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#976 2021-09-22 00:22:52

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

940) Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose, (born January 1, 1894, Calcutta [now Kolkata], India—died February 4, 1974, Calcutta), Indian mathematician and physicist noted for his collaboration with Albert Einstein in developing a theory regarding the gaslike qualities of electromagnetic radiation.

Bose, a graduate of the University of Calcutta, taught at the University of Dacca (1921–45) and then at Calcutta (1945–56). Bose’s numerous scientific papers (published from 1918 to 1956) contributed to statistical mechanics, the electromagnetic properties of the ionosphere, the theories of X-ray crystallography and thermoluminescence, and unified field theory. Bose’s Planck’s Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta (1924) led Einstein to seek him out for collaboration.

Satyendra Nath Bose (1 January 1894 – 4 February 1974) was an Indian mathematician and physicist specialising in theoretical physics. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, collaborating with Albert Einstein in developing the foundation for Bose–Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose–Einstein condensate. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan in 1954 by the Government of India.

The class of particles that obey Bose–Einstein statistics, bosons, was named after Bose by Paul Dirac.

A polymath, he had a wide range of interests in varied fields including physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, mineralogy, philosophy, arts, literature, and music. He served on many research and development committees in sovereign India.

Other fields

Apart from physics, he did some research in biotechnology and literature (Bengali and English). He made deep studies in chemistry, geology, zoology, anthropology, engineering and other sciences. Being Bengali, he devoted a lot of time to promoting Bengali as a teaching language, translating scientific papers into it, and promoting the development of the region.

Legacy

Bosons, a class of elementary subatomic particles in particle physics were named after Satyendra Nath Bose to commemorate his contributions to science.

Although seven Nobel Prizes were awarded for research related to S N Bose's concepts of the boson, Bose–Einstein statistics and Bose–Einstein condensate, Bose himself was not awarded a Nobel Prize.

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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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#977 2021-09-24 00:41:41

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

941) Ray Kurzweil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#978 2021-09-26 00:17:39

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

942) Raman Sukumar

Raman Sukumar, (born April 3, 1955, Madras [now Chennai], India), Indian ecologist best known for his work on the behaviour of Asian elephants and how their presence has affected both human and natural environments.

As a child growing up in Madras, Sukumar was dubbed ‘vanavasi’ (the Tamil word for “forest dweller”) by his grandmother. It was during his secondary-school years that Sukumar first developed an interest in the field of conservation. He graduated from the University of Madras with bachelor’s (1977) and master’s (1979) degrees in botany. In 1979 he began studies for his doctoral thesis at the Indian Institute of Science, where he focused on the ecological conflict that occurs when elephants and humans use the same land. He received his doctorate in ecology in 1985 and became a professor at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, attached to the Indian Institute of Science, in 1986. Sukumar later became a Fulbright scholar and completed a postdoctoral fellowship (1991–92) at Princeton University.

In an effort to provide a safe habitat for elephants, Sukumar carried out surveys and tried to establish protected corridors so that elephant herds could move from one reserve to another. He experimented with various forms of fences around village perimeters to keep the animals away from crops and human habitation. Sukumar also helped design the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the first of its kind in India, which was established in 1986. There he conducted research on climate change, tropical forests, and wildlife conservation.

In 1993 Sukumar became a member of the Project Elephant Steering Committee, which provided technical support and advice on matters of elephant conservation to the Indian government. He chaired the Asian Elephant Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union from 1997 to 2004. Sukumar also served as director of the Asian Elephant Research and Conservation Centre, a special division of the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation, an independent organization that he had helped to establish in 1997. The foundation worked closely with many governmental and nongovernmental agencies in the region to determine how to best conserve elephant habitat and manage human-elephant conflict. He published several notable texts on elephants, including ‘Elephant Days and Nights: Ten Years with the Indian Elephant’ (1994), ‘The Living Elephants: Evolutionary Ecology, Behavior and Conservation’ (2003), and ‘The Story of Asia’s Elephants’ (2011).

Sukumar’s accolades included the Presidential Award of the Chicago Zoological Society in 1989 and the Order of the Golden Ark in 1997. He became a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 2000 and was inducted into the Indian National Science Academy in 2004. Sukumar was presented with the Whitley Gold Award in 2003 and with the International Cosmos Prize in 2006.

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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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#979 2021-09-28 00:23:43

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

943) Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson (usually known as Dr Johnson) (18 September 1709– 13 December 1784) was an English author, poet, moralist and literary critic. One of Dr Johnson’s greatest contributions was publishing, in 1747, The Dictionary of the English Language.

“Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.”
- Samuel Johnson

“Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.”
– Samuel Johnson

Short Bio of Samuel Johnson

Johnson was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire into a family of booksellers.

He was educated at Lichfield Grammar School before going to Pembroke College, Oxford. However, due to a lack of funds, he left after a year – never completing his degree. After Oxford, he worked as a teacher in Market Bosworth and Birmingham. In 1735, he married Elizabeth Porter, a widow 20 years older than him. Together they opened a school at Edial near Lichfield, but it later closed due to a lack of money. The Johnson’s then left for London, where he began spending more time working as a writer.

He made a living writing for the Gentleman’s Magazine – a report on Parliament. He also wrote a tragedy, Irene, and some attempts at poetry.

Johnson was also employed to catalogue the extensive library of Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford. This gave Johnson the opportunity to indulge his great love of reading and the English language. He was inspired to start working on a comprehensive dictionary of the English language. It would take him eight years, but it was considered to be his finest achievement. Though other dictionaries were in existence, the ‘Johnson Dictionary of the English language’ was a huge step forward in its comprehensiveness and quality.

Johnson was a prolific writer. For two years he almost single-handedly wrote a journal – ‘The Rambler’ full of moral essays.

In 1752, his wife ‘Tetty’ died, plunging him into depression, which proved difficult for him to escape during the rest of his life.

After the publication of his dictionary in 1755, he began to be more appreciated by literary society. He was awarded an honorary degree by Oxford University, and in 1760 was given a pension of
£300 a year from George III. This enabled him to engage in more social and cultural activities. He was friends with many of the leading cultural figures of the day, such as Sir Joshua Reynolds a painter, and the writer Oliver Goldsmith.

In 1764, he met the young Scot, James Boswell who would become his celebrated biographer. Together they toured the Hebrides, which Johnson wrote about in ‘A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland’, (1775) James Boswell wrote about Johnson in great detail, including information on Johnson’s unusual mannerisms, such as odd gestures and tics (which may have been a form of Tourette’s syndrome).

Johnson also embarked on an ambitious project – “Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets” (10 vols) and an influential edition of Shakespeare’s plays.

Towards the end of his life, Johnson was resentful after his housemaid, and friend Hester Thrale left him and married an Italian musician. After a series of illnesses, he died in 1784.

After his death, his contributions to English literature were increasingly admired. He had left a great body of work and was credited with being England’s finest literary critic of his time.

Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [OS 7 September] – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. He was a devout Anglican, and a committed Tory. The ‘Oxford Dictionary of National Biography’ calls him "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". James Boswell's ‘Life of Samuel Johnson’ was selected by Walter Jackson Bate as "the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature".

Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, he attended Pembroke College, Oxford until lack of funds forced him to leave. After work as a teacher, he moved to London and began writing for ‘The Gentleman's Magazine’. Early works include ‘Life of Mr Richard Savage’, the poems ‘London’ and ‘The Vanity of Human Wishes’ and the play ‘Irene’. After nine years' effort, Johnson's ‘A Dictionary of the English Language’ appeared in 1755 with far-reaching effects on Modern English, acclaimed as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship". Until the arrival of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later, Johnson's was pre-eminent. Later work included essays, an annotated The Plays of William ‘Shakespeare’ and ‘The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia’. In 1763 he befriended James Boswell, with whom he travelled to Scotland, as Johnson described in ‘A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland’. Near the end of his life came a massive, influential ‘Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets’ of 17th and 18th centuries.

Tall and robust, his gestures and tics disconcerted some on meeting him. Boswell's ‘Life’ along with other biographies, documented Johnson's behaviour in a detail that allows a posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome, a condition then undefined. After several illnesses, he died on the evening of 13 December 1784 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Thereafter he was increasingly seen to have had a lasting effect on literary criticism and even claimed to be the one truly great critic of English literature.

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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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#980 2021-09-30 00:48:54

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

944) Peyton Rous

Peyton Rous, in full Francis Peyton Rous, (born October 5, 1879, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.—died February 16, 1970, New York, New York), American pathologist whose discovery of cancer-inducing viruses earned him a share of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1966.

Rous was educated at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and at the University of Michigan. He joined the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University) in New York City in 1909 and remained there throughout his career. In 1911 Rous found that sarcomas in hens could be transmitted to fowl of the same inbred stock not only by grafting tumour cells but also by injecting a submicroscopic agent extractable from them; this discovery gave rise to the virus theory of cancer causation. Although his research was derided at the time, subsequent experiments vindicated his thesis, and he received belated recognition in 1966 when he was awarded (with Charles B. Huggins) the Nobel Prize.

Aside from cancer research, Rous did investigations of liver and gallbladder physiology, and he worked on the development of blood-preserving techniques that made the first blood banks possible.

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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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#981 2021-10-02 00:06:55

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

945) Esther Duflo

Esther Duflo, (born October 25, 1972, Paris, France), French-American economist who, with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics (the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel) for helping to develop an innovative experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. Duflo, Banerjee, and Kremer, often working with one another, focused on relatively small and specific problems that contributed to poverty and identified their best solutions through carefully designed field experiments, which they conducted in several low- and middle-income countries over the course of more than two decades. They also explored methods for generalizing the results of particular experiments to larger populations, different geographic regions, and different implementing authorities (e.g., nongovernmental organizations [NGOs] and local or national governments), among other variables. Their fieldwork led to successful public policy recommendations and transformed the field of development economics, where their approach and methods became standard. Duflo was the youngest person, and only the second woman, to receive the Nobel Prize for Economics.

