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#726 2020-05-16 00:31:24

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

692) Max von Laue

Max von Laue, in full Max Theodor Felix von Laue, (born Oct. 9, 1879, Pfaffendorf, near Koblenz, Ger.—died April 23, 1960, Berlin, W.Ger.), German recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1914 for his discovery of the diffraction of X rays in crystals. This enabled scientists to study the structure of crystals and hence marked the origin of solid-state physics, an important field in the development of modern electronics.

Laue became professor of physics at the University of Zürich in 1912. Laue was the first to suggest the use of a crystal to act as a grating for the diffraction of X rays, showing that if a beam of X rays passed through a crystal, diffraction would take place and a pattern would be formed on a photographic plate placed at a right angle to the direction of the rays. The pattern would mark out the symmetrical arrangements of the atoms in the crystal. This was verified experimentally in 1912 by two of Laue’s students working under his direction. This success demonstrated that X rays are electromagnetic radiations similar to light and also provided experimental proof that the atomic structure of crystals is a regularly repeating arrangement.

Laue championed Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, did research on the quantum theory, the Compton effect (change of wavelength in light under certain conditions), and the disintegration of atoms. He became director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Berlin in 1919 and director of the Max Planck Institute for Research in Physical Chemistry, Berlin, in 1951.

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

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#727 2020-05-18 00:38:15

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Re: crème de la crème

693) Theodore William Richards

Theodore William Richards, (born Jan. 31, 1868, Germantown, Pa., U.S.—died April 2, 1928, Cambridge, Mass.), American chemist whose accurate determination of the atomic weights of approximately 25 elements indicated the existence of isotopes and earned him the 1914 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Richards graduated from Haverford College, Pa., in 1885 and took advanced degrees at Harvard University, where he became instructor in chemistry in 1891 and full professor in 1901.

Richards greatly improved the technique of gravimetric atomic weight determinations, introducing quartz apparatus, the bottling device, and the nephelometer (an instrument for measuring turbidity). Although the atomic weight values of Jean Servais Stas had been regarded as standard, about 1903 physicochemical measurements showed that some were not accurate. Richards and his students revised these figures, lowering, for instance, Stas’s value for silver from 107.93 to 107.88. Richards’ investigations of the atomic weight of lead from different sources helped to confirm the existence of isotopes. His later researches were concerned mainly with the physical properties of the solid elements and included much original work on atomic volumes and compressibilities.

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

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#728 2020-05-20 00:32:30

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

694) Charles Glover Barkla

Charles Glover Barkla, (born June 7, 1877, Widnes, Lancashire, England—died Oct. 23, 1944, Edinburgh, Scotland), British physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1917 for his work on X-ray scattering, which occurs when X-rays pass through a material and are deflected by the atomic electrons. This technique proved to be particularly useful in the study of atomic structures.

Educated at Trinity and King’s colleges, Cambridge, he joined the faculty of Liverpool University in 1902, moved to the University of London in 1909, and became professor of natural philosophy at the University of Edinburgh in 1913.

In 1906 Barkla and C.A. Sadler used X-ray scattering to determine the number of electrons in the carbon atom. At about the same time Barkla was able to polarize X-rays (select X-ray waves that vibrate in the same plane), thus demonstrating that X-rays are transverse waves and hence like other electromagnetic radiations, such as light.

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

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#729 2020-05-22 00:22:28

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Re: crème de la crème

695) Richard Willstätter

Richard Martin Willstätter was born in Karlsruhe in Baden on August 13, 1872, and went to school first in his home town and then, when his parents moved house, at the Technical School in Nuremberg. When he was 18 he went to the University of Munich where he studied Science, entered the Department of Chemistry under Baeyer and stayed there for the following fifteen years, first as a student, from 1896 as a lecturer – pursuing his scientific work independently – until in early 1902 he became J. Thiele’s successor as Extraordinary Professor.

As a young man he studied principally the structure and synthesis of plant alkaloids such as atropine and cocaine. In this, as in his later work on quinone and quinone type compounds which are the basis of many dyestuffs, he sought to acquire skill in chemical methods in order to prepare himself for the extensive and more difficult work of investigating plant and animal pigments. For this undertaking the working facilities which the Munich laboratory afforded him were too limited and he was glad to accept the first offer of a Professorial Chair which he received in the summer of 1905. It was thus that he came to Zurich to the Federal Technical College.

These seven years in Switzerland were for him the best and most significant. But while research and teaching brought him great satisfaction, at the same time he suffered personal misfortune and soon became lonely. He enjoyed his work in Zurich so much that he did not think of those years as a waiting period until he was called back to Germany in 1912. For the Jubilee of the University of Berlin, Kaiser Wilhelm had established a Society for the Promotion of Scientific Knowledge and this body had founded an Institute of Chemistry in Berlin/Dahlem. He was offered a Research Laboratory here in conjunction with an honorary professorship at the University of Berlin.
In the two short years before the outbreak of the first World War he was able with a team of collaborators to round off his investigations into chlorophyll and, in connexion with that, to complete some work on haemoglobin and, in rapid succession, to carry out his studies of anthocyanes, the colouring matter of flowers and fruits. These investigations into plant pigments, especially the work on chlorophyll, were honoured by the award of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1915), just at the time when he had decided to accept a call to the University of Munich and again, as successor to his old teacher Adolf von Baeyer, take an active part in university teaching; for, as things were then, the even tenour of scientific life at Dahlem was gone.

In the period that followed Willstätter continued on lines of fundamental importance, and his brilliant and fruitful work is regarded today as a pioneering achievement. The investigations into photosynthesis and into the nature and activity of the enzymes were precursory of modern Biochemistry. At that time the method so far developed of concentrating enzymes through adsorption did not make it possible to attain to the crystallized enzymes. In this connexion, Willstätter carried out important studies of adsorbents, metal hydroxides, hydrogels and silicic acids. In addition he was quick to give his attention also to problems of theoretical chemistry. Thus he achieved the first synthesis of cyclo-octatetraene, and went on to compare it with benzene; so also he set up experiments to produce cyclobutadiene.

Willstätter’s career came to a tragic end when, as a gesture against increasing antisemitism, he announced his retirement in 1924. Expressions of confidence by the Faculty, by his students and by the Minister failed to shake the fifty-three year old scientist in his decision to resign. He lived on in retirement in Munich, maintaining contact only with those of his pupils who remained in the Institute and with his successor, Heinrich Wieland, whom he had nominated. Dazzling offers both at home and abroad were alike rejected by him. In 1938 he fled from the Gestapo with the help of his pupil A. Stoll and managed to emigrate to Switzerland, losing all but a meagre part of his belongings.

Willstätter was married to Sophie Leser, the daughter of a Heidelberg University professor. They had one son, Ludwig, and one daughter, Ida Margarete.
The old man passed the last three years of his life in Muroalto near Locarno writing his Biography (Aus meinem Leben, edited by A. Stoll, Verlag Chemie, Weinheim, 1949; English edition From my Life, Benjamin, New York, 1965) until he died on 3rd August, 1942, of a heart attack.
In 1956 a memorial to Richard Willstätter was unveiled in Muroalto.

In an epilogue written by A. Stoll to Willstätter’s Biography the list of honours and distinctions accorded to this great scholar in every part of the civilized world alone occupies no less than three pages.

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

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#730 2020-05-24 00:15:52

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Re: crème de la crème

696) Charles Richet

Charles Richet, in full Charles-Robert Richet, (born Aug. 26, 1850, Paris, France—died Dec. 4, 1935, Paris), French physiologist who won the 1913 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of and coining of the term anaphylaxis, the life-threatening allergic reaction he observed in a sensitized animal upon second exposure to an antigen. This research provided the first evidence that an immune response could cause damage as well as provide protection against disease. During his career Richet helped to elucidate problems of hay fever, asthma, and other allergic reactions to foreign substances and explained some cases of toxicity and sudden death not previously understood.

Richet earned a medical degree in 1877 from the University of Paris, where he served as a professor of physiology from 1887 to 1927. For 24 years he edited the Revue scientifique. He is known for his investigations into the physiology of respiration and digestion, as well as epilepsy, the regulation of body heat, and a wide array of other subjects, including parapsychology. He also was distinguished as a bacteriologist, pathologist, medical statistician, poet, novelist, and playwright.

Charles Richet was born on August 26, 1850, in Paris. He was the son of Alfred Richet, Professor of Clinical Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine, Paris, and his wife Eugenie, née Renouard. He studied in Paris, becoming Doctor of Medicine in 1869, Doctor of Sciences in 1878 and Professor of Physiology from 1887 onwards in the Faculty of Medicine, Paris.

For 24 years (1878-1902) he was Editor of the Revue Scientifique, and from 1917 he was co-editor of the Journal de Physiologie et de Pathologie Générale. He has published papers on physiology, physiological chemistry, experimental pathology, normal and pathological psychology and numerous researches all done in the physiological laboratory of the Faculty of Medicine, Paris, where he tried to study normal and pathological facts together with each other.

In physiology, he worked out the mechanism of the thermoregulation in homoiothermic animals. Before his researches (1885-1895) on polypnoea and shivering due to temperature little was known about the methods by which animals deprived of cutaneous transpiration can guard against overheating and how chilled animals can warm themselves again.

In experimental therapeutics Richet showed that the blood of animals vaccinated against an infection protects against this infection (Nov. 1888). Applying this principle to tuberculosis, he did the first serotherapeutic injection done in man (Dec. 6, 1890).

In 1900, Charles Richet showed that feeding milk and raw meat (zomotherapy) might cure tuberculous dogs.

In 1901 he established that by decreasing the sodium chloride in food, potassium bromide is rendered so effective for the treatment of epilepsy that the therapeutic dose falls from 10 g to 2 g.

In 1913, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his researches on anaphylaxis. He invented this word to designate the sensitivity developed by an organism after it had been given a parenteral injection of a colloid or protein substance or a toxin (1902). Later he demonstrated the facts of passive anaphylaxis and anaphylaxis in vitro. The applications of anaphylaxis to medicine are extremely numerous. Already in 1913, over 4000 memoirs had been published on this question and it plays an important part nowadays in pathology. He showed that in fact parenteral injection of protein substance modifies profoundly and permanently the chemical constitution of the body fluids. Most of Charles Richet’s physiological works scattered in various scientific journals were published in the Travaux du Laboratoire de la Faculté de Médecine de Paris (Alcan, Paris, 6 vols. 1890-1911) (Works of the Physiological Laboratory of the Faculty of Medicine, Paris).

Among his other works are: Suc Gastrique chez l’Homme et chez les Animaux, 1878 (Gastric juice in man and in animals); Leçons sur les Muscles et les Nerfs, 1881 (Lectures on the muscles and nerves); Leçons sur la Chaleur Animale, 1884 (Lectures on animal heat); Essai de Psychologie Générale, 1884 (Essay on general psychology); Souvenirs d’un Physiologiste, 1933 (Memoirs of a physiologist). He was also the editor of Dictionnaire de Physiologie, 1895-1912 (Dictionary of Physiology), of which 9 volumes appeared.

Among his recreations were an interest in spiritualism and the writing of a few dramatic works.

In 1877, Charles Richet married Amélie Aubry. They had five sons, Georges, Jacques, Charles (who, like his father, was Professor in the Faculty of Medicine in Paris and was, in his turn, succeeded by his son Gabriel), Albert and Alfred, and two daughters, Louise (Mme Lesné) and Adèle (Mme le Ber).

He died in Paris on December 4, 1935.

