Technology Institute, and in 1946 also General Director of the Osaka Imperial University. He was decorated with the Medal of Honor with Blue Ribbon Award in 1951, with the Order of Culture in 1956, and posthumously with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in 1976.

Biography

Hidetsugu Yagi was born on January 28, 1886, in Osaka Prefecture. He graduated from the Department of Electronic Engineering of the Tokyo Imperial University, Faculty of Sciences, in 1909. From 1913 he studied in Germany where he worked with Heinrich Barkhausen on generating CW oscillations by electric arcs; England where he worked with J.A. Fleming who invented the vacuum diode; and the United States where he worked with J.A. Fleming at Harvard who invented the Pierce oscillator which generated a continuous wave. He earned the doctorate from Tokyo Imperial University in 1921. Germany he continued research on generation of electric waves used for wireless communication. He returned to Japan in 1930. After 1930, Hidetsugu Yagi was involved, as a contractor, in the operation of the Number Nine Research Laboratory run by Iwakuro Hideo.

Wireless communication

The topic of wireless communication, which he pursued during his studies abroad, would become a research theme to which he would dedicate his entire life. In 1919, he became a professor at the Faculty of Engineering Sciences of the Tohoku Imperial University which was then established and during the same year, he also attained the title of Doctor of Engineering. He was able to foresee that short waves or ultra-short waves would become the main element for communication using radio waves and he aimed his research in this direction. This resulted in the publication of his papers called "Generation of Short Wavelength Waves", "Measuring Specific Wavelengths with Short Wavelengths", and other papers. The so-called Yagi antenna is based on these published articles. He invented it as an antenna using his "method for directional electric waves". He obtained the patent rights to his invention (patent number 69115, issued in 1926).

Because this invention uses a very simple construction, it enabled directional communication with electric waves. This construction is still used basically in any type of antenna which is used today for ultra short or extremely short waves.

On April 18, 1985, the Japan Patent Office selected him as one of Ten Japanese Great Inventors.

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

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

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#569 2019-06-23 01:07:22

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

536) Robert Noel Hall

Robert Noel Hall (December 25, 1919 – November 7, 2016) was an American engineer and applied physicist. He demonstrated the first semiconductor laser and invented a type of magnetron commonly used in microwave ovens. He also contributed to the development of rectifiers for power transmission.

Biography

Robert N. Hall was born on December 25, 1919 in New Haven, Connecticut. He was first inspired by his inventor uncle, who showed him the wonders of small inventions and experimentation. After long studies at his local library, Hall decided to attempt controlled experiments of his own with his mother's approval. He built an 8-inch telescope, which produced a close-up view of Saturn. Later on, an interviewer from California Tech visited him and offered a scholarship to attend the university. Hall studied at California Institute of Technology for three years but had to leave for financial reasons. After working at Lockheed Aircraft as a tester, he returned to Caltech to finish up his studies and obtain his physics degree. Then General Electric hired him as a test engineer at Schenectady, NY. After four years at G.E., under the advice of Harper North, Hall obtained a Research Council Fellowship and returned to Caltech. He graduated in 1948 with his Ph.D. and returned to G.E. Schenectady research labs that summer.

While at G.E. during World War II, he developed a magnetron for radar jamming, which led to the development of the microwave oven.

While studying the characteristics of p-i-n diodes used as power rectifiers, Hall had a key insight, which resulted in his being co-credited with William Shockley and W. T. Read, Jr., for the analysis of nonradiative carrier recombination in semiconductors. Hall developed the semiconductor laser in 1962, while working at General Electric in Schenectady, New York.In the 1970s, Hall's work focused on photovoltaics and solar cells. He retired in 1987, having been granted 43 U.S. patents during his career.
Hall was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1977 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1978. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994. He died on November 7, 2016 at the age of 96.

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

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

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#570 2019-06-25 01:00:14

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

537) Heidi Jo Newberg

Heidi Jo Newberg (née Marvin) is an American astrophysicist known for her work in understanding the structure of our Milky Way galaxy. Among her team's findings are that the Milky Way is cannibalizing stars from smaller galaxies and that the Milky Way is larger and has more ripples than was previously understood. She is a founding participant in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)and the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE), and is a leader of the astrophysical MilkyWay@homedistributed computing project team. She is a Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, USA and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Career

Newberg received her bachelor's degree in Physics from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1987. She received her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992, working on the Berkeley Automated Supernova Search, which measured the supernova rates as a function of supernova type in Virgo-distance galaxies; and the Supernova Cosmology Project, which measured the cosmological parameters Omega and Lambda using the light curves of distant supernovae, and provided strong evidence that the expansion of our universe is accelerating. In 2007, she shared the Gruber Prize in Cosmology along with the other members of the Supernova Cosmology Project and in 2011 the group's lead won the Nobel Prize in Physics. Newberg shared the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics along with other members of the Supernova Cosmology Project.