Duflo earned maitrise degrees (approximately equivalent to four-year bachelor’s degrees) in economics and history at the École Normale Supérieure (1994); a master’s degree in economics from DELTA, an association of French research centres in economics that later merged with other groups to form the Paris School of Economics (1995); and a doctoral degree in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; 1999). She spent almost all of her teaching career at MIT, where she was eventually (2005) appointed the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics. In 2003 she and Banerjee (who had been a member of the economics faculty of MIT since 1993), along with Sendhil Mullainathan (an economist then at MIT), founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a research centre supporting scientifically informed policy making to reduce global poverty. Duflo and Banerjee were married in 2015.

Duflo, Banerjee, and Kremer applied their experimental approach in many areas, including education, health and medicine, access to credit, and the adoption of new technologies. Building on the results of field experiments conducted in the mid-1990s by Kremer and his colleagues, which had shown that poor learning (as measured by average test scores) among schoolchildren in western Kenya was not caused by scarcity of textbooks or even by hunger (many students went to school without breakfast), Duflo and Banerjee tested the hypothesis that test scores could be improved by implementing remedial tutoring and computer-assisted learning programs to address the needs of weaker students. Working with large student populations in two Indian cities over a two-year period, they found that such programs had substantial positive effects in the short and medium term, leading them to conclude that a major cause of poor learning in low-income countries was that teaching methods were not properly adapted to students’ needs. In later experimental research in Kenya, Duflo and Kremer determined that decreasing the size of classes taught by permanently employed teachers did not significantly improve learning but that putting teachers on short-term contracts, which were renewed only if the teacher achieved good results, did have beneficial effects. They also showed that tracking (dividing students into groups based on prior achievement) and incentives to combat teacher absenteeism, a significant problem in low-income countries, also positively affected learning. The latter finding was further supported in studies by Duflo and Banerjee in India.

In the area of health and medicine, Duflo and Banerjee tested the hypothesis that introducing mobile clinics would significantly boost child-vaccination rates (the percentage of children who were fully immunized) in India—where, as in other low-income countries, high rates of health-worker absenteeism and poor service quality at stationary health centres, among other factors, had long discouraged the use of preventive medicines by poor families. Duflo and Banerjee found that vaccination rates in villages that had been randomly selected to receive visits by mobile clinics were three times greater than rates in villages that had not been selected and that vaccination rates increased by more than six times if families were given a bag of lentils with each immunization.

Duflo and Banerjee also used field experiments in the Indian city of Hyderabad to test the effectiveness of microcredit loan programs in promoting economic growth and development. The somewhat unexpected results indicated that such programs did not significantly increase small-business investment or profitability and did not improve other indicators of economic growth and development, such as per-capita consumption, health, and children’s education. Later studies of several low- and middle-income countries by other researchers confirmed those results.

In a series of studies beginning in 2000, Duflo, Kremer, and the American economist Jonathan Robinson used field experiments to investigate the question of why smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa often failed to adopt modern technologies, such as fertilizer, that were relatively simple to use and potentially greatly beneficial. Focusing on farmers in western Kenya, they demonstrated experimentally that the low adoption rates could not be attributed to difficulties that farmers encountered in applying the fertilizer correctly or to any lack of information among them. Duflo, Kremer, and Robinson instead proposed that some of the farmers were affected by present bias, a tendency to view the present or the short term as more important than the future or the long term, and specifically by hyperbolic discounting, a tendency to prefer smaller rewards that arrive sooner to larger rewards that arrive later. Accordingly, present-biased farmers would put off the decision to purchase fertilizer at a discount until just before a deadline, and even then some of them would choose not to buy, preferring a smaller amount of savings (in both money and effort) in the present to a larger amount of income in the future.

As a test of this hypothesis, Duflo, Kremer, and Robinson designed field experiments that showed that, on the whole, farmers purchased more fertilizer if it was offered to them at a small limited-time discount early in the growing season (when they had money) than if it was offered to them at a much larger discount (enough to offset their out-of-pocket costs) without a time limit later in the season. The researchers thus established the extremely valuable practical result that temporary fertilizer subsidies do more than permanent subsidies to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers.

Work by Duflo, Banerjee, and Kremer directly and indirectly influenced national and international policy making in beneficial ways. Banerjee and Duflo’s studies of remedial tutoring and computer-assisted learning in India, for example, led to large-scale programs that affected more than five million Indian schoolchildren. According to J-PAL, programs that were implemented following studies by researchers associated with the centre, including Kremer, have reached more than 400 million people. The laureates’ experimental approach also inspired both public and private organizations to systematically evaluate their anti-poverty programs, sometimes on the basis of their own fieldwork, and to drop those that proved to be ineffective.

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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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#982 2021-10-04 00:09:14

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

946) Charles B. Huggins

Charles B. Huggins, in full Charles Brenton Huggins, (born Sept. 22, 1901, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Can.—died Jan. 12, 1997, Chicago, Ill., U.S.), Canadian-born American surgeon and urologist whose investigations demonstrated the relationship between hormones and certain types of cancer. For his discoveries Huggins received (with Peyton Rous) the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1966.

Huggins was educated at Acadia University (Wolfville, N.S.) and at Harvard University, where he received his M.D. in 1924. He went to the University of Michigan for further training in surgery (1924–27) and then joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he served as director of the Ben May Laboratory for Cancer Research from 1951 to 1969.

Huggins was a specialist on the male urological and genital tract. In the early 1940s he found he could retard the growth of prostate cancer by blocking the action of the patient’s male hormones with doses of the female hormone estrogen. This research demonstrated that some cancer cells, like normal body cells, are dependent on hormonal signals to survive and grow and that, by depriving cancer cells of the correct signals, the growth of tumours could be slowed down, at least temporarily. In 1951 Huggins showed that breast cancers are also dependent on specific hormones. By removing the ovaries and adrenal glands, which are the source of estrogen, he could achieve significant tumour regression in some of his patients. Owing to his work, drugs that block the body’s production of estrogen became important resources in treating breast cancer.

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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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#983 2021-10-06 00:11:17

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

947) Hans Bethe

Hans Bethe, in full Hans Albrecht Bethe, (born July 2, 1906, Strassburg, Ger. [now Strasbourg, France]—died March 6, 2005, Ithaca, N.Y., U.S.), German-born American theoretical physicist who helped shape quantum physics and increased the understanding of the atomic processes responsible for the properties of matter and of the forces governing the structures of atomic nuclei. He received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1967 for his work on the production of energy in stars. Moreover, he was a leader in emphasizing the social responsibility of science.

Education

Bethe started reading at age four and began writing at about the same age. His numerical and mathematical abilities also manifested themselves early. His mathematics teacher at the local gymnasium recognized his talents and encouraged him to continue studies in mathematics and the physical sciences. Bethe graduated from the gymnasium in the spring of 1924. After completing two years of studies at the University of Frankfurt, he was advised by one of his teachers to go to the University of Munich and study with Arnold Sommerfeld.

It was in Munich that Bethe discovered his exceptional proficiency in physics. Sommerfeld indicated to him that he was among the very best students who had studied with him, and these included Wolfgang Pauli and Werner Heisenberg. Bethe obtained a doctorate in 1928 with a thesis on electron diffraction in crystals. During 1930, as a Rockefeller Foundation fellow, Bethe spent a semester at the University of Cambridge under the aegis of Ralph Fowler and a semester at the University of Rome working with Enrico Fermi.

Early work

Bethe’s craftsmanship was an amalgam of what he had learned from Sommerfeld and from Fermi, combining the best of both: the thoroughness and rigor of Sommerfeld and the clarity and simplicity of Fermi. This craftsmanship was displayed in full force in the many reviews that Bethe wrote. His two book-length reviews in the 1933 ‘Handbuch der Physik’—the first with Sommerfeld on solid-state physics and the second on the quantum theory of one- and two-electron systems—exhibited his remarkable powers of synthesis. Along with a review on nuclear physics in ‘Reviews of Modern Physics’ (1936–37), these works were instant classics. All of Bethe’s reviews were syntheses of the fields under review, giving them coherence and unity while charting the paths to be taken in addressing new problems. They usually contained much new material that Bethe had worked out in their preparation.

In the fall of 1932, Bethe obtained an appointment at the University of Tübingen as an acting assistant professor of theoretical physics. In April 1933, after Adolf Hitler’s accession to power, he was dismissed because his maternal grandparents were Jews. Sommerfeld was able to help him by awarding him a fellowship for the summer of 1933, and he got William Lawrence Bragg to invite him to the University of Manchester, Eng., for the following academic year. Bethe then went to the University of Bristol for the 1934 fall semester before accepting a position at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. He arrived at Cornell in February 1935, and he stayed there for the rest of his life.

Bethe came to the United States at a time when the American physics community was undergoing enormous growth. The Washington Conferences on Theoretical Physics were paradigmatic of the meetings organized to assimilate the insights quantum mechanics was giving to many fields, especially atomic and molecular physics and the emerging field of nuclear physics. Bethe attended the 1935 and 1937 Washington Conferences, but he agreed to participate in the 1938 conference on stellar energy generation only after repeated urgings by Edward Teller. As a result of what he learned at the latter conference, Bethe was able to give definitive answers to the problem of energy generation in stars. By stipulating and analyzing the nuclear reactions responsible for the phenomenon, he explained how stars could continue to burn for billions of years. His 1939 ‘Physical Review’ paper on energy generation in stars created the field of nuclear astrophysics and led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize.

