Search Results for: father of

Lisa commits the ‘father of’ sin

I have lived more than half of my life in Germany but one way that I maintain contact with my British roots is that I listen to two and a half hours of BBC Radio 4 on Sunday mornings. This … Continue reading


Filed under History of science, Myths of Science

The father of…

For a change today’s birthday boy is not an obscure mathematician or astronomer but a famous chemist, indeed the very ‘father of chemistry’ or if you prefer the ‘founder of modern chemistry’ Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier who was born on the … Continue reading


Filed under History of science, Myths of Science

Like father like son

Anybody who did physics at school has almost certainly at some point stumbled across Snell’s Law; this is a law in optics that states that for a light ray travelling from one medium into another the ratio of the sines … Continue reading


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Conversations in a sixteenth century prison cell

Science writer Michael Brooks has thought up a delightful conceit for his latest book.* The narrative takes place in a sixteenth century prison cell in Bologna in the form of a conversation between a twenty-first century quantum physicist (the author) … Continue reading


Filed under Book Reviews, Early Scientific Publishing, History of Astrology, History of Astronomy, History of Physics, Renaissance Science, Uncategorized

Isaac Beeckman – candle maker, hydro-engineer, schoolteacher, lens grinder, natural philosopher…

I first stumbled across Isaac Beeckman when I was learning about the early history of the telescope. In his Journal, about which more later, he wrote how Johannes Zachariassen, who was teaching him lens grinding, explained how he and his … Continue reading


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Bringing the heavens down to earth

The Frisian Protestant pastor and amateur astronomer, David Fabricius, was beaten to death by one of his parishioners on 7 May 1617. Because he corresponded with both Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler and was quite a significant figure in Early … Continue reading


Filed under History of Astronomy, History of Optics, History of science, Uncategorized

The problem with superlatives

I have on several occasions in the past written about the problems of the use of certain superlative terms in presentations of the history of science, in particular in popular ones, such as first, father of, founder of and the … Continue reading


Filed under History of science, Myths of Science

Measure for measure

The Brexit vote in the UK has produced a bizarre collection of desires of those Leavers eager to escape the poisonous grasp of the Brussels’ bureaucrats. At the top of their list is a return of the death penalty, a … Continue reading


Filed under History of Mathematics, History of Navigation, History of science, Uncategorized

Never say Never!

In the past I’ve blogged about various terms and phrases that people writing about the history of science should refrain from using or better still ban from their vocabularies completely, such as ‘the greatest’ or ‘the father of’. Today I … Continue reading


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The Goddess, her husband and his lovers

In recent days the science sections of the media have been full of the successful entering of orbit around Jupiter by the NASA probe Juno after its five-year, 2.8 billion kilometre journey from the Earth. Many of the reports also … Continue reading


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