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

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#731 2020-05-26 01:13:14

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Re: crème de la crème

697) Jules Bordet

Jules Bordet, in full Jules-Jean-Baptiste-Vincent Bordet, (born June 13, 1870, Soignies, Belg.—died April 6, 1961, Brussels), Belgian physician, bacteriologist, and immunologist who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1919 for his discovery of factors in blood serum that destroy bacteria; this work was vital to the diagnosis and treatment of many dangerous contagious diseases.

Bordet’s research on the destruction of bacteria and red corpuscles in blood serum, conducted at the Pasteur Institute, Paris (1894–1901), contributed significantly to the foundation of serology, the study of immune reactions in body fluids. In 1895 he found that two components of blood serum are responsible for the rupture of bacterial cell walls (bacteriolysis): one is a heat-stable antibody found only in animals already immune to the bacterium; the other is a heat-sensitive substance found in all animals that was named alexin (it is now called complement). Three years later Bordet discovered that red blood cells from one animal species that are injected into another species are destroyed through a process (hemolysis) analogous to bacteriolysis.

In Brussels, where Bordet founded and directed (1901–40) what is now the Pasteur Institute of Brussels, he continued his immunity research with Octave Gengou, his brother-in-law. Their work led to the development of the complement-fixation test, a diagnostic technique that was used to detect the presence of infectious agents in the blood, including those that cause typhoid, tuberculosis, and, most notably, syphilis (the Wassermann test). After discovering (with Gengou in 1906) the bacterium, now known as Bordetella pertussis, that is responsible for whooping cough, Bordet became professor of bacteriology at the Free University of Brussels (1907–35).

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

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#732 2020-05-28 00:18:04

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Re: crème de la crème

698) Alexis Carrel

Alexis Carrel, (born June 28, 1873, Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, France—died November 5, 1944, Paris), French surgeon who received the 1912 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for developing a method of suturing blood vessels.

Carrel received an M.D. (1900) from the University of Lyon. Soon after graduating, he became interested in the repair of blood vessels, and he developed a method to suture them together end-to-end with a minimum of stitches. This technique became essential for many surgical operations, including the transplantation of blood vessels and organs. In 1904 Carrel left France for the United States, working first at the University of Chicago and then at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City. There he investigated the preservation of living tissues outside the body, keeping organs or tissues alive—in one famous case, for more than 30 years—by circulating tissue-culture fluid through them. During World War I Carrel returned to France, where he helped to develop the Carrel-Dakin method of treating wounds with antiseptic fluids in order to prevent infection. After 1919 he continued his work at the Rockefeller Institute until 1939, when he returned to France. In 1941 he became director of the French Foundation for the Study of Human Problems in Paris. His book ‘Man, the Unknown’ (1935) expounded many of his religious and social ideas.

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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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#733 2020-05-31 00:21:56

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Re: crème de la crème

699) Johannes Stark

Johannes Stark was born on April 15, 1874 in Schickenhof, Bavaria; his father was a landed proprietor. He was educated at the Gymnasium (grammar school) in Bayreuth and later in Regensburg and proceeded to Munich University in 1894 to read physics, mathematics, chemistry and crystallography. Stark graduated in 1897 on the basis of his doctoral dissertation on Newton’s electrochronic rings in a certain type of dim media. He worked as assistant to von Lommel at the Physics Institute at Munich University from 1897 until 1900 and then became unsalaried university lecturer of physics at the University of Göttingen. In 1906 he was appointed extraordinary professor at the Technische Hochschule in Hannover and in 1909 he followed the invitation of the Technische Hochschule in Aachen to become Professor there. A similar appointment at the University of Greifswald followed in 1917. Three years later he moved to the Physics Institute of the University of Würzburg, where he stayed until 1922.

Stark’s scientific works cover three large fields: the electric currents in gases, spectroscopic analysis, and chemical valency. His spectroscopic work deals with the connection between the alteration in the structure and in the spectrum of chemical atoms. In 1919 Stark was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his “discovery of the Doppler effect in canal rays and the splitting of spectral lines in electric fields”. The prize enabled him to set up his own private laboratory.

In 1933 Stark was elected President of the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt (Physico-Technical Institute) as successor to von Paschen, where he remained until his retirement in 1939. At the same time he held the post of President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Association).

Stark was a prolific writer and published more than 300 scientific papers. His book Die Elektrizität in Gasen (Electricity in gases) was published in 1902. This was followed by works on elementary radiation and electrical spectroscopic analysis of chemical atoms. In connection with his work on chemical valency he wrote a book Die Elektrizität im chemischen Atom (Electricity in the chemical atom). Stark founded the Jahrbuch der Radioaktivität und Elektronik (The Year Book of Radioactivity and Electronics) and edited this publication from 1904 until 1913.

Johannes Stark was a corresponding member of the Academies in Göttingen, Rome, Leyden, Vienna and Calcutta, and was awarded the Baumgartner Prize of the Vienna Academy of Sciences in 1910 and the Vahlbruch Prize of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences in 1914, and also the Matteucci Medal of the Rome Academy.

During the last years of his life Stark, in his private laboratory on his country estate Eppenstatt near Traunstein in Upper Bavaria, investigated the effect of light deflection in an unhomogeneous electric field.

He was married to Luise Uepler. They had five children. His recreations were forestry and cultivation of fruit trees.

Stark died on June 21, 1957.

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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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#734 2020-06-02 00:59:55

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Re: crème de la crème

700) Henri La Fontaine

Henri Marie La Fontaine (April 22, 1854-May 14, 1943) was born in Brussels. A professor of international law, a senator in the Belgian legislature for thirty-six years, a renowned bibliographer, a man of wide-ranging cultural achievements, he was noted, most of all, for his fervent and total internationalism.

In 1877 at the age of twenty-three, La Fontaine registered as counsel with the Brussels Court of Appeal after reading law at the Free University of Brussels, from which he later received a doctorate in law. For the next sixteen years, he practiced law, becoming one of Belgium’s leading jurists; wrote a technical work on the rights and duties of contractors of public works (1885) and collaborated on another concerning counterfeiting (1888); began his long work in the cause of peace; and participated in liberal reform causes.

His interest in reform eventually led him into politics. A socialist, La Fontaine wrote for the movement, spoke at meetings, joined in founding La Justice, a socialist paper. Elected to the Belgian Senate as a Socialist, he represented Hainaut from 1895 to 1898, Liège from 1900 to 1932, and Brabant from 1935 to 1936. He was secretary of the Senate for thirteen years (1907-1919) and a vice-president for fourteen years: third vice-president (1919-1921), second vice-president (1921-1922), and first vice-president (1923-1932).

Throughout his career in the Senate he showed an abiding interest in education, labor, and foreign affairs. As a freshman senator, he introduced a bill to reform primary education and in his last year in the Senate spoke on the budget for public instruction. In labor legislation, he submitted a bill on mine inspection in 1897 and in 1926 supported the adoption of the eight-hour day and forty-hour week. In foreign affairs, he spoke almost every year on the foreign affairs budget, asked the Belgian government to demand arbitration between the combatants of the Boer War (1901), introduced a bill approving the treaty of obligatory arbitration with Italy (1911), and gave his legislative support to the League of Nations, the establishment of an economic union with Luxembourg, the Locarno Pacts, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, disarmament, and the legal means of settling international disputes.

La Fontaine was a member of the Belgian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and a delegate to the First Assembly of the League of Nations in 1920-1921. To those deliberations he brought his uncompromising internationalism. For example, during a plenary meeting that was considering Article 16 of the Covenant – the article which provided that members of the League must unite in diplomatic pressure, sanctions, or, if necessary, armed force to prevent a resort to aggressive war in breach of the Covenant – he spoke against an amendment releasing from commitment those countries which deemed themselves endangered should they take part in sanctions, saying: «Belgium thinks that however great the peril which a country might have to undergo under the system which we seek to establish here, that country ought to do its duty. It was thus that Belgium understood her obligations in 1914… We fully admit that, in circumstances of this nature, powerful countries may take certain measures, but in our opinion it would be impossible, on the pretext that they would suffer more than others, for some countries to hold aloof from the sacred task of defending justice, even at the peril of their own existence. ‹Fais ce que dois, advienne que pourra.› »

Ideas for some of the auxiliary bodies of the League of Nations and of such affiliated bodies as the Institute of Intellectual Cooperation may have been influenced by La Fontaine’s plan for an international intellectual union, along with which he proposed the creation of international agencies that logically follow from the acceptance of the international idea – among them, a university, a library, a language, a parliament, a court, a bank, and clearing houses for labor, trade, immigration, and statistical information .

La Fontaine entered the organized peace movement when Hodgson Pratt, the British pacifist, came to Belgium in the early 1880’s to establish a branch of his International Arbitration and Peace Association. Becoming the secretary-general of the Société belge de l’arbitrage et de la paix in 1889, La Fontaine thereafter participated actively in virtually all of the peace congresses held in the next twenty-five years. In 1907, he succeeded Fredrik Bajer (one of the two Nobel Peace laureates for 1908) as president of the International Peace Bureau (winner of the 1910 Peace Prize), an organization he helped to found and whose titular head he remained until his death.

La Fontaine became a member of the Interparliamentary Union as soon as he attained eligibility by virtue of being elected to a national legislature. To La Fontaine the Union was an embryo world parliament, the precursor of a world government. An enthusiastic member, he was chairman of its Juridical Committee prior to World War I and a member of two of its important commissions – that on preparation of a model world parliament and that on drafting a model treaty of arbitration.

In the two decades between 1894 and 1915, La Fontaine’s literary efforts were prodigious, with much of his more important work associated with internationalism. The Manuel des lois de la paix: Code de l’arbritrage (1894) was approved by the International Peace Congress held at Antwerp. Published in 1902, the immense volume, Pasicrisie internationale: Histoire documentaire des arbitrages internationaux, 1794-1900, is a source book of 368 documents on arbitration, including agreements, rules of procedure, and case decisions, printed in whole or in part in their original languages. A complementary work, Histoire sommaire et chronologique des arbitrages internationaux, 1794-1900, provides commentary on Pasicrisie. His exhaustive and carefully edited Bibliographie de la paix et de l’arbitrage international, containing 2,222 entries, appeared in 1904. The Great Solution: Magnissima Charta (1916) offers a set of principles for organized international relations, not for a «World State» which he considered many years away, and sketches a «constitution» embodying the necessary institutions that would fit the times while preventing future wars. In «International Judicature» (1915) he outlines the essentials for a supreme court of the world. Not that he was very optimistic at this time. From Washington, D.C., where he lived following his flight to England and then to the United States after the German invasion of Belgium in 1914, he wrote in a private letter: «The peoples are not awake…[There are dangers] which will render a world organization impossible. I foresee the renewal of…the secret bargaining behind closed doors. Peoples will be as before, the sheep sent to the slaughterhouses or to the meadows as it pleases the shepherds. International institutions ought to be, as the national ones in democratic countries, established by the peoples and for the peoples.»

In the period before World War I, La Fontaine inaugurated an ambitious bibliographical scheme. In 1895, in collaboration with Paul Otlet, he established the Institut international de bibliographie. This «House of Documentation», as it came to be called, was a vast informational retrieval scheme, in which he proposed to file, index, and provide information for retrieval on anything of note published anywhere in the world. With the help of a subsidy from the Belgian government, he went some distance in bringing his plan into reality, for the House developed a methodology of universal classification and produced some reference works, particularly bibliographies of social sciences and peace.