From atomic warrior to “political physicist”

During World War II Bethe first worked on problems in radar, spending a year at the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1943 he joined the Los Alamos Laboratory (now the Los Alamos National Laboratory) in New Mexico as the head of its theoretical division. He and the division were part of the Manhattan Project, and they made crucial contributions to the feasibility and design of the uranium and the plutonium atomic bombs. The years at Los Alamos changed his life.

In the aftermath of the development of these fission weapons, Bethe became deeply involved with investigating the feasibility of developing fusion bombs, hoping to prove that no terrestrial mechanism could accomplish the task. He believed their development to be immoral. When the Teller-Ulam mechanism for igniting a fusion reaction was advanced in 1951 and the possibility of a hydrogen bomb, or H-bomb, became a reality, Bethe helped to design it. He believed that the Soviets would likewise be able to build one and that only a balance of terror would prevent their use.

As a result of these activities, Bethe became deeply occupied with what he called “political physics,” the attempt to educate the public and politicians about the consequences of the existence of nuclear weapons. He became a relentless champion of nuclear arms control, writing many essays (collected in ‘The Road from Los Alamos’ [1991]). He also became deeply committed to making peaceful applications of nuclear power economical and safe. Throughout his life, Bethe was a staunch advocate of nuclear power, defending it as an answer to the inevitable exhaustion of fossil fuels.

Bethe served on numerous advisory committees to the United States government, including the President’s Science Advisory Committee (PSAC). As a member of PSAC, he helped persuade President Dwight D. Eisenhower to commit the United States to ban atmospheric nuclear tests. (The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which banned atmospheric nuclear testing, was finally ratified in 1963.) In 1972 Bethe’s cogent and persuasive arguments helped prevent the deployment of antiballistic missile systems. He was influential in opposing President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, arguing that a space-based laser defense system could be easily countered and that it would lead to further arms escalation. By virtue of these activities, and his general comportment, Bethe became the science community’s conscience. It was indicative of Bethe’s constant grappling with moral issues that in 1995 he urged fellow scientists to collectively take a “Hippocratic oath” not to work on designing new nuclear weapons.

Throughout the political activism that marked his later life, Bethe never abandoned his scientific researches. Until well into his 90s, he made important contributions at the frontiers of physics and astrophysics. He helped elucidate the properties of neutrinos and explained the observed rate of neutrino emission by the Sun. With the American physicist Gerald Brown, he worked to understand why massive old stars can suddenly become supernovas.

Bethe wrote the entry on the neutron for the 14th edition of Encyclopædia Britannica.

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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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#984 2021-10-08 00:33:16

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

948) Lester B. Pearson

Lester B. Pearson, in full Lester Bowles Pearson, (born April 23, 1897, Toronto, Ontario, Canada—died December 27, 1972, Ottawa), Canadian politician and diplomat who served as prime minister of Canada (1963–68). He was prominent as a mediator in international disputes, and in 1957 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Pearson served in World War I (1914–18) and lectured in history at the University of Toronto (1924–28), after studying there and at the University of Oxford. He joined the Canadian foreign service in 1928 and became first secretary in the Department of External Affairs. He served on two royal commissions (1931) and as counselor of the Canadian high commissioner’s office in London (1935).

Recalled to Canada in 1941, Pearson then served as ambassador to the United States in 1945–46. He headed the Canadian delegation at the United Nations from 1948 to 1956, and he was president of the United Nations General Assembly in 1952–53. In 1948 he became secretary of state for external affairs in the Liberal government of Louis Saint Laurent, having entered Parliament for Algoma East. He represented Canada at the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949, and in 1951 he was chairman of that organization. In 1957 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to solve the Suez crisis of 1956.

Pearson succeeded Saint Laurent as leader of the Liberal Party in 1958 and became prime minister in 1963. His government introduced a national pension plan and a family assistance program, broadened old-age security benefits, and laid the groundwork for the National Free Medical Service. Under Pearson, the government also introduced Canada’s first distinctive national flag and adopted an official national anthem. Pearson resigned as prime minister in 1968 and retired from politics.

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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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#985 2021-10-10 00:07:35

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

949) Ramon Magsaysay

Ramon Magsaysay, (born Aug. 31, 1907, Iba, Phil.—died March 17, 1957, near Cebu), president of the Philippines (1953–57), best known for successfully defeating the communist-led Hukbalahap (Huk) movement.

The son of an artisan, Magsaysay was a schoolteacher in the provincial town of Iba on the island of Luzon. Though most Philippine political leaders were of Spanish descent, Magsaysay was of Malay stock, like most of the common people. Working his way through José Rizal College near Manila, he obtained a commercial degree in 1933 and became general manager of a Manila transportation company. After serving as a guerrilla leader on Luzon during World War II, he was appointed military governor of his home province, Zambales, when the United States recaptured the Philippines. He served two terms (1946–50) as a Liberal Party congressman for Zambales, his first experience in politics.

President Elpidio Quirino appointed Magsaysay secretary of defense to deal with the threat of the Huks, whose leader, Luis Taruc, in February 1950 established a People’s Liberation Army and called for the overthrow of the government. Magsaysay then carried out until 1953 one of the most successful antiguerrilla campaigns in modern history. Realizing that the Huks could not survive without popular support, he strove to win the trust of the peasants by offering land and tools to those who came over to the government side and by insisting that army units treat the people with respect. Reforming the army, he dismissed corrupt and incompetent officers and emphasized mobility and flexibility in combat operations against the guerrillas. By 1953 the Huks were no longer a serious threat, but Magsaysay’s radical measures had made many enemies for him within the government, compelling him to resign on February 28, when he charged the Quirino administration with corruption and incompetence.

Although Magsaysay was a Liberal, the Nacionalista Party successfully backed him for the presidency against Quirino in the 1953 elections, winning the support of Carlos P. Romulo, who had organized a third party. Magsaysay promised reform in every segment of Philippine life, but he was frustrated in his efforts by a conservative congress that represented the interests of the wealthy. Despite initial support of Congress in July 1955, Magsaysay was unable to pass effective land-reform legislation; government indifference to the plight of the peasants then undid most of his good work in gaining the support of the people against the Huks. Nevertheless, he remained extremely popular and had a well-deserved reputation for incorruptibility.

In foreign policy, Magsaysay remained a close friend and supporter of the United States and a vocal spokesman against communism during the Cold War. He made the Philippines a member of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, which was established in Manila on Sept. 8, 1954. Before the expiration of his term as president, Magsaysay was killed in an airplane crash; he was succeeded by the vice president, Carlos P. Garcia.

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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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#986 2021-10-12 00:15:53

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

950) Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods, byname of Eldrick Woods or Eldrick Tont Woods, (born December 30, 1975, Cypress, California, U.S.), American golfer who enjoyed one of the greatest amateur careers in the history of the game and became the dominant player on the professional circuit in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 1997 Woods became the first golfer of either African American or Asian descent to win the Masters Tournament, one of the most prestigious events in the sport. With his victory at the 2001 Masters, Woods became the first player to win consecutively the four major tournaments of golf—the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open (Open Championship), and the PGA Championship.

(PGA Championship, one of the world’s four major golf tournaments (along with the Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open, and the British Open [officially the Open Championship]). Run by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA of America), it is a major media event played on a different American course each year and routinely features the best players in the world. It has been held, with some exceptions, each year since 1916. In addition to sizable prize money, the winner of the tournament receives a lifetime invitation to participate in all future PGA Championships, five-year allowances for participation in the three other major tournaments, and points toward the PGA Player of the Year Award and toward the next Ryder Cup team.)

Woods was the child of an African American father and a Thai mother. A naturally gifted player, he took up golfing at a very young age and soon became a prodigy, taking swings on a television program when he was two years old and shooting a 48 over nine holes at age three. In 1991, at age 15, he became the youngest winner of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship; he also captured the 1992 and 1993 Junior Amateur titles. In 1994 he came from six holes behind to win the first of his three consecutive U.S. Amateur Championships. He enrolled at Stanford University in 1994 and won the collegiate title in 1996. After claiming his third U.S. Amateur title, Woods left college and turned professional on August 29, 1996. Playing as a pro in eight PGA events in 1996, he won two titles and was named the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year.

Woods was able to generate such club speed that he routinely hit drives of more than 300 yards. His booming long game, coupled with his expert putting and chipping and his reputation for mental toughness, made him an intimidating opponent and a popular player among fans. At the 1997 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, Woods shot a tournament record 270 over 72 holes and finished 12 strokes ahead of the rest of the field in one of the most-dominating performances in the history of professional golf. In 1999 he became the first golfer in more than two decades to win eight PGA tournaments in a year. His six consecutive victories (1999–2000) tied Ben Hogan’s 1948 streak, the second longest in PGA history; Byron Nelson holds the record with 11 straight wins. In June 2000 Woods again made history with his record-breaking win at the U.S. Open. He became the first player to finish the tournament at 12 under par, tying Jack Nicklaus for the lowest 72-hole score (272), and Woods’s 15-stroke victory was the largest winning margin at a major championship. On July 23, 2000, Woods became the fifth player in golf history, and the youngest, to complete the career Grand Slam of the four major championships by winning the British Open. (In 1930, when Bobby Jones won the only calendar-year Grand Slam, the four major tournaments were the U.S. Open, the British Open, the U.S. Amateur, and the British Amateur championships.) Woods’s victory by a comfortable 8 strokes was a record-setting 19 strokes under par. He won back-to-back Masters titles in 2001 and 2002.

