Saturday, 1 February 2014

Sir Isaac Newton

(born Jan. 4, 1643, Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, Eng.died March 31, 1727, London) English physicist and mathematician. The son of a yeoman, he was raised by his grandmother. He was educated at Cambridge University (166165), where he discovered the work of Ren Descartes. His experiments passing sunlight through a prism led to the discovery of the heterogeneous, corpuscular nature of white light and laid the foundation of physical optics. He built the first reflecting telescope in 1668 and became a professor of mathematics at Cambridge in 1669. He worked out the fundamentals of calculus, though this work went unpublished for more than 30 years. His most famous publication, Principia Mathematica (1687), grew out of correspondence with Edmond Halley. Describing his works on the laws of motion ( Newton's laws of motion), orbital dynamics, tidal theory, and the theory of universal gravitation, it is regarded as the seminal work of modern science. He was elected president of the Royal Society of London in 1703 and became the first scientist ever to be knighted in 1705. During his career he engaged in heated arguments with several of his colleagues, including Robert Hooke (over authorship of the inverse square relation of gravitation) and G.W. Leibniz (over the authorship of calculus). The battle with Leibniz dominated the last 25 years of his life; it is now well established that Newton developed calculus first, but that Leibniz was the first to publish on the subject. Newton is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time.

William P. Lear

(born June 26, 1902, Hannibal, Mo., U.S.—died May 14, 1978, Reno, Nev.), self-taught American electrical engineer and industrialist whose Lear Jet Corporation was the first mass-manufacturer of business jet aircraft in the world. Lear also developed the automobile radio, the eight-track stereo tape player for automobiles, and the miniature automatic pilot for aircraft.
The child of immigrant parents and a broken home, Lear said that at the age of 12 he had worked out a blueprint of his life, based upon profiting by inventing what people wanted. He held some 150 patents at his death.
After completing eighth grade, Lear quit school to become a mechanic and at the age of 16 joined the navy, lying about his age. During World War I, Lear studied radio and after his discharge designed the first practicable auto radio. Failing to secure the financial backing to produce the radio himself, Lear sold the radio to the Motorola Company in 1924.

Wernher von Braun

(born , March 23, 1912, Wirsitz, Ger.died June 16, 1977, Alexandria, Va., U.S.) German-born U.S. rocket engineer. Born into an aristocratic family, he received his doctorate from the University of Berlin. In 1936 he became technical director of the new military development facility at Peenemnde, an essential centre for the rearmament of Nazi Germany, forbidden by the Versailles accords. Liquid-fueled rocket aircraft and jet-assisted takeoffs were successfully demonstrated there, and the V-2 long-range ballistic missile and the Wasserfall supersonic antiaircraft missile were developed. By 1944 the sophistication of the rockets and missiles being tested at Peenemnde was many years ahead of that of any other country. After World War II he and his team surrendered to the U.S.; they were immediately set to work on guided missiles by the U.S. Army, and in 1952 he became technical director (later chief) of the Army's ballistic weapon program. Under his leadership, the Redstone, Jupiter-C, Juno, and Pershing missiles were developed. In 1958 he and his group launched the first U.S. satellite, Explorer 1. After NASA was formed, von Braun led the development of some of the large Saturn space launch vehicles; the engineering success of each of the Saturn class of space boosters remains unmatched in rocket history.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Harry Belafonte

  (born March 1, 1927) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. One of the most successful African-American pop stars in history, he was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s. His breakthrough album Calypso (1956) is the first million selling album by a single artist. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song", with its signature lyric "Day-O". He has recorded in many genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and American standards. He has also starred in several films, most notably in Otto Preminger's hit musical Carmen Jones (1954), 1957's Island in the Sun, and Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow (1959).

Patrick Dempsey

 (born January 13, 1966) is an American actor and race car driver, best known for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd ("McDreamy") on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy. Prior to Grey's Anatomy he made several television appearances and was nominated for an Emmy Award. He has also appeared in several films, including Sweet Home Alabama, Made of Honor, Valentine's Day, Enchanted, With Honors, Flypaper, Freedom Writers, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Dempsey, who maintains an exclusive sports and vintage car collection, also enjoys auto racing in his spare time. He has competed in prestigious pro-am events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race, and Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race. Prior to the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans, Dempsey declared that he would "walk away" from acting if he could and dedicate himself full-time to motorsports

Bill Gates

(born Oct. 28, 1955, Seattle, Wash., U.S.) U.S. computer programmer and businessman. As a teenager, he helped computerize his high school's payroll system and founded a company that sold traffic-counting systems to local governments. At 19 he dropped out of Harvard University and cofounded Microsoft Corp. with Paul G. Allen (b. 1954). Microsoft began its domination of the fledgling microcomputer industry when Gates licensed the operating system MS-DOS to IBM in 1980 for use in IBM's first personal computer. As Microsoft's largest shareholder, Gates became a billionaire in 1986, and within a decade he was the world's richest private individual. Beginning in 1995, he refocused Microsoft on the development of software solutions for the Internet, and he also moved the company into the computer hardware and gaming markets with the Xbox video machine. In 1999 he and his wife created the largest charitable foundation in the U.S. In 2008 Gates relinquished day-to-day oversight of Microsoft in order to devote more time to charity work. He remained, however, the company's chairman.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Stephen Hawking

(born Jan. 8, 1942, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Eng.) English theoretical physicist. He studied at the University of Oxford and later received his Ph.D. from Cambridge. He has worked primarily in the field of general relativity and particularly on the physics of black holes. In 1971 he suggested that numerous objects, formed after the big bang, each had as much as one billion tons of mass but the size of only a proton. These mini black holes are unique in being subject to both the laws of relativity, due to their immense mass and gravity, and the laws of quantum mechanics, due to their minute size. In 1974 he proposed that black holes evaporate by what is now known as Hawking radiation. His work greatly spurred efforts to delineate the properties of black holes. His work also showed the relationship of these properties to the laws of classical thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. Hawking's achievements, despite near-total paralysis from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, have earned him extraordinary honours. His books include the best-selling A Brief History of Time (1988).