Bunsen Burner Day

Bunsen Burner Day takes place annually on30 March to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen who was born 30 March 1811. After attending school in Holzminden, Bunsen matriculated at Göttingen in 1828 and studied chemistry with Friedrich Stromeyer as well as mineralogy with Johann Friedrich Ludwig Hausmann and mathematics with Carl Friedrich Gaus After obtaining a PhD in 1831, Bunsen spent 1832 and 1833 traveling in Germany, France, and Austria; and net many scientists along the way including Friedlieb Runge (who discovered aniline and in 1819 isolated caffeine), Justus von Liebig in Giessen, and Eilhard Mitscherlich in Bonn

In 1833 Bunsen became a lecturer at Göttingen and began experimental studies of the (in)solubility of metal salts of arsenous acid. His discovery of the use of iron oxide hydrate as a precipitating agent is still today the most effective antidote against arsenic poisoning. This interdisciplinary research was carried on and published in conjunction with the physician Arnold Adolph Berthold. In 1836, Bunsen succeeded Friedrich Wöhler at the Polytechnic School of Kassel (German: Baugewerkschule Kassel). Bunsen taught there for three years, and then accepted an associate professorship at the University of Marburg, where he continued his studies on cacodyl derivatives. He was promoted to full professorship in 1841. While at University of Marburg, Bunsen participated in the 1846 expedition for the investigation of Iceland’s volcanoes.

Bunsen’s work brought him quick and wide acclaim, partly because cacodyl, which is extremely toxic and undergoes spontaneous combustion in dry air, is so difficult to work with. Bunsen almost died from arsenic poisoning, and an explosion with cacodyl cost him sight in his right eye. In 1841, Bunsen created the Bunsen cell battery, using a carbon electrode instead of the expensive platinum electrode used in William Robert Grove’s electrochemical cell. Early in 1851 he accepted a professorship at the University of Breslau.

In late 1852 Bunsen became the successor of Leopold Gmelin at the University of Heidelberg. There he used electrolysis to produce pure metals, such as chromium, magnesium, aluminum, manganese, sodium, barium, calcium and lithium. A long collaboration with Henry Enfield Roscoe began in 1852, in which they studied the photochemical formation of hydrogen chloride (HCl) from hydrogen and chlorine. From this work, the reciprocity law of Bunsen and Roscoe originated. He discontinued his work with Roscoe in 1859 and joined Gustav Kirchhoff to study emission spectra of heated elements, a research area called spectrum analysis. For this work, Bunsen and his laboratory assistant, Peter Desaga, had perfected a special gas burner by 1855, which was influenced by earlier models. The newer design of Bunsen and Desaga, which provided a very hot and clean flame, is now called simply the “Bunsen burner”, a common laboratory equipment.

In 1859, Kirchhoff suggested that Bunsen should try to form prismatic spectra of the colors of heated elements colors. So Kirchhoff and Bunsen created a prototype spectroscope. Using it, they were able to identify the characteristic spectra of sodium, lithium, and potassium. Bunsen proved that highly pure samples gave unique spectra. Using this method he also detected previously unknown new blue spectral emission lines in samples of mineral water from Dürkheim. This indicated the existence of an undiscovered chemical element which he named “caesium”, after the Latin word for deep blue. The following year he also discovered rubidium, by a similar process. In 1860, Bunsen was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for his Pioneering work in the field of Photochemistry organoarsenic chemistry and Scientific Research. The Bunsen–Kirchhoff Award for spectroscopy is also named after Bunsen and Kirchhoff.

Albert Einstein

German-born theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, Albert Einstein was born this day March 14th, 1879 in Ulm, in the Kingdom of Württemberg in the German Empire. He is Often regarded as the father of modern physics and was one of the most prolific intellects in human history, and is best known for developing the theory of general relativity, E = mc2, which was revolutionary in physics. For this achievement he receiv ed the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”. The latter being pivotal in establishing quantum theory within physics. Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe as a whole.

He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, and did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He settled in the U.S., becoming a citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he helped alert President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Germany might be developing an atomic weapon, and recommended that the U.S. begin similar research; this eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein was in support of defending the Allied forces, but denounced using the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon. Later, together with Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. Einstein was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.

During his life Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His great intelligence and originality have made the word “Einstein” synonymous with genius. In 1922, Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics, “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”. This refers to his 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect, “On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light”, which was well supported by the experimental evidence of that time. The presentation speech began by mentioning “his theory of relativity which had been the subject of lively debate in philosophical circles and also has astrophysical implications.

