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Questions tagged [biographical-details]

For questions about the details of a particular scientist's life.

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Investigation on discoveries of conductor and insulator

I read on Stephen Gray's discovery of conductor and insulator. From that I came across a question that how cork, wood, rope can act as conductor being an insulator but then I got the answer that it is ...
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Was Lord Kelvin at any point a proponent of vitalism?

Vitalism is the notion now discredited as pseudoscientific that there is some fundamental cleavage between living and non-living matter. This blog post contains some quotes that suggest Lord Kelvin ...
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Ctesibius discovery of compressed air

I want to know where has he placed the tube and how he adjust the height ? Please refer the link below marked in violet http://lnr.li/m19fP Please explain using simple diagram for better ...
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Discovery of Suction pump

As I know that before Galileo,all the scientists believe that vacuum cannot exists. But how suction pump(which itself remove air)was discovered before Galileo. What was the steps involved in it to ...
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Did John von Neumann ever go to any Nordic Country? Did Eugene Paul Wigner ever go to any other Nordic Country apart from Sweden?

I'm researching about the presence of important scientists in Nordic Countries (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland). I was hoping that someone could help me since I've not been able to find ...
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Investigations on Torricelli's barometer

How he came to know that air weight is finite as in wikipedia it has not been mentioned that he went to higher location to know that air weight above is less?As it was blaise pascal who went to higher ...
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Torricellis invention of barometer

Why has he used denser liquid that is mercury? Why didn't he thought of using lighter liquids than water?Please refer the link in the toricellis work in physics marked in violet http://lnr.li/mttgq
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Galileo discovery of vacuum

I want to know how he thought that when his siphon could not raise water more than 10m it may be because of vacuum? Please refer the link below https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Gasparo_Berti
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History behind the word pressure

I want to know who had used the word pressure for the first time and what was the reason for him to use the word pressure. As I searched on google but it is only showing about barometer discovery
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How did Francis Hauksbee know that mercury would glow in his electrostatic generator?

I read that he made a modified version of Otto von Guericke's electrostatic generator but I want to know how he came to know that mercury can glow light in his generator at that time?
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Water conductivity discovery

I read how Benjamin Franklin does the kite experiment in rain but keeping himself and the bottom end dry.I want to know how he know that water can conduct electricity.Please refer the link below and ...
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Kite experiment

In Benjamin Franklin's kite given in the link below http://www.benjamin-franklin-history.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Franklins-kite.jpg I want to know how electric charge pass through strings as ...
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Electric spark discovery

I am searching it on Google but I am not finding,who had discovered static electric spark for the first time,that later Benjamin Franklin proved that this spark(already discovered spark) is same as ...
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Charles du fay experiment

How he get to know which one is positive and which one is negative as stated by him that there are two types of fluid? Also tell how he thought of two fluids?
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Robert Boyle discovery of electricity

I was searching for all the names who discovered electricity. As I was seeing the names, the first name came of William Gilbert and I searched how had he discovered I got to know. Then the second ...
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Were notable physicists great at math or computing? [closed]

Were famous or popular physicists like Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Feynman predominantly mathematicians or scientists (computing, experimenting, engineering, etc.)? I am curious if people like the ...
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Who are the top mathematicians who were ignored due to their unconventional approach?

A perfect example would be Srinivasa Ramanujan It is known that the conventional community throughout history have been close-minded towards great men of science and mathematics.(eg. Galileo) ...
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Meaning of a cryptic sentence by Gauss on “the mobility of figures in the hyperbolic plane”

G. Waldo Dunnington writes in pages 189-190 of his biography of Gauss: Among the axioms of geometry which do not depend on the parallel postulate are those which secure the free mobility of a ...
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Did Cambridge change their BSc policy for Ramanujan?

I found this quote at Quora: In March 1916 Ramanujan graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelor of Science by Research (This degree was later renamed as Ph.D. from 1920) for his work on Highly ...
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Is the anecdote about Niels Bohr keeping a horseshoe on his door true?

I recently came to know of an anecdote about Niels Bohr that the philosopher Slavoj Zizek claims to have read in a biography of Bohr. He doesn't specify the author or the biography. The anecdote ...
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1answer
107 views

Who associated the sharp, principal, diffuse, fundamental spectral terms with electron's momentum?

It is well documented that the notation for the electronic configuration (s,p,d,f) of atoms as used today originates from the words sharp, principal, diffuse, fundamental from alkali metal spectra (...
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1answer
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Biographical informations on Igor Ado

Ado's Theorem is a very reelvant result in Lie theory (every finite-dimensional Lie algebra is isomorphic to a matrix Lie algebra). I've been, however, unable to find anything more than very basics ...
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102 views

Explanation of Gauss's late fragments dealing with “the conformal image of the ellipse”

My question refers to some not very well known fragments of Gauss that treat the problem of finding a conformal mapping (angle-preserving mapping) in the complex plane from the interior of the ellipse ...
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Meaning of passages by Gauss on the “convergence of expansions (in infinite series) of the (elliptical) equation of the center”?

Yesterday I took my time to look again into Schlesinger's essay on Gauss's contributions to analysis, and I found something new I didn't know about (so it caught my eye) in the last subsection of the ...
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Has anything survived of the work of alleged science journalist and medical doctor 'Adolph Klein', allegedly born 1829 in Merseburg?

The Jewish Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Encyclopedia) contains a sizeable entry on one 'Adolph Klein', allegedly born on 1829-05-29 in ther German city of Halle (Saale). ...
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Is there any historical mention of Richard Feynman being aware of multiverse theories of cosmology?

