May 23 Science History

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

1960 - Georges Claude died.

Claude was a French chemist who invented the neon light. He passed an electrical current through a sealed tube of neon gas and got a light that was visible even during the daytime. He also designed and built ocean thermal energy electrical plant prototypes in Cuba and Brazil attempting to generate electricity from the difference in temperature between deep and shallow water.

1949 - William Webster Hansen died.

W. W. Hansen was a pioneer of radar and microwave electronics and technology. He was one of the developers of the klystron tube, an electronic tube that generates stable high frequency waves essential to modern microwave and radar technology.

1925 - Joshua Lederberg was born.

Lederberg was an American biologist who was awarded half the 1958 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the process bacteria exchange genetic information. He also was involved in the development of the Dendral artificial intelligence program. Dendral was designed to aid organic chemists by identifying unknown molecules by mass spectroscopy and a database of chemical knowledge.

1908 - John Bardeen was born.

Bardeen was an American physicist who shares part of two Nobel Prizes in Physics. In 1956, he shared the prize with Walter Houser Brattain and William Bradford Shockley for their discovery of the semiconductor transistor. He shared the 1972 Prize with John Bardeen and John Schrieffer for their research into superconductivity and B-C-S (their initials) superconductor theory.

1718 - William Hunter was born.

Hunter was a British physician and teacher who initiated the practice of obstetrics as a branch of medicine and out of the hands of midwives. He also created an anatomy school and became one of the foremost medical instructors of his time.

1707 - Carolus Linnaeus was born.

Linnaeus was a Swedish biologist who was a pioneer in modern taxonomy. He introduced the naming scheme for plants and animals known as binomial nomenclature. An organism is known by a two part name involving it's genus and species name. For example, humans are Homo Sapiens, house cats are Felis catus, wolves are Canis lupus.
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