Einstein also won many awards for his work, including the he Max Planck medal of the German Physical Society In 1929, for extraordinary achievements in theoretical physics. In 1936, Einstein was also awarded the Franklin Institute’s Franklin Medal for his extensive work on relativity and the photo-electric effect. The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics also named 2005 the “World Year of Physics” in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the publication of the annus mirabilis papers. The Albert Einstein Science Park is located on the hill Telegrafenberg in Potsdam, Germany. The best known building in the park is the Einstein Tower which has a bronze bust of Einstein at the entrance. The Tower is an astrophysical observatory that was built to perform checks of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity.

The Albert Einstein Memorial in central Washington, D.C. is a monumental bronze statue depicting Einstein seated with manuscript papers in hand. The statue, commissioned in 1979, is located in a grove of trees at the southwest corner of the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences on Constitution Avenue. In 1999 Time magazine named Albert Einstein the Person of the Century, ahead of Mahatma Gandhi and Franklin Roosevelt, among others. In the words of a biographer, “to the scientifically literate and the public at large, Einstein is synonymous with genius”. Also in 1999, an opinion poll of 100 leading physicists ranked Einstein the “greatest physicist ever”. A Gallup poll recorded him as the fourth most admired person of the 20th century in the U.S. In 1990, his name was added to the Walhalla temple for “laudable and distinguished Germans”, which is located east of Regensburg, in Bavaria, Germany. The United States Postal Service also honoured Einstein with a Prominent Americans series (1965–1978) 8¢ postage stamp and In 2008, Einstein was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Pi Day

Pi Day takes place annually on 14 March. It commemorates the mathematical constant Pi (3.14) and is celebrated on the 3rd Month 14th Day since 3, 1 and 4 are the three most significant digits of pi in the decimal form. Pi refers to the ratio of the circumference of a circle in relation to the diameter of a Circle with The circumference being 3.14 times greater than the diameter of a circle.

In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations. There are many ways of observing Pi Day. These include eating pie, discussing the significance of the number Pi and more recently watching Life Of Pi.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has often mailed its application decision letters to prospective students for delivery on Pi Day. Starting in 2012, MIT has announced it will post those decisions (privately) online on Pi Day at exactly 6:28 pm, which they have called “Tau Time”, to honor the rival numbers Pi and Tau equally. The town of Princeton, New Jersey also hosts numerous events in a combined celebration of Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday, which is also March 14. Einstein lived in Princeton for more than twenty years while working at the Institute for Advanced Study. In addition to pie eating and recitation contests, there is also an annual Einstein look-alike contest.

More International and National events taking place 14 March

  • Genius Day – Genius Day takes place annually on 14 March to commemorate the birth of Scientist Albert Einstein
  • International Ask a Question Day
  • National Children’s Craft Day
  • National Potato Chip Day
  • National Workplace Napping Day

Professor Stephen Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA

English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA sadly died 14 March 2018. He was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford to Frank and Isobel Hawking His mother was Scottish. Despite their families’ financial constraints, both parents attended the University of Oxford, where Frank read medicine and Isobel read Philosophy, Politics and Economic. The two met shortly after the beginning of the Second World War at a medical research institute where Isobel was working as a secretary and Frank was working as a medical researcher. They lived in Highgate; but, as London was being bombed in those years, Isobel went to Oxford to give birth in greater safety. Hawking had two younger sisters, Philippa and Mary, and an adopted brother, Edward.

Hawking began his schooling at the Byron House School in Highgate, London. In 1948 Hawking attended St Albans High School for Girls for a few months. In 1950, Hawking’s father became head of the division of parasitology at the National Institute for Medical Research, so Hawking and his family moved to St Albans, Hertfordshire where they were considered highly intelligent and somewhat eccentric. Hawking then attended Radlett School, an independent school in the village of Radlett in Hertfordshire, for a year and from September 1952, St Albans Independent School, in St Albans in Hertfordshire. Hawking’s father wanted his son to attend the well-regarded Westminster School, but the 13-year-old Hawking was ill on the day of the scholarship examination. His family could not afford the school fees without the financial aid of a scholarship, so Hawking remained at St Albans, during 1958 Hawking and his friends built a computer from clock parts, an old telephone switchboard and other recycled component, with the help of the mathematics teacher Dikran Tahta. Hawking was known at school as “Einstein” and, inspired by Tahta, decided to read mathematics at university.

