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April 7 Science History

Science History for April 7

By Todd Helmenstine

Learn about the history of science by reading about the significant scientific events that took place on this day in history.

2001 - Mars Odyssey launched.

Mars Odyssey
NASA launched the Mars Odyssey probe to Mars. The Odyssey would arrive at the red planet on October 24, 2001. Its mission is to orbit and map Mars while relaying surface rover data back to Earth.

1964 - IBM announces the System/360 mainfraim computer line.

IBM System 360/20 computer
Ben Franske
The IBM System/360 was a family of computers and peripherals that would run the same code and applications for commercial and scientific use. It was designed to use 8-bit addressing and carried anywhere from 8 kB to 256 kB of main memory. It was one of the first successful computer lines and would be the basis for business computing for many years.

1899 - Louis Frederick Fieser was born.

Fiesser was an American organic chemist who was the first to synthesize vitamin K. He is also known for the invention of the military weapon, napalm.

1859 - Jacques Loeb was born.

Loeb was a German-American physiologist best known for his experiments on parthenogenesis, or reproducing without male fertilization. Loeb managed to artificially cause sea urchin eggs to develop by slightly changing the chemistry of the water.

1823 - Jacques-Alexandre-César Charles died.

Jacques-Alexandre-César Charles (1746 - 1823)
Charles was a French physicist and inventor who described the relationship between the volume and absolute temperatures of ideal gases known as Charles's Law. He also built the first hydrogen filled balloon and the first manned hydrogen filled balloon.

1817 - Francesco Selmi was born.

Selmi was an Italian chemist who was a pioneer in colloid chemistry. He also coined the term 'ptomaine poisonoing' while studying putrification and poisons.

1816 - Christian Konrad Sprengel died.

Sprengel was a German theologian and botanist who was the first to describe the mechanics of pollination in plants. He observed how insects would transfer pollen from the stamen of one flower to the pistil of another. He also coined the term dichogamy to describe the process of maturation of the male and female parts at different times.

1795 - France adopts the metre as the standard unit of length.

France officially adopts the metre as the standard unit of length for the new metric system. They produced a standard length of brass that would represent the meter until one of platinum was constructed in 1799.

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