1894 – Dorothy Maud Wrinch, Argentinian-English mathematician, biochemist and philosopher is born.
Dorothy Maud Wrinch was a mathematician and biochemical theorist best known for her attempt to deduce protein structure using mathematical principles….
…Wrinch’s career divides into two periods. Between 1918 and 1932 she published 20 papers on pure and applied mathematics and 16 on scientific methodology and on the philosophy of science. Not surprisingly, Russell had a strong influence on her philosophical work. She also wrote a number of papers with Harold Jeffreys on scientific method; these formed the basis of his 1931 book Scientific Inference. In the Nature obituary Jeffreys wrote, “I should like to put on record my appreciation of the substantial contribution she made to [our joint] work, which is the basis of all my later work on scientific inference.”
1897 – Irène Joliot-Curie, French chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate, is born.
Irène Joliot-Curie was a French scientist, the daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie and the wife of Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Jointly with her husband, Joliot-Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. This made the Curies the family with the most Nobel laureates to date. Both children of the Joliot-Curies, Hélène and Pierre, are also esteemed scientists.
1933 – Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light on Southampton Row in Bloomsbury, conceives the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.
On September 12, 1933, Szilard read an article in The Times summarizing a speech given by Lord Rutherford in which Rutherford rejected the feasibility of using atomic energy for practical purposes. The speech remarked specifically on the recent 1932 work of his students, John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton, in “splitting” lithium into alpha particles, by bombardment with protons from a particle accelerator they had constructed. Rutherford went on to say:
We might in these processes obtain very much more energy than the proton supplied, but on the average we could not expect to obtain energy in this way. It was a very poor and inefficient way of producing energy, and anyone who looked for a source of power in the transformation of the atoms was talking moonshine. But the subject was scientifically interesting because it gave insight into the atoms.
Szilard was so annoyed at Rutherford’s dismissal that he conceived of the idea of nuclear chain reaction (analogous to a chemical chain reaction), using recently discovered neutrons. The idea did not use the mechanism of nuclear fission, which was not yet discovered, but Szilard realized that if neutrons could initiate any sort of energy-producing nuclear reaction, such as the one that had occurred in lithium, and could be produced themselves by the same reaction, energy might be obtained with little input, since the reaction would be self-sustaining. The following year he filed for a patent on the concept of the neutron-induced nuclear chain reaction. Richard Rhodes described Szilard’s moment of inspiration:
In London, where Southampton Row passes Russell Square, across from the British Museum in Bloomsbury, Leo Szilard waited irritably one gray Depression morning for the stoplight to change. A trace of rain had fallen during the night; Tuesday, September 12, 1933, dawned cool, humid and dull. Drizzling rain would begin again in early afternoon. When Szilard told the story later he never mentioned his destination that morning. He may have had none; he often walked to think. In any case another destination intervened. The stoplight changed to green. Szilard stepped off the curb. As he crossed the street time cracked open before him and he saw a way to the future, death into the world and all our woes, the shape of things to come.
1958 – Jack Kilby demonstrates the first working integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments.
Newly employed by Texas Instruments, Kilby recorded his initial ideas concerning the integrated circuit in July 1958, successfully demonstrating the first working integrated example on 12 September 1958. In his patent application of 6 February 1959, Kilby described his new device as “a body of semiconductor material … wherein all the components of the electronic circuit are completely integrated.” The first customer for the new invention was the US Air Force.
Kilby won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit. His work was named an IEEE Milestone in 2009.
1959 – The Soviet Union launches a large rocket, Lunik II, at the moon.
Luna 2 (E-1A series) or Lunik 2 was the second of the Soviet Union’s Luna programme spacecraft launched to the Moon. It was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon, and the first man-made object to land on another celestial body. On September 13, 1959, it successfully impacted east of Mare Imbrium near the craters Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus.
1966 – Gemini 11, the penultimate mission of NASA’s Gemini program, and the current human altitude record holder (except for the Apollo lunar missions) is launched.
Gemini 11 (officially Gemini XI)) was the ninth manned spaceflight mission of NASA’s Project Gemini, which flew from September 12 to 15, 1966. It was the 17th manned American flight and the 25th spaceflight to that time (includes X-15 flights over 100 kilometers (54 nmi)). Astronauts Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr. and Richard F. Gordon Jr. performed the first-ever direct-ascent (first orbit) rendezvous with an Agena Target Vehicle, docking with it one hour and thirty-four minutes after launch; used the Agena rocket engine to achieve a world record high-apogee earth orbit; and created a small amount of artificial gravity by spinning the two spacecraft connected by a tether. Gordon also performed two extra-vehicular activities for a total of 2 hours and 41 minutes.
1992 – NASA launches Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission. On board are Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space.
Spacelab-J—a joint NASA and National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) mission using a manned Spacelab module—conducted microgravity investigations in materials and life sciences. The international crew, consisting of the first Japanese astronaut to fly aboard the Shuttle, the first African-American woman to fly in space and, contrary to normal NASA policy, the first married couple to fly on the same space mission (Lee and Davis), was divided into red and blue teams for around the clock operations. Spacelab-J included 24 materials science and 20 life sciences experiments, of which 35 were sponsored by NASDA, 7 by NASA and 2 collaborative efforts.
Ever since female space travelers became the norm during the 1980s, NASA instituted rules stipulating that husband/wife couples would not be launched together out of concern over disrupting in-flight morale. However, Mark Lee and Jan Davis had secretly married a few weeks before the launch of STS-47 and NASA was forced to waive this rule as it would not have been possible to cancel the mission or reassign crews at this point.
2011 – The 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City opens to the public.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (also known as the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum) are a memorial and museum in New York City commemorating the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed 2,977 victims, and the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, which killed six. The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers that were destroyed during the September 11 attacks. It is operated by a non-profit corporation whose mission is to raise funds for, program, own, and operate the memorial and museum at the World Trade Center site.
2015 – Geek The Girl: Adafruit’s Limor Fried Ushers In A Cool New Age for Hobby Electronics @TechTimes_News
That DIY Daft Punk helmet with the pulsing LED lights on Pinterest seems light-years away from those do-it-yourself ham radio ads in vintage Sears Roebuck catalogs, about as far as the iPhone 6 is from great-grandma’s rotary phone. If Limor Fried has her way, we’ll see a corresponding revolution in our appreciation of hobby electronics as a cultural and educational force in the coming years.
Adafruit produces and sells DIY electronics ranging from beginner-level push-button sound effects kits to sophisticated micro controller boards for cell phone and game developers through an online store that also stocks jumper wires, soldering irons and other geeky peripherals. With its richly-illustrated, plain language manuals and extensive library of tutorials, the site also doubles as an educational platform.