Galileo Galilei was definitely that guy in your high school science class who always knew the answer, begged for extra credit, maybe graduated early¿you know the type. Leave it to the tireless team of researchers at Rice University to document every minute detail of the famous Italian astronomer, physicist and mathematician¿s life (1564-1642¿fine, maybe a couple of years before you hit high school), from his early pendulum discoveries to his later telescope developments and ultimate house arrest during the Inquisition for sticking to his then-heretical Copernican beliefs. He may have been a step or two ahead of his peers--and thank goodness! It¿s impossible to even consider where we¿d be today without his super-smarts.
Go beyond E=MC2 in ways you never dreamed. This lovingly assembled homage to the world¿s most cherished genius is more than educational; rather, it¿s a fascinating portrait of a man, a scientist, a wizard, politician, professor and family man whose discoveries, well-known to most, came not without considerable elbow grease, self-doubt and support from good friends. Take the whole tour of this exhibit, full of rare photos of Einstein at every age, including papers he authored and facsimiles of his early school essays. Most impressive and exciting may be the audio files mixed in with the text¿you can actually listen to Albert Einstein give a concise English explanation of his Theory of Relativity. Now, that¿s technology at work!
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace may not be a household name in the modern world, but by the time of his death in 1913 this English naturalist, evolutionist and geographer was regarded as one of the great scientists of the day. Wallace, in fact, nearly beat Darwin to the punch with his own ideas about evolution by natural selection. This site, assembled by biogeographer and Wallace scholar Charles H. Smith of Western Kentucky University, aims to elucidate the life and times of a man history has left largely in Darwin¿s shadow. By bringing together, among other things, a biography, interviews Wallace gave, the naturalist¿s own writings, and an extensive FAQ (Did Darwin steal material from Wallace to complete his theory of natural selection?), it manages to accomplish just that.
Polish-born Marie Curie, founder of polonium and radium, was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes. But there¿s so much more to be learned about the life and work of this fascinating scientist, all easily gleaned from the site¿s biographical timeline, replete with beautiful photographs. She was also the first woman to earn a doctorate in France, and she defined an international standard for radium emissions, which was named the Curie. Perhaps best known for its early use in combating cancer, radium was Curie¿s greatest discovery, and this site pays grateful homage to her groundbreaking work.
OK, stop reading and move your chair back from your desk. Take a good look at your computer. The man you have to thank for the very existence of that sophisticated piece of technology is Alan Turing, who in 1935 conceived of a rather basic, yet ultimately world-altering computation device known as the "Universal Turing Machine." This web site, devoted to the life and work of the "father of modern computing," contains a large archive of all his work: articles, photographs, reference materials and the like covering not only his groundbreaking Machine, but also his deciphering skills used to break Hitler¿s secret code "Enigma," said to shorten the Second World War by at least two years, plus his work on Artificial Intelligence and artificial life forms.
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