From the work of the Institute came the idea for the Union of International Associations, which he founded with Paul Otlet in 1907, and, as secretary-general, directed thereafter. Still located in Brussels, the Union was granted consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 1951 and with UNESCO in 1952. As the «only centre in the world devoted to documentation, research and promotion of international organizations, particularly the voluntary (nongovernmental) variety»4 and as the publisher of The Yearbook of International Organizations, the first of which appeared in 1909, and of a host of reference works of proceedings, documents, bibliographies, directories, and calendars of meetings of international organizations, it carries on in a sophisticated manner the embryonic conceptions of its founder.

Throughout his life La Fontaine was concerned with education. He occupied the chair of international law from 1893 to 1940, first at the Université Nouvelle, a branch of the Free University of Brussels, and then at the Institut des Hautes Études after the branch merged with the University following World War I. He taught courses on the elements of international law and on the evolution of the judicial structures of the world, and, as occasion required, offered courses of lectures on various subjects – among them, disarmament, the League of Nations, international misunderstandings, world federation, the law in relation to political and moral crises in the world.
A zealous reformer, La Fontaine was a leading spokesman for women’s rights. He was appointed secretary of a technical school for young women in 1878; he wrote La Femme et le barreau in 1901, taking an advanced position on the place of women in the legal profession; and for some time he was president of the Association for the Professional Education of Women.

La Fontaine’s talents and energy led him to explore many interests. A mountaineer, he wrote about climbing, compiled an international bibliography of «Alpinism», and served as president of the Club alpin belge. He translated portions of Wagner’s operas, published essays on American libraries and the status of American women, founded the review La Vie internationale, lectured to adult education classes on modern movements in the arts, served on the Brussels City Council from 1904 to 1908, and even, in his young manhood, produced a volume of poetry.

Henri La Fontaine lived to see his native Belgium invaded once again but not to see it liberated, for he died in 1943.

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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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#735 2020-06-04 00:36:36

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Re: crème de la crème

701) Sir William Bragg

Sir William Bragg, in full Sir William Henry Bragg, (born July 2, 1862, Wigton, Cumberland, Eng.—died March 12, 1942, London), pioneer British scientist in solid-state physics who was a joint winner (with his son Sir Lawrence Bragg) of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915 for his research on the determination of crystal structures. He was knighted in 1920.

William Bragg came on his father’s side from a family without academic traditions, mainly yeoman farmers and merchant seamen. His mother was the daughter of the local vicar. Upon her death, when he was barely seven, he went to live with two paternal uncles who had set up a pharmacy and grocery shop in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. There he attended an old school reestablished by one of his uncles. He did well, and in 1875 his father sent him to school at King William College, Isle of Man. At first he found it difficult to adjust himself, but he was good at his lessons and at sports and finally became head boy. During his last year, however, the school was swept by a storm of religious emotionalism. The boys were frightened by the stories of hellfire and eternal damnation, and the experience left a strong mark on Bragg. Later he wrote, “It was a terrible year . . . for many years the Bible was a repelling book, which I shrank from reading.” And in a lecture, Science and Faith, at Cambridge in 1941, he said, “I am sure that I am not the only one to whom when young the literal interpretation of Biblical texts caused years of acute misery and fear.” On the other hand, he attributed his clear, balanced style of writing to his early grounding in the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible; in The World of Sound he wrote, “From religion comes a man’s purpose; from science his power to achieve it.”

In 1882 he was granted a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge; and two years later he obtained third place in the Mathematical Tripos (final examinations), a splendid achievement that led to his appointment, in 1885, as professor of mathematics and physics at the young University of Adelaide, S.Aus. He then not only trained himself to become a good, lucid lecturer but also apprenticed himself to a firm of instrument makers and made all the equipment he needed for practical laboratory teaching. It was this early training that enabled him, later (in 1912), after his return to England, to design the Bragg ionization spectrometer, the prototype of all modern X-ray and neutron diffractometers, with which he made the first exact measurements of X-ray wavelengths and crystal data.

It was not until 1904, when Bragg became president of the physics section of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Science, that he began to think about original research. His subsequent work on alpha, beta, and gamma rays led the renowned British physicist Ernest Rutherford to propose him for fellowship of the Royal Society. He was elected in 1907 and within a year was offered a professorship in Leeds, England, where he developed his view that both gamma rays and X rays have particle-like properties.

In 1912 the German physicist Max von Laue announced that crystals could diffract X rays, thus implying that X rays must be waves like light but of much shorter wavelength. Bragg and his elder son, Lawrence, who was studying physics at Cambridge, then began to apply X rays to the study of crystal structure. These researches earned them jointly the award of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915.

After World War I, during which he worked on anti-submarine devices, Bragg established a school of crystallographic research at University College, London, and then, upon the death of the chemist and physicist Sir James Dewar, succeeded him as director of the Royal Institution and of the Davy Faraday Research Laboratories, London. To these institutions he attracted many young scientists whose researches he inspired and stimulated and who subsequently achieved fame. Bragg was also a popular scientific lecturer and writer. He gave “Christmas Lectures” for children, which, when published, became best-sellers. With Lady Bragg, he established a salon to which famous scientists came from far and wide. He was president of the Royal Society from 1935 to 1940 and received many other honours, but, to the last, he remained simple, gentle, and humble about his own success and proud of his son’s.

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#736 2020-06-06 00:32:13

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

702) Robert Bárány

Robert Bárány was born on April 22, 1876, in Vienna. His father was the manager of a farm estate and his mother, Maria Hock, was the daughter of a well-known Prague scientist, and it was her intellectucal influence that was most pronounced in the family. Robert was the eldest of six children. When he was quite young he contracted tuberculosis of the bones, which resulted in permanent stiffness of his kneejoint. It is thought that this illness first led him to take an interest in medicine. The disability, however, did not prevent him from playing tennis and walking in the mountains, right through his life. He was always top of the form – in the primary school, the grammar school, and was among the best of his year even at the university.

After completing his medical studies at Vienna University in 1900, Bárány attended the lectures of Professor C. von Noorden in Frankfurt am Main for one year, and then studied at the psychiatric-neurological clinic of Professor Kracpelin in Freiburg i.Br. It was there that his interest in neurological problems was first awakened. On his return to Vienna he became the pupil of Professor Gussenbauer, the surgeon, and finally, in 1903, accepted a post as demonstrator at the Otological Clinic under Professor Politzer. He followed up the theories of Flourens, Purkinje, Mach, Breuer and others, and clarified the physiology and pathology of human vestibular apparatus. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in this field in 1914. The news of this award reached Bárány in a Russian prisoner-of-war camp; he had been attached to the Austrian army as a civilian surgeon and had tended soldiers with head injuries, which fact had enabled him to continue his neurological studies on the correlation of the vestibular apparatus, the cerebellum and the muscular apparatus. Following the personal intervention of Prince Carl of Sweden on behalf of the Red Cross, he was released from the prisoner-of-war camp in 1916 and was presented with the Nobel Prize by the King of Sweden at Stockholm.

Bárány returned to Vienna the same year, but was bitterly disappointed by the attitude of his Austrian colleagues, who reproached him for having made only incomplete references in his works to the discoveries of other scientists, on whose theories they said his work was based. These attacks resulted in Bárány leaving Vienna to accept the post of Principal and Professor of an Otological Institute in Uppsala, where he remained for the remainder of his life. Holmgren and a number of famous Swedish otologists published a paper in defence of Bárány.

During the latter part of his life Bárány studied the causes of muscular rheurmatism, and continued working on a book dealing with this subject even after he had suffered a stroke and was partially paralysed. Bárány married Ida Felicitas Berger in 1909. They had two sons; the elder became Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Uppsala, his brother Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Caroline Institute, Stockholm; and one daughter, Ingrid, who became a psychiatrist.

He died at Uppsala on April 8, 1936.

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#737 2020-06-08 00:58:43

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

703) Charles Édouard Guillaume

Charles Édouard Guillaume, French physicist whose exhaustive studies of ferronickel alloys culminated in the discovery of invar (a nickel–steel alloy) and gained him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1920.

In 1883 Guillaume joined the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, Sèvres, and from 1915 served as its director. His early studies there included exhaustive investigations of the mercury thermometer and of the volume of the litre, which he found to be 1,000.028 cubic centimetres, not 1,000.000 cubic centimetres as had been accepted. From 1890 he focused his attention on alloys and developed invar and elinvar. Invar’s low coefficient of expansion (change in volume caused by change in temperature) and elinvar’s low coefficient of elasticity (change in elasticity caused by change in temperature), combined with their low cost, resulted in their widespread use in scientific instruments.

Charles-Edouard Guillaume was born at Fleurier, in the Swiss-Jura, on February 15, 1861. His grandfather had left France for political reasons during the Revolution and established a watchmaking business in London. The business was carried on by his three sons but Charles’ father, Édouard, eventually returned to settle in Fleurier.

Guillaume received his early education in Neuchâtel before going to the Zurich Polytechnic where he obtained his doctor’s degree. He spent a short time as an officer in the artillery before entering the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, as an assistant, in 1883. He became Associate Director in 1902 and from 1915 until his retirement in 1936, he was Director of the Bureau. He remained as Honorary Director from 1936 until his death.

During his brief military career, Guillaume studied mechanics and ballistics but his earliest investigations at the bureau were with thermometry. He carried out important investigations on corrections to mercury-in-glass thermometers and he was responsible for the detailed calibration of thermometers used at the Bureau in the establishment of the thermal expansions of the standards of length. He was concerned in initial work on the International Metre and undertook a determination of the volume of one kilogram of water by the contact method.

A chance observation by Guillaume on the coefficient of expansion of nickel-iron alloys led to a systematic investigation of a whole series of alloys and the discovery of invar, an alloy with a very low coefficient of expansion; elinvar, for which the thermoelastic coefficient is practically zero, i.e. Young’s modulus constant, over a considerable temperature range; together with other useful alloys. The applications of invar were quickly recognized and the material was used in rapid methods for the measurement of geodetic baselines. The alloy is widely used in instruments of precision, such as thermostats and pendulums of astronomic clocks. Guillaume’s total compensating balance for high-grade watches and chronometers, which eliminates the secondary error, was perfected by an elinvar hair spring.

Guillaume’s work is recorded in many papers published by the Bureau and he has written, amongst other works, ‘Études thermométriques’ (Studies on Thermometry, 1886), ‘Traité de thermométrie’ (Treatise on Thermometry, 1889), ‘Unités et Étalons’ (Units and Standards, 1894), ‘Les rayons X’ (X-Rays, 1896), ‘Recherches sur le nickel et ses alliages’ (Investigations on Nickel and its Alloys, 1898), ‘La vie de la matière’ (The Life of Matter, 1899), ‘La Convention du Mètre et le Bureau international des Poids et Mesures’ (Metrical Convention and the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, 1902), ‘Les applications des aciers au nickel’ (Applications of Nickel-Steels, 1904), ‘Des états de la matière’ (States of Matter, 1907), ‘Les récent progrès du système métrique’ (Recent progress in the Metric System, 1907, 1913). His book ‘Initiation à la Mécanique’ (Introduction to Mechanics) has been translated into several languages.

He was appointed Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour and received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from the Universities of Geneva, Neuchatel and Paris. He was a President of the Société Française de Physique and a member, honorary member or corresponding member of more than a dozen of the leading scientific academies of Europe.

Charles-Édouard Guillaume married Mlle. A.M. Taufflieb in 1888. They had three children. He died on May 13, 1938.

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#738 2020-06-10 00:39:33

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

704) Walther Nernst

Walther Hermann Nernst was born in Briesen, West Prussia, on June 25, 1864. His father, Gustav Nernst, was a district judge. He spent his early school years at Graudentz, and subsequently went to the Universities of Zurich, Berlin and Graz (Ludwig Boltzmann and Albert von Ettinghausen), studying physics and mathematics, before proceeding to Wurzburg (Friedrich Kohlrausch), where he graduated in 1887 with a thesis on electromotive forces produced by magnetism in heated metal plates. He joined Wilhelm Ostwald at Leipzig University, where van ‘t Hoff and Arrhenius were already established, and it was in this distinguished company of physical chemists that Nernst began his important researches.

