Ireland Reveals Rich Scientific History Monday, November 07, 2011

Boyle, Boole, Tyndall and Shackleton.

SiliconRepublic.com has an excellent article highlighting the rich scientific history of Ireland.

Pop over and read the article, I have a sample snapshot below:
http://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation/item/24365-scinov2011

Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was born at Lismore Castle, Co Waterford. Boyle is sometimes called The Father of Chemistry. In 1661, he published The Sceptical Chemist. Boyle questioned alchemy, the pseudo-scientific predecessor of chemistry. He taught that the proper object of chemistry was to determine the composition of substances. He coined the term ‘analysis’. In 1662, he formulated Boyle’s Law, which states that the pressure and volume of a gas are inversely related at constant temperature.
George Boole (1815-1864) was the first professor of mathematics at Queens College, Cork (University College Cork today). Boole, sometimes called The Father of Computer Science, developed his system of Boolean Algebra while in Cork. This is used today in the design and operation of electronic computers and electronic hardware responsible for modern technology. Intellectually, George was a child prodigy. He started school at the age of 1½. There is a lovely story of how he went missing one day at the age of 2½. After much searching, he was found in downtown Lincoln in the middle of an excited crowd. Individuals in the crowd were shouting out difficult words to the child as a spelling test. George was fluently and correctly spelling the words and being showered with coins in reward.
John Tyndall (1820-1893) was born in County Carlow. He became one of greatest scientists of the 19th century. Professor of natural philosophy (physics) at The Royal Institution, he did pioneering work on radiant heat, germ theory of disease, glacier motion, sound, and diffusion of light in the atmosphere. He was the first to explain how scattering of light in the atmosphere causes the blue colour in sky. He explained how the gases in the atmosphere trap heat and keep the earth warm. He invented the light pipe, which later led to the development of fibre optics.
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874 –1922) was an Anglo-Irish explorer, one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. His first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Capt Robert Falcon Scott’s Discovery Expedition, 1901–1904. He returned to Antarctica in 1907 as leader of the Nimrod Expedition. In January 1909, he and three companions made a southern march which established a record farthest south latitude at 88° 23′ S, 97 geographical miles (114 statute miles, 190 km) from the South Pole, by far the closest convergence in exploration history up to that time. Also, he is known for the Endurance Expedition or The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914–1917), its last major expedition. Along with his expedition, made the first ascent of Mount Erebus and the discovery of the approximate location of the south magnetic pole.
There is a book available too: http://www.rds.ie/cat_project_detail.jsp?itemID=362

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