1863 – Edvard Munch, Norwegian artist most famous for his painting The Scream, is born.
By 1892, Munch formulated his characteristic, and original, Synthetist aesthetic, as seen in Melancholy (1891), in which color is the symbol-laden element. Considered by the artist and journalist Christian Krohg as the first Symbolist painting by a Norwegian artist, Melancholy was exhibited in 1891 at the Autumn Exhibition in Oslo. In 1892, Adelsteen Normann, on behalf of the Union of Berlin Artists, invited Munch to exhibit at its November exhibition, the society’s first one-man exhibition. However, his paintings evoked bitter controversy (dubbed “The Munch Affair”), and after one week the exhibition closed. Munch was pleased with the “great commotion”, and wrote in a letter: “Never have I had such an amusing time—it’s incredible that something as innocent as painting should have created such a stir.”
In Berlin, Munch became involved in an international circle of writers, artists and critics, including the Swedish dramatist and leading intellectual August Strindberg, whom he painted in 1892. During his four years in Berlin, Munch sketched out most of the ideas that would comprise his major work, The Frieze of Life, first designed for book illustration but later expressed in paintings. He sold little, but made some income from charging entrance fees to view his controversial paintings. Already, Munch was showing a reluctance to part with his paintings, which he termed his “children”.
1866 – Alfred Werner, Nobel Prize wining Swiss Chemist, is born.
Alfred Werner (12 December 1866 – 15 November 1919) was a Swiss chemist who was a student at ETH Zurich and a professor at the University of Zurich. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1913 for proposing the octahedral configuration of transition metal complexes. Werner developed the basis for modern coordination chemistry. He was the first inorganic chemist to win the Nobel prize, and the only one prior to 1973
1901 – Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal (the letter “S” [***] in Morse Code), at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland.
At the turn of the 20th century, Marconi began investigating the means to signal completely across the Atlantic in order to compete with the transatlantic telegraph cables. Marconi established a wireless transmitting station at Marconi House, Rosslare Strand, Co. Wexford in 1901 to act as a link between Poldhu in Cornwall, England and Clifden in Co. Galway, Ireland. He soon made the announcement that the message was received at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland (now part of Canada) on 12 December 1901, using a 500-foot (150 m) kite-supported antenna for reception—signals transmitted by the company’s new high-power station at Poldhu, Cornwall. The distance between the two points was about 2,200 miles (3,500 km). It was heralded as a great scientific advance, yet there also was—and continues to be—considerable scepticism about this claim. The exact wavelength used is not known, but it is fairly reliably determined to have been in the neighbourhood of 350 meters (frequency ≈850 kHz). The tests took place at a time of day during which the entire transatlantic path was in daylight. We now know (although Marconi did not know then) that this was the worst possible choice. At this medium wavelength, long distance transmission in the daytime is not possible because of heavy absorption of the skywave in the ionosphere. It was not a blind test; Marconi knew in advance to listen for a repetitive signal of three clicks, signifying the Morse code letter S. The clicks were reported to have been heard faintly and sporadically. There was no independent confirmation of the reported reception, and the transmissions were difficult to distinguish from atmospheric noise. (A detailed technical review of Marconi’s early transatlantic work appears in John S. Belrose’s work of 1995.) The Poldhu transmitter was a two-stage circuit.
1962 – German mathmetician Ulrike Luise Tillmann is born.
In 2004 she was awarded the Whitehead Prize of the London Mathematical Society.
She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008 and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2013.
2016 – Adafruit adds the MicroPython – Skill badge, iron-on patch into the store.
You’ve learned the MicroPython programming language! MicroPython is a tiny open-source Python programming language interpreter that runs on microcontroller, originally written by Damien George (http://micropython.org/). With MicroPython you can write clean and simple Python code to control hardware instead of having to use complex low-level languages like C or C++ (what Arduino uses for programming). It’s great for beginners!