In 1894 he received invitations to the Physics Chairs in Munich and in Berlin, as well as to the Physical Chemistry Chair in Göttingen. He accepted this latter invitation, and in Göttingen founded the Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry and became its Director. In 1905 he was appointed Professor of Chemistry, later of Physics, in the University of Berlin, becoming Director of the newly-founded “Physikalisch-Chemisches Institut” in 1924. He remained in this position until his retirement in 1933.

Nernst’s early studies in electrochemistry were inspired by Arrhenius’ dissociation theory which first recognized the importance of ions in solution. In 1889 he elucidated the theory of galvanic cells by assuming an “electrolytic pressure of dissolution” which forces ions from electrodes into solution and which was opposed to the osmotic pressure of the dissolved ions. In the same year he derived equations which defined the conditions by which solids precipitate from saturated solutions. His heat theorem, known as the Third Law of Thermodynamics, was developed in 1906. It demonstrated that the maximum work obtainable from a process could be calculated from the heat evolved at temperatures close to absolute zero – earlier ideas had not considered the effects of temperature – and conditions of equilibrium in many chemical reactions could now be precisely worked out. In addition to its theoretical implications, the theorem was soon applied to industrial problems, induding calculations in ammonia synthesis.

Nernst and his students in Berlin proceeded to make many important physico-chemical measurements, particularly determinations of specific heats of solids at very low temperatures and of vapour densities at high temperatures. All these were considered from the point of view of quantum theory.

In 1918 his studies of photochemistry led him to his atom chain reaction theory. This assumed that once the energy of a quantum has initiated a reaction in which free atoms are formed, these formed atoms can themselves decompose other molecules with the liberation of more free atoms and so on. The reaction can thus continue for long periods without further outside initiations.

Nernst was mechanically minded and he was always to the forefront in considering ways of applying the results of scientific research to industry. His improved electric light, the Nernst Lamp, used a ceramic body and it might have assumed importance had not tantalum and tungsten filaments been developed. His electrical piano, which replaced the sounding board with radio amplifiers, did not gain acceptance among musicians. In later years, he occupied himself with astrophysical theories, a field in which the heat theorem had important applications.

For his work in thermochemistry he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 1920. Many other distinctions and awards were bestowed upon him for his contributions to science.

Walther Nernst’s fundamental contributions to electrochemistry, the theory of solutions, thermodynamics, solid state chemistry and photochemistry are recorded in a series of monographs, and in his many papers to learned societies, etc. His book Theoretische Chemie vom Standpunkte der Avogadro’schen Regel und der Thermodynamik (Theoretical chemistry from the standpoint of Avogadro’s rule and thermodynamics) was first published in 1893 and the tenth edition appeared in 1921 (the fifth English edition in 1923). Together with A. Schonflies he wrote a textbook Einführung in die mathematische Behandlung der Naturwissenschaften (Introduction to the mathematical study of the natural sciences), which reached its tenth edition in 1923. Of his other books, his monograph Die theoretischen und experimentellen Grundlagen des neuen Wärmesatzes (1918, second edition 1923) was also published in English (The New Heat Theorem, 1926).

Nernst married Emma Lohmeyer in 1892. They had two sons, who were both killed in the First World War, and three daughters. His favourite pastimes were hunting and fishing. He died in Berlin on November 18, 1941.

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#739 2020-06-12 01:29:33

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

705) Frederick Soddy

Frederick Soddy, (born Sept. 2, 1877, Eastbourne, Sussex, Eng.—died Sept. 22, 1956, Brighton, Sussex), English chemist and recipient of the 1921 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for investigating radioactive substances and for elaborating the theory of isotopes. He is credited, along with others, with the discovery of the element protactinium in 1917.

He was educated in Wales and at the University of Oxford and worked under the physicist Sir Ernest Rutherford at McGill University, Montreal (1900–02), and then under the chemist Sir William Ramsay at University College, London. After teaching at the University of Glasgow, Scot. (1904–14), Soddy became a professor of chemistry at Oxford (1919–37).

Soddy worked with Rutherford on the disintegration of radioactive elements. He was among the first to conclude in 1913 that certain elements might exist in forms that differ in atomic weight while being indistinguishable and inseparable chemically. These, upon a suggestion by Margaret Todd, he called isotopes. In ‘Science and Life’ (1920) he pointed out their value in determining geologic age.

Soddy turned away from the study of radioactivity in 1914 and became involved in social and economic issues. He was highly critical of the inability of the world’s economic systems to make full use of scientific and technological advances.

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#740 2020-06-14 00:53:56

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

706) Francis W. Aston

Francis William Aston was born in September 1877 at Harborne, Birmingham, England, the third of a family of seven children. He was educated at Harborne Vicarage School and Malvern College where his interest in science was aroused. In 1894 he entered Mason College, Birmingham (later to become the University of Birmingham) where he studied chemistry under Frankland and Tilden, and Physics under Poynting. His winning of the Forster Scholarship in 1898 enabled him to work on the optical properties of tartaric acid derivatives; the results of this work were published in 1901.

Leaving academic life for a time, he worked for three years as a chemist in the laboratory of a brewery. At about this time, however, his interest in physics, rather than chemistry, began to predominate; his aptitude for mechanical contrivance showed itself in his design and construction of new types of pumps for evacuating vessels. From this stemmed his interest in gas discharge phenomena in evacuated tubes.

In 1903 he obtained a scholarship to Birmingham University (as it had now become) to work on the properties of the Crookes Dark Space in discharge tubes. Within a short time he had discovered the phenomenon which is known as the Aston Dark Space. At the end of 1909 he accepted the invitation of Sir J.J.Thomson to work as his assistant at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, on studies of positive rays. It was during this period that he obtained definite evidence for the existence of two isotopes of the inert gas neon.

This research was interrupted by the War of 1914-1918, during which time Aston worked at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, where he studied the effect of atmospheric conditions on aeroplane fabrics and dopes (i.e. synthetic coatings).

Returning to the Cavendish Laboratory in 1919, he again attacked the problem of the separation of the isotopes of neon. He quickly achieved success in this by his invention of the mass spectrograph, an apparatus in which the ingenious use of electromagnetic focusing enabled him to utilize the very slight differences in mass of the two isotopes to effect their separation. Extending this principle to other chemical elements, he discovered, in a series of measurements, no less than 212 of the naturally occurring isotopes. From the results of this work he was able to formulate the so-called Whole Number Rule which states that, the mass of the oxygen isotope being defined, all the other isotopes have masses that are very nearly whole numbers.

Aston continued to make measurements, using an improved instrument, with ever-increasing refinement and precision. He observed and was able to measure those deviations from the Whole Number Rule which were to become so important in the field of atomic energy.

The results of his work were published in the ‘Proceedings of the Royal Society’ and in the ‘Philosophical Magazine’. He was also the author of the books ‘Isotopes’ (1922; revised edition 1941) and of ‘Structural Units of the Material Universe’ (1923).

Aston was elected to a Fellowship at Trinity College in 1920, in which year he also received the Mackenzie Davidson Medal of the Röntgen Society. In 1921 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society and was awarded the Society’s Hughes Medal the following year, the same year that he received the Nobel Prize. The John Scott and the Paterno medals were given to him in 1923, the Royal medal in 1938, and he was Duddell medalist of the Physical Society in 1941.

He was an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and of the Accademia dei Lincei, and held honorary doctorates of the Universities of Birmingham and Dublin.

Aston, a bachelor, was an enthusiastic sportsman; skiing, rock climbing, tennis and swimming were among the sports in which he excelled. He was also keen musician, playing the piano, violin and the cello.

He died at Cambridge on November 20, 1945.

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

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#741 2020-06-16 00:35:49

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

707) August Krogh

August Krogh, in full Schack August Steenberg Krogh, (born Nov. 15, 1874, Grenå, Den.—died Sept. 13, 1949, Copenhagen), Danish physiologist who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1920 for his discovery of the motor-regulating mechanism of capillaries (small blood vessels).

Krogh studied zoology at the University of Copenhagen, becoming professor of animal physiology there in 1916. In 1906 he was awarded a prize by the Vienna Academy of Science for investigations described in his treatise ‘Mechanism of Gas Exchange in Lungs’. Krogh found that the capillaries contract or dilate in proportion to the tissue’s requirement for blood—that active muscles, for example, have a greater number of open capillaries than do the less active. His study of the circulatory mechanisms that control the supply of oxygen to the tissues grew out of his primary interest, respiration, a subject in which he collaborated with his wife, Marie. He wrote ‘The Respiratory Exchange of Animals and Man’ (1916) and ‘The Anatomy and Physiology of Capillaries’ (1922).

Schack August Steenberg Krogh was born at Grenaa, Jutland, Denmark, on November 15, 1874. He was the son of Viggo Krogh, shipbuilder, and Marie, née Drechmann. Even as a schoolboy August was much interested in the natural sciences and spent a great deal of his time in experimentation. He was greatly stimulated by his teacher and friend William Sörensen, D. Sc., who especially advised him to take interest in physiology. After having entered the University of Copenhagen in 1893 he started to study medicine but soon devoted himself to zoology. In 1897 he began to work in the Laboratory of Medical Physiology under the famous Professor Christian Bohr. When he had passed his examination in zoology, he became Bohr’s assistant. In 1908 an Associate Professorship in Zoophysiology was created for Krogh at the University of Copenhagen, and eight years later this was changed to an ordinary chair, which Krogh held till 1945, when he retired. His work went on, however, in the private laboratory at Gjentofte, erected for him with the aid of the Carlsberg and the Scandinavian Insulin Foundations.

Krogh’s scientific work embraces a number of different fields. As a young student he started (1896) in his private room some experiments on the hydrostatic mechanism of the Corethra larva, the results of which were not published, however, until 1911. In this connection he worked out methods for microscopical analyses of the gas contained in the air bladders of the larvae and was able to prove that these organs functioned like the diving tanks of a submarine, their content being regulated until equilibrium with the surrounding water was restored. In 1902 Krogh took part in an expedition to Disko, North Greenland, where he studied the CO2 tension and the oxygen content in the water of springs, streams and the sea. This led to important results about the role of the oceans in the regulation of the CO2 of the atmosphere and also set out the principles of tonometric measurement of dissolved gases which he later applied to physiological problems (1904).

As Bohr’s assistant Krogh became interested in problems connected with the gas exchange of the living organism. At the age of 32 years (1906) he won the Seegen prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences for a paper on the expiration of free nitrogen from the body. Very careful experiments with chrysalides, eggs and mice showed an extremely slight production of gaseous nitrogen which might be accounted for as being due to excretion of ammonia or, in the case of eggs, as the setting free of physically dissolved nitrogen from the body.