In 2005, after a drought of 10 winless major tournaments, Woods won the Masters and the British Open. He dominated the tour the following year, winning nine events, including the British Open and the PGA Championship. In 2007 he defended his title at the latter tournament to claim his 13th major championship. Some two months after undergoing knee surgery in 2008, Woods captured his third U.S. Open title in his first tournament back on the tour, completing his third career Grand Slam, a feat matched only by Nicklaus. Woods’s dramatic U.S. Open victory—which involved an 18-hole play-off round followed by a sudden-death play-off—aggravated the damage to his knee, and the following week he withdrew from the remainder of the 2008 golf season in order to have more-extensive knee surgery. His return to the sport in 2009 featured a number of tournament wins but no major titles for the first time since 2004. Also in 2009 Woods’s unprecedented streak of having never lost a major tournament when leading or coleading after 54 holes was broken at 14 when he lost the PGA Championship after being ahead by two strokes before the final round.

In November 2009 Woods was involved in an early morning one-car accident outside his home in Orlando, Florida. The unusual circumstances of the crash led to a great deal of media scrutiny into his personal life. It was revealed that Woods, who had married Elin Nordegren in 2004, had a number of extramarital affairs, and his infidelity—which clashed with his solid-citizen reputation that had helped him earn hundreds of millions of dollars in endorsements over the years—became national news. The following month, Woods announced that he was taking an indefinite leave from golf in order to spend more time with his family. He returned to the sport in April 2010 for the Masters Tournament. Although Woods finished in the top five at both the Masters and the U.S. Open, his 2010 golf season was a disappointment that included no tournament wins and the worst four-round score of his professional career. In addition, he and Nordegren divorced in August of that year.

Woods’s difficulties on the golf course continued in 2011 as he failed to win an official PGA tournament. His drought finally ended on March 25, 2012, when he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational; it was his first PGA victory in some 30 months. In July 2012 Woods won the AT&T National tournament for his 74th career PGA victory, passing Nicklaus for the second highest win total in tour history. In March 2013 he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational for an eighth time—tying a PGA record for most career victories in a single tournament in the process—and regained the number one world ranking for the first time in nearly two and a half years. Although Woods failed to win a major in 2013, his five event wins during the season helped him retain his top ranking through the end of the year. However, his following year was disastrous, as he missed long stretches of the PGA season because of persistent back pain and played in just nine PGA Tour events in 2014, with his best finish in those tournaments being a tie for 25th place. Woods’s struggles on the course persisted into 2015. He appeared in only 11 events that year, missing the cut in consecutive majors (the U.S. and British opens) for the first time in his career, and ended his season in September to undergo another surgery on his back. Woods struggled to recover from that surgery, and he missed the entire 2016 golf season.

In January 2017 he made his first appearance in a PGA Tour event in 17 months. However, he played in just that tournament before announcing that he would undergo another back surgery that would force him to miss the remainder of the 2017 season. Woods’s personal life again came to the forefront in May 2017 when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of a combination of sleep and pain medications. He subsequently revealed that he was receiving “professional help” to manage his medication intake. Woods returned to the PGA Tour in January 2018, and he subsequently played a full tour season. He capped off his improbable comeback from his series of potentially career-ending injuries by winning the Tour Championship tournament in September, his first victory in five years. In April 2019 Woods stunned the golfing world by winning the Masters for the first time in 14 years, setting a new record for the longest span between wins in that tournament and becoming at age 43 the second oldest golfer, after Nicklaus, to win a green jacket. Woods continued to make history when he won the Zozo Championship later that year. It was his 82nd Tour victory, tying Sam Snead’s record.

In January 2021 Woods announced that he had undergone his fifth back surgery and was not expected to return to competition until April at the earliest. In February he was involved in a single-car crash that resulted in serious leg injuries.

The recipient of various honours, Woods was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. Pres. Donald Trump in 2019. He was later the subject of the TV documentary Tiger (2021).

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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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#987 2021-10-14 00:22:40

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

951) Manfred Eigen

Manfred Eigen, (born May 9, 1927, Bochum, Germany—died February 6, 2019), German physicist who was corecipient, with Ronald George Wreyford Norrish and George Porter, of the 1967 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on extremely rapid chemical reactions.

Eigen was educated in physics and chemistry at the University of Göttingen (Ph.D., 1951). He worked at the university’s Institute of Physical Chemistry from 1951 to 1953, when he joined the Max Planck Institute for Physical Chemistry in Göttingen, where he became director of the Department of Biochemical Kinetics in 1958. In that post he initiated the merger of the institutes for physical chemistry and spectroscopy to form the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in 1971. He served as its director until 1995.

Eigen was able to study many extremely fast chemical reactions by a variety of methods that he introduced and which are called relaxation techniques. These involve the application of bursts of energy to a solution that briefly destroy its equilibrium before a new equilibrium is reached. Eigen studied what happened to the solution in the extremely brief interval between the two equilibria by means of absorption spectroscopy. Among specific topics thus investigated were the rate of hydrogen ion formation through dissociation in water, diffusion-controlled protolytic reactions, and the kinetics of keto-enol tautomerism.

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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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#988 2021-10-16 01:05:58

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

952) Robert Walpole, 1st earl of Orford

Robert Walpole, 1st earl of Orford, also called (1725–42) Sir Robert Walpole, (born August 26, 1676, Houghton Hall, Norfolk, England—died March 18, 1745, London), British statesman (in power 1721–42), generally regarded as the first British prime minister. He deliberately cultivated a frank, hearty manner, but his political subtlety has scarcely been equaled.

Education and early career
Walpole was the third son of Colonel Robert Walpole by his wife, Mary Burwell. He was educated at Great Dunham, Norfolk, and afterward became a scholar of Eton (1690–96) and subsequently of King’s College, Cambridge (1696–98). The death of his elder surviving brother, Edward, cut short his academic career, and, instead of entering the church, he returned to Norfolk to help administer his father’s estates. He married Catherine Shorter of Bybrook, Kent, on July 30, 1700. After his father’s death in the same year, he inherited a heavily encumbered estate and also the family parliamentary seat at Castle Rising, for which he was immediately elected. In 1702 he transferred to King’s Lynn, which he represented, with one short intermission, for the next 40 years.

Walpole rapidly made his mark in the House of Commons, earning the reputation of being a clear, forceful speaker, a firm but not fanatical Whig, and an active parliamentarian. He was made a member in 1705 of Prince George of Denmark’s Council, which controlled the affairs of the navy during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14). His ability as an administrator brought him to the attention of both the duke of Marlborough and Lord Godolphin. On February 25, 1708, he was promoted to secretary at war and in 1710 to treasurer of the navy, a post from which he was dismissed on January 2, 1711, with the advent of the Tory Party to power after the general election of 1710. During these years Walpole established himself as one of the foremost of the younger Whig leaders; in society as well as in politics he made his mark. He became a leading member of the Kit-Cat Club, a meeting place of many Whig men of letters. He had many friends, but his expenses were so high that he fell heavily in debt. He had relied on his political offices to keep himself afloat; nevertheless, he refused to compromise his principles for the sake of his salary and perquisites.

His assiduity in attending the Commons and his ability in debate made Walpole the effective leader of the opposition, and the Tories determined to ruin him along with Marlborough. In January 1712 he was impeached for corruption as secretary at war, found guilty, expelled from the Commons, and sent to the Tower of London. He was immediately acclaimed as a martyr by the Whigs, and he himself developed a hatred for the Tory leaders Robert Harley, earl of Oxford, and Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, who brought about his fall. Walpole enjoyed his revenge in 1714 at the accession of George I when, as well as being made paymaster general of the forces, he became chairman of the secret committee that led to the impeachment for treason of both Bolingbroke and Oxford. Walpole’s mastery of the Commons, allied to his formidable industry, brought him rapid promotion. He became first lord of the Treasury and chancellor of the Exchequer on October 11, 1715. His abilities also aroused jealousy, which was exacerbated by a conflict over foreign policy that saw Walpole and his brother-in-law, Charles, Viscount Townshend, on one side and two of the king’s closest advisers, James Stanhope and Charles Spencer, earl of Sunderland, on the other. Walpole and Townshend maintained that British interests were being sacrificed to the king’s Hanoverian interests in order to curry favour. The break came in 1717, and Walpole and Townshend left the ministry; shortly afterward a violent quarrel between the king and the prince of Wales split the royal family, and the opposition acquired its own court at the prince’s residence, Leicester House.

During the next three years Walpole fought the government on every issue, achieving considerable success in bringing about the rejection of the Peerage Bill (1719), which would have limited the royal prerogative in the creation of peers. During this time, too, he became friendly with Caroline of Ansbach, the princess of Wales, who was to help maintain him in power when her husband succeeded to the throne in 1727 as George II. Walpole used his influence with the prince to bring about a reconciliation with the king in April 1720 and his own subsequent return to the ministry as paymaster general of the forces.

No sooner was Walpole back in office than the country was caught up in the speculative frenzy associated with the South Sea Company, a joint-stock company with monopoly rights to trade with Spanish America. A scheme was set up in 1720 whereby the company would take charge of a large part of the national debt. Although Walpole had favoured letting the Bank of England take over the debt, he was no more prudent than many others and invested heavily in South Sea stock. He was saved from financial disaster by the foresight of his banker, Robert Jacomb. Nevertheless, Walpole had not been a promoter of the scheme, and he was free from the stigma of corruption that marked many other ministers as well as the king’s German favourites. He used his great political skill and persuasive powers of argument in the Commons to save the Whig leaders and the court from the consequences of their folly. Some members had to be sacrificed to appease public opinion, among them John Aislabie, chancellor of the Exchequer; others died under the strain, the most notable being Stanhope and James Craggs and his son James. Walpole restored confidence, maintained the Whigs in office, and greatly improved his own and Townshend’s standing at court. He became first lord of the Treasury and chancellor of the Exchequer in April 1721, offices that he was to hold until 1742. Townshend became once more secretary of state and took over the control of foreign affairs. For some time, Walpole and Townshend were forced to share power with John Carteret (later Earl Granville), who had succeeded to Sunderland’s influence after Sunderland’s sudden death in April 1722. By 1724, however, Walpole and Townshend obtained the dismissal of Carteret from his secretaryship of state and had him sent to Ireland as lord lieutenant. For the rest of George I’s reign Walpole and Townshend remained at the head of the ministry. Their position steadily grew stronger. The hopes of the Jacobites, supporters of a return to the throne of the Stuarts, which the South Sea Bubble had fanned, were quashed in 1723 by the exposure of the insurrection planned by Francis Atterbury, bishop of Rochester. The outlook for the Tory Party was equally gloomy in spite of the pardon given to Bolingbroke in 1725.

