Sir James Chadwick, a British physicist, is best known for his discovery of the neutron.
In 1911, Chadwick began research into the atomic structure which was to become a lifelong interest and which would eventually make him internationally famous.
Chadwick’s discovery was a major breakthrough and the neutron soon proved to be a valuable tool in research and lead to the discovery of nuclear fission and the first nuclear reactor.
The use of neutrons in atomic fission led to the production of the atomic bomb. Chadwick was awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 1935 for his discovery.
William Crookes (1832-1919), a British scientist, was one of the discoverers of the cathode ray.
In 1887 Crooke’s experimented by putting a small metal cross in the path of the rays coming from the cathode. The cross cast a shadow on the glass screen beyond.
This demonstrated that rays came from a cathode, and that they traveled in straight lines, just a flashlight shining light rays onto the cross shape would cast a shadow behind it. This became the basis for television.
An American, often thought of as the “father of Radio” invented a vacuum tube in 1907 that could not only detect the signals but could amplify them to a level where they could be heard through a loud speaker.
Fleming and DeForest’s tubes made radios possible and led the way to television, radar, and computers.
In the mid 1800s television had its beginning as scientists attempted to send light images over a wire, but it was not until the late 1940s and early 1950s that television came into its own.
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) Envisioned a world without poles and power lines. Referred to as the greatest inventive genius of all time. He claimed that he had visions, that each time he had one of these visions, the whole thing just popped up in his mind like it was on a screen. This mental picture was so complete right down to the smallest detail. He could sort of see things before they happened. Tesla was 1000 years ahead of his time.
In his early school days, he solved complex problems in his head, without pencil and paper. His teachers suspected him of cheating, but young Tesla had actually memorized whole logarithmic tables!
In 1877 as a student, Tesla’s attention was first drawn to problems of the induction motor. His observation that a gramme dynamo that was being run as a motor in a classroom demonstration sparked badly between its commutator and brushes, this led him to suggest that a motor without a commutator might be devised.
In 1885 he teamed up with George Westinghouse who bought the rights of his AC dynamos, transformers, and motors. Tesla’s system triumphed to make possible the first large scale harnessing of Niagara Falls with the first hydroelectric plant in the United States in 1886.
Einstein’s formula proved that one gram of mass can be converted into a torrential amount of energy. To do this, the activity of the atoms has to occur in the nucleus.
E = energy, M = mass, and C = the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second. When you square 186,000, you can see it would only take a small amount of mass to produce a huge amount of energy.
Mechanical energy can be converted to electrical energy or electrical energy can be converted to mechanical energy. No matter how energy is changed, or what form it takes, always remember, the total amount of energy in the universe always remains the same.
We will consume more energy in the next 5 years than was consumed by all previous society in the history of the world.
Newton’s discoveries were not confined to mechanical science. He did his share of electrical experimenting. Although he was not intimately involved with electromagnetism, his thoughts on the properties of gravity, light, and mathematical contributions paved the way for future scientists to be able to express the phenomena in a logical and defined manner.
He is honored in the international system of units under the following entries; 1 Newton; The unit of force which when applied to one kilogram of mass would be accelerated at a rate of one meter per second. 2 Ampere; The current, if maintained in each of two parallel wires separated by one meter in free space, would produce a force between the two wires (due to their magnetic fields) of 2 x 10-7 newton for each meter of length.
An Englishman, Michael Faraday (1791-1867) made one of the most significant discoveries in the history of electricity: Electromagnetic induction. October 1831 he discovered that by quickly moving a bar magnet into a coil of wire, which was connected to a galvanometer, a momentary current could be induced.
In 1879, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. By using lower current electricity, a small carbonized filament, and an improved vacuum inside a glass globe, he was able to produce a reliable, long-lasting source of light.
In 1820, Hans Christian Orsted discovered that electrical current creates a magnetic field. This discovery made scientists relate magnetism to the electric phenomena.
In June of 1752, Benjamin Franklin did an experiment with a kite one stormy night and discovered that lightning was electricity. He was investigating if lightning was an electric phenomenon.