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History of Modern Science


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Thomas Savery
English 1699 heat-driven suction pump
Thomas Newcomen
English 1712 piston moving in cylinder; more efficient and versatile
James Watt
Scottish 1736-1819 improved efficiency of piston cylinder; led to wider industrial use of steam power
Sadi Carnot
French 1796-1832 \'Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat\'; need of hot and cold; Carnot cycle
James Joule
English 1818-1889 paddlewheel experiment 1847; measured conversion of work into heat in a set ratio, heat seen as a form of energy, First Law of Thermodynamics: energy can neither be created or destroyed
Rudolf Clausius
German 1850s left alone, heat flows from warm to cold creating entropy
William Thomson
Scottish 1850s left alone, heat flows from warm to cold creating entropy Second Law of Thermodynamics: world is running toward inevitable \'heat death\'
James Clerk Maxwell
Scottish 1860s applied stats concepts borrowed from social sciences. Temperature is an average of huge number of particles. light as waves 1861
Maxwell\'s Demon
1867 hot and cold \"could\" be sorted out instead of averaged out theoretically. second law is statistical, not absolute.
Michael Faraday
English 1831 electromagnetic induction: moving magnet near coil generates an electrical current
Heinrich Hertz
German 1888 produced electromagnetic waves experimentally
1860s/1870s feeding elec current into electromagnets for practical use
Thomas Edison
1879 carbon filament incandescent bulb
Pearl Street station
1882 NYC power station with DC current
battle of the currents
DC fades over distance, AC much more practical and efficient
H.A. Lorentz
Dutch 1890s developed electron theory
J.J. Thomson
English 1897-99 proved electron theory with experiments at Cavendish Lab
Wilhelm Rontgen
German 1895 discovered X-Rays
x-ray crystallography
use of x-ray imaging to study structure of molecules
Marie Sklodowska Curie
Polish/French 1898 isolated radioactive trace elements (radium)
glows and continuously pours out heat; seems to violate Conservation of Energy
Ernest Rutherford
New Zealand/England 1902 energy conserved, elements not; radioactive elements release energy and decay into lighter elements. Atoms storehouses of energy.

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