The long ascendancy of Robert Walpole, 1st earl of Orford

The supremacy in the Commons was maintained by Walpole until 1742. In 1727, at the accession of George II, he suffered a minor crisis when for a few days it seemed that he might be dismissed, but Queen Caroline prevailed on her husband to keep Walpole in office. In 1730 he quarreled with Townshend over the conduct of foreign affairs and forced Townshend’s resignation, but his retirement had no effect on Walpole’s position. These were the years of Walpole’s greatness. His power was based on the loyal support given to him by George I and George II. This enabled him to use all royal patronage for political ends, and Walpole’s appointments to offices in the royal household, the church, the navy, the army, and the civil service were, whenever possible, made with an eye to his voting strength in the House of Commons. By these means he built up the court and treasury party that was to be the core of Whig strength for many generations. These methods, however, never gave him control of the House of Commons. His majorities at Westminster came about because his policy of peace abroad and low taxation at home appealed strongly to the independent country gentlemen who sat in Parliament. Also, Walpole possessed remarkable powers in debate: his knowledge of the detail of government, particularly of finance, was unmatched, and his expression was clear, forceful, and always cogent. He never underestimated the powers of the Commons, and no minister, before or since, has shown such skill in its management.

Walpole needed all his art, for his rule was never free from crisis. Foreign affairs gave him constant trouble. Although Townshend had secured the prospect of a settlement by the Treaty of Hanover in 1725, which helped to strengthen the alliance between England and France, the difficulties that had arisen with Spain over Gibraltar and British trading rights in the West Indies proved intractable, and England hovered on the brink of war until Walpole intervened. By showing willingness to negotiate he secured the Treaty of Seville (Sevilla) in 1729. This was followed by a general settlement in 1731 at the Treaty of Vienna. When war broke out on the Continent in 1733 over the question of the succession to the Polish throne, Walpole had to use all his influence with the king in order to maintain England’s neutrality.

Many politicians, particularly those whom Walpole had driven into opposition, regarded his foreign policy as a betrayal of England’s interests. They thought that he had become the dupe of France to the neglect of England’s former allies (the Austrians and the Dutch), and that his desire to maintain friendship with France led to weakness toward Spain. They also disapproved of his use of patronage, which they stigmatized as corruption. They condemned his financial schemes as a sham, particularly the sinking fund to abolish the national debt. The prime movers in this opposition were William Pulteney, an able Whig whom Walpole had rejected in 1724 in favour of the duke of Newcastle as secretary of state, and Bolingbroke. They drew together a miscellaneous collection of members in opposition: Jacobites, Hanoverian Tories, dissident Whigs, and urban radicals. They attempted to give coherence to the party so formed, but with little success. The liveliest part of their campaign was the violent press agitation against Walpole. For this purpose they founded The Craftsman, which denigrated Walpole’s ministry week after week. Walpole was lampooned in pamphlets, ballads, and plays, as well as in the newspapers; and this constant stream of abuse, which was not without a certain element of truth, did much to bring both Parliament and politics into contempt.

The great opportunity for the opposition came in 1733 when Walpole decided to check smuggling and customs frauds by imposing an excise tax on wine and tobacco. This was extremely unpopular, particularly with the London merchants, and the opposition did all in its power to influence opinion. Walpole saved himself from defeat by withdrawing this measure, but those politicians who had been indiscreet enough to show opposition to Walpole’s bill lost their offices. These dismissals, however, weakened Walpole’s position; he lost considerable debating skill as well as votes in the House of Lords, which at that time still played an important part in government. After 1733 the list of able but dismissed Whig politicians grew large enough to supply an alternative Whig ministry to Walpole’s own, and, after the excise crisis, the opposition Whigs had far less need to rely on Tory and Jacobite elements in their battle against Walpole. Bolingbroke himself realized this; he withdrew from politics and retired to France in 1735, admitting defeat in his lifelong struggle with Walpole.

Growing unpopularity of Robert Walpole, 1st earl of Orford

Walpole won the general election of 1734, which had given rise to many violent contests and a resurgence of the old bitterness about excise, but his growing unpopularity was underlined by the loss of many seats in the large seaports and heavily populated counties. Nevertheless, his majority, although diminished, remained comfortable. Without much difficulty he surmounted troubles that arose in Edinburgh (the Porteous riots) over the royal pardon of a captain of the guard who had fired on a crowd demonstrating at Edinburgh prison; he easily persuaded the Commons to reject Sir John Barnard’s scheme to reduce the interest on the national debt and showed his contempt for the literary opposition (among whose members were Swift, Pope, and Fielding) by imposing regulations on London theatres (1737). Yet from 1737 his position began to weaken. The death of Queen Caroline had less effect than many have assumed, for by then George II had developed great loyalty to his minister. More important was Walpole’s increasing age, which led young politicians, such as William Pitt (afterward earl of Chatham), to look elsewhere for their future advancement. The emergence as a leader of the opposition of Frederick Louis, prince of Wales, who had quarreled violently with his parents, provided a focus and a court for the “patriot boys,” as these young Whigs came to be called. The growing difficulties with Spain over trading matters in the West Indies were used by this opposition to embarrass Walpole. He did his utmost to settle these difficulties by negotiation, but in 1739 he was forced to declare war against Spain—the so-called War of Jenkins’ Ear. He disapproved of the war and made his views clear to his cabinet colleagues. These years, too, were darkened by private grief as well as public anxiety. His wife, with whom he had been on indifferent terms, died in 1737, and he was married by March 3, 1738, to his mistress of long-standing, Maria Skerritt, a woman of great charm and wit. Three months later she died in childbirth.

The war with Spain did not prosper, and opposition continued to mount against Walpole. He succeeded in winning the general election of 1741, but many Whig politicians, and a number of independents, did not consider him capable of directing the war vigorously enough or of surviving another seven years’ Parliament. His resignation was forced on February 2, 1742, on a minor issue. The king created him earl of Orford (he had been knighted in 1725) and gave him an annual pension of £4,000, but the Commons set up a committee to investigate his ministry with a view to impeachment. They failed to secure sufficient evidence and the rancour against Orford petered out. For the rest of his life he continued to play an active and valuable part in politics. He did his utmost to secure the dismissal of Carteret, who had become secretary of state on the fall of his ministry, and to secure the promotion of Henry Pelham, his protégé and leader of the Walpole Whigs, to the position of chief minister. Orford’s influence with George II remained powerful up to his death.

Legacy

Although Walpole rejected the title of prime minister, which he regarded as a term of abuse, his control of the treasury, his management of the Commons, and the confidence that he enjoyed of the two sovereigns whom he served demonstrated the kind of leadership that was required to give stability and order to 18th-century politics. He used his power to maintain the supremacy of the Whig Party, as he understood it, and his prime concern was to forestall the machinations of the Jacobites, which he took very seriously, by securing the Hanoverian succession. He thought that this could best be achieved by prosperity and low taxation, which in turn depended on peace and on freedom from foreign entanglements. In order to achieve strong support for this policy he created as many obligations as possible among the politically powerful groups in the country. The Jacobite rebellion in 1745 demonstrated both the reality of his fears and the success of his policy.

The influence of Walpole’s long ministry on the structure of 18th-century politics was profound. The Tory Party, split as it was between Hanoverians and Jacobites, faded into insignificance, and to be a Whig became a necessity for the politically ambitious. The struggle for power ceased to be a conflict between two parties and became a battle fought between divergent groups, personalities, and policies within the Whig Party itself, in order to gain the support of the court on the one hand and the independent country gentlemen in Parliament on the other. The frank realism that Walpole had used in all appointments to office, as well as the violent, prejudiced, and often exaggerated criticism to which this gave rise, did much to bring the institutions of government into disrepute and to strengthen the early growth of urban radicalism, particularly in the City of London. On the other hand, Walpole’s ministry had little influence on constitutional development: many generations were to pass before any minister wielded power comparable to his. Like his master, George II, he disliked cabinet government and used it as sparingly as possible. He showed what could be done within the accepted conventions of the constitution; he never attempted to change them.

One side of Walpole’s life is too little noted. He possessed remarkable delight in and judgment of works of art. His house, Houghton Hall, Norfolk, built and furnished under his close supervision, is a masterpiece of Palladian architecture. To the distress of his son Horace, the famous man of letters, Walpole’s collection of pictures was sold to the empress of Russia by Walpole’s grandson George in 1779. Now in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, it was one of the most remarkable collections in Europe. He delighted in ostentation and lived in great magnificence, spending freely the huge fortune that he made out of judicious speculation and public office.

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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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#989 2021-10-17 20:37:11

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

953) Ronald George Wreyford Norrish

Ronald George Wreyford Norrish, (born Nov. 9, 1897, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, Eng.—died June 7, 1978, Cambridge), British chemist who was the corecipient, with fellow Englishman Sir George Porter and Manfred Eigen of West Germany, of the 1967 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. All three were honoured for their studies of very fast chemical reactions.

