All entries for Thursday 03 May 2007

May 03, 2007

Most important scientist you've never heard of…

I am just putting the finishing touches to my not so secret project with Ian Stewart, of which more later…

One of the things about this little project has been to focus on a few clever mathematicians that seem to have had a fairly significant impact on just about the whole of maths and physics – people i’d never heard of before (not surprising, what with me being an Arts student and everything, but there you go).

So let me introduce to you Evariste Galois and Carl Friedrich Gauss

Galois developed Group Theory, joined the revolutionaries in France, got fed up, imprisoned and then shot in a duel over the girl next door in which he died young and probably rather annoyed.

Gauss just seems to be the cleverest person ever to have existed.

Now, recognising that there are probably loads of people on Warwick Blogs who know all about these two and I am just sharing my ignorance of great figures in mathematics, I was wondering which other great figures in science don’t get the recognition they deserve? Who should sit next to Einstein at the table of very clever people indeed? Who are the unsung heroes of your subject?


Heat ray used for good, not evil

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6616651.stm

Nice piece from the Beeb about how the Spanish are using a tower and a bunch of mirrors to generate electricity. Looks like a nice and elegant use of natural resources to power air-conditioning units for hot Andalucians.

Shame it couldn’t work here, though if the weather continues as it has done so far this year, maybe it would.

If we were looking for a system based on hot air, then perhaps we could turn the large tower at the Palace of Westminster into a power station.


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