1791 – Michael Faraday, English physicist and chemist is born.
Michael Faraday was an English scientist who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include those of electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.
Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history. It was by his research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current that Faraday established the basis for the concept of the electromagnetic field in physics. Faraday also established that magnetism could affect rays of light and that there was an underlying relationship between the two phenomena. He similarly discovered the principle of electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis. His inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices formed the foundation of electric motor technology, and it was largely due to his efforts that electricity became practical for use in technology.
As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner and the system of oxidation numbers, and popularised terminology such as anode, cathode, electrode, and ion. Faraday ultimately became the first and foremost Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a lifetime position.
Faraday was an excellent experimentalist who conveyed his ideas in clear and simple language; his mathematical abilities, however, did not extend as far as trigonometry or any but the simplest algebra. James Clerk Maxwell took the work of Faraday and others, and summarized it in a set of equations that is accepted as the basis of all modern theories of electromagnetic phenomena. On Faraday’s uses of the lines of force, Maxwell wrote that they show Faraday “to have been in reality a mathematician of a very high order – one from whom the mathematicians of the future may derive valuable and fertile methods.” The SI unit of capacitance is named in his honour: the farad.
Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall, alongside pictures of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell. Physicist Ernest Rutherford stated; “When we consider the magnitude and extent of his discoveries and their influence on the progress of science and of industry, there is no honour too great to pay to the memory of Faraday, one of the greatest scientific discoverers of all time”.
1888 – The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is published.
National Geographic, formerly The National Geographic Magazine, is the official magazine of the National Geographic Society. It has been published continuously since its first issue in 1888, nine months after the Society itself was founded. It primarily contains articles about geography, history, and world culture. The magazine is known for its thick square-bound glossy format with a yellow rectangular border and its extensive use of dramatic photographs.
The magazine is published monthly, and additional map supplements are also included with subscriptions. It is available in a traditional printed edition and through an interactive online edition. On occasion, special editions of the magazine are issued.
As of 2015, the magazine is circulated worldwide in nearly 40 local-language editions and had a global circulation of 6.8 million per month. Its U.S. circulation is around 3.5 million per month.
1979 – The Vela Incident (also known as the South Atlantic Flash) is observed near Bouvet Island, thought to be a nuclear weapons test.
The Vela Incident, also known as the South Atlantic Flash, was an unidentified “double flash” of light detected by an American Vela Hotel satellite on September 22, 1979, near the Prince Edward Islands off Antarctica, which many believe was of nuclear origin. The most widespread theory among those who believe the flash was of nuclear origin is that it resulted from a joint South African and Israeli nuclear test. The topic remains highly disputed.
While a “double flash” signal is characteristic of a nuclear weapons test, the signal could also have been a spurious electronic signal generated by an aging detector in an old satellite, or a meteoroid hitting the Vela satellite. No corroboration of an explosion, such as the presence of nuclear byproducts in the air, was ever publicly acknowledged, even though there were numerous passes in the area by U.S. Air Force planes specifically designed to detect airborne radioactive dust. Other examiners of the data, including the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and defense contractors, have come to the conclusion that the flash was not a result of a nuclear detonation. Much information about the event remains classified.
2009 – Adafruit at Gizmodo gallery…
Adafruit will be at the Gizmodo gallery on September 23rd 12 to 8pm, we’re setting up a laser etching station for one day only, Phil Torrone (Adafruit, MAKE) along with Ryan Block (gdgt) and Adam Savage (Mythbusters) are curating some items at the gallery – and there’s also laser etching. We’ll have some templates and will measure items while there, but you can also bring your own stuff in—provided they meet the following guidelines…
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