To celebrate WebAssign’s 15th anniversary, each Monday we will be bringing you 15 anniversaries in science, technology, mathematics, and education that you can look forward to throughout the week. Here are some important dates in history coming up this week:
1737 – Italian physician and physicist Luigi Galvani is born. Galvani becomes a pioneer in the study of bioelectricity when he observes that the legs of a deceased frog move when subjected to an electric spark. Prior to the research conducted by Galvani, the prevailing theory of muscle motion was balloonist theory.
1940 – A computer is operated remotely via telephone lines for the first time by American physicist and computer scientist George Stibitz.
1941 – American computer scientist Dennis Ritchie is born. Ritchie develops the programming language C. Working together with Ken Thompson, Ritchie creates the operating system UNIX. Many modern devices and operating systems are built upon the foundation set by C and UNIX.
1892 – American physicist Arthur Compton is born. Compton demonstrates that light possesses the properties of a particle via the Compton effect. The wave nature of light had been well-documented at that time, and Compton receives the Nobel prize for his demonstration of light’s dual nature. Compton later with Enrico Fermi oversees the building of the first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1.
2008 – The most powerful high-energy particle collider ever built is powered up in Geneva, Switzerland. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), who in March of 2013 tentatively announced the discovery of the Higgs boson.
1935 – Russian cosmonaut Gherman Titov is born. Titov becomes the fourth person in space, and the first case of space adaptation syndrome. Going into orbit at age twenty five, Titov is the youngest person to go into space.
1897 – French chemist Irène Joliot-Curie is born. Joliot-Curie receives the Nobel prize for the discovery of artificially induced radioactivity.
1958 – The first integrated circuit is demonstrated by American electrical engineer Jack Kilby.
1851 – American physician and biologist Walter Reed is born. Reed and his team confirm the research of Cuban physician Carlos Finlay regarding the transmission of yellow fever by the mosquito. Reed’s team’s confirmation that yellow fever is not transmitted by human-to-human contact presents new opportunities for the control and treatment of the disease.
1887 – Croatian biochemist Leopold Ružička is born. Ružička’s lab is one of the first to synthesize the sex hormones androsterone and testosterone. Ružička receives the Nobel prize for his study of these hormones.
1898 – Photographic film made from celluloid is patented by Hannibal Goodwin. This film is used in early motion pictures.
1956 – The IBM 305 RAMAC, the first computer to utilize disk storage, is unveiled by IBM.
1804 – English ornithologist John Gould is born. Gould identifies the birds that become later known as “Darwin’s finches”. Gould’s study of the differentiation of species of birds between the Galápagos Islands is one of the inspirations for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
1936 – American physician and pharmacologist Ferid Murad is born. Murad receives the Nobel prize for demonstrating that nitroglycerin dilates blood vessels by releasing nitric oxide. Nitroglycerin is later used medically to treat heart conditions such as congestive heart failure.
1959 – The Russian spacecraft Luna 2 becomes the first man-made object to reach the moon.