Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

July 11 Science History

Learn about the history of science by reading about the significant scientific events that took place on July 11 in history.

1979 - Skylab mission ends.

NASA controllers sent a commanded Skylab to tumble and re-enter Earth's atmosphere ending the Skylab mission. Skylab re-entered the atmosphere but did not break up as much as NASA hoped and dropped debris across western Australia and the Indian Ocean.

1927 - Theodore Maiman was born.

Maiman was an American physicist who was the first to construct a working laser. His laser used a synthetic ruby crystal that was silvered on two ends. The laser beam was produced by strobe lights shining on the crystal and exciting the chromium atoms in the ruby.

1924 - César Lattes was born.

Lattes was a Brazilian physicist who discovered the pi meson particle with Eugene Gardener. Pi mesons or pions are lightweight mesons that have a significant role in explaining the strong nuclear force.

1916 - Alexander Mikhaylovich Prokhorov was born.

Prokhorov was a Russian physicist who shares half the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolay Gennadiyevich Basov for their development of quantum electronics and the invention of the maser. A maser is a device that creates coherent microwave radiation. Maser stands for Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation and is the forerunner of the laser.

1902 - Samuel Abraham Goudsmit was born.

Goudsmit was a Danish-American physicist who with George Eugene Uhlenbeck formulated the concept of electron spin. Electron spin is one of the four main quantum numbers for an electron's state in an atom and explains many aspects of atomic magnetic dipole moments that cannot be explained by classical physics.

1811 - William Robert Grove was born.

Grove was a British lawyer and amateur scientist who developed the Grove cell. The Grove cell is a electric cell with platinum and zinc electrodes in sulfuric acid separated in a porous ceramic pot. He also created the first fuel cell that combines hydrogen and oxygen and uses the reaction to produce electrical energy.

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