Krogh’s dissertation (1903) contained a study of the gas exchange in the frog. He found that, whereas the skin respiration was relatively constant, great variations occurred with regard to lung respiration. This part of the gas exchange was influenced from the vagi. Krogh interpreted this result as another example of the oxygen secretion that had been assumed by Bohr to take place in the lungs. However, he soon began to doubt the correctness of this conclusion – the observations might be explained by a vasomotor action of the vagi – as well as the whole doctrine of gas secretion in the lungs. Partly in collaboration with his wife, Dr. Marie Krogh, he subjected the whole question of the nature of the gas exchange in the lungs to a new examination. For this purpose he constructed his well-known microtonometer, where the tension equalization with blood takes place against an air bubble of about 0.01 ml. The relative surface therefore being very great, equilibrium is quickly obtained, and, by the micromethods for gas analysis developed by Krogh, the final composition of the air bubble could easily be ascertained. The gas tension of the circulating arterial blood was thus determined and compared to that in the lung alveoli as obtained at the end of expiration. It turned out that the oxygen tension was always higher in the alveolar air than in the arterial blood, so that diffusion alone was sufficient to explain the gas exchange (1910). These fundamental experiments were thus opposed to the views of Bohr and of J. S. Haldane, but they were later confirmed and extended by J. Barcroft in Cambridge and others and are now generally accepted.

The results obtained shed new light on the whole complex of mechanisms that enable the organism to answer the varying «call for oxygen». A number of classical problems such as the binding of gases in the blood, their transport by the blood flow and the exchange of oxygen and CO2 in the tissues attracted Krogh’s attention, and to all of these he has made important contributions.

In collaboration with Bohr and K. A. Hasselbalch the influence of the CO2 tension on the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve of the blood was demonstrated. This investigation, which is of fundamental importance for the modern conception of the chemical combinations of the respiratory gases in the blood, was made possible by the technique developed by Krogh. It became extended by J. Christiansen, C. G. Douglas and J. S. Haldane’s finding that the oxygen tension also influences the CO2 curve of the blood (1914).

Together with J. Lindhard, Krogh, adopted an idea that had been introduced by A. Bornstein and developed their nitrous oxide method for the determination of the general blood flow, which has been of great importance for the further development in this field. A considerable increase occurred during muscular work. This was attributed to variations in the filling of the heart during diastole. The supply of venous blood must therefore be variable within wide limits and must during rest almost always be inadequate to fill the ventricles. This conclusion was strengthened by Krogh in an analysis of the underlying mechanism 1912), which also led to the conclusion that the portal system acts as a general regulator of the pressure in the central veins and thereby on the output of the heart. Another important result of the determinations of the blood flow was the demonstration of an increased utilization of the oxygen of the blood during muscular work. Since the oxygen pressure of the resting muscles was, as found by several authors, rather low, the higher utilization must be explained by an increase in the diffusion surface. Krogh came to this conclusion after he had made experiments on the diffusion capacity of animal tissues, and these considerations were the reason for his famous studies of the capillaries during rest and work. As is well known, he thus arrived at the conclusion that during muscular work new capillaries which have been closed, are opened, thus enlarging the surface from which the oxygen can diffuse. These investigations resulted in the Nobel Prize in 1920. They were greatly extended by Krogh in the following years, as shown in his book ‘The Anatomy and Physiology of the Capillaries’ (1922) and several further publications. Other comprehensive investigations on heavy muscular work were performed under the auspices of the League of Nations by Krogh and his school (1934), when a number of important problems were dealt with, such as heat regulation, respiratory metabolism, influence of diet on the capacity for work, blood sugar, lactic acid, training and fatigue, kidney function.

In insects, as well as in vertebrates under standard conditions, Krogh demonstrated a regular and constant influence on metabolism of the surrounding temperature which could be expressed by Arrhenius’ formula. He also investigated the effect of certain factors on the development in different animals. His rich experience with regard to metabolism Krogh summarized in the valuable monograph ‘The Respiratory Exchange in Animals and Man’ (1916). Later on (1920) with several collaborators he made another important contribution to this series of problems by establishing the fact that when fat is catabolized for muscular work a loss of 11 % of the heat of combustion takes place, owing to the waste when fats are converted to carbohydrates.

The work on the gas exchange during respiration was not confined to vertebrates; Krogh also took up the analogous question of the mode of function of the tracheal system of insects. Analyses of the air from the tracheal tubes of the common grasshopper showed comparatively low oxygen values while the CO2 output was relatively small – probably it is given out directly through the body surface to a great extent, whereas oxygen is taken up only through the walls of the tracheae. A mechanical ventilation of the tracheae is made difficult by their structure – in many cases no respiratory movements occur – but experiments by Krogh (1920) showed that gas diffusion alone is sufficient to explain the oxygen uptake. In the course of his last unpublished studies on locusts Krogh found that during flight, when there is an enormously increased oxygen uptake in the wing muscles, a special arrangement enables a mechanical ventilation of their tracheae to occur. In his book ‘The Comparative Physiology of Respiratory Mechanisms’ (1940) Krogh has given a fascinating and lucid description of many different ways in which the demand for oxygen is met in the animal kingdom.

For several years Krogh and his school have been studying the exchange of water and inorganic ions through the surface of living cells and membranes, partly with the aid of isotopes as indicators. The many facts observed in this work have been reviewed by Krogh in his monograph ‘Osmotic Regulations in Aquatic Animals’ (1937) and in a Croonian lecture (1946).

Mention should also be made of his numerous additions to physiological techniques. His recording spirometer is used in many hospitals, his bicycle ergometer is an appreciated working machine, his precision pipettes, respiration apparatus, improved methods for gas analysis and many other inventions bear witness to his constructive skill.

This brief survey is far from complete and is only intended to cover the main lines of Krogh’s scientific activity. It illustrates not only his broad interests and unusual ability to take up fundamental problems and derive essential results everywhere. By his own work he has emphasized the quantitative aspect in physiological research, through his numerous pupils he has promoted such ideas into different fields of medicine.

Krogh was given Honorary Doctorates by the Universities of Edinburgh, Budapest, Lund, Harvard, Göttingen, Oslo, and Oxford. He was made a member of the Academy of Sciences, Denmark (1916) and became foreign member of many other academies and learned societies, among them The Royal Society, London (1937). The same year, he was awarded the Baly medal of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

In 1905, Krogh married Birte Marie Jörgensen, a medical student, who obtained her M. D. degree on an important paper, entitled ‘Luftdiffusionen gennem Menneskets Lunger’, 1914 (The Diffusion of Gases through the Lungs of Man, J. Physiol., 1915) in a field where she had been engaged with her husband. She died in 1943. There were four children, one son who became Prosector of Anatomy at the University of Aarhus – a post he held until his untimely death – and three daughters. The youngest of them is a well-known physiologist in U.S.A., having above all performed important researches in zoophysiology, mainly in collaboration with her former husband, K. Schmidt-Nielsen.

Dr Krogh died in Copenhagen on September 13, 1949.

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

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#742 2020-06-17 01:03:22

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

708) Robert Millikan

Robert Millikan, in full Robert Andrews Millikan, (born March 22, 1868, Morrison, Illinois, U.S.—died December 19, 1953, San Marino, California), American physicist honoured with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923 for his study of the elementary electronic charge and the photoelectric effect.

Millikan graduated from Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio) in 1891 and obtained his doctorate at Columbia University in 1895. In 1896 he became an assistant at the University of Chicago, where he became a full professor in 1910.

In 1909 Millikan began a series of experiments to determine the electric charge carried by a single electron. He began by measuring the course of charged water droplets in an electric field. The results suggested that the charge on the droplets is a multiple of the elementary electric charge, but the experiment was not accurate enough to be convincing. He obtained more precise results in 1910 with his famous oil-drop experiment in which he replaced water (which tended to evaporate too quickly) with oil.

In 1916 he took up with similar skill the experimental verification of the equation introduced by Albert Einstein in 1905 to describe the photoelectric effect. He used this same research to obtain an exact value of Planck’s constant.

In 1921 Millikan left the University of Chicago to become director of the Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena. There he undertook a major study of the radiation that the physicist Victor Hess had detected coming from outer space. Millikan proved that this radiation is indeed of extraterrestrial origin, and he named it “cosmic rays.” As chairman of the executive council of Caltech from 1921 until his retirement in 1945, Millikan turned that school into one of the leading research institutions in the United States.

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

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#743 2020-06-19 00:44:50

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

709) Sully Prudhomme

Sully Prudhomme, pseudonym of René-François-Armand Prudhomme, (born March 16, 1839, Paris—died Sept. 7, 1907, Châtenay, France), French poet who was a leading member of the Parnassian movement, which sought to restore elegance, balance, and aesthetic standards to poetry, in reaction to the excesses of Romanticism. He was awarded the first Nobel Prize for Literature in 1901.

Sully Prudhomme studied science at school but was forced by an eye illness to renounce a scientific career. His first job was as a clerk in a factory office, which he left in 1860 to study law. In 1865 he began to publish fluent and melancholic verse inspired by an unhappy love affair. Stances et poemes (1865) contains his best known poem, 'Le vase brisé' (“The Broken Vase”). 'Les Épreuves' (1866; “Trials”), and 'Les Solitudes' (1869; “Solitude”) are also written in this first, sentimental style.

Sully Prudhomme later renounced personal lyricism for the more objective approach of the Parnassians, writing poems attempting to represent philosophical concepts in verse. Two of the best known works in this vein are 'La Justice' (1878; “Justice”) and 'Le Bonheur' (1888; “Happiness”), the latter an exploration of the Faustian search for love and knowledge. Sully Prudhomme’s later work is sometimes obscure and shows a naive approach to the problem of expressing philosophical themes in verse. He was elected to the French Academy in 1881.

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

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#744 2020-06-21 00:34:07

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

710) Theodor Mommsen

Theodor Mommsen, in full Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen, (born November 30, 1817, Garding, Schleswig [now in Germany]—died November 1, 1903, Charlottenburg, near Berlin, Germany), German historian and writer, famous for his masterpiece, Römische Geschichte (The History of Rome). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1902.

Early Years

Mommsen was the son of a Protestant minister in Garding, Schleswig, and he grew up in Oldesloe (now Bad Oldesloe). He received his basic classical training in the senior classes of the Gymnasium (secondary school) Christianeum in Altona, then part of the Duchy of Holstein. From 1838 to 1843 he studied jurisprudence at the University of Kiel; inasmuch as the study of jurisprudence in Germany at the time was largely a study of Roman law, this had an essential influence on the direction of his future research. He owed his idea of the close interrelationship between law and history not so much to his teachers as to the writings of Friedrich Karl von Savigny, one of the founders of the historical school of jurisprudence. After he had received his master’s and his doctor’s degrees, a research scholarship granted by his sovereign, the king of Denmark, allowed him to spend three years—from 1844 to 1847—in Italy. During this time Italy became his second home and the Archaeological Institute in Rome one of the headquarters from which he pursued his research. By that time Mommsen had already conceived the plan for the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, a comprehensive collection of Latin inscriptions preserved since antiquity on stone, iron, and other enduring materials, arranged according to the basic principles of philological methodology. Having been prepared for this field by the young Kiel professor Otto Jahn, he soon became a master of epigraphy—the study and interpretation of inscriptions—under the guidance of Bartolomeo Borghesi, the learned statesman of San Marino. Within the next several decades Mommsen made the corpus of Latin inscriptions into a source work that was essential in complementing the one-sidedly literary tradition and that, for the first time, made a comprehensive understanding of life in the ancient world possible.

When he returned from Italy, Mommsen found his country in a state of mounting unrest. As a native of Schleswig he was a subject of the Danish king, but he considered himself German, wanted to remain German, and looked forward to German unity. For him freedom meant not only the independence of the German states from foreign influence but also the freedom of the German citizen to adapt himself to any sort of constitution except that of despotism or a police state. A liberal, he considered the republic the ideal state, yet he was quite content with a constitutional monarchy so long as it was not a cover for some sort of pseudo-constitutional autocracy. Mommsen’s political activities began with his editorship of the Schleswig-Holsteinische Zeitung for the provisional government established during the revolution of 1848. Yet journalism was not much to his taste; he was happy when, at the end of 1848, he was offered a professorship in civil law at the University of Leipzig. Nevertheless, he remained politically minded as long as he lived—as a thoughtful and critical observer as well as an active politician. (He was a deputy in the Prussian Landtag from 1873 to 1879 and in the German Reichstag from 1881 to 1884.) He continued to devote time and energy to politics, but it is doubtful that he thereby served his country’s and his own best interests. While he was an acknowledged authority in his field of scholarship, in politics he remained a camp follower, who achieved no more than many others. Moreover, he more than once jeopardized his career by his political activities. Because of his participation in an uprising in Saxony in May 1849, he lost his professorship and almost landed in prison.

