Rudolf Diesel

Famous for inventing the Diesel engine, the German inventor and mechanical engineer Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel was born 18 March 1858 in Paris, France. Only few weeks after his birth, Diesel was given away to a Vincennes farmer family, where he spent his first nine months. When he was returned to his family, they moved into the flat 49 in the Rue Fontaineau-Roi. When he wad young Rudolf Diesel worked in his father’s workshop delivering leather goods to customers using a barrow. He attended a Protestant-French school and soon became interested in social questions and technology. When he was 12-year-old Diesel received the Société l’Instruction Elémentaire bronze medal and had plans to enter Ecole Primaire Supérieure in 1870.

However At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian in 1870 his family was forced to leave, as were many other Germans. They settled in London, England, where Diesel attended an English school. Then Diesel’s mother sent 12-year-old Rudolf to Augsburg to live with his aunt and uncle, Barbara and Christoph Barnickel, to become fluent in German and to visit the Königliche Kreis-Gewerbeschule (Royal County Vocational College), where his uncle taught mathematics. At the age of 14, Diesel wrote a letter to his parents saying that he wanted to become an engineer. After finishing his basic education at the top of his class in 1873, he enrolled at the newly founded Industrial School of Augsburg. Two years later, he accepted a merit scholarship from the Royal Bavarian Polytechnic of Munich.

One of Diesel’s professors in Munich was Carl von Linde. Diesel was unable to graduate with his class in July 1879 because he fell ill with typhoid fever. While waiting for the next examination date, he gained practical engineering experience at the Gebrüder Sulzer Maschinenfabrik (Sulzer Brothers Machine Works) in Winterthur, Switzerland. Diesel graduated in January 1880 with highest academic honours and returned to Paris, where he assisted his former Munich professor, Carl von Linde, with the design and construction of a modern refrigeration and ice plant. Diesel became the director of the plant one year later. In 1883, Diesel married Martha Flasche, and continued to work for Linde, gaining numerous patents in both Germany and France.

In early 1890, Diesel moved to Berlin with his wife and children, Rudolf Jr, Heddy, and Eugen, to assume management of Linde’s corporate research and development department and to join several other corporate boards there. Diesel diversified beyond the field of refrigeration, and began working with steam, researching thermal efficiency and fuel efficiency leading him to build a steam engine using ammonia vapour. Sadly this exploded hospitalising him and causing long-term health problems

So Benz began designing a safer and more efficient engine based on the Carnot cycle, and in 1893, soon after Karl Benz was granted a patent for his invention of the motor car in 1886, Diesel published a treatise entitled Theorie und Konstruktion eines rationellen Wärmemotors zum Ersatz der Dampfmaschine und der heute bekannten Verbrennungsmotoren [Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat-engine to Replace the Steam Engine and The Combustion Engines Known Today] which formed the basis for his invention of the Diesel engine.

Diesel understood thermodynamics and the theoretical and practical constraints on fuel efficiency. He knew that as much as 90% of the energy available in the fuel is wasted in a steam engine. His work in engine design was driven by the goal of much higher efficiency ratios. Following his experiments with a Carnot cycle engine, he developed it further and obtained a patent for his design for a compression-ignition engine. In his engine, fuel was injected at the end of compression and the fuel was ignited by the high temperature resulting from compression. The Diesel engine has the benefit of running more fuel-efficiently than gasoline engines due to much higher compression ratios and longer duration of combustion. Diesel was interested in using coal dust or vegetable oil as fuel, and his engine was run on peanut oil. Between 1893 and 1897, Heinrich von Buz, director of MAN AG in Augsburg, gave Rudolf Diesel the opportunity to test and develop his ideas.

On the evening of 29 September 1913, Diesel boarded the GER steamer SS Dresden in Antwerp on his way to a meeting of the Consolidated Diesel Manufacturing company in London, England. He took dinner on board the ship and then retired to his cabin and was never seen alive again. Then Ten days later, the crew of the Dutch boat Coertzen came upon the corpse of a man floating in the North Sea near Norway. the crew retrieved personal items (pill case, wallet, I.D. card, pocketknife, eyeglass case) from the corpse and On 13 October, these items were identified by Rudolf’s son, Eugen Diesel, as belonging to his father. Then On 14 October 1913 it was reported that Diesel’s body was found at the mouth of the Scheldt by a boatman. Shortly after Diesel’s disappearance, his wife Martha opened a bag that her husband had given to her just before his ill-fated voyage, with directions that it should not be opened until the following week. She discovered 200,000 German marks in cash (US$1.2 million today). There are many theories concerning Diesels disappearance including suicide or murder, however evidence is limited and his disappearance and death remain unsolved.

Following Diesel’s tragic and unexplained death, his engine underwent much development and became a very important replacement for the steam piston engine in many applications. Because the Diesel engine required a heavier, more robust construction than a gasoline engine, it saw limited use in aviation. However the Diesel engine was widely used in stationary engines, agricultural machines, submarines, ships, locomotives, trucks, and in modern automobiles and thanks to his pioneering work He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1978.

