Scientist of the Day - Amedeo Avogadro
Today, Oct. 23, 2014, is Mole Day, which you already know if you have any high school chemistry students living in your house. Mole Day celebrates Amedeo Avogadro’s discovery in 1811 that a mole of any gas contains the same number of atoms or molecules, which happens to be 6.02 times 10 to the 23rd power. Some years ago, some perverse soul decided that 6:02 AM on 10/23 would be a good time for a party. Incredibly, high-school chemistry teachers everywhere thought this was a good idea, and as a result, befuddled parents have to get their chemistry students on their way well before dawn, cursing the memory of Avogadro all the while. It would be much more reasonable to just celebrate at home, say at 6:02 PM. We even have the perfect dish to celebrate the occasion—guaca-mole, made from ripe avogadros. Served up in a large Petri dish, it would do fitting honor to the great Avogadro, and at a much more reasonable hour. Perhaps you can work it into your dinner plans this evening.
Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City