The reason I ask is because he talks about the fine structure constant in one of his undergraduate lectures. The reference to its mystery is analogous to all the special constants of nature such as ...
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Several questions about Gauss's mathematical conception of braids

I'm trying to figure out several things about Gauss's thoughts concerning a certain four-strand braid. The reference my questions are based on is mainly Moritz Epple's excellent article "orbits of ...
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Is there anything written by Newton's roommate Wilkins about him?

I've read that John Wilkins was Newton's room-mate and they lived together for 20 years. Is there anything about Newton written by Wilkins? By the way, there is nothing easily found on google.
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A portrait of Bombelli

Is there any known portrait of Rafael Bombelli? I don't think so, but if you visit his MacTutor biography, you will see there this picture: It is clear to me that this cannot possibly be a picture of ...
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How old might Emmy Noether be in this picture?

I have not found bibliographic data to show what age Noether was in this picture: And I cannot estimate well either by her clothes or her face. Can anyone here help me? In the past I have known ...
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2answers
150 views

What mathematical techniques Gauss used in order to tessellate the unit disk?

This question is a continuation of my previously posted question: Was Gauss aware of the non-euclidean implications of his work on moduler forms?, and is based on the information given in John ...
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1answer
106 views

What is the modern interpretation of Gauss's “Summatorische Function”?

In Buhler's biography of Gauss (Gauss: A Biographical Study), at the chapter on modular forms and hypergeometric series, he mentions a function that Gauss called "Summatorische Function", which he ...
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What are the modern connections of the Pentagramma Mirificum studied by Gauss?

In the last years, i read a lot about a mathematical object that was discovered by John Napier in 1620 and explored much more deeply by Gauss, who called this "Pentagramma Mirificum" (latin for "the ...
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Gauss's anticipation of quaternions and their relation to congruences

Recently i read the article "Hamilton, Rodrigues, Gauss, Quaternions and Rotations: A Historical Reassessment", which can be found freely on the internet. This article is by far the most comprehensive ...
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Question about Gauss's contributions to the theory of electric circuits

This question is a continuation of my previously-posted question: Several questions about Gauss's contributions to electromagnetism. I wrote it after user vonbrand asked me to split my original ...
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Query 31 in Newton's opticks and the second law of thermodynamics

Query 31 in Newton's opticks contains the following words: "But by reason of the Tenacity of Fluids, and Attrition of their Parts, and the Weakness of Elasticity in Solids, Motion is much more apt to ...
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198 views

Do these trigonometric identities belong to Antonio Cagnoli?

I'm new to this stack community, please bear with me as I try to explain my question properly. Recently I came across with these trigonometric identities (where $ \omega + \phi + \psi = 180^\circ $): ...
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Several questions about Gauss's contributions to electromagnetism

First of all, i appologize if i'm asking too many questions about Gauss (and some will also say "not very interesting questions"); i know i might appear ridiculus - but i really think it's an ...
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How did Gauss's electrodynamics law preempt the later developement of retarded potentials theory in physics?

My question refers to a fragment on electrodynamics written by Gauss at around 1835. In this short note (see Gauss's werke, volume V, p. 616-617) Gauss wrote down a fundamental equation which ...
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What was Gauss's theoretical work related to his invention of the “Double-Gauss lens”?

Gauss's contributions (Dioptriche Untersuchungen, 1840) to the "classical" optical theory (Gaussian optics, i.e calculations made under the paraxial approximation) are well known, but long before he ...
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What were 12 year old Pitts' objections to Principia Mathematica?

In Wikipedia on the page dedicated to Walter Pitts (accesses today), it is written that, He is widely remembered to have spent three days in a library, at the age of 12, reading Principia ...
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152 views

Was Paul Cohen a student or assistant of Gödel?

In The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, a biography about Paul Erdős, by Paul Hoffman, the author claims that Paul Cohen was "Gödel's former assistant" (p 225). However, I can't find any other sources ...
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What were Gauss's results on the attraction of homogenous ellipsoids in his paper from 1813?

I'm very curius to learn of the solution to the problem of the gravitational attraction of triaxial ellipsoid, both in his internal and external parts. From what i read, i understood that the solution ...
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1answer
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Summary of Gauss's work on geodesic lines on ellipsoid

The solution to the problem of geodesic lines on a biaxial ellipsoid (when two of the axes are equal) is not very hard and can be solved by mathematical tools that existed prior to Gauss - i.e via ...
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349 views

How did Wittgenstein fulfill eligibility requirements for a PhD in philosophy without having a Bachelor's degree in philosophy?

The Wikipedia article about Wittgenstein says: In Norway it was clear that Moore was expected to act as Wittgenstein's secretary, taking down his notes, with Wittgenstein falling into a rage when ...
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4answers
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In a popular anecdote, who took 20 minutes to decide that a thing was obvious?

The joke is found on this comment chain on Reddit. One user told the joke: The version I heard is that Pauli was lecturing, and he said "this is obvious". A student raises his hand and says "sorry ...
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Is this Einstein rejection letter fake?

So I found this on the internet the other day- Is this fake? Are there any ways to prove that it's fake? Does there, if any, exist any real copy of such a rejection letter?(Was Einstein ever ...
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Pauli's first paper about the spin

Wikipedia states, that the spin degree of freedom was first formulated by Pauli in 1924: In 1924 Wolfgang Pauli introduced what he called a "two-valued quantum degree of freedom" associated with ...
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Who influenced Gauss in his abstract approach to mathematics?

I have studied that Gauss was one of the firsts mathematicians to defend this idea, about the Abstract Math and the conception of number, claiming that "What is calculated (in the sense of things ...
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What did Fermat do as a lawyer?

Fermat is easily one of the best known mathematicians of all time. We all know about Fermat's Last Theorem, Fermat's Little Theorem, his quadrature rule, his invention of probability theory, etc. ...