1274 – Persian scientists Nasir al-Din al-Tusi dies.
During his stay in Nishapur, Tusi established a reputation as an exceptional scholar. “Tusi’s prose writing, which number over 150 works, represent one of the largest collections by a single Islamic author. Writing in both Arabic and Persian, Nasir al-Din Tusi dealt with both religious (“Islamic”) topics and non-religious or secular subjects (“the ancient sciences”). His works include the definitive Arabic versions of the works of Euclid, Archimedes, Ptolemy, Autolycus, and Theodosius of Bithynia.
1909 – The Science Museum in London is established as its own entity.
A museum was founded in 1857 under Bennet Woodcroft from the collection of the Royal Society of Arts and surplus items from the Great Exhibition as part of the South Kensington Museum, together with what is now the Victoria and Albert Museum. It included a collection of machinery which became the Museum of Patents in 1858, and the Patent Office Museum in 1863. This collection contained many of the most famous exhibits of what is now the Science Museum.
In 1883, the contents of the Patent Office Museum were transferred to the South Kensington Museum. In 1885, the Science Collections were renamed the Science Museum and in 1893 a separate director was appointed.[ The Art Collections were renamed the Art Museum, which eventually became the Victoria and Albert Museum.
When Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for the new building for the Art Museum, she stipulated that the museum be renamed after herself and her late husband. This was initially applied to the whole museum, but when that new building finally opened ten years later, the title was confined to the Art Collections and the Science Collections had to be divorced from it. On 26 June 1909 the Science Museum, as an independent entity, came into existence.
1921 – Computer Scientist Robert Everett is born.
In 1945 he worked with Jay Forrester on the Whirlwind project, one of the first real time electronic computers. In 1958 he was a founding member of the MITRE Corporation, and was its president from 1969 to 1986.
In 1983 he received the Medal for Distinguished Public Service from the Department of Defense and in 1989 he received the National Medal of Technology
1929 – Graphic Designer Milton Glaser is born.
One of Glaser’s most recognizable works is his I Heart New York logo. In the mid-1970s, New York City’s crime rate was up and the city was widely perceived to be dangerous and was on the verge of bankruptcy. In 1977, the city hired advertising agency Wells Rich Greene and Milton Glaser to design a logo to increase tourism and boost morale. It was Glaser who came up with the design in the back of a taxi cab on the way to the meeting. The logo consist of the capital “I” and a red heart, stacked on top of “NY,” symbolizing New York in American Typewriter typeface. His inspiration for the logo was Robert Indiana’s LOVE design, with the four letters stacked on top of each other. “Glaser loved New York so much that he gave his work to the city for free, hoping it would become public property.”
Today, the logo has earned the New York state $30 million each year and has become a pop culture icon and has been reproduced on T-shirts and hats, and can be seen everywhere in New York. Imitations have been made, for example “I Heart Radio.” The state has been filling nearly 3,000 objections against them.
1936 – The Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first functional helicopter, takes its first flight.
Professor Henrich Focke, through his development of the Fw 186, and through his work on the C.19 and licence-built C.30 autogyros, came to the conclusion that the limitations of autogyros could be eliminated only by an aircraft capable of vertical flight, the helicopter. He and engineer Gerd Achgelis started the design for this helicopter in 1932. A free-flying model, built in 1934 and propelled by a small two-stroke engine, brought the promise of success. Today, the model can be seen in the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
On 9 February 1935, Focke received an order for the building of a prototype, which was designated the Fw 61; Focke referred to it as the F 61. Roluf Lucht of the technical office of the RLM extended the order for a second aircraft on 19 December 1935. The airframe was based on that of a well-tried training aircraft, the Focke-Wulf Fw 44 Stieglitz.
1948 – William Shockley files the original patent for the grown-junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor.
Shortly after the war ended in 1945, Bell Labs formed a solid-state physics group, led by Shockley and chemist Stanley Morgan, which included John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, physicist Gerald Pearson, chemist Robert Gibney, electronics expert Hilbert Moore, and several technicians. Their assignment was to seek a solid-state alternative to fragile glass vacuum tube amplifiers. Its first attempts were based on Shockley’s ideas about using an external electrical field on a semiconductor to affect its conductivity. These experiments failed every time in all sorts of configurations and materials. The group was at a standstill until Bardeen suggested a theory that invoked surface states that prevented the field from penetrating the semiconductor. The group changed its focus to study these surface states and they met almost daily to discuss the work. The rapport of the group was excellent, and ideas were freely exchanged.
By the winter of 1946 they had enough results that Bardeen submitted a paper on the surface states to Physical Review. Brattain started experiments to study the surface states through observations made while shining a bright light on the semiconductor’s surface. This led to several more papers (one of them co-authored with Shockley), which estimated the density of the surface states to be more than enough to account for their failed experiments. The pace of the work picked up significantly when they started to surround point contacts between the semiconductor and the conducting wires with electrolytes. Moore built a circuit that allowed them to vary the frequency of the input signal easily. Finally they began to get some evidence of power amplification when Pearson, acting on a suggestion by Shockley, put a voltage on a droplet of glycol borate (a viscous chemical that did not evaporate, commonly used in electrolytic capacitors, and obtained by puncturing an example capacitor with a nail, using a hammer) placed across a P-N junction.