Harman Patil (Editor)

1903 in science

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1903 in science

The year 1903 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.



  • June 27 – 19-year-old American socialite Aida de Acosta becomes the first woman to fly a powered aircraft solo when she pilots Santos-Dumont's motorized dirigible, "No. 9", from Paris to Château de Bagatelle in France.
  • December 17 – First documented, successful, controlled, powered flight of a heavier-than-air aircraft with a petrol engine by Orville Wright in the Wright Flyer at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.
  • Konstantin Tsiolkovsky begins a series of papers discussing the use of liquid fuel rockets to reach outer space, space suits, and colonization of the solar system.
  • Biology

  • The type specimen of the vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis) is described by Carl Chun.
  • Fauna and Flora International is founded as the Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire by a group of British naturalists and American statesmen in Africa.
  • Formal opening of the Johnston Laboratories at the University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England.
  • Chemistry

  • Peter Cooper Hewitt demonstrates the mercury-vapour lamp.
  • Mikhail Semyonovich Tsvet invents chromatography, an important analytic technique.
  • The International Committee of Atomic Weights publishes the inaugural atomic weights report.
  • Mathematics

  • October – Frank Nelson Cole demonstrates that the Mersenne number 267-1, or M67, is composite by factoring it as 193,707,721 * 761,838,257,287.
  • Fast Fourier Transform algorithm presented by Carle David Tolmé Runge.
  • Edmund Georg Hermann Landau gives considerably simpler proof of the prime number theorem.
  • Medicine

  • March–April – David Bruce identifies the parasitic Trypanosoma protist as the source of African trypanosomiasis ("sleeping sickness").
  • May 10 – Antoni Leśniowski publishes the first article implicating what will later be known as Crohn's disease, in the Polish weekly medical newspaper Medycyna.
  • Ernest Fourneau synthesizes and patents Amylocaine, the first synthetic local anesthetic, under the name Stovaine at the Pasteur Institute.
  • Willem Einthoven discovers electrocardiography (ECG/EKG)
  • The 12th and final edition of Dr Richard von Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis: eine Klinisch-Forensische Studie ("Sexual Psychopathy: a Clinical-Forensic Study") published during the author's lifetime introduces the term paedophilia erotica.
  • Physics

  • George Darwin and John Joly claim that radioactivity is partially responsible for the Earth's heat.
  • Prosper-René Blondlot claims to have detected N rays.
  • Technology

  • The first diesel-powered ships are launched, both for inland waters: Petite-Pierre in France, powered by Dyckhoff-built diesels, and the tanker Vandal in Russia, powered by Swedish-built diesels with an electrical transmission.
  • Norwegian engineer Ægidius Elling builds the first gas turbine to generate power, using a centrifugal compressor.
  • Laminated glass is invented by Edouard Benedictus.
  • Baker valve gear for steam locomotives is first patented in the United States.
  • The Lune Valley boiler is patented by John G. A. Kitchen and Ludlow Perkins.
  • Awards

  • Nobel Prizes
  • Physics – Antoine Henri Becquerel, Pierre Curie, and Marie Curie
  • Chemistry – Svante August Arrhenius
  • Medicine – Niels Ryberg Finsen
  • Births

  • January 22 – Fritz Houtermans (died 1966), Danzig-born Dutch physicist.
  • January 27 – John Eccles (died 1997), Australian-born psychologist.
  • January 28 – Kathleen Lonsdale, née Yardley (died 1971), Irish-born crystallographer.
  • February 2 – Bartel Leendert van der Waerden (died 1996), Dutch mathematician.
  • February 22 – Frank P. Ramsey (died 1930), English mathematician.
  • April 6 – "Doc" Harold Eugene Edgerton ("Papa Flash", died 1990), American electrical engineer.
  • April 9 – Gregory Goodwin Pincus (died 1967), American biologist, co-inventor of the combined oral contraceptive pill.
  • April 25 – Andrey Kolmogorov (died 1987), Russian mathematician.
  • May 2 – Benjamin Spock (died 1998), American pediatrician and writer.
  • June 14 – Alonzo Church (died 1995), American mathematician.
  • August 7 – Louis Leakey (died 1972), British East African paleoanthropologist.
  • October 4 – Cyril Stanley Smith (died 1992), English-born metallurgist.
  • October 5 – M. King Hubbert (died 1989), American geophysicist.
  • October 10 – Bei Shizhang (died 2009), Chinese biologist and founder of the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
  • November 7 – Konrad Lorenz (died 1989), Austrian zoologist.
  • November 27 – Lars Onsager (died 1976), Norwegian-born chemist.
  • December 19 – George Davis Snell (died 1996), American mouse geneticist and basic transplant immunologist.
  • December 28 – John von Neumann (died 1957), Hungarian-born mathematician.
  • Deaths

  • February 1 – Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet (born 1819), Anglo-Irish mathematician and physicist.
  • February 7 – James Glaisher (born 1809), English meteorologist and balloonist.
  • March 28 – Émile Baudot (born 1845), French telegraph engineer.
  • April 28 – J. Willard Gibbs (born 1839), American physical chemist.
  • July 21 – Henri Alexis Brialmont (born 1821), Belgian military engineer.
  • August 2 – Edmond Nocard (born 1850), French veterinarian and microbiologist.
  • August 27 – Kusumoto Ine (born 1827), pioneering Japanese woman physician.
  • References

    1903 in science Wikipedia

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