After his dismissal from his post in Leipzig, Mommsen in 1852 accepted a professorship in jurisprudence in Zürich. The grief he expressed about being an “exile” showed how deeply he felt himself to be a German. In 1854, however, he was offered a professorship in Prussia at the University of Breslau. It was at this time that he married Marie Reimer, daughter of a bookseller. Their long and happy marriage produced 16 children.

The Historian And His Works

During the years he spent at Leipzig, Zürich, and Breslau, Mommsen wrote the first three volumes of the Römische Geschichte, up to the Battle of Thapsus, 46 BC. This work embodied the new historical method applied to the history of Rome. Mommsen critically examined hitherto unquestioned traditions and rejected the attitude of the Enlightenment, which had idealized the classical age. He readily acknowledged himself to be a disciple of the historian Barthold Georg Niebuhr, who introduced rigorous criticism of sources into historiography, however much their methods of research and presentation differed and despite the fact that he went considerably beyond his great predecessor in demythologizing Roman history. In Mommsen’s view it was important that the ancients should come down to earth from the Olympian heights upon which they appeared to the mass of the public. This modern style was not to everyone’s taste, for, in bringing the past to life, he used the political and sociological vocabulary of the 19th century. When he speaks of the squirearchy and the cloth exerting their “malignant” influence even in ancient Rome, it is Mommsen the liberal politician speaking. Nevertheless, his Römische Geschichte is not a politically tendentious work but a piece of scholarship of the highest rank, which gains from its distinction of style.

The philologist is regarded as the preserver of verbal tradition, but as a philologist Mommsen was more than that: he was an artist, and he proved his artistry in his treatment of language. He disliked any incongruous mixture of prose styles and, in the Römische Geschichte and Römisches Staatsrecht (“Roman Constitutional Law”), he created two works, both of which attain exemplary unity of form and content yet demonstrate two different styles. Without being a creative poet, he used the means of poetry and enjoyed exercising his poetic talent. An excellent testimony to his abilities is the Liederbuch dreier Freunde (“Songbook of Three Friends”), which he published in 1843 together with his brother Tycho and the writer and poet Theodor Storm. Throughout his life Goethe was his ideal not only as a poet but also as “the wisest man of the century.” His perfect command of English, French, and Italian did much to make his journeys of research successful; he quoted Shakespeare in his letters almost as often as Goethe.

To many critics Mommsen’s glorification of the dictator Caesar and his disparagement of Caesar’s opponents, Pompey and Cicero, seem strangely inconsistent with his political liberalism. He tried to make his critics understand that he had praised Caesar only as a saviour of the decaying state; yet Mommsen’s admiration for the autocrat reveals something of his own character. He himself was an autocrat in his own branch of scholarship, adopting a manner that his opponents labeled “caesarism.” At the same time, however, he had an unusual need for the fellowship of like-minded men. He held personal contacts to be one of the most important elements of life; indeed, it might be said that he had a genius for friendship. Yet it was mostly a friendship with men who looked up to him. With anyone who considered himself Mommsen’s equal, a friendly relationship was not likely to last long.

It was only as a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences that Mommsen could pursue his project of publishing his collection of Latin inscriptions, and for this reason in 1858 he was offered a post in Berlin. In 1861 he also became a professor in the philosophy faculty at the university; because of his philological and historical interests he chose that faculty rather than that of law. As a teacher of Roman history and epigraphy—especially in his seminars—he trained many students who were later to make their mark in these fields. The main part of his scholarly work was taken up with the continuation of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (published 1863 and after). He also acted as adviser on many other great scholarly enterprises, such as the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, the exploration of the limes (Roman border fortifications in southwestern Germany), the numismatic work of the Prussian Academy, and the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae. Even in old age his mind was open to the new demands of scholarship, as shown by his interest in the new study of papyrology.

Mommsen’s historical work was interrupted by his work on inscriptions; thus, the Römische Geschichte was never completed. Its first three volumes had been published in 1854–56. When, several decades later, in Berlin, Mommsen set out to complete his history, he abandoned the idea of writing the fourth volume, which was to contain the history of the emperors, because he felt that he would not be capable of writing it in the same brilliant style as his history of the republic. The fifth volume (1885) deals with the history of the Roman provinces in the first three centuries of the empire. No one but Mommsen could have depicted this period in so authoritative a manner, for no one else knew the nonliterary sources—the inscriptions and coins—as did he. The Römische Geschichte has been translated into English as The History of Rome, with the fifth volume entitled The Provinces of the Roman Empire.

The greatest monument to Mommsen’s scholarship, the work which is of even greater significance for scholars than the Römische Geschichte, is Römisches Staatsrecht (“Roman Constitutional Law”), published in 3 volumes between 1871 and 1888. He himself said that if he were to be remembered by anything, it would be by this work. The Romans themselves never codified their constitutional law; Mommsen was the first to do it. His historical approach to classical scholarship led him to systematize the innumerable legal details upon which the Roman constitution was based and to explain this complex body of law through an understanding of its historical development. Only an individual who, like Mommsen, was grounded both in law and in the classics would be in a position to investigate the public law of the Romans, and only an individual trained to think in historical concepts could understand it.

In public law, criminal law stands side by side with constitutional law, and Mommsen’s last great work, published in 1899, is Römisches Strafrecht (“Roman Criminal Law”).

When Mommsen, who had already become a mythical figure for his contemporaries, died just four weeks before his 86th birthday, he had attained what he had always wanted. The task which he had set himself to fulfill, according to his own almost superhuman standards, he had completed.

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

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#745 2020-06-23 02:34:27

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

711) Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling, in full Joseph Rudyard Kipling, (born December 30, 1865, Bombay [now Mumbai], India—died January 18, 1936, London, England), English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.

Life

Kipling’s father, John Lockwood Kipling, was an artist and scholar who had considerable influence on his son’s work, became curator of the Lahore Museum, and is described presiding over this “wonder house” in the first chapter of Kim, Rudyard’s most famous novel. His mother was Alice Macdonald, two of whose sisters married the highly successful 19th-century painters Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Sir Edward Poynter, while a third married Alfred Baldwin and became the mother of Stanley Baldwin, later prime minister. These connections were of lifelong importance to Kipling.

Much of his childhood was unhappy. Kipling was taken to England by his parents at the age of six and was left for five years at a foster home at Southsea, the horrors of which he described in the story “Baa Baa, Black Sheep” (1888). He then went on to the United Services College at Westward Ho, north Devon, a new, inexpensive, and inferior boarding school. It haunted Kipling for the rest of his life—but always as the glorious place celebrated in Stalky & Co. (1899) and related stories: an unruly paradise in which the highest goals of English education are met amid a tumult of teasing, bullying, and beating. The Stalky saga is one of Kipling’s great imaginative achievements. Readers repelled by a strain of brutality—even of cruelty—in his writings should remember the sensitive and shortsighted boy who was brought to terms with the ethos of this deplorable establishment through the demands of self-preservation.

Kipling returned to India in 1882 and worked for seven years as a journalist. His parents, although not officially important, belonged to the highest Anglo-Indian society, and Rudyard thus had opportunities for exploring the whole range of that life. All the while he had remained keenly observant of the thronging spectacle of native India, which had engaged his interest and affection from earliest childhood. He was quickly filling the journals he worked for with prose sketches and light verse. He published the verse collection Departmental Ditties in 1886, the short-story collection Plain Tales from the Hills in 1888, and between 1887 and 1889 he brought out six paper-covered volumes of short stories. Among the latter were Soldiers Three, The Phantom Rickshaw (containing the story “The Man Who Would Be King”), and Wee Willie Winkie (containing “Baa Baa, Black Sheep”). When Kipling returned to England in 1889, his reputation had preceded him, and within a year he was acclaimed as one of the most brilliant prose writers of his time. His fame was redoubled upon the publication in 1892 of the verse collection Barrack-Room Ballads, which contained such popular poems as “Mandalay,” “Gunga Din,” and “Danny Deever.” Not since the English poet Lord Byron had such a reputation been achieved so rapidly. When the poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, died in 1892, it may be said that Kipling took his place in popular estimation.

In 1892 Kipling married Caroline Balestier, the sister of Wolcott Balestier, an American publisher and writer with whom he had collaborated in The Naulahka (1892), a facile and unsuccessful romance. That year the young couple moved to the United States and settled on Mrs. Kipling’s property in Vermont, but their manners and attitudes were considered objectionable by their neighbours. Unable or unwilling to adjust to life in America, the Kiplings returned to England in 1896. Ever after Kipling remained very aware that Americans were “foreigners,” and he extended to them, as to the French, no more than a semi-exemption from his proposition that only “lesser breeds” are born beyond the English Channel.

Besides numerous short-story collections and poetry collections such as The Seven Seas (1896), Kipling published his best-known novels in the 1890s and immediately thereafter. His novel The Light That Failed (1890) is the story of a painter going blind and spurned by the woman he loves. Captains Courageous (1897), in spite of its sense of adventure, is burdened by excessive descriptive writing. Kim (1901), about an Irish orphan in India, is a classic. The Jungle Book (1894) and The Second Jungle Book (1895) are stylistically superb collections of stories. These books give further proof that Kipling excelled at telling a story but was inconsistent in producing balanced, cohesive novels.

In 1902 Kipling bought a house at Burwash, Sussex, which remained his home until his death. Sussex was the background of much of his later writing—especially in Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906) and Rewards and Fairies (1910), two volumes that, although devoted to simple dramatic presentations of English history, embodied some of his deepest intuitions. In 1907 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first Englishman to be so honoured. In South Africa, where he spent much time, he was given a house by Cecil Rhodes, the diamond magnate and South African statesman. This association fostered Kipling’s imperialist persuasions, which were to grow stronger with the years. These convictions are not to be dismissed in a word: they were bound up with a genuine sense of a civilizing mission that required every Englishman, or, more broadly, every white man, to bring European culture to those he considered the heathen natives of the uncivilized world. Kipling’s ideas were not in accord with much that was liberal in the thought of the age, and, as he became older, he was an increasingly isolated figure. When he died, two days before King George V, he must have seemed to many a far less representative Englishman than his sovereign.

Legacy

Kipling’s poems and stories were extraordinarily popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, but after World War I his reputation as a serious writer suffered through his being widely viewed as a jingoistic imperialist. (His rehabilitation was attempted, however, by T.S. Eliot.) His verse is indeed vigorous, and in dealing with the lives and colloquial speech of common soldiers and sailors it broke new ground. Balladry, music hall song, and popular hymnology provide its unassuming basis; even at its most serious—as in “Recessional” (1897) and similar pieces in which Kipling addressed himself to his fellow countrymen in times of crisis—the effect is rhetorical rather than imaginative.

