Learn about the history of science by reading about the significant scientific events that took place on this day in history.
1965 - France launches their first satellite.
France became the third country to launch their own satellite into space when a Diamant A rocket lifted the French army satellite A-1 into orbit. The A-1 satellite was later renamed Astérix after the popular French cartoon character. France was the fifth country to have a satellite in space after the Soviet Union, United States, Canada and Italy. The Canadian and Italian satellites were put into space by the United States.
1948 - Elizabeth Helen Blackburn was born.
Blackburn is an Australian-American molecular biologist who shares the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Jack Szostak and Carol W. Greider, for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres. A telomere is a section of DNA at the end of a chromosome. She and Greider discovered the enzyme telomerase that replenishes the telomere.
1898 - Karl Ziegler was born.
Ziegler was a German chemist who shares the 1963 Nobel Prize with Giulio Natta for their contributions into polymers. They developed the Ziegler-Natta catalyst to create polymer chains of 1-alkenes. These catalysts are usually either titanium or organometallic aluminum and are used to create polymers such as polypropylene, polyethylene and polyacetylene.
1837 - John Alexander Reina Newlands was born.
Newlands was a British chemist who noticed the repeating pattern of elements arranged by atomic weight where every eighth element had similar chemical properties. He called this the Law of octaves and was a major contribution towards the development of the periodic table.
1817 - Charles-Adolphe Wurtz was born.
Wurtz was a French chemist who is best known for Wurtz reactions where hydrocarbons are prepared from sodium and alkyl halides. He also synthesized ethylamine and ethylene glycol. As an educator, he was influential in making Paris a world leader in European chemical education.