Category Archives: History

The First Microscopists

Awesome video from Howard Hughes Medical Institute: * * * This video presents a somewhat more elaborate introduction to the early history of microscopy. Advertisements

Posted in History, Popular Science | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fourier Transforms, X-ray Diffraction, Quasicrystals

Aatish Bhatia, the popular science writer/blogger behind Empirical Zeal, has a pretty neat primer on Fourier transforms with quite a few links to animations that you can view on your browser. Over at Better Explained, Kalid also has a wonderful … Continue reading

Posted in History, Popular Science | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mayer vs. Joule

Here’s something from the early history of thermodynamics: who should get the credit for the First Law? Just came across an interesting io9 article: Why Julius Robert von Mayer was one of the unluckiest men in science by Esther Inglis-Arkel. … Continue reading

Posted in History, Thermo | Leave a comment

From tin pest to Napoleon’s disastrous war against Russia

Let’s start with a video of tin pest: From the Wikipedia entry on tin pest: At 13.2 degrees Celsius (about 56 degrees Fahrenheit) and below, pure tin transforms from the silvery, ductile metallic allotrope of β-form white tin to brittle, … Continue reading

Posted in History, Thermo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mpemba Effect

Since we have started discussing solid liquid and liquid gas transformations (and their opposites), here’s an interesting empirical observation that is yet to be explained clearly and convincingly: Mpemba effect. From Wikipedia: The Mpemba effect, named after Tanzanian student Erasto … Continue reading

Posted in History, Thermo | Leave a comment

Josiah Willard Gibbs

In thermodynamics, we find all kinds of important named concepts and equations that go back to this great American scientist of the nineteenth century (some people even go so far as to say he is the greatest American scientist, ever). … Continue reading

Posted in History, Thermo | Leave a comment