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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Jolly Old St. Newton
23 December 1998 7:00 pm
While Christians celebrate Christmas for a particular birth almost 2000 years ago, scientists have two other anniversaries to honor: English physicist James Prescott Joule was born on Christmas Eve in 1818, and Isaac Newton (left) arrived in the world on 25 December 1642.
Legend has it that Joule, the son of a wealthy brewer, spent much of his honeymoon investigating a waterfall. By measuring the water temperature above and below, he demonstrated that the kinetic energy of the falling water was converted into heat. This sort of experiment lead to his discovery of the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states that a system's internal energy is determined by the heat absorbed and the work done. The mechanical unit of work, the joule, is named for him.
Sir Isaac Newton comes at or near the top of most any list of great scientists. A mathematician and physicist at Cambridge University, he discovered the Law of Universal Gravitation, began to develop calculus, and discovered that white light is composed of every color. In 1668, Newton also built the first reflecting telescope.