Hawking’s father wanted his son to attend University College, Oxford, his own alma mater. As it was not possible to read mathematics there at the time, Hawking decided to study physics and chemistry And was awarded a scholarship in March 1959 and Hawking began his university education at University College, Oxford in October 1959 at the age of 17 under physics tutor, Robert Berman. during his second and third year Hawking made more of an effort “to be one of the boys”. He developed into a popular, lively and witty college member, interested in classical music and science fiction. He also joined the college boat club, the University College Boat Club, where he coxed a rowing crew. Hawking only studied about 1,000 hours during his three years at Oxford which made his final exams a challenge, so he decided to answer only theoretical physics questions rather than those requiring factual knowledge. A first-class honours degree was a condition of acceptance for his planned graduate study in cosmology at the University of Cambridge. The final result was on the borderline between first- and second-class honours, making a viva (oral examination) necessary. Hawking received a first-class BA (Hons.) degree in natural science and completing a trip to Iran with a friend, he began his graduate work at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in October 1962

During Hawking’s first year as a doctoral student He was assigned Dennis William Sciama, one of the founders of modern cosmology, as a supervisor rather than noted astronomer Fred Hoyle. Hawking was then diagnosed with a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Following the diagnosis Hawking fell into a depression – though his doctors advised that he continue with his studies, he felt there was little point. His disease progressed more slowly than doctors had predicted. Although Hawking had difficulty walking unsupported, and his speech was almost unintelligible, an initial diagnosis that he had only two years to live proved unfounded. With Sciama’s encouragement, he returned to his work. Hawking started developing a reputation for brilliance and brashness when he publicly challenged the work of Fred Hoyle and his student Jayant Narlikar at a lecture in June 1964.

When Hawking began his graduate studies, there was much debate in the physics community concerning the creation of the universe: the Big Bang and Steady State theory Inspired by Roger Penrose’s theorem of a spacetime singularity in the centre of black holes, Hawking applied the same thinking to the entire universe; and, during 1965, he wrote his thesis on this topic.Hawking received a research fellowship at Gonville and Caius College he obtained his PhD degree in applied mathematics and theoretical physics, specialising in general relativity and cosmology, in March 1966 and his essay titled “Singularities and the Geometry of Space-Time” shared top honours with one by Penrose to win that year’s prestigious Adams Prize. His scientific works include a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

In his work, and in collaboration with Penrose, Hawking extended the singularity theorem concepts first explored in his doctoral thesis. This included not only the existence of singularities but also the theory that the universe might have started as a singularity. Their joint essay was the runner-up in the 1968 Gravity Research Foundation competition. In 1970 they published a proof that if the universe obeys the general theory of relativity and fits any of the models of physical cosmology developed by Alexander Friedmann, then it must have begun as a singularity. In 1969, Hawking accepted a specially created Fellowship for Distinction in Science to remain at Caius.

In 1970, Hawking postulated what became known as the second law of black hole dynamics, that the event horizon of a black hole can never get smaller. With James M. Bardeen and Brandon Carter, he proposed the four laws of black hole mechanics, drawing an analogy with thermodynamics. However Jacob Bekenstein, a graduate student of John Wheeler, went even further—and ultimately correctly—to apply thermodynamic concepts literally. Hawking’s work with Carter, Werner Israel and David C. Robinson strongly supported Wheeler’s no-hair theorem, one that states that no matter what the original material from which a black hole is created, it can be completely described by the properties of mass, electrical charge and rotation. His essay titled “Black Holes” won the Gravity Research Foundation Award in January 1971. Hawking’s first book, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, written with George Ellis, was published in 1973. Inspired by a visit to Moscow and discussions with Yakov Borisovich Zel’dovich and Alexei Starobinsky, Hawking began studying quantum gravity and quantum mechanics. His work in this area showed that according to the uncertainty principle, rotating black holes emit particles and the results of his calculations contradicted his second law, which claimed black holes could never get smaller and supported Bekenstein’s results which show that black holes emit radiation, known today as Hawking radiation. The discovery was widely accepted as a significant breakthrough in theoretical physics.


