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November 17 Science History

Science History of November 17


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

2000 - Louis-Eugène-Félix Néel died.

Néel was a French physicist who was awarded half the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discoveries concerning ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism and contributions to solid state physics. He researched magnetism on the molecular level and found the electrons in ferromagnetic materials tend to spin in all the same directions. In non-magnetic material, side by side electrons will spin in opposite directions and cancel each other's magnetic field out. He called this property antiferromagnetism.

1990 - Robert Hofstadter died.

Hofstadter was an American physicist who was awarded half the 1961 Nobel Prize in Physics for his studies of the structure of the nucleons using electron scattering. He discovered that both the proton and neutron have a positively charged core surrounded by a double cloud of pi-mesons. Both clouds are positively charged in the proton, but in the neutron the inner cloud is negatively charged giving a net zero charge.

1922 - Stanley Cohen was born

Stanley Cohen
National Institutes of Health
Cohen is an American biochemist who shares the 1986 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Rita Levi-Montalcini for their discoveries involving growth factors. Their research isolated the nerve growth factor that induces the differentiation of nerve tissue. They also discovered and isolated the epidermal growth factor. This research has helped in the understanding of cancer growth and anti-cancer drug development.

1902 - Eugene Paul Wigner was born.

Wigner was an Austrian-American physicist who was awarded half the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to quantum mechanics. He developed the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics where a physical system's properties may be unchanged when a transformation is applied.

1878 - Hans Zinsser was born.

Hans Zinsser (1878 - 1940)
Zinsser was an American virologist who made extensive studies of typhus. Typhus is a set of diseases that cause high fevers, headaches and other pains and eventually death. The disease is spread by lice and rats, but Zinsser isolated the bacterium from these sources that is the actual cause of the disease and created an effective vaccine. He also wrote Rats, Lice and History chronicling the changes in history brought on by typhus epidemics.

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