Archive for Engineering

Leonardo Da Vinci

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 Leonardo Da Vinci
Born: Vinci, Republic of Florence, April 15, 1542
Died: May 2, 1519, Amboise, Kingdom of France.
Fields: Engineering, Biology

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Biography 

Leonardo Da Vinci is widely regarded as an icon (perhaps the icon) of the Reinassance period. He is said to possess the most diverse skill set of all time – he was a painter, inventor, musician, mathematician, geoologist, cartographer, botanist and writer.  He is widely regarded as the personification of Reinassance, a man of ”unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination” .

Da Vinci’s technological ingenuity was ahead of his time by a long margin. He was the first man to conceptualize a tank, a helicopter, a calculator and solar power among others. He devised a series of movable barricades to defend Venice in 1499 and worked with Nicholo Machiavelli to devise a scheme to divert the flow of the Arno river. He was always fascinated with flight, recording numerous observations of bird flight into the Codex on the Flight of Birds and drew up plans for an early version of a helicopter and hang-glider. One of the greatest examples of Da Vinci’s prowess as an engineer was his proposal to Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) for a 720 foot single-span bridge. The Ottoman turned down the proposal, believing that such construction is impossible. Five hundred years later, in 2001, Da Vinci was proven right when a smaller bridge was successfully built in Norway using his design.

As an artist, he was fascinated with the human anatomy. After he began to dissect human corpses and made an effort to draw everything he saw, which is how his famous human body diagram came about. He was also the first person to make a scientific drawing of a human fetus.

Even over five centuries after his death, Leonardo Da Vinci and his work draw a great deal of attention from not only the public, but scientists and writers as well. He has been described as a “universal genius par excellence”.

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Categories : Biology, Engineering
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Alfred Nobel

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 Alfred Nobel
Born: 21 October 1833
Stockholm, Sweden
Died: 10 December 1896 (aged 63) Sanremo, Italy
Fields: Chemistry, Engineering

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Biography 

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist, inventor, engineer, entrepreneur  and weapons manufacturer. He is best known for the Nobel Prize, awarded for achievements in the fields of  Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Peace. An award for Economics exists as well, but is called the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and was created as an homage to Nobel, not by Nobel himself.

Nobel’s most controversial invention was dynamite, which plays a big part in how the Prizes came to existence. After Nobel’s brother Ludvig’s death while visiting Cannes in 1888, a French newspaper published an erroneous obituary, thinking it was Nobel himself. The obituary condemned him for the invention of dynamite, stating  ”Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.” After reading the obituary, Nobel became concerned with his legacy, which eventually led to the creation of the Prizes.
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Categories : Chemistry, Engineering
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Benjamin Franklin

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 Benjamin Franklin
Born: Jan 17 1706 in Boston, Massachusets Bay
Died: April 17 1790 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Fields: Physics, Engineering

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Biography 

Even though Benjamin Franklin is best known as a Founding Father of the United States, a reputation that overshadows his achievements as a scientist and inventor. As one of the leading forces behind the American Enlightenment, he has a huge place in the history of physics thanks to his theories and discoveries regarding electricity. He was one of the first to come up with the principle of a positive and negative charge, as well as the concept of charge  conservation. Some of his most well-known inventions include the lightning rod, bifocal lenses and the stove bearing his name. He was also the one to discover the fact that temperature has an effect on the electrical conductivity of a body after his experiment showed that ice does not conduct as well as water. Evidence from his famous kite experiment show that Franklin was insulated during the lightning strike Read More→

Categories : Engineering, Physics
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Thomas Edison

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thomas edison
Born: Feb 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio, USA
Died: Oct 18 1931 in West Orange, New Jersey, USA
Fields: Engineering

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Biography 

Thomas Edison was an American inventor and businessman, born in 1847 in Milan, Ohio, who started his early career as a telegraph operator. He is one of the most prolific inventors in history, holding 1093 patents in the United States and more in the UK, France and Germany. Inventions associated with those patents have greatly contributed to the development of mass communication. They include the stock ticker, electrical power, mechanical vote recorder, photography and recorded media. His most well known accomplishments are perfecting the lightbulb and developing an electric power distribution system.

Edison’s inventions made him into a pop culture icon. He is sometimes portrayed as an adversary to Nikola Tesla, often in a negative light. This is perhaps due to the fact that while Nikola Tesla was able to make large sums of money from his patents, he died in debt, poverty and obscurity. Read More→

Categories : Engineering
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Nikola Tesla

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Nikola Tesla
Born: July 10 1856 in Smijan, Austrian Empire (modern day Croatia)

Died: 7 January 1943 in New York City, USA

Fields: Physics, Engineering

Biography - Awards - Books

Biography 

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American engineer, physicist and inventor who is best known for his design of the modern electrical supply system, as well as laying the theoretical groundwork for radio communication.

Tesla started off in the telephony and electrical fields in his native Croatia (Austrian Empire at the time) before migrating to the United States in 1888 to work for Thomas Edison. He was able to secure some financial backers and branch out on his own and later receive a lot of attention with his experiments, one of which included a failed attempt at an intercontinental wireless electrical distribution system. Not only was it his experiments that made him famous during his day, but also for his charisma in presenting his inventions. Despite making a lot of money from patents, he spent even more on new experiments, which is why he is known as a “mad scientist” today.
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Categories : Engineering, Physics
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