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Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson
Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning
It was the design of an experiment to determine whether or not the hypothesis of chemical transmission that I had uttered seventeen years ago was correct. I got up immediately, went to the laboratory, and performed a simple experiment on a frog heart according to the nocturnal design. We conventionally associate dream inspiration with the creative arts, but the canon of scientific breakthroughs contains many revolutionary ideas that originated in dreams. The Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev created the periodic table of the elements after a dream suggested to him that the table could be ordered by atomic weight. It was in a dream in 1947 that Nobel laureate John Carew Eccles originally conceived his theory of synaptic inhibitory action, which helped explain how connected neurons can fire without triggering an endless cascade of brain activity. Interestingly, Eccles’s initial hunch involved a purely electrical system, but later experiments proved that the chemical GABA was central to synaptic inhibition, putting him in agreement with Loewi’s experiment of decades before.
GERM THEORY (1862) While the idea that germs carried contagious disease was not new and had been proposed before, French chemist Louis Pasteur was one of the first to develop experiments to prove the theory conclusively. DYNAMITE (1863) Seeking to develop new methods for blasting rock more effectively, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel built on his experiments with nitroglycerin and invented a detonator that used a strong shock to spark explosions, which he patented in 1863. PERIODIC TABLE (1864) In 1864, Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev developed upon earlier notions of British chemist John Newlands that chemical elements could be arranged in a pattern according to their atomic masses, providing a more comprehensive chart with a focus on recurring trends in properties. DISCOVERY OF BENZENE STRUCTURE (1865) Following the discovery of benzene in 1825, German chemists Joseph Loschmidt and August Kekule von Stradonitz theorized a similar structure of the organic chemical compound—a ring of six carbon atoms with alternating single and double bonds.
Big Bang by Simon Singh
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, V2 rocket, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam
Goodricke was just eighteen years old, and absolutely correct in his analysis of Algol—the pattern was symmetric and an eclipse is a symmetrical process, and the star system was generally bright and with a relatively short dim phase, which again was typical of an eclipsing system. In fact, a large proportion of variable stars can be explained in this way. His work was recognised by the Royal Society, which awarded him the prestigious Copley Medal for the year’s most significant discovery in science. Three years earlier it had been won by William Herschel, and in later years it would be awarded to Dmitri Mendeleev for developing the periodic table, to Einstein for his work on relativity, and to Francis Crick and James Watson for unravelling the secret of DNA. Figure 40 The variation in the brightness of the star Algol is symmetric and periodic, with a minimum brightness every 68 hours and 50 minutes. The phenomenon of eclipsing binary stars was a major discovery in the history of astronomy, but it would play no role in the drama of the nebulae.
In many ways, the great sacrifices made by the Curies in their cramped Parisian laboratory served only to highlight the huge lack of understanding as to what was going on inside the atom. Scientists seemed to have gone backwards in their knowledge – just a few decades earlier they had claimed to fully comprehend the building blocks of matter thanks to the periodic table. In 1869, the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev had drawn up a chart that listed all the elements then known, from hydrogen to uranium. By combining the atoms of different elements in the periodic table in various ratios, it was possible to build molecules and explain every material under the Sun, inside the Sun and beyond the Sun. For example, two atoms of hydrogen plus one atom of oxygen made one molecule of water, H2O. This much still remained true, but the Curies demonstrated that there was a mighty energy source within some atoms, and the periodic table could not explain this phenomenon.
Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, complexity theory, dark matter, Dmitri Mendeleev, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking
Two More Forces, and a Particle Zoo From early in the twentieth century, scientists knew of the existence of 92 different chemical elements. Each element was known to consist of its own variety of atoms, and the 92 different kinds of atoms were regarded as the fundamental building blocks of nature—though it did seem rather profligate of nature to require so many ‘fundamental’ building blocks. Thanks to the pioneering work of the Siberian Dmitri Mendeleev, who lived from 1834 to 1907, in the second half of the nineteenth century chemists had begun to appreciate the relationships between atoms with different weights. Mendeleev showed that when the elements were listed in order of increasing atomic weight, starting with hydrogen, then elements with similar chemical properties recurred at regular intervals throughout the resulting periodic table.
Science...For Her! by Megan Amram
Albert Einstein, blood diamonds, butterfly effect, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dmitri Mendeleev, double helix, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, pez dispenser, Schrödinger's Cat, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Wall-E, wikimedia commons
Kim Kardashian Let’s just say: both these are messes!! Both are wearing bilirubin, which gives them their brown coloration. Kim is just trying too hard, as always. Poop wore it best!! Poop 81% | Kim 19% The Periodic Table of the Elements * * * The periodic table organizes chemical elements based on their atomic numbers, electron configurations, and recurring chemical properties. Before the periodic table was organized by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, it was just thrown together all willy-nilly! You couldn’t find hydrogen if your life depended on it, and nitrogen was stashed under the sofa in the living room. FIG. 2.9 Everything was all over the place, like how druggies hide drugs in all the little nooks and crannies of their houses. Like, for example, where do you hide your drugs? Please write or e-mail me the answer and don’t skimp on the specifics!