In 1974 Hawking was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) a few weeks after the announcement of Hawking radiation becoming one of the youngest scientists to become a Fellow. In 1970 Hawking was appointed to the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished visiting professorship at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and worked with a friend Kip Thorne, at the faculty, with whom he discussed whether the X-ray source Cygnus X-1 was a black hole.Hawking returned to Cambridge in 1975 as reader in gravitational physics and was regularly interviewed for print and television. He also received increasing academic recognition of his work. In 1975, he was awarded both the Eddington Medal and the Pius XI Gold Medal, and in 1976 the Dannie Heineman Prize, the Maxwell Prize and the Hughes Medal. In 1977 He was appointed a professor with a chair in gravitational physics and received the Albert Einstein Medal and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1978. Hawking was also elected Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge where his first lecture was: “Is the End in Sight for Theoretical Physics?” and proposed N=8 Supergravity as the leading theory to solve many of the outstanding problems physicists were studying. In 1981, he proposed that information in a black hole is irretrievably lost when a black hole evaporates however this contradicts a fundamental tenet of quantum mechanics.

The theory of Cosmological inflation which proposed that following the Big Bang, the universe initially expanded incredibly rapidly before settling down to a slower expansion – was proposed by Alan Guth and also developed by Andrei Ling. In 1981, Hawking and Gary Gibbons organised a three-week Nuffield Workshop in the summer of 1982 on “The Very Early Universe” at Cambridge University, which focused on inflation theory Hawking also began a new line of quantum theory research into the origin of the universe. In 1981 at a Vatican conference, he presented work suggesting that there might be no boundary to the universe, Hawking was also awarded the American Franklin Medal, and in the 1982 New Year Honours appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

He subsequently developed the research in collaboration with Jim Hartle, and in 1983 they published a model, known as the Hartle–Hawking state. It proposed that prior to the Planck epoch, the universe had no boundary in space-time; before the Big Bang, time did not exist and the concept of the beginning of the universe is meaningless. The initial singularity of the classical Big Bang models was replaced with a region akin to the North Pole. One cannot travel north of the North Pole, but there is no boundary there – it is simply the point where all north-running lines meet and end. Hawking did not rule out the existence of a Creator, asking in A Brief History of Time “Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence? In his early work, Hawking spoke of God in a metaphorical sense. In A Brief History of Time he wrote: “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason. He also suggested that the existence of God was not necessary to explain the origin of the universe, however the existence of God was also compatible with an open universe. In1985 Hawking published a paper theorising that if the no-boundary proposition were correct, then time would run backwards if the universe stopped expanding and collapsed. However He later withdrew this concept following the publication of a paper by Don Page and independent calculations by Raymond Laflamme.

In 1988 Hawking published a successful and very informative book Entitled “A Brief history of time” Which explained his ideas and theories clearly in non-technical language. It appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks And led both Newsweek and a television special to describe Hawking as “Master of the Universe”. He received further academic recognition, including five more honorary degrees, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1985), the Paul Dirac Medal and, jointly with Penrose, the prestigious Wolf Prize. In the 1989 Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Companion of Honour (CH). Hawking was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009.

Hawking pursued his work in physics: in 1993 he co-edited a book on Euclidean quantum gravity with Gary Gibbons and published a collected edition of his own articles on black holes and the Big Bang. In1994, Hawking and Penrose delivered a series of six lectures at the Cambridge’s Newton Institute, which were published in 1996 as “The Nature of Space and Time”. In 1997, he conceded a 1991 public scientific wager made with Kip Thorne and John Preskill of Caltech concerning “cosmic censorship conjecture”. Hawking later specified that such singularities would occur without extra conditions and made a bet concerning the black hole information paradox. Thorne and Hawking argued that since general relativity made it impossible for black holes to radiate and lose information, the mass-energy and information carried by Hawking radiation must be “new”, and not from inside the black hole event horizon. However this contradicted the quantum mechanics of microcausality, which suggests that the information emitted by a black hole was from inside the black hole event horizon.

