Happy Birthday, Ellen Swallow Richards

Bridget Paulus December 3, 2018

A pioneer in chemistry, sanitary engineering, and human ecology, Ellen Swallow Richards paved the way for women in science. She was the first woman to attend, graduate, and teach at MIT. During her career, she developed standards for water quality and isolated the chemical element vanadium. In addition, Richards was passionate about using science to create a better home life, founding the field of home economics.

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Thomas Forrister November 27, 2018

Sir Horace Lamb was a British applied mathematician and professor who wrote several textbooks that became fundamental in physics. Among them is a comprehensive text that was considered the standard for hydrodynamics for many years. His work in this subject resulted in the Lamb vector, the Lamb-Oseen vortex, and Lamb surfaces. He also authored works on sound, statistics, and mechanics.

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Thomas Forrister November 22, 2018

Plastic floating at sea often winds up in debris-filled gyres, commonly known as garbage patches. These patches of plastic circulating in the ocean pose a danger to wildlife and are slowly entering the food chain. One project aims to remove this debris with floating boom technology, which is often used to contain oil spills.

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Thomas Forrister November 20, 2018

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure ‘science.’” — Edwin Hubble Imagine if the entire universe consisted of the Milky Way galaxy alone. Most scientists thought this was the case before astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered other galaxies. Considered the founder of extragalactic astronomy, Hubble was one of the leading 20th-century figures in observational cosmology and provided evidence that the universe expands at a constant rate.

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Bridget Paulus November 12, 2018

Ever wonder why the sky is blue? Lord Rayleigh answered this question, explaining that the color comes from the scattering of sunlight off small particles in the atmosphere. A prolific scientist, Rayleigh made notable contributions to a wide range of fields, including optics, acoustics, and fluid flow. He is best known for discovering argon, an accomplishment for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

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Thomas Forrister October 23, 2018

Starting with photography, William D. Coolidge had a lifelong interest in light and images. His pursuits in electrical engineering drove him to develop the incandescent light bulb, using ductile tungsten as the wire filament. This tungsten method lit the way for further developments in X-ray and radiology technology, helping medical professionals more accurately diagnose their patients.

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Caty Fairclough October 5, 2018

“Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace.” — Robert Hutchings Goddard Known as the “Father of Modern Rocketry”, Robert Hutchings Goddard was an innovator, engineer, and physicist. While Goddard made many advancements in his time, such as creating and testing the first liquid-propelled rocket on Earth, his idea of sending a rocket to the Moon was not accepted by the public. Despite this setback, Goddard continued to reach for the stars.

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Jenn Nguyen September 30, 2018

As a hydraulics engineer, Nora Stanton Blatch Barney paved the way for women in engineering, architecture, and mathematics. Influenced by her grandmother and mother, Barney was also a key figure in the woman suffrage movement in the United States. Throughout her life and career, the courageous engineer never shied away from forging ahead and left a lasting impression on New York City infrastructure.

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Thomas Forrister August 31, 2018

Hermann von Helmholtz was a German scientist, doctor, and philosopher who made advances in many scientific fields, including electrodynamics, optics, and thermodynamics. He invented several devices, such as the ophthalmoscope and the polyphonic siren, and is also known for the Helmholtz coil. By exploring the philosophy of science, Helmholtz made accurate connections about the laws of nature, perception, and empiricism.

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Caty Fairclough August 13, 2018

Contributing to the development of a famous fluid dynamics equation, naming the phenomenon of fluorescence, and advancing the field of geodesy: These are a few of the many accomplishments of Irish physicist and mathematician Sir George Gabriel Stokes…

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Thomas Forrister August 8, 2018

Paul Dirac was a theoretical physicist who laid the foundations for quantum theory as we now know it. He was highly motivated by the pursuit of mathematical beauty, and his calculations led him to predict the existence of antimatter and reconcile special relativity with quantum mechanics. Regarded as the founder of quantum electrodynamics, Dirac played an important role in the development of atomic theory for the 20th century and beyond.

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