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November 21 Science History

Science History of November 21


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

1996 - Abdus Salam died.

Salam was a Pakistani physicist that shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sheldon Glashowand Steven Weinberg for work in postulating the existence of W and Z bosons. W and Z bosons are the elementary particles that mediate the weak nuclear force. He was instrumental in forming Pakistan's Atomic Energy Commission and nuclear weapons program.

1970 - Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman died.

Raman was an Indian physicist who was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of Raman scattering. When photons strike a surface of molecules, most of the light will bounce off with the same frequency it started with. A small number of photons will give up their energy to the molecule and bounce back less energy. This scattering is called Raman scattering and can be used to measure the energy of molecular bonds.

1993 - Bruno Rossi died.

Rossi was an Italian-American physicist who pioneered cosmic ray research and x-ray astronomy. He discovered the majority of cosmic rays are made up of positively charged particles.

1824 - Hieronymus Theodor Richter was born.

This is a photo of a 1 troy ounce button of arc-melted iridium.
Greenhorn1, Public Domain License
Richter was a German chemist who co-discovered the element indium with Ferdinand Reich. They were investigating the presence of thallium in zinc ores using spectroscopy when Richter discovered a vivid indigo spectral line that identified a new element. They isolated this element and named it indium after the spectral line.

1555 - Georg Pawer (Georgius Agricola) died.

Georgius Agricola (1494 - 1555)
Wikimedia Commons
Agricola was a German doctor and natural philosopher who is considered to be the founder of mineralogy as a scientific discipline. He wrote extensively on everything that was currently known about mining techniques, rock formations, fossils and minerals.

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