Karl Marx

German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and socialist Karl Marx sadly passed away 14th March 1883. He was born 5th May 1818 into a wealthy middle class family in Trier, formerly in Prussian Rhineland now called Rhineland-Palatinate, Marx studied at both the University of Bonn and the University of Berlin, where he became interested in the German philosopher G.W.F Hegel , whose ideas were widely debated amongst European philosophical circles at the time. He became involved with a group of radical thinkers known as the Young Hegelians, who gathered around Ludwig Feuerbach and Bruno Bauer. Like Marx, the Young Hegelians were critical of Hegel’s metaphysical assumptions. In 1836, he became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, marrying her in 1843.

After his studies, he wrote for a radical newspaper in Cologne, and began to work out his theory of dialectical materialism. Moving to Paris in 1843, he began writing for other radical newspapers. He met Engels in Paris, and the two men worked together on a series of books. Exiled to Brussels, he became a leading figure of the Communist League, before moving back to Cologne, where he founded his own newspaper. In 1849 he was exiled again and moved to London together with his wife and children. In London, where the family was reduced to poverty, Marx continued writing and formulating his theories about the nature of society and how he believed it could be improved, and also campaigned for socialism—he became a significant figure in the International Working men’s Association.

Marx’s theories about society, economics and politics—collectively known as Marxism—hold that all societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class which controls production and a lower class which produces the labour for such goods. Heavily critical of the current socio-economic form of society, capitalism, he called it the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”, believing it to be run by the wealthy classes purely for their own benefit, and predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, it would inevitably produce internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system, socialism. He argued that under socialism society would be governed by the working class in what he called the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, the “workers state” or “workers’ democracy”.

He believed that socialism would, in its turn, eventually be replaced by a stateless, classless society called communism. Along with believing in the inevitability of socialism and communism, Marx actively fought for the former’s implementation, arguing that both social theorists and underprivileged people should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic change. Revolutionary socialist governments espousing Marxist concepts took power in a variety of countries in the 20th century, leading to the formation of such socialist states as the Soviet Union in 1922 and the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Many labor unions and worker’s parties worldwide were also influenced by Marxist ideas. Various theoretical variants, such as Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism and Maoism, were developed. Marx is typically cited, with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science. He published various books during his lifetime, with the most notable being The Communist Manifesto and Capital; some of his works were co-written with his friend and fellow German revolutionary socialist, Friedrich Engels.

Marx is widely thought of as one of the most influential thinkers in history, who had a significant influence on both world politics and intellectual thought, who profoundly affected ideas about history, society, economics, culture and politics, and the nature of social inquiry. Marx’s ideas brought about modern sociology, transformed the study of history, and profoundly affected philosophy, literature and the arts and played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement. Marx has also been called one of the masters of the “school of suspicion”, alongside Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud, and his ideas have led to him becoming “the darling of both European and American intellectuals up until the 1960s”.

Marx has influenced disciplines such as archaeology, anthropology, media studies, political science, theater, history, sociological theory, cultural studies, education, economics, geography, literary criticism, aesthetics, critical psychology, and philosophy. Whose ethical message was a “morally empowering language of critique” against the dominant capitalist Society and his ideas led to the establishment of governments using Marxist thought to replace capitalism with communism or socialism. His intellectual thoughts have influenced the academic study of the humanities and the arts and he has been described as one of the most influential people in human history.

More National and International events and Holidays happening 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 Hawkins 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.

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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.

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.

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.

Alexander Fleming

Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist Alexander Fleming sadly died 11 March 1955. He was born on 6 August 1881 at Lochfield, a farm near Darvel, in Ayrshire, Scotland. He was the third of the four children of farmer Hugh Fleming (1816–1888) from his second marriage to Grace Stirling Morton (1848–1928), the daughter of a neighbouring farmer. Hugh Fleming had four surviving children from his first marriage. He was 59 at the time of his second marriage, and died when Alexander (known as Alec) was seven.Fleming went to Loudoun Moor School and Darvel School, and earned a two-year scholarship to Kilmarnock Academy before moving to London, where he attended the Royal Polytechnic Institution. After working in a shipping office for four years, the twenty-year-old Fleming inherited some money from an uncle, John Fleming. His elder brother, Tom, was already a physician and suggested to his younger sibling that he follow the same career.

So in 1903, the younger Alexander enrolled at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in Paddington; he qualified with an MBBS degree from the school with distinction in 1906. Fleming had been a private in the London Scottish Regiment of the Volunteer Force since 1900, and had been a member of the rifle club at the medical school. The captain of the club, wishing to retain Fleming in the team suggested that he join the research department at St Mary’s, where he became assistant bacteriologist to Sir Almroth Wright, a pioneer in vaccine therapy and immunology. In 1908, he gained a BSc degree with Gold Medal in Bacteriology, and became a lecturer at St Mary’s until 1914. On 23 December 1915, Fleming married a trained nurse, Sarah Marion McElroy of Killala, County Mayo, Ireland. Fleming served throughout World War I as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was Mentioned in Dispatches. He and many of his colleagues worked in battlefield hospitals at the Western Front in France.

