Learn about the history of science by reading about the significant scientific events that took place on this day in history.
1973 - Artturi Ilmari Virtanen died.Virtanen was a Finnish biochemist who was awarded the 1945 Nobel Prize for his work and inventions in agricultural and nutrition chemistry. He developed a method to preserve grain silage by increasing the acidity of stored grains. The AIV (named after his initials) fodder technique is an additive that is sprayed on stored grains to raise the acidity of the grain to stop the fermentation that spoils the grain while in storage without destroying the nutritive value.
1907 - Joseph Gilbert Hamilton was born.Hamilton was a medical physicist who pioneered the use of radioisotopes for treating and diagnosing diseases. He injected a radioactive sodium solution into a leukemia patient to treat the disease and showed radioactive iodine was useful to treat thyroid disease. He died of leukemia believed to be a result of his work.
1572 - Tycho Brahe first observes a new star.
Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe first observed a new star in the constellation of Cassiopeia. He later showed the light did not come from a nearby object such as a planet or comet, but a great distance away. This provided the first real proof that the stars were not unchangeable as previously believed. It was later determined that his 'nova' or new star was actually a supernova where a star suddenly and violently explodes.
1493 - Paracelsus was born.
Paracelsus was born Phillip von Hohenheim, and later became Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim. He was a German-Swiss Renaissance alchemist and doctor who believed medical training should be based on observations and experience and replaced many herbal remedies with chemical substitutes. He believed illnesses had external causes instead of unbalances in the bodily humours. He took on the name Paracelsus to show he was 'greater than Celsus', the Roman doctor that wrote the authoritative encyclopedia on medicine. He gained fame after he published his Die grosse Wundartznei (The Great Surgery Book).