At Fermilab, she worked on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey starting in 1992, and the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration. She joined the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1999. Newberg is also the president of the board of trustees of the Dudley Observatory and director of the Hirsch Observatory. In 2012, she was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society "for her contributions to our understanding of the structure of the Milky Way and the universe and for the development software and hardware infrastructure for measuring and extracting meaningful information from large astronomical survey data sets."
She has published papers in diverse areas of galactic and extragalactic astronomy, including: supernova phenomenology, measuring cosmological parameters from supernovae, galaxy photometry, color selection of QSOs, properties of stars, and the structure of our galaxy.

Personal life

Newberg was born in Washington, D.C. She is married to Lee Newberg and has four children.

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

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

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#571 2019-06-27 00:57:24

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

538) Boris Borisovich, Prince Golitsyn

Boris Borisovich, Prince Golitsyn, (Prince), Golitsyn also spelled Galitzin, (born March 2 [Feb. 18, old style], 1862, St. Petersburg, Russia—died May 17 [May 4, O.S.], 1916, near Petrograd), Russian physicist known for his work on methods of earthquake observations and on the construction of seismographs.

Golitsyn was educated in the naval school and naval academy. In 1887 he left active service for scientific studies and went to Strasbourg. In 1891 he was appointed ‘Privatdozent’ at the University of Moscow and in 1893 professor of physics at Dorpat. The same year he was elected fellow, and in 1908 a member, of the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. His early research was in spectroscopy.

He invented the first effective electromagnetic seismograph in 1906. Five years later he modified his earlier seismograph to produce an instrument essentially identical to that used today. His valuable seismic interpretations earned Russian seismology international recognition. One of the first to suggest using explosives for studying subsurface structure, he established across Russia a chain of seismic stations that continue in operation.

He received the degree of doctor of science from the University of Manchester in 1910, and in 1911 he was elected president of the International Seismological Association. In 1913 he was appointed director of the Central Physical (later Geophysical) Observatory at St. Petersburg and achieved good results in the organization of meteorological service throughout Russia. His book, ‘Lectures on Seismometry’, was published in 1912 and translated into German in 1914.

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

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

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#572 2019-06-29 00:21:47

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

539) Aesop

Aesop, the supposed author of a collection of Greek fables, almost certainly a legendary figure. Various attempts were made in ancient times to establish him as an actual personage. Herodotus in the 5th century BCE said that he had lived in the 6th century and that he was a slave, and Plutarch in the 1st century CE made him adviser to Croesus, the 6th-century-BCE king of Lydia. One tradition holds that he came from Thrace, while a later one styles him a Phrygian. Other sources supposed that he was Ethiopian. An Egyptian biography of the 1st century CE places him on the island of Samos as a slave who gained his freedom from his master, thence going to Babylon as riddle solver to King Lycurgus and, finally, meeting his death at Delphi. The probability is that Aesop was no more than a name invented to provide an author for fables centring on beasts, so that “a story of Aesop” became synonymous with “fable.” The importance of fables lay not so much in the story told as in the moral derived from it.
The first known collection of the fables ascribed to Aesop was produced by Demetrius Phalareus in the 4th century BCE, but it did not survive beyond the 9th century CE.
A collection of fables that relied heavily on the Aesop corpus was that of Phaedrus, which was produced at Rome in the 1st century CE. Phaedrus’s treatment of them greatly influenced the way in which they were used by later writers, notably by the 17th-century French poet and fabulist Jean de La Fontaine.
Aesop

Little is known about the ancient Greek writer Aesop (c. 620 B.C.E.–c. 560 B.C.E.), whose stories of clever animals and foolish humans are considered Western civilization's first morality tales. He was said to have been a slave who earned his freedom through his storytelling and went on to serve as advisor to a king. Both his name and the animist tone of his tales have led some scholars to believe he may have been Ethiopian in origin.

