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birthdays & deaths

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February 22 - Births – Physicists born on February 22

Heinrich Hertz (22 Feb 1857 - 1 Jan 1894)

He was a German physicist who was the first to broadcast and receive radio waves. His main work was on electromagnetic waves. He studied under Kirchhoff and Helmholtz and became a professor at Bonn in 1889. Hertz generated electric waves by means of the oscillatory discharge of a condenser through a loop provided with a spark gap and then detecting them with a similar type of circuit. The unit of frequency is named after him and he was also the first to discover the photoelectric effect. Hertz died of blood poisoning in 1894 at the age of 37.

Jean-Charles-Athanase Peltier (22 Feb 1785 - 27 Oct 1845)

He was the French physicist who discovered the Peltier effect in 1834. It says that at the junction of two dissimilar metals an electric current will produce heat or cold, depending on the direction of current flow. He made a thermoelectric thermoscope to measure temperature distribution along with a series of thermocouple circuits, from which he discovered the Peltier effect. The effect is now used in devices for measuring temperature and non-compressor cooling units.

Pierre Janssen (22 Feb 1824 - 23 Dec 1907)

He was a French astronomer who devised a method for observing solar prominences without an eclipse in 1868. He proved that the solar prominences are gaseous. He also noted an unknown yellow spectral line in the sun in 1868 which he named helium. Janssen was the first to note the granular appearance of the Sun.

February 22- Deaths – Physicists died on February 22

George Ellery Hale (29 Jun 1868 - 21 Feb 1938)

He was an American astronomer known for his development of important astronomical instruments. He founded Mt. Wilson Observatory in December 1904. He encouraged research in galactic and extragalactic astronomy as well as solar and stellar astrophysics. He also discovered that sunspots were regions of relatively low temperatures and high magnetic fields. The Hale telescope (1948) was named after him because he tirelessly raised funds for the 200-inch reflecting telescope at Palomar Mountain Observatory.

George Francis Fitzgerald (3 Aug 1851 - 21 Feb 1901)

He was an Irish physicist who helped in laying a foundation for wireless telegraphy. He first developed a theory called the Lorentz-FitzGerald that said a material object moving through an electromagnetic field would exhibit a contraction of its length in the direction of motion. He also studied electrolysis as well as electromagnetic radiation.

Heike Kamerlingh Onnes (3 Aug 1851 - 21 Feb 1901)

He was a Dutch physicist who was awarded the 1913 Noble prize for physics for his contribution in the field of low-temperature physics in which he liquified hydrogen and helium. He obtained his first sample of liquid helium in 1908. His accomplishment was published in The Times on 20 July 1908 after a few more days of verification. He also discovered superconductivity.

Inge Lehmann (13 May 1888 - 21 Feb 1993)

She was the first true female geophysicist in the world and the first person in that field in her home country. She identified the Lehmann Discontinuity in the seismic structure of the earth which marks a previously unknown boundary at the solid inner core of the Earth in 1936. She published this in the paper called “P” (for Prime). The paper was based on her interpretation of worldwide shockwave records from a large earthquake near New Zealand in 1929. She received awards from around the world.

February 22 - Events – Physics Events on February 22

Chlorine Gas

Humphry Davy read a paper in 1811 to the Royal Society and introduced the name “chlorine” from the Greek word for “green”, for the bright yellow-green gas chemists then known as oxymuriatic gas. Davy reported on his numerous experiments with oxymuriatic gas, which appeared to have many of the reactive properties of oxygen. When chlorine was first obtained from a reaction in which HCl, the yellow-green gas had been thought to be a compound containing oxygen. Later, Davy’s careful work showed that the chlorine gas was in fact an element.

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