Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1773 in science

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1773 in science

The year 1773 in science and technology involved some significant events.



  • October 13 – French astronomer Charles Messier discovers the Whirlpool Galaxy (pictured), an interacting, grand design spiral galaxy located at a distance of approximately 23 million light-years in the constellation Canes Venatici.
  • Lagrange presents his work on the secular equation of the Moon to the Académie française, introducing the idea of the potential of a body. He also publishes on the attraction of ellipsoids.
  • Chemistry

  • Hilaire Rouelle discovers urea.
  • Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Joseph Priestley independently isolate oxygen, called by Priestley "dephlogisticated air" and Scheele "fire air".
  • Antoine Baumé publishes his textbook Chymie expérimentale et raisonnée in Paris.
  • Exploration

  • January 17 – Captain James Cook becomes the first European explorer to cross the Antarctic Circle.
  • Spring – Tobias Furneaux explores the coast of Van Diemen's Land.
  • Linguistics

  • Scottish judge James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, begins publication of Of the Origin and Progress of Language, a contribution to evolutionary ideas of the Enlightenment.
  • Mathematics

  • Lagrange considers a functional determinant of order 3, a special case of a Jacobian. He also proves the expression for the volume of a tetrahedron with one of the vertices at the origin as one sixth of the absolute value of the determinant formed by the coordinates of the other three vertices.
  • Medicine

  • October 12 – North America's first insane asylum opens for 'Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds' in Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • Medical Society of London founded by John Coakley Lettsom.
  • Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau proposes the use of "muriatic acid gas" (hydrogen chloride) for fumigation of buildings.
  • Institutions

  • Istanbul Technical University is established (under the original name of Royal School of Naval Engineering) as the world's first comprehensive institution of higher learning dedicated to engineering education.
  • Awards

  • Copley Medal: John Walsh
  • John Harrison receives the Longitude prize for his invention of the marine chronometer.
  • Births

  • January 29 – Friedrich Mohs, German mineralogist (died 1839)
  • April 9 – Marie Boivin, French midwife, inventor and obstetrics writer (died 1841)
  • May 19 – Arthur Aikin, English chemist and mineralogist (died 1854)
  • June 13 – Thomas Young, English physicist (died 1829)
  • June 29 (bapt.) – John Bostock, English physician and geologist (died 1846)
  • July 23 – Thomas Brisbane, Scottish astronomer (died 1860)
  • August 23 – Abraham Colles, Anglo-Irish surgeon (died 1843)
  • December 21 – Robert Brown, Scottish botanist (died 1858)
  • December 27 – George Cayley, English pioneer of heavier-than-air flight (died 1857)
  • Deaths

  • July 16 – Nils Rosén von Rosenstein, Swedish pediatrician (born 1706)
  • July 23 – George Edwards, English naturalist (born 1693)
  • References

    1773 in science Wikipedia

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