Freed from Slavery

Aesop never wrote down any of the tales himself; he merely recited them orally. The first recorded mention of his life came about a hundred years after he died, in a work by the eminent Greek historian Herodotus, who noted that he was a slave of one Iadmon of Samos and died at Delphi. In the first century C.E., Plutarch, another Greek historian, also speculated on Aesop's origins and life. Plutarch placed Aesop at the court of immensely weighty Croesus, the king of Lydia (now northwestern Turkey). A source from Egypt dating back to this same century also described Aesop as a slave from the Aegean island of Samos, near the Turkish mainland. The source claims that after he was released from bondage he went to Babylon. Aesop has also been referred to as Phrygian, pointing to origins in central Turkey settled by Balkan tribes around 1200 B.C.E. They spoke an Indo-European language and their communities were regularly raided for slaves to serve in Greece.

The name "Aesop" is a variant of "Acthiop," which is a reference to Ethiopia in ancient Greek. This and the trickster nature of some of his stories, where humans are regularly outwitted by a cleverer animal figure, has led some scholars to speculate that Aesop may have been from Africa. The link was discussed in a Spectator essay from 1932 by the critic J. H. Driberg. There are two tales from Aesop in which a man tries to come to the aid of a serpent, and Driberg noted that such acts mirror "the habitual kindness shown to snakes by many tribes: for snakes are the repositories of the souls of ancestors and they are cherished therefore and invited to live in the houses of men by daily gifts of milk."

Tales Reflected Human Folly

Anthropomorphism, or animals with human capabilities, is the common thread throughout Aesop's fables. The most famous among them are "The Tortoise and the Hare," in which the plodding turtle and the energetic rabbit hold a race. The arrogant hare is so confident that he rests and falls asleep halfway; the wiser tortoise plods past and wins. "Slow but steady wins the race," the fable concludes. These and other Aesop fables, wrote Peter Jones in the Spectator in 2002, often pit "the rich and powerful against the poor and weak. They stress either the folly of taking on a stronger power, or the cunning which the weaker must deploy if he is to stand any chance of success; and they often warn that nature never changes."

Several phrases are traced back to the fables of Aesop, such as "don't count your chickens before they are hatched," which concludes the tale of the greedy "Milkmaid and Her Pail." In "The Fox and the Grapes," a fox ambles through the forest and spies a bunch of grapes. Thirsty, he tries in vain to reach them but finally gives up and walks off muttering that they were likely sour anyway. From this comes the term "sour grapes."

Thrown from Cliff

According to myth, Aesop won such fame throughout Greece for his tales that he became the target of resentment and perhaps even a political witch-hunt. He was accused of stealing a gold cup from Delphi temple to the god Apollo and was supposedly tossed from the cliffs at Delphi as punishment for the theft. His tales told of human folly and the abuses of power, and he lived during a period of tyrannical rule in Greece. His defense, it is said, was the fable "The Eagle and the Beetle," in which a hare, being preyed upon by an eagle, asks the beetle for protection. The small insect agrees, but the eagle fails to see it and strikes the hare, killing it. From then on, the beetle watched the eagle's nest and shook it when there were eggs inside, which then fell to the ground. Worried about her inability to reproduce, the eagle asks a god for help, and the deity offers to store the eggs in its lap. The beetle learns of this and puts a ball of dirt there among the eggs, and the god—in some accounts Zeus, in others Jupiter—rises, startled, and the eggs fall out. For this reason, it is said, eagles never lay their eggs during the season when beetles flourish. "No matter how powerful one's position may be, there is nothing that can protect the oppressor from the vengeance of the oppressed" is the moral associated with this particular fable.
The first written compilation of Aesop's tales came from Demetrius of Phaleron around 320 B.C.E., Assemblies of Aesopic Tales, but it disappeared in the ninth century. The first extant version of the fables is thought to be from Phaedrus, a former slave from Macedonia who translated the tales into Latin in the first century C.E. in what became known as the Romulus collection. Valerius Babrius, a Greek living in Rome, translated these and other fables of the day into Greek in the first half of the 200s C.E. Forty-two of those, in turn, were translated into Latin by Avianus around 400 C.E. There is also a link between Aesop and Islam. The prophet Mohamed mentioned "Lokman," said to be the wisest man in the east, in the 31st sura of the Koran. In Arab folklore, Lokman supposedly lived around 1100 B.C.E. and was an Ethiopian. His father, it was said, was descended from the biblical figure Job. Some of his tales may have been adapted by Aesop some five centuries after his death.