A film version of A Brief History of Time, directed by Errol Morris and produced by Steven Spielberg, premiered in 1992. A popular-level collection of essays, interviews, and talks titled Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays was published in 1993 and a six-part television series Stephen Hawking’s Universe focussing entirely on science appeared in 1997. With a companion book. Hawking continued to write publishing The Universe in a Nutshell in 2001,and A Briefer History of Time, in 2005 with Leonard Mlodinow to update his earlier works with the aim of making them accessible to a wider audience, and God Created the Integers,in 2006. Hawking then developed a theory of “top-down cosmology”, with Thomas Hertog at CERN and Jim Hartle. This states that the universe had not one unique initial state but many different ones, and therefore that it is inappropriate to formulate a theory that predicts the universe’s current configuration from one particular initial state. It also posits that the present “selects” the past from a superposition of many possible histories. In doing so, the theory suggests a possible resolution of the fine-tuning question. Hawking continued to travel widely, travelling to Chile, Easter Island, South Africa, Spain (to receive the Fonseca Prize in 2008, Canada and the United States.

By 2003, Many physicists thought Hawking was wrong about Black Holes, so In a 2004 lecture in Dublin Hawking described his own, somewhat controversial solution to the information paradox problem, postulating that black holes have more than one topology. In his 2005 paper he argued that the information paradox was explained by examining all the alternative histories of universes, with the information loss in those with black holes being cancelled out by those without such loss. Hawking also emphatically argued, that the Higgs boson would never be found. The particle was proposed to exist as part of the Higgs field theory by Peter Higgs in 1964. Hawking and Higgs engaged in a heated and public debate over the matter in 2002 and again in 2008 until The particle was discovered in July 2012 at CERN following construction of the Large Hadron Collider, and Higgs subsequently won the Nobel Prize for Physics, in 2013 for his discovery

In 2007, Hawking and his daughter Lucy published George’s Secret Key to the Universe, a children’s book designed to explain theoretical physics in an accessible fashion and featuring characters similar to those in the Hawking familyThe book was followed by sequels in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Following a 1002 UK-wide vote, the BBC included Hawking in their list of the 100 Greatest Britons. He was awarded the Copley Medal from the Royal Society, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is America’s highest civilian honour and the Russian Special Fundamental Physics Prize. Several buildings have been named after him, including the Stephen W. Hawking Science Museum in San Salvador, El Salvador, the Stephen Hawking Building in Cambridge, and the Stephen Hawking Centre at the Perimeter Institute in Canada. Appropriately, given Hawking’s association with time, he unveiled the mechanical “Chronophage” (or time-eating) Corpus Clock at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in September 2008.

During his career, Hawking supervised 39 successful PhD students. Hawking retired as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 2009 and worked as director of research at the Cambridge University Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. In 2009 Hawking held a party open to all, complete with hors d’oeuvres and iced champagne, as a tongue-in-cheek test of his 1992 conjecture that travel into the past is effectively impossible, but only publicized it afterwards. In 2015, Hawking helped launch Breakthrough Initiatives, an effort to search for extraterrestrial life. Hawking created Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth, a documentary on space colonisation, as a 2017 episode of Tomorrow’s World. In 2017, Hawking was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Imperial College London.

Olga Ladyzhenska

Russian mathematician Olga Aleksandrovna Ladyzhenska Was born 7 March 1922 in Kologriv. She was the daughter of a mathematics teacher who is credited with her early inspiration and love of mathematics. The artist Gennady Ladyzhensky was her grandfather’s brother, also born in this town. In 1937 her father was arrested by the NKVD and executed as an “enemy of the people”. Ladyzhenskaya completed high school in 1939, but due to her father’s status was not admitted to Leningrad University.

However She was Admitted to Moscow University in 1943, and was a was a student of Ivan Petrovsk. Ladyzhenskaya graduated from Moscow University in 1947 and presented her doctoral thesis in 1953. She went on to teach at the university in Leningrad and at the Steklov Institute.

She was known for her work on partial differential equations (especially Hilbert’s nineteenth problem) and fluid dynamics. She provided the first rigorous proofs of the convergence of a finite difference method for the Navier–Stokes equations. Hilbert’s nineteenth problem is one of the 23 Hilbert problems, set out in a list compiled in 1900 by David Hilbert. It asks whether the solutions of regular problems in the calculus of variations are always analytic. Informally, and perhaps less directly, since Hilbert’s concept of a “regular variational problem” identifies precisely a variational problem whose Euler–Lagrange equation is an elliptic partial differential equation with analytic coefficients. Hilbert’s nineteenth problem, despite its seemingly technical statement, simply asks whether, in this class of partial differential equations, any solution function inherits the relatively simple and well understood structure from the solved equation.

