Famous Forensic Scientists

If you have read Julius Caesar, then you must remember the part where after his assassination, one physician claimed that out of all the 23 wounds on his body, only one was fatal. This was the result of a forensic investigation of Caesar’s murder. Surprised that the forensic science goes back so long? Well, the history of forensic science does go back to thousands of years (approximately 44 BC). The term ‘forensic’ has been derived from the Latin word forensis which means ‘of or before the forum’. In simple terms it means the process of applying scientific principles to legal questions. Forensic science has come a long way from the time when the Chinese used fingerprints in order to identify certain documents, to forensic experts using modern technology today to find out more about historical objects aged more than thousands of years old. This field has become more popular due to some of the TV shows like ‘Dexter’, ‘Bones’ and so on. More and more people are studying hard to be an expert in this field, while there are some people who have already made a name for themselves in history. Would you like to know more about them? Then keep reading.

There are so many people who have made their name in forensic science, who have solved some of the most difficult crime cases in history and whose footsteps are being followed by hundreds of aspiring forensic experts. Here’s a list of some of the scientists.

Henry C. Lee
Born in the year 1938, Henry C. Lee, was one of the most famous forensic experts. He had worked on more than 6000 cases. Some of the famous cases where he had assisted were that of the murder of a six year old beauty queen, JonBenet

10 Famous Scientists and Their Discoveries

All the technologies that make our lives easier, all the medicines and medical equipment that save us, and indeed all of our understanding of the world itself are the result of the tireless efforts of all those scientists who spent thousands of hours inventing and discovering these things. Humanity shall forever be indebted to the invaluable contributions made by all these great minds. Presented below, is a list of some of the world’s greatest and most famous scientists, in no particular order, along with brief descriptions of the things they invented/discovered.

Archimedes (287 – 212 BC)
A very versatile personality, Archimedes was a mathematician, physicist, astronomer, engineer, and a very successful inventor. He was popular for his ingenious thinking, and was responsible for developing many innovative machines. He is best known for formulating the method for finding the exact volume of an irregularly shaped object.

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Galileo Galilei was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, engineer, and philosopher. He is known as the father of modern observational astronomy, the father of modern physics, and also the father of modern science. From among his several inventions and discoveries, Galileo is best known for his contributions to astronomy. Using the telescope, he was able to confirm the phases of planet Venus, discover and document the four largest satellites of planet Jupiter, which have been named as Galilean moons in his honor, and also observe and analyze sunspots. He even championed the theory of a heliocentricism, at a time when most of the world supported geocentricism.

Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1726)
Sir Isaac Newton was an English physicist and mathematician, who is widely recognized as one of the greatest and most influential scientists of all time. He played a key role in the development of calculus, and through

American Inventors

More than six million patents have been granted to American inventors, since 1790, by the US Patent Office. With the impetus of the American industrial revolution fueling it even further, there was a dramatic increase in the number of patents issued in the 19th century. In fact, the middle to the latter half of the 19th century was regarded as the golden age of American inventors and their inventions, with stalwarts like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell exemplifying it. The technological breakthroughs made by them, from the light bulb to the computers that are so ubiquitous today, have improved the lives of people all over the world. Of course, there are many American inventors, and their numbers continue to grow, with each of them, along with their invention, impacting the society in unique ways. So, here are a few of them.

Samuel F. B. Morse: He was born on the 27th of April 1791 and died on the 2nd of April 1872. It was in 1832 that he got the idea of an electromagnetic telegraph, and subsequently constructed a prototype in 1835. However, it was in 1844, that he actually made a workable system, when he constructed a line from Baltimore to Washington D.C. He applied for a patent, which was granted in 1849, wherein it is described as a system of marking dots and dashes on paper. In the next 10 years, 23,000 miles of telegraph wires crisscrossed all over the country. Morse’s invention had a profound effect in the development of the West, making travel by railroad much safer, along with enabling businessmen to carry out their business in a more profitable manner.

Thomas Alva Edison: Born on the 11th of February, 1847, Thomas Edison is famous for inventing the light bulb, which

Charles Darwin Biography

Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury in England on 12th February, 1809. His father was a wealthy doctor and financier, Robert Darwin and his mother was Susannah Darwin. Although Robert Darwin was a freethinker, Charles was baptized in the Anglican Church in keeping with his mother’s religious beliefs. Charles had 5 siblings and they attended the day school run by the preacher of a Unitarian Chapel.

Early Years

Robert Darwin wanted his son to become a doctor, and even sent him to University of Edinburgh to study medicine. But seeing the brutality of surgery, Charles neglected his studies. He pursued his interests in taxidermy, natural history, marine biology, botany and zoology. He joined the Plinian Society which was a student group interested in natural history. He also became a pupil of Robert Edmund Grant who followed Lamarck’s theory of evolution by advanced characteristics. He also attended Robert Jameson’s natural history course and learned geology and plant classification.