Censored for Children's Sake

The Latin translation of Aesop's fables helped them survive the ages. Their enduring appeal, wrote English poet and critic G. K. Chesterton in an introduction to a 1912 Doubleday edition, might lead back to a primeval allure. "These ancient and universal tales are all of animals; as the latest discoveries in the oldest prehistoric caverns are all of animals," Chesterton wrote. "Man, in his simpler states, always felt that he himself was something too mysterious to be drawn. But the legend he carved under these cruder symbols was everywhere the same; and whether fables began with Æsop or began with Adam … the upshot is everywhere essentially the same: that superiority is always insolent, because it is always accidental; that pride goes before a fall; and that there is such a thing as being too clever by half."

Aesop's tales were known in medieval Europe, and a German edition brought back to England by William Caxton, along with the first printing press in England, was translated by Caxton and became one of the first books ever printed in the English language. A 1692 version from English pamphleteer Roger L'Estrange ‘A Hundred Fables of Aesop’ was popular for a number of years, and the Aesop fables began to be promoted as ideal for teaching children to read. A discovery by contemporary scholar Robert Temple and his wife Olivia, a translator, resulted in a 1998 Penguin edition that contained some ribald original tales they found in a 1927 Greek-language text. As David Lister explained in an article for London's Independent newspaper, "many of the never before translated fables were coarse and brutal. And even some of the most famous ones had been mistranslated to give them a more comforting and more moral tone. What the Temples began to realise was that the Victorians had simply suppressed the fables which shocked them and effectively changed others."

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

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

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#573 2019-07-01 00:28:02

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

540) Nick Holonyak, Jr.

Nick Holonyak, Jr., (born November 3, 1928, Zeigler, Illinois, U.S.), American engineer who was known for his pioneering work with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), notably creating the first visible LED.

Holonyak was the son of immigrants from what is now Ukraine. He studied electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received B.S. (1950), M.S. (1951), and Ph.D. (1954) degrees. He was the first graduate student of two-time Nobel Prize recipient John Bardeen, a joint inventor of the transistor.

After Holonyak spent a year (1954–55) working at Bell Telephone Laboratories and two years (1955–57) in the military, he joined the General Electric (GE) electronics laboratory in Syracuse, New York. Several GE teams were working in the field of optoelectronics, the conversion of electric current into light. GE colleague Robert N. Hall had developed a laser using a semiconductor diode (a semiconductor device with positive and negative electrodes that can serve as a rectifier—that is, a converter of alternating current to direct current). Hall’s laser emitted only infrared radiation, which lies beyond the range of human vision. Holonyak decided to make a diode device that would emit visible light. By using the semiconductor material GaAsP and the technique of stimulated emission, in 1962 Holonyak succeeded in operating the first practical visible LED device. Holonyak’s device emitted red light. After LEDs that produce green and blue light were developed (in the 1970s and ’90s, respectively), LEDs that emit white light became possible, revolutionizing the lighting industry. Among his other work for GE, in 1959 Holonyak was the first to make silicon tunnel diodes and the first to observe phonon-assisted tunneling.

In 1963 Holonyak left GE to take up a professorship at the University of Illinois, where in 1993 he was named to the John Bardeen Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics. At Illinois, Holonyak pioneered the use of a number of alloys in diodes, and in 1977 he and a student made the first quantum-well laser diode. Holonyak retired as professor emeritus in 2013.

Holonyak was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Physical Society, a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and a life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). His numerous awards included the Edison Medal of the IEEE (1989), the National Medal of Science (1990), the Japan Prize (1995), the IEEE Third Millennium Medal (2000), the IEEE Medal of Honor (2003), and the Lemelson-MIT Prize (2004). In 2015 Holonyak was one of five engineers awarded the Charles Stark Draper Prize, administered by the National Academy of Engineering; two of the other honorees, George Craford and Russell Dupuis, were former graduate students of Holonyak.

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

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

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#574 2019-07-01 15:40:02

Monox D. I-Fly
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Re: crème de la crème

ganesh wrote:

Several phrases are traced back to the fables of Aesop, such as "don't count your chickens before they are hatched," which concludes the tale of the greedy "Milkmaid and Her Pail." In "The Fox and the Grapes," a fox ambles through the forest and spies a bunch of grapes. Thirsty, he tries in vain to reach them but finally gives up and walks off muttering that they were likely sour anyway. From this comes the term "sour grapes."