Norrish did his undergraduate and doctoral work at the University of Cambridge, served as research fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and directed the university’s physical chemistry department for 28 years. Norrish and Porter, who worked together between 1949 and 1965, used the new technique of flash photolysis to study the intermediate stages involved in extremely rapid chemical reactions. In this technique, a gaseous system in a state of equilibrium is subjected to an ultrashort burst of light that causes photochemical reactions in the gas. A second burst of light is then used to detect and record the changes taking place in the gas before equilibrium is reestablished. Norrish became a professor emeritus in 1963, though he continued to work with individual students and as an industrial consultant.

Ronald George Wreyford Norrish was born in Cambridge on November 9th, 1897. His father, a native of Crediton, Devonshire, came to Cambridge as a young Pharmacist to open one of the early shops of Boots, the Chemists, and remained there for the rest of his long life.

After spending his early years at the local Board school, Norrish obtained a scholarship to the Perse Grammar School in 1910. He remembers with deep gratitude his early teachers, in particular Rouse, Turnbull and Hersch, who gave dedicated and individual help to promising young scholars. In 1915 he obtained an entrance scholarship to Emmanuel College, Cambridge in Natural Sciences, but left in 1916 with a commission in the Royal Field Artillery for service in France. He was made prisoner of war in March 1918 and spent the rest of the war in Germany, first at Rastatt and later at Graudenz in Poland. Repatriated in 1919, he returned to Emmanuel College where he has remained ever since, first as a student and after 1925 as a Fellow. Norrish’s early research was inspired by Eric Redeal (now Sir Eric Redeal) under whose lively supervision he first took up the study of Photochemistry.

In 1925 he was made Demonstrator and in 1930, Humphrey Owen Jones Lecturer in Physical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge and upon the death of the first Professor of Physical Chemistry, Dr. T.M. Lowry, was appointed to the Professorship in 1937. He occupied the chair until 1965 when he retired as Emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry in the University.

Norrish has had the good fortune to work with many gifted students and with them has carried out a wide range of research in the fields of Photochemistry and Reaction Kinetics, including Combustion and Polymerisation. As the study of Chemical Kinetics developed, there was a fortunate integration in the various aspects of the study in which his school of work was engaged, as a result of which the importance of Photochemistry and Spectroscopy to Chemical Kinetics in general emerged. All this was sadly brought to a temporary halt in 1940. During the second world war, while still continuing to direct the Department of Physical Chemistry and to teach, Norrish was concerned with a good deal of research work in connection with various ministries and was able to collaborate with his colleagues on various government committees. It was after the war in 1945 when research was recommenced that work was started with the object of observing short lived transients in chemical reactions. In collaboration with his student, now Professor George Porter, this led to the development of Flash Photolysis and Kinetic Spectroscopy which has had considerable influence on the subsequent development of Photochemistry and Reaction Kinetics, and in the hands of workers in many parts of the world is continuing to develop as a powerful technique for the study of all aspects of chemical reaction.

In 1926 Ronald Norrish married Annie Smith who was Lecturer in the Faculty of Education in the University of Wales in Cardiff. They have two daughters and four grandchildren. Much of their time has been spent in travel.

Norrish has served on the Councils of the Chemical Society, the Faraday Society of which he became President in 1951-1955 and on the Council of the Royal Institute of Chemistry of which he was Vice President from 1957 to 1959. He delivered the Liversidge Lecture to the Chemical Society in 1958, the Faraday Memorial Lecture to the Chemical Society in 1965, and the Bakerian Lecture to the Royal Society in 1966. He was President of the British Association Section B (Chemistry) in 1961, and in the same year was made Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers. In 1958 he received the honorary degree of D. de l’U. at the Sorbonne in Paris and also honorary degrees D. Sc. in Leeds and Sheffield in 1965, Liverpool and Lancaster (1968) and British Columbia (1969). He is an honorary member of the Polish Chemical Society and Membre d’honneur of the Société de Chimie Physique in Paris. He is a foreign member of the Polish and the Bulgarian Academies of Sciences, a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen and of the Royal Society of Sciences in Liege. He is a honorary member of the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala and the New York Academy of Sciences. He has received the Meldola medal of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (1926), the Davy medal of the Royal Society (1958), the Lewis medal of the Combustion Institute (1964), the Faraday medal of the Chemical Society (1965) and their Longstaff medal (1969). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1936 and is still endeavouring to continue to prosecute his scientific activities in Cambridge.

To mark his retirement in 1965, many of his old friends and younger colleagues now occupying distinguished positions in academic and industrial work in Great Britain and abroad collaborated to publish a work entitled “Photochcmistry and Reaction Kinetics”. To them and to all others with whom he has worked for over 50 years he is deeply grateful.

Ronald G.W. Norrish died on June 7, 1978.

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#990 2021-10-19 00:17:58

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Re: crème de la crème

954) Sir George Porter

Sir George Porter, Baron Porter of Luddenham

Sir George Porter, Baron Porter of Luddenham, (born December 6, 1920, Stainforth, Yorkshire, England—died August 31, 2002, Canterbury), English chemist, corecipient with fellow Englishman Ronald George Wreyford Norrish and Manfred Eigen of West Germany of the 1967 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. All three were honoured for their studies in flash photolysis, a technique for observing the intermediate stages of very fast chemical reactions.

After undergraduate work at the University of Leeds, Porter earned a doctorate at the University of Cambridge under Norrish in 1949. He continued on there, developing the technique of flash photolysis with Norrish. In this technique, a gas or liquid in equilibrium is illuminated with an ultrashort burst of light that causes photochemical reactions in the substance. The extremely short-lived intermediate products of these reactions are illuminated by a second burst of light that enables an absorption spectrum to be taken of the reaction products before the gas has returned to a state of equilibrium. Porter specifically studied the equilibrium of chlorine atoms and molecules. In 1955 he joined the faculty of chemistry at the University of Sheffield, where he taught until 1966, becoming in that year director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain and Fullerian professor of chemistry. Porter was knighted in 1972 and created a life peer in 1990.

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#991 2021-10-20 19:22:27

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Re: crème de la crème

955) Ragnar Arthur Granit

Ragnar Arthur Granit, (born October 30, 1900, Helsinki, Finland—died March 12, 1991, Stockholm, Sweden), Finnish-born Swedish physiologist who was a corecipient (with George Wald and Haldan Hartline) of the 1967 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his analysis of the internal electrical changes that take place when the eye is exposed to light.

Granit received an M.D. degree from the University of Helsinki in 1927, after which he conducted research at the University of Pennsylvania and at the laboratory of Sir Charles Scott Sherrington at Oxford, England. He was appointed professor of physiology at the University of Helsinki in 1937. A naturalized Swede, Granit joined the medical school of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, in 1940; he was named chairman of the institute’s department of neurophysiology in 1946. A year earlier he had also become the director of the Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology in Stockholm. In the 20 years from 1956 to 1976 Granit also served as a visiting professor or researcher at numerous institutions.

From studies of the action potentials in single fibres of the optic nerve, Granit formed his “dominator-modulator” theory of colour vision. In this theory he proposed that in addition to the three kinds of photosensitive cones—the colour receptors in the retina—which respond to different portions of the light spectrum, some optic nerve fibres (dominators) are sensitive to the whole spectrum while others (modulators) respond to a narrow band of light wavelengths and are thus colour-specific. Granit also proved that light could inhibit as well as stimulate impulses along the optic nerve. His book Sensory Mechanisms of the Retina (1947) is a classic work in the field of retinal electrophysiology.

Granit then turned his attention to the study of the control of movement, specifically the role of muscle sense-organs called muscle spindles and tendon organs. He helped to determine the neural pathways and processes by which these internal receptors regulate and coordinate muscle action.

Ragnar Arthur Granit was born in the parish of Helsinge, Finland, on October 30th, 1900, eldest son of the Crown forester Arthur Wilhelm Granit and his wife Albertina Helena Malmberg. The family then moved to the neighbourhood of Helsingfors where his father opened a firm dealing with sylviculture and forest produce and the son became a pupil of the Swedish Normallyceum belonging, as he did, to the Swedish population of his native country, to a sea-faring family from the island of Korpo in the Baltic waters separating Sweden and Finland. He still spends his summers on this island.

Granit matriculated at Helsingfors University in 1919. While still at school, he took part in Finland’s War of Liberation 1918 (the Svidja corps) and was decorated with the Cross of Freedom IV Cl. «with sword».

During a preliminary Summer Course at the Åbo Academy in 1919 he decided to take up experimental psychology, which as an academic subject fell within the humanities, but was well advised by his uncle, Dr. Lars Ringbom, to add a full medical degree to these studies. His teacher in experimental psychology at Helsingfors was Eino Kaila, later Professor of Philosophy. Granit became Mag. Phil. in 1923. During his medical studies he arrived at the conclusion that physiology would prove a better starting point than psychology for the visual work that he had undertaken almost from the beginning of his career and so he eagerly accepted the post of demonstrator (assistant) at the Physiological Institute, offered him in 1926 by Professor Carl Tigerstedt. He took his M.D. in December 1927 and became «Docent» in Physiology in 1929.

In 1928 he spent half a year at Sir Charles Sherrington‘s laboratory at Oxford and returned there as a Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1932-1933. The years 1929-1931 he spent as Fellow in Medical Physics at the Johnson Foundation of the University of Pennsylvania on the invitation of Dr. D. W. Bronk, then engaged in setting up this institute. Returning to Helsingfors Granit held the office of Professor of Physiology from 1935 and was formally appointed in 1937, his chair being at about the same time transformed into one assigned for teaching in the Swedish language. During the so-called Winter War between Finland and Russia, Granit was district physician for the three Swedish-speaking island parishes of Korpo, Houtskär and Iniö in the Baltic, simultaneously charged with the duty as physician to the forts within this region.