His father recognized his son’s lack of interest in medicine and enrolled him into the Bachelor of Arts program at Christ College. This way he thought that his son would become a clergyman and get a good income. But Charles was just not interested. He studied botany with the Reverend John Stevens Henslow. He was also enthusiastic about William Paley’s writings about the divine design in Nature. When his exams were due, Charles managed to pass them.

Career as a Naturalist

Charles joined the geology course of Reverend Adam Sedgwick. Reverend Henslow then sent a letter to Robert FitzRoy, who was the captain of the HMS Beagle, recommending Charles as his gentleman companion on his voyage to chart the coastline of South America. The voyage lasted 5 years. Darwin spent a majority of that time on land and collected a variety of

Longest Day of the Year

Even though it is quite a common phenomenon, not many people are aware of the fact that there is something like the longest and the shortest day of the year. Technically put, a ‘day’ is the period of 24 hours, wherein the Earth completes a single rotation. Colloquially, however, the term is used to refer to the period between the sunrise and sunset, when it is bright outside. (In contrast, the term ‘night’ is used to refer to the period between the sunset and sunrise, when it is dark outside.)

On June 20th, 2016, the sunrise is scheduled for 05:47 and sunset for 19:59; which amounts to 14 hours and 12 minutes of daylight. The same was 9 hours and 18 minutes for January 1, 2016, (sunrise – 07:20 and sunset – 16:39), and will be 9 hours 28 minutes for December 1, 2016 (sunrise – 07:01 and sunset – 16:29). As you see, the length of a day increases and decreases over the course of a calendar year. Starting from January, it continues to increase till June 21st (at times June 20th or 22nd.) From this particular day, it starts decreasing, and continues to decrease till December 21st (at times December 20th or 22nd).

Summer Solstice and the Longest Day of the Year
Basically, days and nights are caused due to the rotation of the Earth, with the side facing the Sun experiencing day and other side experiencing night. As the Earth is tilted on its axis at an angle of 23° 26′, at one point it aligns in such a position that it is either inclined towards or away from the Sun. Such alignment, wherein the apparent position of the Sun is either perpendicular to the Tropic of Cancer or the Tropic of Capricorn, is

What is Solstice

In the field of geographical studies, the term ‘solstice’ refers to either of the two times of a given year wherein the Sun is farthest from the celestial Equator. While this definition is absolutely correct, there is a lot more to know about it. Did you, for instance, know that the December solstice (known as ‘winter solstice’ in the United States), which marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, actually marks the beginning of summer in the Southern Hemisphere? Not many people are aware of such facts about this phenomenon, and that has resulted in widespread myths about it.

Solstice Explained

The driving factors when it comes to solstice are Earth’s revolution around the Sun and its rotation along its axis, which is tilted at 23.5°―both of which contribute to Sun’s apparent position in the sky. Interestingly, these are also the driving factors when it comes to different seasons on the planet. As a result of revolution and rotation of Earth, the Sun is directly overhead at the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn. This journey of the Sun can be traced from the equator to the tropic of Cancer at 23.5°North, back to the Equator, and then down south to the tropic of Capricorn at 23.5°South over the year. When it reaches its northernmost or southernmost extreme, the Sun appears to stand still for sometime, before it resumes its journey. This very period when the Sun is still right overhead the tropic of Cancer or tropic of Capricorn, is known as solstice.

In fact, the term solstice is derived from the combination of two Latin words sol meaning the Sun and sistere meaning to stand still. Similarly, when the Sun is right at the Equator, it is referred to as equinox. As a

Coriolis Effect

The Coriolis effect is the apparent curvature of ocean currents, winds, and anything else that moves along or on the Earth’s surface. It is caused by the Earth’s rotation. Although an extremely important concept in physics and geography, it is often misunderstood. A manifestation of this is that, people believe it to be responsible for the water in a drain, swirling in a particular direction in the northern hemisphere, and in a different direction in the southern hemisphere. This is not true, because the effect has nothing to do with water swirling in the drain, that is solely down to the shape of the drain.

What is the Coriolis Effect?

This phenomenon is best explained as the tendency of any moving object, on or above the Earth’s surface, to stray sideways from its normal course, due to the Earth’s rotation. The deflection is towards the left in the southern hemisphere, while in the northern hemisphere, it is towards the right of the usual motion. Gaspard Coriolis, a French engineer, discovered this phenomenon and also came up with mathematical formulas to explain it.

