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November 16 Science History

Science History of November 16


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

2005 - Henry Taube died.

Taube was a Canadian-American chemist who was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work towards the understanding of electron transfer reactions in metal complexes. His work involved inner sphere electron transfers during a redox reaction. He found that during these reactions, a ligand bridges two metal redox centers. He used radioactive isotopes to identify the mechanisms involved in redox reactions.

1965 - Soviet Union launches Vanera 3 spacecraft.

Soviet spacecraft Venera 3 was launched on its way to the planet Venus. It would become the first spacecraft to land (impact) on another planet. Venera 3 attempted to land on Venus and was believed crushed by the thick atmosphere on March 1, 1966.

1999 - Daniel Nathans died.

Nathans was an American molecular biologist who shares the 1978 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Hamilton Othanel Smith and Werner Arber for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their applications to break DNA molecules. Restriction enzymes are enzymes that cut DNA at known restriction sites. Nathans used restriction enzymes from bacteria to investigate the DNA of the simian virus 40. The genetic map he produced was an important step to the development of prenatal tests for genetic diseases.

1934 - Carl von Linde died.

Carl von Linde (1842 - 1934)
Linde was a German engineer who pioneered mechanical refrigeration. His first refrigeration units were designed for the beer brewing industry. Brewing lagers required low temperatures and were restricted to brewing in the winter months or in deep cellars with ice blocks. Linde's refrigerators made brewing a year-round process.

He also used his technique to liquify gases from air to obtain pure samples of elemental gases.

1881 - Joel Henry Hildebrand was born.

Hildebrand was an American chemist and educator. As an educator, he was involved with the University of California, Berkeley's College of Chemistry from 1907 to 1953. UC Berkeley became one of the top producers of chemists and their laboratories produced five Nobel Prizes and major innovations in chemistry and physics.

As a chemist, his work was primarily with liquids and nonelectrolyte solutions. He wrote several textbooks and monographs, one of which, the monograph Solubility was a standard reference for 50 years.

1841 - Jules Violle was born.

Violle was a French astronomer who made the first high altitude measurement of the solar constant. The solar constant is the amount of radiant energy per unit area when the sun is directly overhead. He also created a unit of luminous intensity called the violle based on the light emitted by 1 cm2 of platinum at its melting point. It was the first unit of light intensity not based on a lamp or candle. This unit was eventually replaced by the modern SI unit of the candela.

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