# History of Science

## Tricks for Solving Coulomb’s Law Problems

If you clicked on this link you know that Coulomb’s law often a bit of a bear to deal with, you have three variables that tend to have exponents, and squaring and a constant, not to mention that if you have more than one force you have to add vectors and that too can be …

## Charles Coulomb Biography And History Of His Equation

When I looked into the history of Charles Coulomb and his famous equation, I found that even beyond “his” equation, Coulomb was one of the most influential engineers of the 1700s.  And his accomplishments are more impressive when you realize that his background was descent but not considered good enough, his father lost the family …

## Boltzmann’s Entropy Equation: A History from Clausius to Plank

Boltzmann’s entropy formula is possibly the one of the most difficult equations in Physics. Not because the equation itself is that confusing(it isn’t, it is just two variables one constant and a trig function), but because it relates two things, entropy and probability of being indifferent energy states, that are both difficult to really understand. …

## Why The Third Law of Thermodynamics made Einstein Famous

In late October of 1911, 31-year-old Albert Einstein went to an elite and influential conference called the Solvay Congress to discuss quantum mechanics.  How elite?  Well, at the time 4 of the 23 scientists in attendance had already won a Nobel Prize (or 2), and a further 5 would eventually win a Nobel Prize, including …

## Photoelectric Effect: History of Einstein’s Revolutionary View of Light

The photoelectric effect is taught in almost every physics class but we often forget to say why it is so important.  In my opinion, the photoelectric effect is important because Einstein’s photoelectric effect equation was based on a revolutionary new view of light.  And I use the word “revolutionary” because it was!  Even at the …

## Alfred Nobel’s Obituary Calling him a “Merchant of Death” Never Happened & Never Inspired the Nobel Prize

If you read a biography of Alfred Nobel or of the Nobel Prize, including Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica, you will likely read a dramatic story.   Table Of Contents Alfred Nobel: The Merchant of Death Nobel: A Biography Who is Kenne Fant? Bertha Von Suttner: The Peace Activist References and Citations Alfred Nobel: The Merchant …

## The Origin of The Photoelectric Effect: How Lenard Inspired and Then Terrorized Einstein

When we talk about the photoelectric effect, we usually only mention Albert Einstein.  After all, Einstein did win the Nobel Prize for creating the modern interpretation of the photoelectric effect.  But Einstein didn’t discover the photoelectric effect. In fact, Einstein didn’t do any photoelectric effect experiments!  Instead, Einstein was inspired by the experiments and theories …

## How Spectroscopy Changed the World

Did spectroscopy, the study of how light is emitted and absorbed by heated objects, really revolutionize the sciences and fundamentally shift our understanding of the world?  In short… yes!  In Chemistry, spectroscopy quickly caused the identification of new elements and infrared spectroscopy is still used in chemical analysis to this very day.  In Astronomy, spectroscopy …

## The Origin of Rutherford’s Nucleus Model

If you search online for how the nucleus was discovered you will probably find a description of Rutherford’s gold foil experiment, where a beam of alpha particles hit a piece of gold and then the position of the alpha particle is found on a screen that is wrapped around the gold.  Now, an experiment like …

## The Wild Life of the Father of Nuclear Theory

Discover alpha and beta radiation, Radon, and the nucleus!  In 1909, a quirky and engaging New Zealander named Ernest Rutherford gave his co-worker’s new assistant some busywork to get him used to the equipment.  Rutherford wasn’t expecting to find any results.  Instead, the assistant found something startling.  Rutherford decided that the only way these results …