If you are a scientist, you probably noticed already the theme we used in Physics Rockstarsnaming our power banks.  If you are not a scientist, we named our power banks for well known scientists.  We feel that we really owe our appreciation to these great inventors that technology is so advanced and that it continues to advance at such a great speed.  In one form or another, a large number of these scientists are responsible for the amazing technology at our fingertips which makes our lives easier.  In appreciation to these historical greats, we thought we would share some fun facts about some of these men and women.  If you would like to share a favorite fact about any of our scientists, send it here, and we may add it to our next blog with fun facts.

Henry Cavendish

Henry Cavendish was an English chemist and physicist, perhaps most known for his work with hydrogen. He was the first the recognize it as its own distinct element.

Additionally, he performed the Cavendish Experiment, which was the first time that gravity was measured. It was also the first time that someone calculated a weight for planet Earth. His work in the late 1700’s was very accurate for its’ time. The calculation he made for the weight of earth is within one percent of the weight which is accepted nowadays.

Cavendish was a very shy person, and generally only spoke to his friends within the scientific community. This led to much of his work not being published.

Leonhard Euler

Leonhard Euler was among the greatest mathematicians ever. He graduated from university when he was 16 with a Masters in Philosophy. Euler’s father, a pastor, wished for him to follow in his footsteps, but Johann Bernoulli, one of the greatest mathematicians at the time, recognized Leonhard’s potential and convinced his father to allow him to study under Bernoulli.

And it was not for naught. In 1984, Clifford Truesdell, a science historian, wrote that nearly one third of all of the research on mathematics and engineering mechanics from the 1700’s is to be attributed to Euler.

In 1734, he solved a math problem which had first been posed in 1644. It is known as the Basel Problem, and I am not even going to attempt to write what it is about. He was twenty-eight at the time and this made him famous in the mathematical world.

Another one of his great contributions to the world of science is applying the Latin letter π (pi) to the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its’ diameter (3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651328230664709384460955058223172535940812848111745028410270193852110555964462294895493038196442881097566593344612847564823378678316527120190914564856692346034861045432664821339360726024914127372458700660631558817488152092096282925409171536436789259036001133053054882046652138414695194151160943305727036575959195309218611738193261179310511854807446237996274956735188575272489122793818301194912983367336244065664308602139494639522473719070217986094370277053921717629317675238467481846766940513200056812714526356082778577134275778960917363717872146844090122495343014654958537105079227968925892354201995611212902196086403441815981362977477130996051870721134999999837297804995105973173281609631859502445945534690830264252230825334468503526193118817101000313783875288658753320838142061717766914730359825349042875546873115956286388235378759375195778185778053217122680661300192787661119590921642019893809525720106548586327886593615338182796823030195203530185296899577362259941389124972177528347913151557……).

David Brewster

Sir David Brewster was a British inventor and astronomer. His main area of study was optics. He is perhaps best known for his invention of the kaleidoscope.  His kaleidoscope concept was stolen and manufactured before his patent was granted. As such, despite its’ popularity, it did not do much for him financially.  ???

He also built a stereoscope which is sort of the original 3D glasses. There is controversy as to who the inventor of the stereoscope was. Although Brewster agrees that it was not him, he maintained that the inventor was a teacher of his from Edinburgh named Mr. Elliot. Almost everyone else believes that the true inventor was Charles Wheatstone.

Brewster is also known for his work on the modern day lighthouse. He was knighted in 1832 by William the Fourth of Great Britain.

Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman was an American physicist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and that Brooklyn accent stayed with him through his life. It was so strong that several of his close friends said that he spoke like a “bum”.

He is well known for his work on The Manhattan Project, where he was in charge of safety procedures for handling uranium. Through his work on this, he met Niels Bohr, an older and more famous physicist of the time. Bohr often wished to speak physics with Feynman one-on-one, although most of the other physicists at the lab did not have that opportunity. It was revealed later that the reason for this was that the others had much respect for Bohr and were “starstruck” to be speaking with him. Feynman on the other hand, said that he respected Bohr as much as the next guy, but once he started speaking physics, he was in his element and didn’t care about details like that, and thus was able to carry on a conversation.

In 1979, Omni Magazine named Feynman “The Smartest Man In The World”. When his mother heard this she said “Our Richie? The world’s smartest man? G-d help us!” He died in 1988. His final words were “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”

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