Special Sub-Topic: Scientists are Human Too
|Which famous mathematician allegedly forbade his followers to eat beans on the grounds that if a bean was buried and covered with dung, 40 days later it would assume human form?|
Pythagoras. Pythagoras also believed in a form of reincarnation and the transmigration of souls. Along with his work with triangles and other aspects of geometry, he also discovered the mathematical relationship between the length of a piece string and musical pitch.
|Who is alleged to have leapt from his bath-tub and ran naked through the streets of his town shouting 'Eureka! Eureka!' ('I've found it') upon discovering the principles of floatation?|
Archimedes. Archimedes is often described as the greatest scientist and mathematician of all time. He discovered the principles of pulley systems, the principles of floatation and calculated an accurate figure for Pi among many, many other achievements.
Did he actually run naked through the streets or not? We will never know for sure.
|Which famous scientist cut a hole in a door so his cat could get in and out without disturbing him. When the cat had kittens, he cut out smaller holes for them to use.|
Isaac Newton. Yes, Sir Isaac Newton, the man Albert Einstein suggested was the greatest scientist that ever lived, didn't think that one hole would be enough for his cat and kittens to use.
Isaac Newton explained gravity, improved telescope design and along with Gottfried Leibniz, gave the world calculus.
|While heating mercuric oxide, Joseph Priestley noticed a candle would burn more brightly when exposed to the gas given off. He called this gas 'dephlogisticated air,' but what gas and element had he actually discovered.|
Oxygen. Joseph Priestley discovered ammonia, nitrous oxide and hydrogen chloride.
Priestley, a Unitarian minister, was interested in gases and studied carbon dioxide after watching and analysing the fermentation process of beer in a brewery next to his chapel in Leeds, England.
He told Antoine Lavoisier about his discovery of 'dephlogisticated air' over dinner in Paris, and Lavoisier went on to experiment with Priestley's findings further. Lavoisier eventually released a paper detailing what he named 'oxygen' and did not acknowledge Priestley's work at all. Priestley was not happy about that.
|Pierre and Marie Curie are well know for discovering 'radioactivity' and several radioactive elements including polonium, radium and thorium. Marie Curie died in 1934 from leukaemia caused by a life of exposure to radiation, but how did her husband and collaborator die?|
Traffic accident. Pierre Curie was killed in a carriage accident in bad weather in Paris on 19 April 1906.
Pierre Curie was also known for his work with the piezoelectric properties of crystals. He completed his doctorate with a study on magnetism and his discovery of the effect of temperature on paramagnetism is now known as 'Curie's Law.'
He was awarded a joint Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 along with his wife Marie Curie for their work on radioactivity. Marie Curie also won a Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911, the first person to achieve a Nobel Prize in two disciplines.
|In 1939, who said he was, 'Sure, nearly sure, that it will not be possible to convert matter into energy for practical purposes for a long time' when discussing the possibility of atomic energy?|
Albert Einstein. An experiment conducted at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin by three physicists, Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman, bombarded uranium with neutrons releasing a significant amount of energy. As a by-product of the bombardment, the uranium released barium and krypton isotopes. The research was then copied and proven by several other physicists in Paris and the USA.
Einstein did not foresee the rapid amount of research this discovery created which very quickly became the basis for the production of the first atomic bomb only six years later.
|Phosphorus was discovered in 1669 by an alchemist in Hamburg, Germany. Ironically Hamburg was nearly destroyed by phosphorus incendiary bombs dropped by Allied bombers in World War II.
Who was the alchemist who discovered phosphorus?|
Hennig Brand. Hennig Brand discovered phosphorus when he was experimenting with recipes from a book written by F T Kessler, for creating silver from other chemicals. Part of the experiment required Brand to boil urine. Presumably he used his own urine as he worked in secrecy.
The recipe for making silver did not work.
|Raytheon employee Percy Spencer was building and testing a radar magnetron when he discovered that a chocolate bar in his pocket was melting as a result of the energy transmission from the radar. What device did he build to further test this newly discovered way of heating food?|
Microwave oven. After discovering the power of microwave energy (other than for radar) Percy Spencer successfully tested the heating property on popcorn and an egg. He then built an enclosed box to contain the energy which was the first purpose built microwave oven.
In 1947 Raytheon built the first commercially available microwave oven and called it the 'Radarange.'
|Cyanoacrylate was inadvertently discovered when the chemist Harry Coover was searching for a way to make plastic lenses for rifle scopes. Of no use for rifle scopes it was utilised as an instant adhesive and was marketed under which of the following names.|
All of them (Super Glue, Flash Glue, Eastman 910 adhesive). Super Glue, Flash Glue and Eastman 910 adhesive are all marketed names of Cyanoacrylate.
Cyanoacrylate is a rapid curing glue that has seen use in many applications where quick contact bonding is required.
2-octyl cyanoacrylate is used by the military to stop bleeding by sealing wounds. Cyanoacrylate was first used in this capacity during the Vietnam War and is used today in a spray can.
Although mildly toxic, the fumes from curing cyanoacrylate can also be used as a forensic tool to help reveal fingerprints.
Be careful when using cyanoacrylate based adhesive and cotton as the chemical reaction when these two meet is exothermic, which means it creates heat. In ideal circumstances, enough for the cotton to catch fire.
|Which famous Russian physician who studied haematology accidentally died as a result of a blood transfusion he administered to himself during an experiment?|
Alexander Bogdanov. Alexander Bogdanov conducted 11 blood transfusions on himself from various donors in his search for 'eternal youth.' He was allegedly partly successful as he reported his eyesight had improved and his baldness suspended among other improvements.
Unfortunately for Bogdanov, he contracted malaria and tuberculosis from a transfusion of blood from one of his students and subsequently died as a result. There is some speculation he may have done this deliberately.
The other three choices are notable Russian science fiction writers.
A book of Scientific Curiosities - Cyril Aydon (ISBN 0 7336 2017 5)
Crucibles: The Story of Chemistry - Bernard Jaffe (ISBN 0 4862 3342 1)
Wikipedia, Thomasnet.com, Amazon.com, Googlebooks.com
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