Scientist of the Day

John Clerk of Eldin

December 10, 2018

John Clerk of Eldin, a Scottish scholar and artist, was born Dec. 10, 1728. Clerk in his own day was best known as the author of the first modern English book on naval strategy, Naval Tactics, 1790, which was supposedly used by Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar....

Jean de Charpentier

December 7, 2018

Jean de Charpentier, a German-Swiss geologist, was born Dec. 7, 1786. Charpentier was one of the first proponents of the idea that the glaciers of the Alps had once extended far beyond their present environs. His evidence lay in “erratics”, as they were called – huge boulders that dot the lower Alpine landscape, and are completely foreign to the terrain upon which they sit. A number of these cluster around the town of Monthey, on the lower Rhône, just above Lake Geneva, and not too far from Charpentier’s home base of Bex.

Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes

December 6, 2018

Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, a French painter, was born Dec. 6, 1750.  Valenciennes was one of the founders of French landscape painting, and it is often said that Valenciennes was to landscape painting in France what Jacques-Louis David was to history painting.  In...

Werner Heisenberg

December 5, 2018

Werner Heisenberg, a German physicist, was born Dec. 5, 1901.  In February of 1927, Heisenberg (center figure in first image) wrote a letter to Wolfgang Pauli, an Austrian physicist (right in first image), in which he made a radical proposal. He suggested that it is...

Chester Greenwood

December 4, 2018

Chester Greenwood, an American inventor, was born Dec. 4, 1858.  Chester grew up in Farmington, Maine, and while still a young lad, on a cold Maine day, he got the bright idea of putting a couple of beaver pads on the ends of a piece of spring wire and clamping it...

Rowland Hill

December 3, 2018

Rowland Hill, a Victorian political economist and social reformer, was born Dec. 3, 1795. In 1837, Hill published a pamphlet, Post Office Reform its Importance and Practicability, in which he proposed that the postal system in England needed to be reformed and then...