1777 – Articles of Confederation (United States) are submitted to the states for ratification.
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, were an agreement among all thirteen original states in the United States of America that served as its first constitution. Its drafting by a committee appointed by the Second Continental Congress began on July 12, 1776, and an approved version was sent to the states for ratification in late 1777. The formal ratification by all thirteen states was completed in early 1781. Government under the Articles was superseded by a new constitution and federal form of government in 1789.
1800 – The United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States consisting of two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Members are usually affiliated to the Republican Party or to the Democratic Party, and only rarely to a third-party or as independents. Congress has 535 voting members: 435 Representatives and 100 Senators.
1902 – Eugene Wigner, Hungarian physicist and mathematician, Nobel Prize laureate is born.
Eugene Paul “E. P.” Wigner, was a Hungarian American theoretical physicist and mathematician. He received half of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 “for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles”.
A graduate of the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, Wigner worked as an assistant to Karl Weissenberg and Richard Becker at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, and David Hilbert at the University of Göttingen. Wigner and Hermann Weyl were responsible for introducing group theory into physics, particularly the theory of symmetry in physics. Along the way he performed ground-breaking work in pure mathematics, in which he authored a number of mathematical theorems. In particular, Wigner’s theorem is a cornerstone in the mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics. He is also known for his research into the structure of the atomic nucleus. In 1930, Princeton University recruited Wigner, along with John von Neumann, and he moved to the United States.
Wigner participated in a meeting with Leo Szilard and Albert Einstein that resulted in the Einstein-Szilard letter, which prompted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to initiate the Manhattan Project to develop atomic bombs. Wigner was afraid that the German nuclear weapon project would develop an atomic bomb first. During the Manhattan Project, he led a team whose task was to design nuclear reactors to convert uranium into weapons grade plutonium. At the time, reactors existed only on paper, and no reactor had yet gone critical. Wigner was disappointed that DuPont was given responsibility for the detailed design of the reactors, not just their construction. He became Director of Research and Development at the Clinton Laboratory (now the Oak Ridge National Laboratory) in early 1946, but became frustrated with bureaucratic interference by the Atomic Energy Commission, and returned to Princeton.
1906 – Soichiro Honda, Japanese engineer and businessman, co-founded the Honda Motor Company is born.
Soichiro Honda was a Japanese engineer and industrialist. In 1948, he established Honda and oversaw its expansion from a wooden shack manufacturing bicycle motors to a multinational automobile and motorcycle manufacturer.
1947 – American scientists John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain observe the basic principles of the transistor, a key element for the electronics revolution of the 20th century.
From November 17, 1947 to December 23, 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at AT&T’s Bell Labs in the United States performed experiments and observed that when two gold point contacts were applied to a crystal of germanium, a signal was produced with the output power greater than the input. Solid State Physics Group leader William Shockley saw the potential in this, and over the next few months worked to greatly expand the knowledge of semiconductors. The term transistor was coined by John R. Pierce as a contraction of the term transresistance. According to Lillian Hoddeson and Vicki Daitch, authors of a biography of John Bardeen, Shockley had proposed that Bell Labs’ first patent for a transistor should be based on the field-effect and that he be named as the inventor. Having unearthed Lilienfeld’s patents that went into obscurity years earlier, lawyers at Bell Labs advised against Shockley’s proposal because the idea of a field-effect transistor that used an electric field as a “grid” was not new. Instead, what Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley invented in 1947 was the first point-contact transistor. In acknowledgement of this accomplishment, Shockley, Bardeen, and Brattain were jointly awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics “for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect.”
2014 – #womenatIBM Romelia Flores and Limor Fried tackle why tech is the place for girls and women by Women at IBM
Romelia Flores and Limor Fried tackle why tech is the place for girls and women by Women at IBM.