Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

1861 in science

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1861 in science

The year 1861 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.



  • May 13 – Comet C/1861 J1 (the "Great Comet of 1861") first observed from Australia by John Tebbutt.
  • Biology

  • Anton de Bary publishes his first work on fungi, describing sexual reproduction in Peronospora.
  • Chemistry

  • March 30 – William Crookes announces his discovery of thallium.
  • Rubidium is discovered by Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff, in Heidelberg, Germany, in the mineral lepidolite through the use of their spectroscope.
  • Aleksandr Butlerov is instrumental in creating the theory of chemical structure.
  • Josef Loschmidt publishes Chemische Studien, proposing two-dimensional representations for over 300 molecules and recognising variations in atomic size.
  • Ernest Solvay develops the Solvay process for the manufacture of soda ash (sodium carbonate).
  • Earth sciences

  • Eduard Suess proposes the former existence of the supercontinent Gondwana.
  • Medicine and physiology

  • Paul Broca identifies the speech production center of the brain.
  • Franciscus Donders introduces the term visual acuity.
  • Guillaume Duchenne describes Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
  • Prosper Ménière reports the association of vertigo with inner ear disorders.
  • Ádám Politzer publishes the technique of Politzerization used in otorhinolaryngology.
  • Ignaz Semmelweis publishes Die Ätiologie, der Begriff und die Prophylaxis des Kindbettfiebers, a treatment of his theory on sanitary conditions during childbirth.
  • Paleontology

  • September – First complete identified skeleton of Archaeopteryx unearthed near Langenaltheim, Germany.
  • Technology

  • January 1 – First steam-powered carousel recorded, in Bolton, England.
  • William Froude publishes the first results of his research into ship hull design.
  • Dr. Richard J. Gatling invents the Gatling gun.
  • James Clerk Maxwell demonstrates the principle of permanent three-colour photography.
  • Publications

  • Michael Faraday's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures published as The Chemical History of a Candle.
  • Awards

  • Copley Medal: Louis Agassiz
  • Wollaston Medal for geology: Heinrich Bronn
  • Births

  • February 15 – Alfred North Whitehead (died 1947), English mathematician.
  • April 24 – Hedda Andersson (died 1950), Swedish physician
  • May 20 – Henry Gantt (died 1919), American project engineer.
  • June 9 – Pierre Duhem (died 1916), French philosopher of science.
  • July 18 – Kadambini Ganguly (died 1923), Indian physician.
  • July 26 – Ægidius Elling (died 1949), Norwegian gas turbine pioneer.
  • August 9 – Dorothea Klumpke (died 1942), American astronomer.
  • December 17 – Arthur E. Kennelly (died 1939), Irish American electrical engineer.
  • Deaths

  • January 3 – Arnold Adolph Berthold (born 1803), German physiologist.
  • May 16 – John Stevens Henslow (born 1796), English botanist.
  • June 18 – Eaton Hodgkinson (born 1789), English structural engineer.
  • November 10 – Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (born 1805), French zoologist.
  • November 13 – Sir John Forbes (born 1787), Scottish-born royal physician.
  • December 10 – Thomas Southwood Smith (born 1788), English physician and sanitary reformer.
  • Ferdinand Deppe (born 1794), German naturalist, explorer and painter.
  • References

    1861 in science Wikipedia

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