Following World War I in 1918 he returned to St Mary’s Hospital, where he actively searched for anti-bacterial agents, having witnessed the death of many soldiers from sepsis resulting from infected wounds. Antiseptics killed the patients’ immunological defences more effectively than they killed the invading bacteria. In an article he submitted for the medical journal The Lancet during World War I, Fleming described an ingenious experiment, which he was able to conduct as a result of his own glass blowing skills, in which he explained why antiseptics were killing more soldiers than infection itself during World War I. Antiseptics worked well on the surface, but deep wounds tended to shelter anaerobic bacteria from the antiseptic agent, and antiseptics seemed to remove beneficial agents produced that protected the patients in these cases at least as well as they removed bacteria, and did nothing to remove the bacteria that were out of reach. Sir Almroth Wrightstrongly supported Fleming’s findings, but despite this, most army physicians over the course of the war continued to use antiseptics even in cases where this worsened the condition of the patients..

By 1927, Fleming was investigating the properties of staphylococci. He was already well-known from his earlier work, and had developed a reputation as a brilliant researcher, but his laboratory was often untidy. On 3 September 1928, Fleming returned to his laboratory having spent August on holiday with his family. Before leaving, he had stacked all his cultures of staphylococci on a bench in a corner of his laboratory. On returning, Fleming noticed that one culture was contaminated with a fungus, and that the colonies of staphylococci that had immediately surrounded it had been destroyed, whereas other colonies farther away were normal. Fleming showed the contaminated culture to his former assistant Merlin Price, who reminded him, “That’s how you discovered lysozyme.”Fleming grew the mould in a pure culture and found that it produced a substance that killed a number of disease-causing bacteria. He identified the mould as being from the Penicillium genus, and, after some months of calling it “mould juice”, named the substance it released penicillin on 7 March 1929. The laboratory in which Fleming discovered and tested penicillin is preserved as the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum in St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.

He investigated its positive anti-bacterial effect on many organisms, and noticed that it affected bacteria such as staphylococci and many other Gram-positive pathogens that cause scarlet fever, pneumonia, meningitis and diphtheria, but not typhoid fever orparatyphoid fever, which are caused by Gram-negative bacteria, for which he was seeking a cure at the time. It also affected Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhoea although this bacterium is Gram-negative. Fleming published his discovery in 1929, in the British Journal of Experimental Pathology, but little attention was paid to his article. Fleming continued his investigations, but found that cultivating penicillium was quite difficult, and that after having grown the mould, it was even more difficult to isolate the antibiotic agent.

Fleming thought that the difficulty in producing Penicillin in quantity, Plus the slow action, Meant it would not be effective in treating infection and it would not last long enough in the human body (in vivo) to kill bacteria effectively. Many clinical tests were inconclusive, probably because it had been used as a surface antiseptic. Diring the 1930s, Fleming’s trials occasionally showed more promise and he continued, until 1940, to try to interest a chemist skilled enough to further refine usable penicillin. Fleming finally abandoned penicillin. However not long after, Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain took up researching and mass-producing it at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, using funds from the U.S. and British governments. They discovered how to isolate and concentrate penicillin. Shortly after the team published its first results in 1940, Fleming telephoned Howard Florey, Chain’s head of department, to say that he would be visiting wit him the next few days.

Scientist Norman Heatley suggested transferring the active ingredient of penicillin back into water by changing its acidity. This produced enough of the drug to begin testing on animals. There were many more people involved in the Oxford team, and at one point the entire Dunn School was involved in its production.After the team had developed a method of purifying penicillin to an effective first stable form in 1940, several clinical trials ensued, and their amazing success inspired the team to develop methods for mass production and mass distribution in 1945. Fleming was modest about his part in the development of penicillin, describing his fame as the “Fleming Myth” and he praised Florey and Chain for transforming the laboratory curiosity into a practical drug. Fleming was the first to discover the properties of the active substance, giving him the privilege of naming it: penicillin. He also kept, grew, and distributed the original mould for twelve years, and continued until 1940 to try to get help from any chemist who had enough skill to make penicillin. But Sir Henry Harris said in 1998:”Without Fleming, no Chain; without Chain, no Florey; without Florey, no Heatley; without Heatley, no penicillin.

Fleming also wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the antibiotic substance penicillin from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Floreyand Ernst Boris Chain. On 1999, Time magazine named Fleming one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating:It was a discovery that would change the course of history. The active ingredient in that mould, which Fleming named penicillin, turned out to be an infection-fighting agent of enormous potency. When it was finally recognized for what it was, the most efficacious life-saving drug in the world, penicillin would alter forever the treatment of bacterial infections. By the middle of the century, Fleming’s discovery had spawned a huge pharmaceutical industry, churning out synthetic penicillins to help against diseases like syphilis, gangrene and tuberculosis.