Hot answers tagged

74

Let's take Harry Truman as an example. He was born in 1884. The electron was discovered in 1897, which would have been Truman's freshman year at Independence High School. If he did take a physics or chemistry class at that school or at Spalding's Commercial College, models of the structure of atoms would not yet have been part of the standard curriculum. ...


51

At least regarding when, we can see with Google Books Ngrams. First let's look at "atomic energy" vs. "nuclear energy": In the 1940s, both terms were in use, but "atomic energy" was the far more common one, by about factor of 10 in the late 1940s and by a factor of 4 in the late 1950s. But the popularity of "atomic energy&...


47

Yes, and no. A 2003 survey paper "Sonic Boom Research: History and Future" by Plotkin and Maglieri says they were predicted by Mach in the 1870s, were known as "ballistic waves" when caused by artillery shells. (See also this and this, which have some historical references, but none obviously connected with Yeager's flight. They do cite a seminal 1946 ...


42

One man's lock is another man's puzzle. Combination locks have been used since at least ancient Rome. Whether the lock uses numbers or letters (or other symbols), the combination to be entered may be set based on a riddle or some other piece of knowledge as a mnemonic. The lock is meant to be solved at some future time by someone who has the correct ...


40

The Copper Scroll The Copper Scroll is a Dead Sea scroll found in 1952, unique in that it is of copper (with a little tin), has a list of 63 or 64 locations of treasure with "obscure hints of the locations". Although it was initially disputed whether or not the list was historical rather than legendary, a scholarly consensus seems to be emerging that ...


18

The project that Scott Manley is referring to was known as Project A119, and was run at the Armour Research Foundation (ARF), which was based at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The ARF is now known as the IIT Research Institute. The official title of Project A119 was A Study of Lunar Research Flights, and Volume 1 of the report, produced in 1959 by ...


13

This is a long answer, so here is a list of connections that the public could have made, in no particular order: It was the work of the Gods and Goddesses It was the manifestation of the spirit within the object It was a form of magnetism It was a miniaturised form of lightning It was proof of hidden powers and magic of various kinds It was some ...


10

I'm going to address your question in two parts: 1. The accuracy of the claim that attendance dropped. 2. The effect that the lectures had on the attendees. Firstly, as you rightly hypothesised, the tale of dropping attendance was false. This stemmed from a preface to the book, written by David Goodstein and Gerry Neugebauer. They wrote that "… as the ...


9

The Spanish and Portuguese noticed early in the 16th century that the native peoples of the Caribbean and South and Central America were sickly to the point of being unsuitable (in general) for slave labour. From this the First Atlantic System develops into South and Central America: Regarding the Atlantic slave trade [The First Atlantic System] started (on ...


7

Jean Froissart wrote And I often, with a little tube, Made a soap bubble fly from the water. I'm not sure when he wrote this but he died in about 1405. Also, there's a picture of a monkey maybe blowing a bubble. The text under the picture says Detail from a full border of a monkey playing a game (possibly blowing bubbles?), from the Isabella ...


6

"International Geophysical Year" (IGY) ran from from 1 July 1957 to 31 December 1958. Eisenhower's speech in October 1957 was being made in that context. Image source Wikimedia The United States' Explorer 1 satellite was launched as one of the projects for that year. The US intention to launch an artificial satellite during the IGY had been announced in ...


5

The Egyptian labyrinth(s) could possibly be an example of actual treasure hidden behind a puzzle. I had a little difficulty finding a source that "felt reliable". This tantalizingly detailed description: You entered the maze from a descending stairway, hidden on the south side of the pyramid, which led to a small chamber. This apparently led nowhere;...


4

The Wikipedia article Myth of the flat Earth gives a general summary for the Western world as: According to Stephen Jay Gould, "there never was a period of 'flat Earth darkness' among scholars (regardless of how the public at large may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). ... Historian Jeffrey Burton Russell says the flat-Earth error ...


4

Alla Masevich writes in the memoirs under the name "Stars and Satellites in My Life": In fact for Lovell such request was an important reason for advertizing of the telescope. For the first time from the USSR asked for the help, and it, but not in the USA. http://www.ras.ru/FStorage/download.aspx?id=7780a8cf-35f6-4024-8541-69b1adaeeea6 Alla Genrikhovna ...


4

As can be gathered by the other answers, it's a complex topic. The University of Manchester website gives some extra information. Firstly, the Soviets were probably annoyed that no-one outside of the the Soviet Union believed that the Luna 1 probe, launched on 2 January 1959 existed. For the next successful launch, the Soviets decided to get Jodrell Bank to ...


3

Question: My question is this: how much was known about human heredity before Mendelian inheritance was discovered? I imagine human beings would have always noticed that children end up looking like their parents. Heredity was well known term in the Scientific Community when Mendel published his work, but was not understood. Darwin presented a ...


2

Here is an interesting recent article related to the subject on BBC News: Pernkopf: The Nazi book of anatomy still used by surgeons from which one can learn that surgeons are still using the Nazi anatomic atlas which was made when dissecting the bodies of executed political prisoners. But apparently there is no better atlas... The main author was ...


2

It doesn't seem like there is much information on this readily available in English, but here are a few scraps I could find. The Geographical Distribution of the International Geophysical Year Stations listed (by my quick count) 8 participating measurement stations in Taiwan. The article "Science as a symbol of new nationhood: India and the ...


1

There are still quite a lot of uses of "atomic" in this kind of context floating around, particular in organisation names. For eaxmple, in the UK, the Atomic Weapons Establishment is responsible for the maintenance of the UK's nuclear weapons arsenal; the International Atomic Energy Agency is a body involved in use of nuclear power - I'm sure there ...


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