QI: The Book of General Ignorance - The Noticeably Stouter Edition by Lloyd, John, Mitchinson, John
Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Barry Marshall: ulcers, British Empire, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Fellow of the Royal Society, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invention of the telephone, James Watt: steam engine, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, placebo effect, Pluto: dwarf planet, trade route, V2 rocket, Vesna Vulović
As well as mercury, gallium, caesium and francium can all be liquids at room temperature. As these liquids are very dense (being metals), bricks, horseshoes and cannon balls theoretically float in them. Gallium (Ga) was discovered by French chemist Lecoq de Boisbaudran in 1875. Everyone assumed it was a patriotic name but gallus is Latin for ‘a Gaul’ and ‘rooster’ – as in ‘Lecoq’. It was the first new element to confirm Dmitri Mendeleev’s prediction of the periodic table. Gallium is used chiefly in microchips because of its strange electronic properties. Compact disc players also make use of it because when mixed with arsenic it transforms an electric current directly into laser light, which is used to ‘read’ the data from the discs. Caesium (Cs) is most notably used in atomic clocks – it is used to define the atomic second (see page 220) It also explodes extremely violently when it comes into contact with water.
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Brownian motion, correlation does not imply causation, Dmitri Mendeleev, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Mikhail Gorbachev, Project Plowshare, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, Yom Kippur War
Though we now know that Democritus’s idea was closest to the truth, for millennia it had no special status. More than two thousand years later, a steady march of experimentation and observation led scientists to the conclusion that Democritus was essentially correct: matter is made up of tiny atoms. Chemists had led the way; the work of chemists such as the Briton John Dalton, the Italian Amedeo Avogadro, and the Russian Dmitri Mendeleev began to produce a picture in which all matter consisted of a collection of invisible “elemental” particles. Water, for example, was made up of two particles of hydrogen and one of oxygen; alcohol had two of carbon, six of hydrogen, and one of oxygen. There was only a handful of known elements, and they each had different properties. For example, the atoms of some elements, such as hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, were very light.
The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch by Lewis Dartnell
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, clean water, Dava Sobel, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of movable type, invention of radio, invention of writing, iterative process, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius, mass immigration, nuclear winter, off grid, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, technology bubble, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route
The modern periodic table is a colossal monument to human achievement, as impressive as the Egyptian pyramids or any of the other wonders of the world. Far more than just a comprehensive list of different elements that chemists have identified over the years, it is a way of organizing knowledge that allows you to predict details about what you have not yet found. For example, when the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev first assembled a periodic table in 1869 of the 60-odd elements then known, he found gaps in the brickwork—placeholders corresponding to missing substances. But the brilliant thing about the arrangement, where the elements are placed according to their properties, is that it enabled him to predict precisely what these hypothetical elements would be like—such as eka-aluminum, the missing piece in the table immediately below aluminum.
Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science by Jim Al-Khalili
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Book of Ingenious Devices, colonial rule, Commentariolus, Dmitri Mendeleev, Eratosthenes, Henri Poincaré, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Joseph Schumpeter, liberation theology, retrograde motion, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, trade route, William of Occam
What all the medieval Arabic texts on chemistry have in common is great attention to detail based on careful experimentation. The techniques that were developed drove a thriving and successful industry, but we also see in the work of Jābir the beginning of chemistry as an empirical science motivated by a desire to understand how the world is made up. The periodic table one finds on the wall of every school science laboratory was conceived by the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869. Its key idea is to group together substances with similar properties, as well as arranging them according to their atomic weight. On one side, for instance, are the inert gases and, on the other, the volatile metals. It is a triumph of classification, giving scientists a way of organizing their knowledge of the material world, something mankind has been striving to do since the dawn of time.
The Music of the Primes by Marcus Du Sautoy
Ada Lovelace, Andrew Wiles, Arthur Eddington, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, computer age, Dava Sobel, Dmitri Mendeleev, Eratosthenes, Erdős number, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, German hyperinflation, global village, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, music of the spheres, New Journalism, Paul Erdős, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine, William of Occam, Wolfskehl Prize, Y2K
They saw that every number could be constructed by multiplying prime numbers together. Whilst the Greeks mistakenly believed fire, air, water and earth to be the building blocks of matter, they were spot on when it came to identifying the atoms of arithmetic. For many centuries, chemists strove to identify the basic constituents of their subject, and the Greeks’ intuition finally culminated in Dmitri Mendeleev’s Periodic Table, a complete description of the elements of chemistry. In contrast to the Greeks’ head start in identifying the building blocks of arithmetic, mathematicians are still floundering in their attempts to understand their own table of prime numbers. The librarian of the great ancient Greek research institute in Alexandria was the first person we know of to have produced tables of primes.