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November 12 Science History

Science History of November 12


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

1916 - Percival Lawrence Lowell died.

Percival Lawrence Lowell (1855 - 1916)
J.E. Purdy, Boston/Library of Congress
Lowell was an American astronomer who founded Lowell Observatory in Arizona. He predicted the existence of Pluto and tried to prove the thin lines on Mars were canals and supported life.

1891 - Seth Barnes Nicholson was born.

Nicholson was an American astronomer who discovered four moons of Jupiter. He joined up with Edison Pettit in the 1920s to make the first systematic observations of planetary bodies and the sun using an infrared detector.

1842 - John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh was born.

John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (1842 - 1919)
Royal Society, Obituary Notices of Fellows Deceased
Lord Rayleigh was an English physicist who made major contributions to the studies of acoustics and wave propagation. He studied the ways waves pass through fluids and predicted the existence of surface waves. Surface waves are waves that travel along the boundary between two mediums of different densities. These waves are now known as Rayleigh waves. He also discovered Rayleigh scattering, the scattering of light when it passes through gases.

He was awarded the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work researching the noble gases and the discovery of argon.

1746 - Jacques-Alexandre-César Charles was born.

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.

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