But it is otherwise with Kipling’s prose. In the whole sweep of his adult storytelling, he displays a steadily developing art, from the early volumes of short stories set in India through the collections Life’s Handicap (1891), Many Inventions (1893), The Day’s Work (1898), Traffics and Discoveries (1904), Actions and Reactions (1909), Debits and Credits (1926), and Limits and Renewals (1932). While his later stories cannot exactly be called better than the earlier ones, they are as good—and they bring a subtler if less dazzling technical proficiency to the exploration of deeper though sometimes more perplexing themes. It is a far cry from the broadly effective eruption of the supernatural in The Phantom Rickshaw (1888) to its subtle exploitation in “The Wish House” or “A Madonna of the Trenches” (1924), or from the innocent chauvinism of the bravura “The Man Who Was” (1890) to the depth of implication beneath the seemingly insensate xenophobia of Mary Postgate (1915). There is much in Kipling’s later art to curtail its popular appeal. It is compressed and elliptical in manner and sombre in many of its themes. The author’s critical reputation declined steadily during his lifetime—a decline that can scarcely be accounted for except in terms of political prejudice. Paradoxically, postcolonial critics later rekindled an intense interest in his work, viewing it as both symptomatic and critical of imperialist attitudes.

Kipling, it should be noted, wrote much and successfully for children—for the very young in Just So Stories (1902) and for others in The Jungle Book and its sequel and in Puck of Pook’s Hill and Rewards and Fairies. Of his miscellaneous works, the more notable are a number of early travel sketches collected in two volumes in From Sea to Sea (1899) and the unfinished Something of Myself, posthumously published in 1941, a reticent essay in autobiography.

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

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#746 2020-06-25 00:42:28

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

712) Fritz Pregl

Fritz Pregl was born in Laibach* on September 3, 1869, and attended the local “Gymnasium” (grammar school), from where he proceeded to the University of Graz to study medicine. He received his M.D. in 1894, but even prior to graduation he became assistant lecturer for physiology and histology under Alexander Rollett, taking over the chair when Rollett died in 1903. During this time Pregl also acquired a thorough knowledge of all branches of chemistry under the guidance of Professor Skraup.

In 1904 he went to Germany, where he studied for short periods under Gustav v. Hüfner in Tübingen, W. Ostwald in Leipzig and Emil Fischer in Berlin. On his return to Graz in 1905 Pregl worked at the Medico-Chemical Institute under K.B. Hofmann and was appointed forensic chemist for the Graz circuit in 1907. At that time he started investigating the components of albuminous bodies and the analysis of bile acids. His work, however, was handicapped by the lack of sufficient starting materials and this fact impelled him to look for methods requiring smaller amounts when making quantitative analyses of elements in compounds.

The years 1910-1913, whilst professor at Innsbruck University, were almost entirely devoted to developing the method of quantitative organic micro-analysis. Pregl continued with this work when he was recalled to Graz University in 1913; he was appointed Dean of the Medical Faculty for the year 1916-1917 and Vice-Chancellor of Graz University for 1920-1921.

Initially Pregl’s scientific work had been mainly in the fields of physiology and physiological chemistry; later he turned to the study of the constitution of chemical compounds, in particular the investigation of bile acids. By 1912 he was able, by using his own methods of quantitative micro-analysis, to make measurements of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur, and halogen, using only 5-13 mg of starting materials with results as accurate as those obtained by macro-analysis. Later he perfected his techniques so that as little as 3-5 mg were adequate. Pregl also contributed a number of micromethods for measuring atomic groups and developed a series of apparatus, including a sensitive microbalance, necessary for his work.

Recognition for his work was first accorded with the Lieben Prize for Chemistry from the Imperial Academy of Science in Vienna (1914), an honorary doctorate in philosophy from the University of Göttingen (1920 ); in 1921 he was elected Corresponding Member by the Academy of Sciences in Vienna. The greatest and most unexpected honour was the award of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry by the Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1923. O. Hammarsten, the Chairman of the Nobel Committee at the time, pointed out that it was not for a discovery, but for modifying and improving existing methods that Pregl was awarded the prize.

Pregl had, in the early stages of his investigations, avoided publishing individual reports on his experiments, until he had convinced himself that his methods did not only work in his own, but also in other laboratories. He then, in 1917, set down his findings in a monograph entitled Die quantitative Microanalyse (published by J. Springer, Berlin). A second edition was published in 1923 and a third revised and enlarged edition (256 pages) appeared in 1930. Later editions were revised by Dr. H. Roth. The seventh edition was published in 1958 by Springer in Vienna. Pregl’s monograph has also been translated into French and English.

Following the award of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1923, chemists from all over the world came to the Medico-Chemical Institute in Graz to study Pregl’s techniques of quantitative organic micro-analysis under his guidance.

Pregl never married, and died after a short illness at the age of 61 at Graz on December 13, 1930. Shortly before his death he put a considerable amount of money at the disposal of the Vienna Academy of Sciences for the promotion of micro-chemical research, stipulating that the interest from this fund was to be used each year to award a prize for outstanding work to Austrian micro-chemists. Since then, the Vienna Academy of Sciences has awarded this prize as the “Fritz Pregl Prize”.

(*Now Ljubljana, Slovenia.)

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

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#747 2020-06-27 00:47:28

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

713) Manne Siegbahn

Karl Manne Georg Siegbahn was born on the 3rd of December, 1886, at Örebro in Sweden. His father was Nils Reinhold Georg Siegbahn, a stationmaster of the State Railways, and his mother was Emma Sofia Mathilda Zetterberg.

After receiving a high-school education he entered the University of Lund in 1906, where he obtained his doctor’s degree, in 1911, on the thesis “Magnetische Feldmessung”. From 1907 to 1911 he served as Assistant to Professor J. R. Rydberg in the Physics Institute of the University, afterwards he was appointed lecturer and (in 1915) Deputy Professor of Physics. On the death of Rydberg, he was appointed Professor (1920). In 1923 he became Professor of Physics at the University of Uppsala. In 1937 came his appointment as Research Professor of Experimental Physics, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. When the Physics Department of the Nobel Institute of the Academy came into being, that same year, Siegbahn was made its first Director.

Siegbahn’s early work (1908-1912) was concerned with problems of electricity and magnetism.

From 1912 to 1937 his research work was mainly devoted to X-ray spectroscopy. He developed new methods, and designed instruments for this purpose. His improvements and new constructions of air pumps and X-ray tubes enabled a considerable increase of the radiation intensity, and the numerous spectrographs and crystal or linear gratings which he constructed, have resulted in a highly increased accuracy of his measurements. In this way, a large number of new series within the characteristic X-radiations of elements could be discovered. The new precision technique thus developer by Siegbahn led to a practically complete knowledge of the energy and radiation conditions in the electron shells of the atoms, while at the same I time a solid empirical foundation was created for the quantum-theoretical interpretation of attendant phenomena. Siegbahn’s findings in this field havt been summarized by him in his book ‘Spektroskopie der Röntgenstrahlen’, 1923 (rev. ed., 1931; ed. in English, 1924), a classic in scientific literature. As a measure of the high precision achieved by Siegbahn’s spectrographs (which are held at a constant temperature and read, in tenths of seconds, by means of two microscopes mounted diametrically opposite one another on a precision goniometer) may be mentioned the fact that his energy-level values, arrived at thirty years ago, still serve for many purposes.

The research activity in the Institute under Siegbahn’s leadership was directed towards problems of nuclear physics. For this purpose a cyclotron was constructed capable of accelerating deuterons of up to 5 to 6 MeV (1939), which was soon to make place for a larger one for deuteron energies of up to 30 MeV. In addition to this, a high-tension generator for 400,000 volts was built, as a provisional measure, during the War (transformed into a plant for 1.5 million volts in 1962). For the purpose of studying the energy and radiation of the different radioactive isotopes an electromagnetic separator has been constructed at the Institute, and several new types of ß-spectrographs for various purposes have been designed and built. With these technical resources, and after suitable methods had been developed, a number of important projects for research were taken up. The radiation processes of unstable atomic nuclei and nuclear reactions of various kinds have been studied and exact measurements made of the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei. Other projects tackled by Siegbahn and his staff include the construction of an electron microscope of a new pattern and an automatically working ruling-engine for scratching well-defined gratings (with up to 1,800 lines per mm), especially for X-rays and the extreme ultraviolet field. A large number of young scientists, including many from foreign countries, have taken part in the progressively developed research work to study the atomic nucleus and its radioactive properties.

Siegbahn travelled a great deal and visited practically all important centres of scientific activity in Europe (1908-1922), Canada and the United States (1924-1925), where he, on invitation of the Rockefeller Foundation, gave lectures at the Universities of Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Cornell, Chicago, Berkeley, Pasadena, Montreal, and several other universities. After World War II, he visited the main nuclear research institutes in the U.S.A. during the years 1946 and 1953 (Berkeley, Pasadena, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Chicago, M.I.T. Boston, Brookhaven, Columbia, etc.).

As member of the Commission Internationale des Poids et Mesures (1937) he took part in annual meetings of this Commission in Paris; he was elected honorary member of this Commission when he left his membership ( 1956). Siegbahn was President of the International Union of Physics, during the period 1938-1947. Other honours, in addition to the Nobel Prize in Physics (1924) awarded to Professor Siegbahn included the Hughes Medal (1934) and the Rumford Medal (1940) from the Royal Society, London; the Duddel Medal from the Physical Society, London (1948). He is honorary doctor in Freiburg (1931), Bukarest (1942), Oslo (1946), Paris (1952) and the Technical Faculty in Stockholm (1957). He is Member of the Royal Society, London and Edinburgh, of the Academie des Sciences, Paris, and of several other academies.

Professor Siegbahn married Karin Högbom in 1914. They have two sons: Bo (b. 1915), at present (1964) Ambassador at Marocco; and Kai (b. 1918), since 1954 Professor of Physics at the University of Uppsala, on the same Chair that his father held during 1923-1937.

Manne Siegbahn died on September 26, 1978.

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

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#748 2020-06-29 00:59:12

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

714) Archibald V. Hill

Archibald Vivian Hill was born in Bristol on September 26,1886. His early education was at Blundell’s School, Tiverton, whence he obtained scholarships to Trinity College, Cambridge. Here he studied mathematics and took the Mathematical Tripos, being Third Wrangler (1907). After graduating, he was urged to take up physiology by his teacher, Dr. (later Sir) Walter Morley Fletcher.

Hill started his research work in 1909. It was due to J.N. Langley, Head of the Department of Physiology at that time that Hill took up the study on the nature of muscular contraction. Langley drew his attention to the important (later to become classic) work carried out by Fletcher and Hopkins on the problem of lactic acid in muscle, particularly in relation to the effect of oxygen upon its removal in recovery. During his initial studies Hill made use of the Blix’ apparatus, obtaining his first knowledge of the subject from papers of this Swedish physiologist. This led him to study the dependence of heat production on the length of muscle fibre (a relation later developed by Starling in his investigation of the mechanism of the heart beat).

After having obtained a Fellowship at Trinity in 1910, Hill spent the winter of 1910-1911 in Germany, working among others with Bürker (who taught him much about the technique of myothermic observations) and Paschen (who introduced the galvanometer to him, which he since used for his investigations). From 1911-1914, until the outbreak of World War I, he continued his work on the physiology of muscular contraction at Cambridge. During this for him important period, however, he also took up other studies: on the nervous impulse (with Keith Lucas), on haemoglobin (with Barcroft), and on calorimetry of animals (partly with T. B. Wood), having also as colleagues Gaskell, Anderson, W. B. Hardy, Mines, Adrian, Hartridge, and others.

In 1914 he tended to drift away from physiology and was actually appointed University Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at Cambridge. During the war he served for the entire period as captain and brevet-major, and as Director of the Anti-Aircraft Experimental Section, Munitions Inventions Department.