Thanks to her work in Partial Differential Equations Ladyzhenskaya was shortlisted as a potential recipient for the 1958 Fields Medal. However this was ultimately awarded to Klaus Roth and René Thom, although She was  awarded the Lomonosov Gold Medal in 2002. Ladyzhenska sadly died 12 January 2004 however due to her work in Partial Differential Equations she is considered one of the most influential thinkers of her generation

Sir Patrick Moore

Writer, Amateur Astronomer and Television personality Sir Patrick Moore CBE FRS FRAS was Born 4 March 1923, in Pinner, Middlesex, on March 4 1923. He was the son of Captain Charles Caldwell-Moore, MC. Later the family moved to Sussex, where Patrick was to live for the rest of his life. He was educated at home owing to ill health, and wrote his first scientific paper at the age of 13 — his chosen subject was the features in a lunar crater he had seen through a small telescope. At the end of 1941 he joined the RAF to train for aircrew duties during World War II; however his fiancée was killed by a bomb during the war. During 1943 left for Canada for training as a navigator, was commissioned in June 1944 and completed his training at a bomber conversion unit at Lossiemouth in northern Scotland. However due to epilepsy, was declared medically unfit for further flying duties and He left the Service in 1947.
From 1952 he was a freelance writer until One day in 1957 the BBC broadcast a somewhat sensationalist programme about flying saucers. Producers wanted a counterview by a “thoroughly reactionary and sceptical astronomer who knew some science and could talk”, consequently The Sky at Night was born, and it went on to become the world’s longest-running television series with the same original presenter & attracted millions of viewers. Moore’s Idiosyncrasies such as his rapid diction and monocle made him a popular and instantly recognisable figure on British television, where he became celebrated for the thunderous fervour with which he would utter the words: “We just don’t know!” to emphasise that our comprehension of the universe is incomplete.

The secret of the program’s success lay not only in his tremendous learnedness but also in his gusto and humour & he soon attained a prominent status as a writer, researcher, radio commentator and television presenter and did more than anyone, with the possible exception of Arthur C Clarke, to educate the British public about astronomy and space travel. He would also happily appear on chat shows, quiz shows and comedy shows, among them The Goodies; Morecambe and Wise; Blankety Blank, and Have I Got News For You. He even starred in digitised form on the children’s video game show GamesMaster. Moore was also a connoisseur of music, and sometimes played a xylophone on television. He also wrote the score for an opera about Theseus and the Minotaur. He was also a keen sportsman and proved a demon spin bowler on the Cricket Pitch. He also played golf and once at his local course set a club record – of 231, including a 43 on the third hole. Chess was another passion (he often carried with him a pocket chess set) and even dabbled in politics.

In 1982 he wrote a humorous but inflammatory book called “Bureaucrats: How to Annoy Them”. It advised that imposing a thin layer of candle grease on those parts of a form marked “for official use only” would prevent the recipient from writing anything and probably drive him mad. “Useful when dealing with the Inland Revenue,” said Moore. He was also A keen pipe smoker & was elected Pipeman of the Year in 1983. In addition to his many popular science books, he wrote numerous works of fiction. Moore was an opponent of fox hunting, an outspoken critic of the European Union and served as chairman of the short-lived anti-immigration United Country Party. After his fiancee was killed during World War II, he never married or had children.

Moore was also a former president of the British Astronomical Association, co-founder and former president of the Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA), author of over 70 books most of them about astronomy, As an amateur astronomer, he became known as a specialist on observing the Moon and creating the Caldwell catalogue. In 2002 Moore was appointed honorary vice-president of the Society for the History of Astronomy. He also won a Bafta for his services to television. He also continued to publish books to the end of his life. Recent titles include Patrick Moore on the Moon (2000, new edition 2006); The Data Book of Astronomy (2001); Patrick Moore: the autobiography (2005); Asteroid (with Arthur C Clarke, 2005); Stars of Destiny (2005); Ancient Lights (2008); and Can You Play Cricket on Mars? (2009).
This year alone he published Astronomy with a Budget Telescope: An Introduction to Practical Observing; The Sky at Night: Answers to Questions from Across the Universe; Miaow!: Cats really are nicer than people!; and The New Astronomy Guide: Star Gazing in the Digital Age. He was appointed OBE in 1968, CBE in 1988 and knighted in 2001. In 1982 a minor planet was named after him by the International Astronomical Union. He also held the posts of president of the British Astronomical Association and director of the Armagh Planetarium in Northern Ireland. Yet the Royal Society refused to elect him as a Fellow — one of their number declared that he had committed the ultimate sin of “making science popular”. In 2001, however, he was elected to an honorary Fellowship. Sadly Moore Passed away 9th December 2012 aged 89 however he leaves a rich legacy and is fondly remembered by many.