In 1940 he was called to Harvard University and to the Royal Caroline Institute of Stockholm, in the end deciding in favour of the latter. The appointment was based on a grant from the Foundation «Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse» and also supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1945 the Caroline Institute made his laboratory a department of the Medical Nobel Institute for which new buildings were to be erected. In 1946 he received a personal research chair in Neurophysiology from the Ministry of Education. The new building was ready in 1947. He retired as Professor Emeritus in July, 1967.

Ragnar Granit was a Member of the Medical Research Council (1949-1955), President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1963-1965), Vice President (1965-1969). Between 1956 and 1966 he was Visiting Professor at the Rockefeller Institute (since Rockefeller University), New York; in 1967 in a similar capacity at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford for the Michaelmas Term, and at the University of the Pacific, San Francisco, 1969; Fogarty Scholar, N.I.H., Bethesda, 1971-1972. Some of his major lectures are: The Thomas Young Oration of the Physical Society, London, 1945; The Silliman Lectures of Yale University, 1954; The Sherrington Memorial Lecture of the Royal Society of Medicine, London, 1967; The Sherrington Lectures, Liverpool, 1970.

Granit has honorary degrees from Oslo University, M.D., 1951; Oxford University, D. Sc., 1956; Hong Kong University, D. Sc., 1961; Loyola University, Chicago, 1969; Pisa University, 1970; Catedrático hon. from San Marco University, Lima, University of Santiago de Chile and the National University, Bogotá, all in 1958. He is a Member or Foreign Member of the Soc. Scient. Fenn., 1937; Royal Swedish Acad. Sci., 1944; Soc. Philomatique, Paris, 1947; Acad. Sci., Bologna, 1948; Amer. Philos. Soc., 1954; Royal Danish Acad. Sci., 1956; Royal Society, London, 1960; Natl. Acad. Sci., Washington, 1968; an Honorary Member of the Accad. di Medicina, Turin, 1961; Indian Acad. Sci., 1964; Amer. Acad. of Arts and Sciences, 1971; and honorary member of the following professional societies: the Swedish Societies for Neurology, for Ophthalmology and for Clinical Neurophysiology, the International Society for Clinical Electroretinography, the Biological Societies of Montevideo, Santiago de Chile and Argentina, the Finnish Society for Ophthalmology, the American Physiological Society, the American Neurological Association, the Physiological Society of England, the Finnish Society of Physicians, the Swedish Society of Physicians, the Swedish and the Finnish Societies of Physiology.

Among the many awards Ragnar Granit has received the following may be mentioned here: Hans Cronstedt’s Prize, 1926; Jubilee Medal of the Swedish Society of Physicians, 1947; Anders Retzius Gold Medal, Stockholm, 1957; F. C. Donders Medal, Utrecht, 1957; Sherrington Memorial Gold Medal, London, 1967; Purkinje Gold Medal, Prague, 1969.

From 1920 to around 1947 Ragnar Granit’s main research was in the field of vision, beginning with psychophysics in the twenties and ending up with electrophysiological work from the early thirties onwards, as briefly reported in the Nobel Lecture. He next took up muscular afferents, in particular the muscle spindles and their motor control; passing over to the spinal cord, he studied the projection of these affarents and separated tonic and phasic motoneurons, established algebraical summation of excitation and inhibition upon these cells, finally also making use of the intracellular approach for the investigation of these and several other problems of motor control. In 1965 he initiated the series of international Nobel Symposia as contributor to, and as Chairman and Editor of Nobel Symposium I, Muscular Afferents and Motor Control.

Ragnar Granit married in 1929 Baroness Marguerite (Daisy) Emma Bruun, daughter of the State Councillor, Baron Theodor Bruun and Mary Edith Henley. The son in this marriage, Michael W. Th. Granit has been Chief Architect of the Communications of Greater Stockholm since 1967. Michael Granit married Elisabet Stolpe in 1957, and they have two sons and one daughter.

Ragnar Granit died on March 12, 1991.

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#992 2021-10-22 00:14:23

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Re: crème de la crème

956) Haldan Keffer Hartline

Haldan Keffer Hartline, (born Dec. 22, 1903, Bloomsburg, Pa., U.S.—died March 17, 1983, Fallston, Md.), American physiologist who was a cowinner (with George Wald and Ragnar Granit) of the 1967 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work in analyzing the neurophysiological mechanisms of vision.

Hartline began his study of retinal electrophysiology as a National Research Council Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, receiving his M.D. in 1927. After attending the universities of Leipzig and Munich as an Eldridge Johnson traveling research scholar, he became professor of biophysics and chairman of the department at Johns Hopkins in 1949. He joined the staff of Rockefeller University, New York City, in 1953 as professor of neurophysiology.

Hartline investigated the electrical responses of the retinas of certain arthropods, vertebrates, and mollusks because their visual systems are much simpler than those of humans and are thus easier to study. He concentrated his studies on the eye of the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus). Using minute electrodes in his experiments, he obtained the first record of the electrical impulses sent by a single optic nerve fibre when the receptors connected to it are stimulated by light. He found that the receptor cells in the eye are interconnected in such a way that when one is stimulated, others nearby are depressed, thus enhancing the contrast in light patterns and sharpening the perception of shapes. Hartline thus built up a detailed understanding of the workings of individual photoreceptors and nerve fibres in the retina, and he showed how simple retinal mechanisms constitute vital steps in the integration of visual information.

Haldan Keffer Hartline was born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, on December 22nd, 1903. His parents were teachers there in the State Normal School (now Bloomsburg State College) where he received his early education. His father, Daniel S. Hartline, was Professor of Biology, but a man whose wide interests also included Astronomy and Geology. It was through his father that Keffer became interested in Natural Sciences.

Keffer Hartline attended Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1923 (B. Sc.). His college teacher of biology, Beverly W. Kunkel, encouraged him to undertake research; his first scientific paper concerned visual responses of land isopods. Summers at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole added to his biological training; there he was especially influenced by Jacques Loeb, Selig Hecht, and Merkel H. Jacobs.

In the autumn of 1923 he entered the Johns Hopkins School where he was encouraged to continue his research interest in vision in the Department of Physiology under E. K. Marshall and C. D. Snyder. Dr. Snyder let him use his Einthoven string galvanometer with which Hartline undertook the study of the retinal action potential using frogs, decerebrate cats and rabbits. He learned to obtain electroretinograms from intact animals, and recorded clearly recognizable retinal action potentials from human subjects. He also used intact insects for quantitative studies.

After receiving his M. D. from Johns Hopkins in 1927 a National Research Council Fellowship (Medical Sciences) enabled him to study Mathematics and Physics so as to strengthen his background for future biophysical research. He spent two years in the Physics Department of Johns Hopkins taking courses and working as a student in the laboratory of A. H. Pfund; F. D. Murnaghan was his teacher of mathematics. In 1929 he received an Eldridge Reeves Johnson Traveling Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania, for a continuation of his studies in Physics. He spent one semester with W. Heisenberg‘s seminar group in the University of Leipzig and two semesters attending lectures by A. Somerfeld at the University of Munich.

In the spring of 1931 Hartline returned to the United States taking a position at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, in the Eldridge Reeves Johnson Foundation for Medical Physics, which was under the directorship of Detlev W.Bronk. This was the start of a stimulating association with Bronk, which has continued to the present time.

At the Johnson Foundation Hartline began his studies on the activity of single optic nerve fibers in the eye of the horseshoe crab, Limulus, recording the responses of receptor units under various conditions of stimulation and adaptation. In the mid 1930’s he undertook the single fiber analysis of the optic responses of the vertebrate retina, principally in the eye of the frog. In the early 1940’s Hartline worked on problems of night vision in human subjects. In 1940-1941 he was Associate Professor of Physiology at Cornell Medical College in New York City, but returned to the Johnson Foundation where he stayed until 1949.

In 1949 Hartline accepted a position at Johns Hopkins University as Professor of Biophysics and Chairman of the Thomas C. Jenkins Department of Biophysics. There, he began with his colleagues work on intracellular recording from receptor units in the Limulus eye. It was at that time that he took up the study of the inhibitory interaction in the Limulus retina, begun briefly several years before. In 1953 he accepted his present position as Professor at the Rockefeller University (then the Rockefeller Institute). Hartline was joined there, in 1954, by Floyd Ratliff and they have continued to the present time collaboration in their joint laboratory on the study of receptor properties and inhibitory interaction in the eye of Limulus, and on related aspects of visual physiology.

Hartline was awarded the William H. Howell Award (Physiology) in 1927; the Howard Crosby Warren Medal (Society of Experimental Psychologists) in 1948; an Sc. D. (hon.) from Lafayette College, 1959; the Albert A. Michelson Award ( Case Institute of Technology) in 1964; a degree of LL. D. from the Johns Hopkins University in 1969; and an hon. D.Sc. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971; the Lighthouse Award in 1969; hon. M.D. Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1971.

Professor Hartline is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences; Foreign Member of the Royal Society (London); Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Member of the American Philosophical Society, American Physiological Society, Optical Society of America, Biophysical Society, etc.

In 1936 Haldan Keffer Hartline married Elizabeth Kraus, daughter of the eminent chemist C. A. Kraus. At that time she was instructor in Comparative Psychology at Bryn Mawr College. They have three sons, Daniel Keffer, Peter Haldan, and Frederick Flanders. Daniel Keffer and Peter Haldan have positions in neurophysiology in the University of California at San Diego; Frederick Flanders is still engaged in graduate studies in the biological sciences.

Keffer Hartline died on March 17, 1983.