The Earth’s surface does not rotate at all, at the poles, while the rotation speed is maximum along the equator. This is the reason why objects moving further from the equator drift eastwards, while the ones moving closer to the equator tend to drift westwards. All movements on or above the Earth’s surface, like winds, water flow, even artillery fired in the air, and ocean currents, are subject to this phenomenon.

Causes

The Earth’s rotation is known to be the main cause of the Coriolis effect. The Earth spins in an anticlockwise direction on its axis, and because of this, objects moving on or above the surface over a long distance, are deflected, as they are moving

Earth’s Core

The earth’s core is both, solid and molten, and is believed to be cooling down gradually. The iron-nickel composition within is responsible for the electromagnetic field generated around the planet and the consistent seismic activity observed. Earth, the planet we inhabit, is the third from the sun. It is not only the largest terrestrial planet in the solar system, but also ranks in terms of mass, diameter and density. Our planet is home to millions of living species and is the only planet known to support life. Formed more than 4.50 billion years ago, the biosphere has consistently altered its atmosphere and abiotic conditions. The presence of aerobic organisms, the ozone layer, and the magnetic field, all make the planet unique.

Vital Information

The planet’s outer surface or crust is made up of a number of segments or tectonic plates. These plates migrate over the surface, which is covered by 71% water and 29% land. The interior is persistently active and homes a layer of solid mantle, liquid outer, and an inner core that is concentrated in iron content. This is the reason behind the magnetic field generated around the planet. The planet’s mineral resources, biosphere components, their interdependency, and the presence of water are responsible for the survival of life forms.

Composition

The earth is an oblate spheroid. It is a sphere that bulges around the equator. With a mass of 5.98 × 1024 kg, the planet is composed of iron, oxygen, silicon, magnesium, sulfur, nickel, calcium, aluminum, and traces of other elements. The core is mainly composed of iron, nickel, and sulfur. Its interior is subdivided into chemical and physical layers, each with its own unique properties. The solid outer crust is held in place by a solid mantle that is viscous in nature. Beneath this

Could Archimedes have lifted the Earth?

Archimedes was a native of Syracuse, Sicily. It is reported by some that he visited Egypt and there invented a device now known as Archimedes screw. This is a pump, still used in many parts of the world. It is presumed that, when Archimedes was a young man, he studied with the successors of Euclid in Alexandria. Certainly he was completely familiar with the mathematics developed there, but what makes this conjecture much more certain, is that he knew personally the mathematicians working there.

“Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth!”

This is a legend ascribed to the famous Archimedes, genius of antiquity who discovered the laws of the lever. “Archimedes,” Plutarch says, “Once wrote to King Hiero of Syracuse, whose kinsman and friend he was, that this force could be used to move any weight. Carried away by the power of argument, he added that, were there another earth, he would go there and lift our own planet from it.”

King Hiero, who was absolutely astonished by the statement, asked him to prove it. In the harbor was a ship that had proved impossible to launch even by the combined efforts of all the men of Syracuse. Archimedes, who had been examining the properties of levers and pulleys, built a machine that allowed him to single-handedly move the ship from a distance away.

Archimedes knew that by applying a lever, one could lift the heaviest of weights by applying even the weakest of forces. One had only to apply this force to the levers longer arm and cause the shorter one to act on the load. He therefore thought that by pressing with his hand on the extremely long arm of a lever he would be able to lift a weight, the

Take Your Pick – Vacuum or Nothing!

The history of vacuum and its applications. What is vacuum? Can you achieve perfect vacuum? Why isn’t the Earth’s atmosphere being sucked out into outer space? What applications & industries use the principle of vacuum? And more…

What is vacuum? Vacuum is the absence of anything and everything in a given space, therefore a perfect vacuum would be completely devoid of matter.

Till date it has not been possible to achieve pure vacuum, the nearest we have got is molecules one mm apart, not much one may say, but when you consider that at sea level, molecules are millionth of a millimeter apart, it is considerable, or rather considerably less. Also perfect vacuum is by definition obtained only at a temperature of zero degree Kelvin, and reaching zero degree Kelvin is practically impossible.

Of course nature as usual does a better job, there are vast sections of space where matter is ten centimeters apart and it is theoretically possible that billions of light years away, there are parts where matter is spread out more than one meter apart.

But then if one is to go by the saying that ‘nature abhors a vacuum’, why isn’t the Earth’s atmosphere being sucked out into outer space? What the saying essentially means is that air will move in swiftly (if it can) to fill up any vacuum created inside the atmosphere (this is because air is a constant state of flux and will move from a higher atmospheric pressure point to a lower atmospheric pressure point). As one goes up into the atmosphere, air pressure keeps reducing, and at the edge of the atmosphere there is no air pressure and individual air molecules move around freely. The reason they do not move away from Earth is that the Earth’s gravity attracts