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2012 Nobel Prize: How Do We See Light?

In our work we are always between Scylla and Charybdis; we may fail to abstract enough and miss important physics or we may abstract too much and end up with fictitious objects in our models turning into real monsters that devour us. ~ Murray Gell-Mann b. 1929

No two electrons in the same state? That is why atoms are so unnecessarily big and why metal and stone are so bulky. (Explaining that atoms are as large as they are because of Wolfgang Pauli’s Principle.) ~ Paul Ehrenfest 1880 – 1933


2012 Nobel Prize: How Do We See Light?

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List of inventors!
List of inventors!

Christopher Polhem (1661–1751) Sweden – the modern padlock.

Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov (1845–1916) Russia – probiotics.

Robert Koch (1843–1910) Germany – method for culturing bacteria on solid media.

Montgolfier brothers (1740–1810) and (1745–1799) France – hot air balloon.

Anders Celsius (1701–1744) Sweden – Celsius temperature scale.

Dmitri Garbuzov (1940–2006) Russia/USA – continuous-wave-operating diode lasers (together with Zhores Alferov) high-power diode lasers.

Sushruta (600 BC) Vedic India – inventor of Plastic Surgery Cataract Surgery Rhinoplasty.

Vladimir Petlyakov (1891–1942) Russia – heavy bomber.

Shen Kuo (1031–1095) China – improved gnomon armillary sphere clepsydra and sighting tube.

Marion O'Brien Donovan (1917–1998) USA – Waterproof diaper.

Thomas E. Kurtz (born 1928) together with John G. Kemeny (1926–1992) USA/Hungary – BASIC (programming language).

John Moses Browning (1855–1926) USA – Semi-automatic pistol.

Samuel Face (1923–2001) USA – concrete flatness/levelness technology; Lightning Switch.

Ted Selker (inv. 1987) USA – Pointing stick.

Joseph Henry (1797–1878) Scotland/USA – electromagnetic relay.

Melitta Bentz (1873–1950) Germany – paper Coffee filter.

Jacob Christoph Le Blon (1667–1741) Germany/UK – three and four color Color printing.

Eduard Locher (1840–1910) Switzerland – Locher rack railway system.

John Harington (1561–1612) UK – the flush toilet.

Vladimir Simonov (born 1935) Russia – APS Underwater Assault Rifle SPP-1 underwater pistol.


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Brilliant Quotes By Famous And Awesome Scientists!

With monads and diads and pentads and triads My brain has been addled completely; And what’s really meant by ‘something-valent ’ Is a question I give up discretely. ~ John Cargill Brough - 1834 to 1872

Nearly 2.5 billion years of prokaryotic cells and nothing else – two-thirds of life’s history in stasis at the lowest level of recorded complexity… Why did life remain at stage 1 for two-thirds of its history if complexity offers such benefits? ~ Stephen Jay Gould 1941 to 2002 - Paleontologist

A cylinder of air reaching to the top of the atmosphere is of equal weight with a cylinder of water about 33 feet high. ~ Isaac Newton 1642 to 1727

Although the alternate ‘wax and wane’ cycles are the rule rather than the exception in all fields of human endeavor in that of biological sciences the ‘wane’ is all too often indicative of a justified loss of faith in the rational and methodical approach that had at first raised so much hope. ~ Rita Levi-Montalcini 1909 to 2012 Neurobiologist

Suppose we have an unknown number of objects. When counted in threes 2 are left over when counted in fives 3 are left over and when counted in sevens 2 are left over. How many objects are there? ~ Sunzi The Mathematical Classic of Sunzi - Chinese mathematics problem from c. 450 AD

Did the genome of our cave-dwelling predecessors contain a set or sets of genes which enable modern man to compose music of infinite complexity and write novels with profound meaning? …It looks as though the early Homo was already provided with the intellectual potential which was in great excess of what was needed to cope with the environment of his time.” - Susumu Ohno 1928 to 2000 Geneticist

Physics is very muddled again at the moment; it is much too hard for me anyway and I wish I were a movie comedian or something like that and had never heard anything about physics! ~ Wolfgang Pauli 1900 – 1958


Train Your Brain, Solve This…

Movies About Scientists, Inventors and People who do Amazing Things!

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A rags-to-riches story of two friends, a small-time inventor and a sharky salesman, who hit rock bottom before coming up with a gizmo that becomes a worldwide phenomenon.


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