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#993 2021-10-24 00:05:37

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

957) George Wald

George Wald, (born Nov. 18, 1906, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died April 12, 1997, Cambridge, Mass.), American biochemist who received (with Haldan K. Hartline of the United States and Ragnar Granit of Sweden) the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1967 for his work on the chemistry of vision.

While studying in Berlin as a National Research Council fellow (1932–33), Wald discovered that vitamin A is a vital ingredient of the pigments in the retina and, hence, important in maintaining vision. After further research in Heidelberg and at the universities of Zürich and Chicago, he joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1934.

By the early 1950s Wald had succeeded in elucidating the chemical reactions involved in the vision process of the rods (receptors on the retina used for night vision). In the late 1950s, with Paul K. Brown, he identified the pigments in the retina that are sensitive to yellow-green light and red light and in the early 1960s the pigment sensitive to blue light. Wald and Brown also discovered the role of vitamin A in forming the three colour pigments and showed that colour blindness is caused simply by the absence of one of them. Wald became professor emeritus at Harvard in 1977.

George Wald was born in New York City on November 18th, 1906, of immigrant parents, Isaac, who had come from a village near Przemysl, in what was then Austrian Poland, and Ernestine Rosenmann, from a small village near Munich, in Bavaria. After attending public primary and secondary I schools in Brooklyn, he received the degree of Bachelor of Science from Washington Square College of New York University in 1927; and then took graduate work in zoology at Columbia University, from which he received the Ph.D. in 1932. During this graduate period he was a student and research assistant of Professor Selig Hecht.

On receiving the Ph. D. he was awarded a National Research Council Fellowship in Biology (1932-1934). This was begun in the laboratory of Otto Warburg in Berlin-Dahlem and it was there that Dr.Wald first identified vitamin A in the retina. Vitamin A had just been isolated in the laboratory of Professor Paul Karrer in Zurich, and Dr. Wald went to Karrer’s laboratory to complete the identification. That done, he spent a period in the laboratory of Otto Meyerhof, at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Heidelberg. The second year of the fellowship was spent in the laboratories of the Department of Physiology at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Wald came to Harvard in the fall of 1934 as a tutor in Biochemical Sciences and has been there ever since; as Instructor and Tutor in Biology (1935-1939); Faculty Instructor (1939-1944); Associate Professor (1944-1948); and Professor of Biology (since 1948). He was visiting Professor of Biochemistry at the University of California for the summer term, 1956.

In 1939 Dr. Wald received the Eli Lilly Award for «Fundamental Research in Biochemistry» from the American Chemical Society. In 1952 he toured the Southwest as a National Sigma Xi lecturer. In 1953 he received the Lasker Award of the American Public Health Association «in recognition of his outstanding discoveries in biochemistry with special reference to the changes associated with vision and the function of vitamin A».In 1955 he was awarded the Proctor Medal of the Association for Research in Ophthalmology, and in 1959 the Rumford Medal by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1966 he was awarded the Ives Medal of the Optical Society of America; and in May, 1967, jointly with his wife Ruth Hubbard, the Paul Karrer Medal by the University of Zurich. In 1967 he was awarded the T. Duckett Jones Memorial Award from the Whitney Foundation.

Dr. Wald was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1950 and to the American Philosophical Society in 1958. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston, and of the Optical Society of America. In 1963-1964 he was a Guggenheim Fellow, spending the year at Cambridge University, England.

In 1957 Dr. Wald received the honorary degree of M. D. from the University of Berne; in 1958 an honorary D. Sc. from Yale University; in 1962 honorary D. Sc. from Wesleyan University; in 1965 honorary D. Sc. from New York University; in 1966 honorary D. Sc. from McGill Univ.; 1968 D. Sc. from Clark Univ. and from Amherst College.

Dr. Wald is a member of the American Society of Biological Chemists; the Optical Society of America; the Assoc. for Research in Ophthalmology; Sigma Xi; American Chemical Society; and the A.A.A.S.

George Wald died on April 12, 1997.

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#994 Today 00:03:50

ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

958) Luis Alvarez

Luis Alvarez, in full Luis Walter Alvarez, also called Luis W. Alvarez, (born June 13, 1911, San Francisco, California, U.S.—died September 1, 1988, Berkeley, California), American experimental physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1968 for work that included the discovery of many resonance particles (subatomic particles having extremely short lifetimes and occurring only in high-energy nuclear collisions).

Alvarez studied physics at the University of Chicago (B.S., 1932; M.S., 1934; Ph.D., 1936). He joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, in 1936, becoming professor of physics in 1945 and professor emeritus in 1978. In 1938 Alvarez discovered that some radioactive elements decay by orbital-electron capture; i.e., an orbital electron merges with its nucleus, producing an element with an atomic number smaller by one. In 1939 he and Felix Bloch made the first measurement of the magnetic moment of the neutron, a characteristic of the strength and direction of its magnetic field.

Alvarez worked on microwave radar research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (1940–43), and participated in the development of the atomic bomb at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 1944–45. He suggested the technique for detonating the implosion type of atomic bomb. He also participated in the development of microwave beacons, linear radar antennas, the ground-controlled landing approach system, and a method for aerial bombing using radar to locate targets. After World War II Alvarez helped construct the first proton linear accelerator. In this accelerator, electric fields are set up as standing waves within a cylindrical metal “resonant cavity,” with drift tubes suspended along the central axis. The electric field is zero inside the drift tubes, and, if their lengths are properly chosen, the protons cross the gap between adjacent drift tubes when the direction of the field produces acceleration and are shielded by the drift tubes when the field in the tank would decelerate them. The lengths of the drift tubes are proportional to the speeds of the particles that pass through them. In addition to this work, Alvarez also developed the liquid hydrogen bubble chamber in which subatomic particles and their reactions are detected.

In about 1980 Alvarez helped his son, the geologist Walter Alvarez, publicize Walter’s discovery of a worldwide layer of clay that has a high iridium content and which occupies rock strata at the geochronological boundary between the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras (i.e., about 65.5 million years ago). They postulated that the iridium had been deposited following the impact on Earth of an asteroid or comet and that the catastrophic climatic effects of this massive impact caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Though initially controversial, this widely publicized theory gradually gained support as the most plausible explanation of the abrupt demise of the dinosaurs.

Alvarez’s autobiography, Alvarez: Adventures of a Physicist, was published in 1987.

Luis W. Alvarez was born in San Francisco, Calif., on June 13, 1911. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Chicago in 1932, a M.Sc. in 1934, and his Ph.D. in 1936. Dr. Alvarez joined the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California, where he is now a professor, as a research fellow in 1936. He was on leave at the Radiation Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1940 to 1943, at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago in 1943-1944, and at the Los Alamos Laboratory of the Manhattan District from 1944 to 1945.

Early in his scientific career, Dr. Alvarez worked concurrently in the fields of optics and cosmic rays. He is co-discoverer of the “East-West effect” in cosmic rays. For several years he concentrated his work in the field of nuclear physics. In 1937 he gave the first experimental demonstration of the existence of the phenomenon of K-electron capture by nuclei. Another early development was a method for producing beams of very slow neutrons. This method subsequently led to a fundamental investigation of neutron scattering in ortho- and para-hydrogen, with Pitzer, and to the first measurement, with Bloch, of the magnetic moment of the neutron. With Wiens, he was responsible for the production of the first 198Hg lamp; this device was developed by the Bureau of Standards into its present form as the universal standard of length. Just before the war, Alvarez and Cornog discovered the radioactivity of 3H (tritium) and showed that 3He was a stable constituent of ordinary helium. (Tritium is best known as a source of thermonuclear energy, and 3He has become of importance in low temperature research.)

During the war (at M.I.T.) he was responsible for three important radar systems – the microwave early warning system, the Eagle high altitude bombing system, and a blind landing system of civilian as well as military value (GCA, or Ground-Controlled Approach). While at the Los Alamos Laboratory, Professor Alvarez developed the detonators for setting off the plutonium bomb. He flew as a scientific observer at both the Almagordo and Hiroshima explosions.

Dr. Alvarez is responsible for the design and construction of the Berkeley 40-foot proton linear accelerator, which was completed in 1947. In 1951 he published the first suggestion for charge exchange acceleration that quickly led to the development of the “Tandem Van de Graaf accelerator”. Since that time, he has engaged in high-energy physics, using the 6 billion electron volt Bevatron at the University of California Radiation Laboratory. His main efforts have been concentrated on the development and use of large liquid hydrogen bubble chambers, and on the development of high-speed devices to measure and analyze the millions of photographs produced each year by the bubble-chamber complex. The net result of this work has been the discovery by Dr. Alvarez’ research group, of a large number of previously unknown efundamental particle resonances.. Since 1967 Dr. Alvarez has devoted most of this time to the study of cosmic rays, using balloons and superconducting magnets.

Professor Alvarez is a member of the following societies: National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society, American Physical Society (President 1969), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and National Academy of Engineering. In 1946 he was awarded the Collier Trophy by the National Aeronautical Association for the development of Ground – Controlled Approach. In 1953 he was awarded the John Scott Medaland Prize, by the city of Philadelphia, for the same work. In 1947 he was awarded the Medal for Merit. In 1960 he was named “California Scientist of the Year” for his research work on high-energy physics. In 1961 he was awarded the Einstein Medal for his contribution to the physical sciences. In 1963 he was awarded the Pioneer Award of the AIEEE; in 1964 he was awarded the National Medal of Science for contributions to high-energy physics, and in 1965 he received the Michelson Award. He has received the following honorary degrees: Sc.D., University of Chicago, 1967; Sc.D., Carnegie-Mellon University, 1968; Sc.D., Kenyon College, 1969.

Luis Alvarez died on September 1, 1988.

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