Heinrich Hertz

Pioneering German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was born February 22, in 1857. He expanded on the electromagnetic theory of light which had been put forth by Maxwell & was the first to prove the existence of electromagnetic waves by engineering instruments to transmit and receive radio pulses using experimental procedures that eliminated other known wireless phenomena. He studied at the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums in Hamburg, and showed an aptitude for sciences as well as languages, learning Arabic and Sanskrit. He also studied sciences and engineering in the German cities of Dresden, Munich and Berlin, where he studied under Gustav R. Kirchhoff and Hermann von Helmholtz. In 1880, Hertz obtained his PhD from the University of Berlin; and remained for post-doctoral study under Hermann von Helmholtz. In 1883, Hertz became a lecturer in theoretical physics at the University of Kiel, and In 1885, Hertz became a full professor at the University of Karlsruhe where he discovered electromagnetic waves. The most dramatic prediction of Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism, published in 1865, was the existence of electromagnetic waves moving at the speed of light, and the conclusion that light itself was just such a wave. This challenged experimentalists to generate and detect electromagnetic radiation using some form of electrical apparatus.

The first clearly successful attempt was made by Heinrich Hertz in 1886. For his radio wave transmitter he used a high voltage induction coil, a condenser (capacitor, Leyden jar) and a spark gap — whose poles on either side are formed by spheres of 2 cm radius — to cause a spark discharge between the spark gap’s poles oscillating at a frequency determined by the values of the capacitor and the induction coil. Hertz also had a deep interest in meteorology probably derived from his contacts with Wilhelm von Bezold (who was Hertz’s professor in a laboratory course at the Munich Polytechnic in the summer of 1878). Hertz, however, did not contribute much to the field himself except some early articles as an assistant to Helmholtz in Berlin, including research on the evaporation of liquids, a new kind of hygrometer, and a graphical means of determining the properties of moist air when subjected to adiabatic changes.

Between 1886 and 1889, Hertz published two articles on the field of contact mechanics and is well known for his contributions to the field of electrodynamics, his two papers were a source for some important ideas and established that contact mechanics is of immense importance. His work basically summarises how two axi-symmetric objects placed in contact will behave under loading, he obtained results based upon the classical theory of elasticity and continuum mechanics. In 1886, Hertz developed the Hertz antenna receiver, He also developed a transmitting type of dipole antenna for transmitting UHF radio waves. In 1887, Hertz experimented with radio waves in his laboratory. These actions followed Michelson’s 1881 experiment, which did not detect the existence of aether drift. Hertz altered the equations to take this view into account for electromagnetism. Hertz published his work in a book titled: Electric waves: being researches on the propagation of electric action with finite velocity through space.

Sadly after undergoing surgery to treat Wegener’s granulomatosis on January 1, 1894 at the age of 36 in Bonn, Germany and was buried in Ohlsdorf, Hamburg at the Jewish cemetery. His nephew Gustav Ludwig Hertz was also a Nobel Prize winner, and Gustav’s son Carl Hellmuth Hertz invented medical ultrasonography. The SI unit hertz (Hz) was established in his honor by the IEC in 1930 for frequency, an expression of the number of times that a repeated event occurs per second. It was adopted by the CGPM (Conférence générale des poids et mesures) in 1960, officially replacing the previous name, the “cycle per second” (cps). In 1969 (East Germany), a Heinrich Hertz memorial medal was cast. The IEEE Heinrich Hertz Medal, established in 1987, is “for outstanding achievements in Hertzian waves presented annually to an individual for achievements which are theoretical or experimental in nature”. A crater on the far side of the Moon, is also named in his honor as is the The Hertz market for radioelectronics products in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The Heinrich-Hertz-Turm radio telecommunication tower in Hamburg is named after the city’s famous son. Hertz is honored by Japan with a membership in the Order of the Sacred Treasure, which has multiple layers of honor for prominent people, including scientists. Heinrich Hertz has been honored by a number of countries around the world in their postage issues, and in post-World War II times has appeared on various German stamp issues as well.