Never heard the full stories of those, and now I am curious.


Actually I never watch Star Wars and not interested in it anyway, but I choose a Yoda card as my avatar in honor of our great friend bobbym who has passed away. May his adventurous soul rest in peace at heaven.

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#575 2019-07-02 00:09:47

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

541) Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa

Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, also spelled Kapitza, (born June 26 [July 8, New Style], 1894, Kronshtadt, Russian Empire—died April 8, 1984, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.), Soviet physicist who invented new machines for liquefaction of gases and in 1937 discovered the superfluidity of liquid helium. He was a corecipient of the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics for his basic inventions and discoveries in the area of low-temperature physics.

After a short military service in World War I, Kapitsa resumed his engineering education at the Petrograd Polytechnical Institute, turning to physics in the seminar of Abram Joffe. Before graduation in 1919, he started work at the Petrograd Physico-Technical Institute, a new research institution organized by Joffe after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Kapitsa lost his father, wife, and two small children during the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918–19. In 1921, when Joffe took him on an academic tour of postwar Europe, Kapitsa remained in England at the University of Cambridge as a research student of Ernest Rutherford. Kapitsa received his doctorate from Cambridge in 1923 and became assistant director of magnetic research at the Cavendish Laboratory. He was made a fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge, in 1925 and elected to the Royal Society in 1929. The same year, the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences elected Kapitsa a corresponding member. Kapitsa started research in low-temperature physics, and in the Royal Society’s Mond Laboratory, established for him at Cambridge in 1932, he built a new type of helium liquefier based on an expansion turbine.

During a regular visit to the U.S.S.R in 1934, Kapitsa was told that he would have to continue his work in the Soviet Union. In 1935 he was appointed director of the specially established Institute of Physical Problems in Moscow, where he installed his former equipment from the Mond Laboratory after it was purchased by the Soviet government. He resumed researching the heat-conduction properties of liquid helium, and in 1938 he discovered superfluidity, or the fact that helium II (the stable form of liquid helium below 2.174 K, or −270.976 °C) has almost no viscosity (i.e., resistance to flow). In the meantime, he also invented an apparatus for large-scale industrial production of liquid oxygen. In 1939 he was elected a full member of the Academy of Sciences.

During the precarious years of political purge trials in the Soviet Union, Kapitsa developed ties with several leaders of the government, including Joseph Stalin, to whom he wrote long and sometimes daring personal letters. As one of the politically best-connected Soviet scientists, he managed to secure certain privileges for his institute, advance the industrial application of his inventions, and save several scientists from prison, including two of the nation’s best theoretical physicists, Vladimir Fock and Lev Landau. Landau, who worked as house theoretician at Kapitsa’s institute, developed a quantumtheoretical explanation of the phenomenon of superfluidity in 1941. During World War II, Kapitsa became responsible for the entire Soviet industry’s production of liquid oxygen and supervised the construction of large plants based on machines he invented.

In August 1945 the Politburo appointed Kapitsa to the special committee entrusted with the construction of the Soviet atomic bomb. Tensions soon developed between him and the committee’s political chairman, Lavrenty Beria; as a result, Kapitsa fell out of favour with Stalin. By mid-1946 Kapitsa had been dismissed from all of his official appointments, except membership in the Academy of Sciences. After Stalin died in 1953, Beria was ousted by Nikita Khrushchev, who gradually restored Kapitsa’s academic (but not government) positions. In 1955 Kapitsa regained the directorship of the Institute of Physical Problems and kept it until his death.

Having done some original work on ball lightning while he was out of favour with the government, Kapitsa switched from low-temperature physics to high-power microwave generators. Later he also contributed to controlled thermonuclear fusion research. Starting in 1955, he edited the main Soviet periodical in physics, the ‘Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics’, and from 1957 he was an influential member of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences.

Kapitsa maintained a visible profile, pushing the boundaries of allowed public speech by his addresses and actions, including support for the temporarily banned field of genetics and the 1960s environmental campaign to preserve Lake Baikal from industrial pollution. While disagreeing with political dissidents, he refused to sign an official letter by the Academy of Sciences condemning physicist Andrey Sakharov. Kapitsa was also active in the international Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, in which many scientists spoke out against the Cold War and the dangers of thermonuclear conflict.

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

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

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