Here’s a Throwback-Thursday with a twist. This one comes on Wednesday. Why, you ask? Just for the heck of it.
In our blog’s this segment, we take you back in time.
We shall cover some scientists that were born and some prominent events that happened in scientific history.
Have a good read!
TIMELINE– 28th March-3rd April
ROBERT BUNSEN– Born 31st March 1811
Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen was a German chemist who, working with Gustav Kirchhoff, about 1859 observed that each element emits a light of characteristic wavelength. (These studies opened the field of spectrum analysis, important in the study of the Sun and stars.) With this tool, Bunsen soon discovered two new elements: cesium and rubidium. He developed several techniques used in separating, identifying, and measuring various chemical substances. He also made a number of improvements in chemical batteries for use in isolating quantities of pure metals, (one is known as the Bunsen battery). His Bunsen burner was created for use in flame tests of various metals and salts because its non-luminous flame did not interfere with the colored flame given off by the test material.
RENE DESCARTES- Born 27th March 1845
French philosopher and mathematician who is known as “the father of modern philosophy.” His work, La géométrie, includes his application of algebra to geometry from which we now have Cartesian geometry. During 1620-28, Descartes travelled through Europe, and then settled in Holland. Soon after, he began work on his first major treatise on physics, Le Monde, ou Traité de la Lumière. This work was near completion when news that Galileo was condemned to house arrest reached him. He decided not to publish that work during his lifetime. Later, he turned to philosophy, one of the first to oppose scholastic Aristotelianism, he began by methodically doubting knowledge based on authority, the senses, and reason. His most famous quote is “I think, therefore I am.”
THIS WEEK IN SCIENTIFIC HISTORY-
Hoyle coined “Big Bang” 28th March
In 1949, Fred Hoyle unintentionally coined the term “Big Bang” as a household name, in a scripted radio broadcast on the BBC Third Programme. His talk was printed in the The Listener (7 Apr 1949). He compared his own belief in a “steady state” universe, saying, “Earlier theories … were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.” He repeated its use in a 1950 broadcast published in The Listener (9 Mar 1950): “One [idea] was that the Universe started its life a finite time ago in a single huge explosion… This big bang idea seemed to me to be unsatisfactory.” His critics found the “big bang” term pejorative, yet Hoyle has said his intention was to make a vivid description for the radio audience. The term stuck.
Coca-Cola 29th March
In 1886, the first batch of Coca Cola was brewed over a fire in a backyard in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. John Pemberton had created the concoction as a cure for “hangover,” stomach ache and headache. He advertised it as a “brain tonic and intellectual beverage,” and first sold it to the public a few weeks later on 8 May. Coke contained cocaine as an ingredient until 1904, when the drug was banned by Congress.
Dinosaur embryo 31st March
In 1989, a 150-million-year-old fossil egg discovered in Utah was found by CAT scan to contain the oldest dinosaur embryo. The egg was still inside the mother, supposedly. Is the first known egg from the 100-million-year gap in the fossil record between Lower Jurassic (South Africa) and upper Lower Cretaceous (Utah). The discovery of the egg, which was found, mixed in with thousands of dinosaur bones rather than in a nest, the pathological multilayering of the eggshell as found in modern and fossil reptilians, and the pliable condition of the eggshell at the time of burial indicate an oviducal retention of the egg at the time of burial.
Eiffel Tower 31st March
In 1889, the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, was inaugurated, becoming the world’s tallest tower of its era. With a height of 300-m (986-ft), it remained the world’s tallest structure until surpassed by the Empire State Building, 40 years later. The designer Gustave Eiffel, 56, celebrated by unfurling a French flag at the top of the tower. The immense iron latticework design was chosen unanimously from 700 proposals submitted in a competition. Construction took from 26 Jan 1887 to 31 Mar 1889, using 300 steel workers. It was erected for the Paris Exposition of 1889, which had 1,968,287 visitors. Elevators were powered from machinery in the basements of the eastern and western pillars. « [Image: Exposition universelle de 1889 – La Tour Eiffel au Champ de Mars á Paris, engraving in La Nature.]
DNA double helix 2nd April
In 1953, the journal Nature published a paper with this date from Francis Crick and James Watson, titled Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid, in which they described a double helix structure for DNA. The diagram published with the caper was captioned, “The figure is purely diagrammatic. The two ribbons symbolize the phosphate-sugar chains, and the horizontal rods the pairs of bases holding the chains together. The vertical line marks the fiber axis.” [Image: diagram as published in Nature paper.]
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REFERENCE AND DRAFTED BY- Ishaan Patil