In 1919 he took up again his study of the physiology of muscle, and came into close contact with Meyerhof of Kiel who, approaching the problem from a different angle, has arrived at results closely analogous to his study. They have cooperated continuously ever since, by personal contact and through correspondence. In 1919 Hill’s friend W. Hartree, mathematician and engineer, joined in the myothermic investigations – a cooperation which had rewarding results.

In 1920 Hill was appointed Brackenburg Professor of Physiology at Manchester University; there he continued the work on muscular activity and began to apply the results obtained on isolated muscles to the case of muscular exercise in man. From 1923 to 1925 he became Jodrell Professor of Physiology at University College, London, succeeding E.H. Starling. In 1926 he was appointed the Royal Society’s Foulerton Research Professor and was in charge of the Biophysics Laboratory at University College until 1952. After retiring he returned to the Physiology Department, where he continues with his experiments to the present.

His work on muscle function, especially the observation and measurement of thermal changes associated with muscle function, was later extended to similar studies on the mechanism of the passage of nerve impulses. Very sensitive techniques had to be developed and he was eventually able to measure temperature changes of the order of 0.003°C over periods of only hundredths of a second. He was the discoverer of the phenomenon that heat was produced as a result of the passage of nerve impulses. His researches gave rise to an enthusiastic following in the field of biophysics, a subject whose growth owes much to him.

Dr. Hill is the author of many scientific papers, lectures, and books. Perhaps his best-known books are ‘Muscular Activity’ (1926), ‘Muscular Movement in Man’ (1927); also ‘Living Machinery’ (1927), ‘The Ethical Dilemma of Science and Other Writings’ (1960), and ‘Traits and Trials in Physiotogy’ (1965).

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1918, serving as Secretary for the period 1935-1945, and Foreign Secretary in 1946. He was awarded the Society’s Copley Medal in 1948. He holds honorary degrees of many universities, British and foreign. He was decorated with the Order of the British Empire in 1918 and became a Companion of Honour in 1948. He also holds the Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm (U.S.A., 1947) and is a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (1950). He has also been prominent in public life, being a Member of Parliament during the period 1940-1945, when he represented Cambridge University in the House of Commons as an Independent Conservative. He was a member of the University Grants Committee for 1937-1944 and served on the Science Committee of the British Council, 1946-1956. He was appointed a Trustee of the British Museum in 1947.

During World War II, he served on many commissions concerned with defence and scientific policy. He was a member of the War Cabinet Scientific Advisory Committee (1940-1946). He was Chairman of the Research Defence Society (1940-1951) and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Physical Laboratory (1940-1945).

He is also a member of the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, and was President in 1952 of the British Society for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Hill married Margaret Neville Keynes in 1913. They have two sons and two daughters.

Archibald V. Hill died on June 3, 1977.

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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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#749 2020-07-01 01:08:16

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 31,672

Re: crème de la crème

715) Willem Einthoven

Willem Einthoven was born on May 21, 1860, in Semarang on the island of Java, in the former Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). His father was Jacob Einthoven, born and educated in Groningen, The Netherlands, an army medical officer in the Indies, who later became parish doctor in Semarang. His mother was Louise M.M.C. de Vogel, daughter of the then Director of Finance in the Indies. Willem was the eldest son, and the third child in a family of three daughters and three sons.

At the age of six, Einthoven lost his father. Four years later his mother decided to return with her six children to Holland, where the family settled in Utrecht.

After having passed the “Hogere Burgerschool” (secondary school), he in 1878 entered the University of Utrecht as a medical student, intending to follow in his father’s footsteps. His exceptional abilities, however, began to develop in quite a different direction. After being assistant to the ophthalmologist H. Snellen Sr. in the renowned eye-hospital “Gasthuis voor Ooglidders”, he made two investigations, both of which attracted widespread interest. The first was carried out after Einthoven had gained his “candidaat” diploma (approximately equivalent to the B.Sc. degree), under the direction of the anatomist W. Koster, and was entitled “Quelques remarques sur le mécanisme de l’articulation du coude” (Some remarks on the elbow joint). Later he worked in close association with the great physiologist F.C. Donders, under whose guidance he undertook his second study, which was published in 1885 as his doctor’s thesis: “Stereoscopie door kleurverschil.” (Stereoscopy by means of colour variation) – one of Einthoven’s teachers was the physicist C.H.D. Buys Ballot, who discovered the well-known law in meteorology.

That same year, 1885, he was appointed successor to A. Heynsius, Professor of Physiology at the University of Leiden, which he took up after having qualified as general practitioner in January, 1886. His inaugural address was entitled “De leer der specifieke energieen” (The theory of specific energies). His first important research in Leiden was published in 1892: “Über die Wirkung der Bronchialmuskeln nach einer neuen Methode untersucht, und über Asthma nervosum” (On the function of the bronchial muscles investigated by a new method, and on nervous asthma), a study of great merit, mentioned as “a great work” in Nagel’s “Handbuch der Physiologie”. At that time he also began research into optics, the study of which occupied him ever since. Some publications in this field were: “Eine einfache physiologische Erklärung für verschiedene geometrisch-optische Täuschungen” (A simple physiological explanation for various geometric-optical illusions ) in 1898; “Die Accommodation des menschlichen Auges” (The accommodation of the human eye) in 1902; “The form and magnitude of the electric response of the eye to stimulation by light at various intensities”, with W.A. Jolly in 1908.

Up till now, his talents had not yet been developed to the full. This opportunity came when he began the task of registering accurately the heart sounds, using a capillary electrometer. With this in view, he investigated the theoretical principles of this instrument, and devised methods of obtaining the necessary stability, and of correcting mathematically the errors in the photographically registered results due to the inertia of the instrument. Having found these methods he decided to carry out a thorough analysis of A.D. Waller’s electrocardiogram – a study which has remained classic in its field.

This investigation led Einthoven to intensify his research. To avoid complex mathematical corrections, he finally devised the string galvanometer which did not involve these calculations. Although the principle in itself was obvious, and practical applications of it were made in other fields of study, the instrument had to be precisioned and refined to make it usable for physiologists, and this took three years of laborious work. As a result of this, a galvanometer was produced which could be used in medical science as well as in technology; an instrument which was incomparable in its adaptability and speed of adjustment.

He then, with P. Battaerd, took up the study of the heart sounds, followed by research into the retina currents with W.A. Jolly (begun earlier with H. K. de Haas). The electrocardiogram itself he studied in all its aspects with numerous pupils and with visiting scientists. It was this last research which earned him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 1924. In addition to this the string galvanometer has proved of the highest value for the study of the periphery and sympathetic nerves.

In the remaining years of his life, problems of acoustics and capacity studies came within the sphere of his interests. The construction of the string phonograph (1923) could be considered as a consequence of this.

Einthoven possessed the gift of being able to devote himself entirely to a particular field of study. (His genius was actually more orientated towards physics than physiology.) As a result he was able to make penetrating inquiries into almost any subject which came within the scope of his interests, and to carry out his work to its logical conclusion.

Einthoven was a great believer in physical education. In his student days he was a keen sportsman, repeatedly urging his comrades “not to let the body perish”. (He was President of the Gymnastics and Fencing Union, and was one of the founders of the Utrecht Student Rowing Club.) His first study on the elbow joint resulted from a broken wrist suffered while pursuing one of his favourite sports, and during the somewhat involuntary confinement his interest was awakened in the pro- and supination movements of the hand and the functions of the shoulder and elbow joints.

The string galvanometer has led countless investigators to study the functions and diseases of the heart muscle. The laboratory at Leiden became a place of pilgrimage, visited by scientists from all over the world. For this, suffering mankind has much to owe to Einthoven. In electrocardiography the string galvanometer is the most reliable tool. Although it has been superseded by portable types and by models utilizing amplification techniques used in radio communication (Einthoven has always mistrusted the use of condensers, fearing the distortion of curves), cardiograms from the string galvanometer have remained the standard of reference in numerous cases to this day.

Einthoven was a member of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences, the meetings of which he hardly ever missed. He frequently took part in the debates himself, and his sharp criticism frequently found weaknesses in many a lecture.

Einthoven married in 1886 Frédérique Jeanne Louise de Vogel, a cousin, and sister of Dr. W.Th. de Vogel, former Director of the Dienst der Volksgezondheid (Public Health Service) in the Dutch East Indies. There were four children: Augusta (b. 1887), who was married to R. Clevering, an engineer; Louise (b. 1889), married to J.A.R. Terlet, pastor emeritus; Willem (1893-1945) – a brilliant electro-technical engineer who was responsible for the development of the vacuum model of the string galvanometer and for its use in wireless communication, and who was Director of the Radio Laboratory in Bandung, Java; and Johanna (b. 1897), a physician.

He died on the 29th of September, 1927, after long suffering.

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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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#750 2020-07-03 00:38:23

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 31,672

Re: crème de la crème

716) Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali Rabīndranāth Ṭhākur, (born May 7, 1861, Calcutta [now Kolkata], India—died August 7, 1941, Calcutta), Bengali poet, short-story writer, song composer, playwright, essayist, and painter who introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He was highly influential in introducing Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of early 20th-century India. In 1913 he became the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The son of the religious reformer Debendranath Tagore, he early began to write verses, and, after incomplete studies in England in the late 1870s, he returned to India. There he published several books of poetry in the 1880s and completed Manasi (1890), a collection that marks the maturing of his genius. It contains some of his best-known poems, including many in verse forms new to Bengali, as well as some social and political satire that was critical of his fellow Bengalis.

In 1891 Tagore went to East Bengal (now in Bangladesh) to manage his family’s estates at Shilaidah and Shazadpur for 10 years. There he often stayed in a houseboat on the Padma River (the main channel of the Ganges River), in close contact with village folk, and his sympathy for them became the keynote of much of his later writing. Most of his finest short stories, which examine “humble lives and their small miseries,” date from the 1890s and have a poignancy, laced with gentle irony, that is unique to him (though admirably captured by the director Satyajit Ray in later film adaptations). Tagore came to love the Bengali countryside, most of all the Padma River, an often-repeated image in his verse. During these years he published several poetry collections, notably Sonar Tari (1894; The Golden Boat), and plays, notably Chitrangada (1892; Chitra). Tagore’s poems are virtually untranslatable, as are his more than 2,000 songs, which achieved considerable popularity among all classes of Bengali society.

In 1901 Tagore founded an experimental school in rural West Bengal at Shantiniketan (“Abode of Peace”), where he sought to blend the best in the Indian and Western traditions. He settled permanently at the school, which became Visva-Bharati University in 1921. Years of sadness arising from the deaths of his wife and two children between 1902 and 1907 are reflected in his later poetry, which was introduced to the West in Gitanjali (Song Offerings) (1912). This book, containing Tagore’s English prose translations of religious poems from several of his Bengali verse collections, including Gitanjali (1910), was hailed by W.B. Yeats and André Gide and won him the Nobel Prize in 1913. Tagore was awarded a knighthood in 1915, but he repudiated it in 1919 as a protest against the Amritsar (Jallianwalla Bagh) Massacre.

From 1912 Tagore spent long periods out of India, lecturing and reading from his work in Europe, the Americas, and East Asia and becoming an eloquent spokesperson for the cause of Indian independence. Tagore’s novels in Bengali are less well known than his poems and short stories; they include Gora (1910) and Ghare-Baire (1916), translated into English as Gora and The Home and the World, respectively. In the late 1920s, when he was in his 60s, Tagore took up painting and produced works that won him a place among India’s foremost contemporary artists.

His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: India's "Jana Gana Mana" and Bangladesh's "Amar Shonar Bangla". The Sri Lankan national anthem was inspired by his work.

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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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