PDF-to-Papyrus- ThisWeekThatYear

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– 18th-24th April


J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER – Born 22nd April 1904


Julius Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist and science administrator, noted as director of the Los Alamos laboratory during development of the atomic bomb (1943-45) and as director of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1947-66). Accusations as to his loyalty and reliability as a security risk led to a government hearing that resulted the loss of his security clearance and of his position as adviser to the highest echelons of the U.S. government. The case became a cause célèbre in the world of science because of its implications concerning political and moral issues relating to the role of scientists in government.


MAX PLANCK- Born 23rd April 1858


Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck was a German theoretical physicist who studied at Munich and Berlin, where he studied under Helmholtz, Clausius and Kirchhoff and subsequently joined the faculty. He became professor of theoretical physics (1889-1926). His work on the law of thermodynamics and the distribution of radiation from a black body led him to abandon classical Newtonian principles and introduce the quantum theory (1900), for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1918. This assumes that energy is not infinitely subdivisible, but ultimately exists as discrete amounts he called quanta (Latin, “how much”). Further, the energy carried by a quantum depends in direct proportion to the frequency of its source radiation.




Indian satellite  19th April


In 1975, the first satellite built in India was launched from Volgograd Launch Station, Russia, on a Soviet Intercosmos C-1 rocket. It was named Aryabhata, after a noted 5th-century Indian mathematician. The 360-kg satellite had been built during 20 months by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Peenya, Bangalore, by a team led by Prof. U. R. Rao. Its shape was a 26-sided polygon, 1.4-m diam., with all faces covered in solar cells, except the top and bottom. It was designed to carry out experiments in X-ray astronomy, aeronomics, and solar physics, communicating with a 46-watt VHF transmitter. However, after only 4 days in orbit, a power failure ended any further experiments. It remained in orbit nearly 17 years, until it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on 11 Feb 1992.

First Space Station  19th April


In 1971, Salyut 1 (DOS 1) was launched on a Proton rocket by the Soviet Union. Although primitive, having only a single main module, it was the first space station ever in Earth orbit. Its first crew launched in Soyuz 10 but was unable to board the space station due to a failure in the docking mechanism. The second crew arrived in Soyuz 11 and remained on board for 23 productive days. Tragically, a pressure-equalization valve in the Soyuz 11 reentry capsule opened prematurely when the crew returned to Earth, killing all three. Salyut 1 reentered Earth’s atmosphere 11 Oct 1971. Six more Salyut stations followed in the Soviet program, leading up to the launch of space station Mir on 20 Feb 1986

Radium  20th April


In 1902, Pierre and Marie Curie isolated one gram of radium, the first sample of the radioactive element. They had refined it from eight tons of pitchblende ore.

Pasteurization  20th April


In 1862, the first test of pasteurization was completed by Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard. Jars, sealed since 3 Mar, were opened at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences. They containing dog’s blood and urine that had been maintained at an elevated temperature of 30ºC. Neither liquid showed observable decay or fermentation. This suggested the possibility of heating foods sufficiently to kill germs without significantly altering their chemical composition. Pasteurization was applied by brewers. By heating the finished beer to above 160ºF, to kill harmful bacteria, a germ-free beer could be produced which did not require constant refrigeration for lengthy shipment or storage. It also came to be used for milk and other products.

Eastman Kodak 24th April


In 1888, the Eastman Kodak company was formed by inventor George Eastman to sell his revolutionary new easily-portable box camera (patent issued 4 Sep 1888) using roll film he had introduced since 26 Mar 1885. These he mass-produced so that now anyone – without needing special skills – could take photographs of family, events, outdoors and vacation trips.


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