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Science In My Life is maintained by John R. Hoffman, Professor of Biology and a scientist examining the recovery of the nervous system after injury.

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4/4 Dynamos, Charles de L’Ecluse, Alphonso X, and mathematics awareness month

Zénobe-Théophile Gramme was born (1826)
Zénobe-Théophile Gramm (1826 – 1901) was a Belgian electrical engineer who refined the dynamos invented by Henry and Faraday.  His Gramme dynamo was able to produce higher voltages of direct current (DC) than previously possible and they became the first large-scale direct current  generator used for commercial purposes. Gramme also discovered that the dynamos that could be used to great electricity could be used as an electric motor when they were connected to receive an electrical current.  These electrical motors could generate large amounts of torque and had many industrial uses.

Charles de L’Ecluse died (1609)
Charles de L’Ecluse (1526 – 1609), also known as Carolus Clusius, was trained as a French physician although he never practiced medicine.  He had a great love for botany and became the Director of the Botanical Garden in Vienna.  He was responsible for the introduction of tulips to the Netherlands and potatoes into central Europe. (picture of Charles de l’Écluse from Wikimedia Commons)

Alphonso X died (1284)
King Alphonso X (1221 – 1284) of Castile was a Spanish monarch also known as Alphonso the Wise.  He commissioned the translation of many books on astronomy and astrology from Arabic and Hebrew into Castilian and Latin.  He also published the Alfonsine planetary tables to chart positions of the planets based on the work of calculations of Arzachel.  These became the standard tables for over 300 years during the middle ages.

Celebrating Mathematics Awareness Month

Springtime Math

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