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February 14 Science History

Science History of February 14


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

2003 - Dolly, the cloned sheep died.

Dolly was a sheep that was the first mammal to be successfully born as a clone. She was euthanized after suffering from arthritis and lung disease. Scientists of the Roslin Institute in Scotland transferred the nucleus of an adult sheep's cell to the nucleus of an unfertilized egg cell. Dolly was the first success after 277 attempts.

2000 - Walter Henry Zinn died.

Zinn was the Canadian-American nuclear physicist who initiated the first sustained chain reaction in the first nuclear reactor. He also designed the first breeder nuclear reactor which uses neutrons from the reactor pile to enrich other fissionable material.

1961 - Element 103 first produced.

Scientists at the University of California Berkeley successfully created element 103. This element was eventually named lawrencium after Ernest Lawrence, inventor of the cyclotron technology used to produce the element.

1950 - Karl Guthe Jansky died.

Karl Guthe Jansky (1905 - 1950)
Jansky was an American radio engineer and physicist who was a pioneer of radio astronomy and the first to detect cosmic radio sources. He was attempting to trace sources of radio static that would interfere with long range radio communications. Using an antenna of his own construction, he classified three main sources of radio noise: near thunderstorms, far thunderstorms and one steady source that appeared to come from the direction of the Sun. He later tracked the source to be from the constellation Sagittarius, towards the center of the galaxy.

1917 - Herbert Hauptman was born.

Hauptman was and American mathematician and crystallographer who shares the 1985 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Jerome Karle for their development of the direct method determining crystal structures. They found a mathematical method to determine a crystal's molecular structure from the crystal's x-ray diffraction pattern. This would lead to a method of three dimensional x-ray crystallography.

1911 - Willem Johan Kolff was born.

Kloff was a Dutch-American physician who was a pioneer in artificial organ research. He constructed the first dialysis machine to replace the function of kidneys. He also worked on devices to aid with the function of the lungs and heart.

1878 - Julius Arthur Nieuwland was born.

Nieuwland was a Belgian chemist who investigated the chemistry of acetylene. He discovered acetylene could be polymerized and led to the invention of the first successful synthetic rubber material, neoprene.

1869 - Charles Thomson Rees Wilson was born.

Wilson was a Scottish physicist who was awarded half the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the cloud chamber radiation detector. When charged particles would enter the chamber, vapor would condense along the path of the particle leaving small 'cloud' streaks. This device was widely used for most of early nuclear research.

1819 - Christopher Latham Sholes was born.

Christopher Latham Sholes (1819 - 1890)
George Iles/Leading American Inventors (1912)
Sholes was an American newspaper publisher and inventor who invented the first successful typewriter. His original goal was to develop a machine to print tickets and number pages in a book, but ended up with a device that could print words as well. He also laid the keys in the fashion we still use today following the QWERTY format.

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