The Le Petit Journal cover, on 1912 April 21, shows eclipse watchers in 1912 along with the solar eclipse of May 22, 1724, the previous total solar eclipse visible from Paris, France *Wik |

“Biographical history, as taught in our public schools, is still largely a history of boneheads:

ridiculous kings and queens, paranoid political leaders, compulsive voyagers, ignorant generals

- the flotsam and jetsam of historical currents.

The men who radically altered history,

the great scientists and mathematicians,

are seldom mentioned, if at all.”

Martin Gardner

The 143rd day of the year; there are 143 three-digit primes. Also, 143

^{2}is a divisor of 143143.

**EVENTS**

**1649**Pascal obtained a monopoly by royal decree for his computing machine. [DSB 10, 332] *VFR

1724 A total solar eclipse occurred on May 22, 1724. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness.

This solar eclipse crossed the United Kingdom near sunset, north-west to south-east track, from southern Wales and Devon in the west, eastwards to Hampshire and Sussex, but passing to the south of London.

It crossed the city Los Angeles, CA in the morning, unfortunately it wasn't settled until after 1771, 47 years later. The next total eclipse over Los Angeles won't occur until April 1, 3290. *Wik

1788 William Herschel reads a paper to the Royal Society describing the observation of two satellites around the "Georgian Planet." *Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 1788 78, 364-378

On 13 March 1781, when he discovered the new celestial object he named it "Georgium Sidus (the Georgian planet)". It would later become the planet Uranus.

Herschel even claimed in 1797 that he saw rings around the seventh planet and drew a small diagram of the ring and noted that it was "a little inclined to the red". For nearly two centuries the claim was dismissed as a mistake but in 1977 rings around Uranus were detected during an experiment.* bristol@bbc.co.uk

**In 1849**, Abraham Lincoln was issued a patent for "buoying boats over shoals" (No. 6,469). He was the first American president to receive a patent. (

*Note: he was NOT President in 1849*) His idea utilized inflated cylinders to float grounded vessels through shallow water. Lincoln had worked as a deck-hand on a Mississippi flat-boat. *TIS

**1866**Herman von Helmholtz published his paper “On the facts that underlie the foundations of geometry,” containing an account of elliptic geometry. *VFR

**1906**, the brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright received a patent for "new and useful improvements in Flying Machines" (U.S. No. 821,393). This was the first airplane patent in the USA. *TIS

**1936**M. C. ESCHER visited the Alhambra on 18‑24 Oct 1922 and was impressed by the patterns, but he didn't really use them in his art until after his second visit on 22-26 May 1936

In 1973, Robert Metcalfe wrote a memo describing a way to transmit data from the early generation of personal computers to a new device, the laser printer. He called his multipoint data communications system Ethernet, and today it continues to dominate as the standard computer network. A U.S. patent for "a Multipoint data communication system with collision detection" was issued 13 Dec 1977 ( 4,063,220) to Metcalfe, and others who developed the Ethernet. The patent was assigned to the Xerox Corporation. *TIS

In 1995, astronomers Amanda S. Bosh and Andrew S. Rivkin found two new moons of Saturn in photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. *TIS

2010 A Pac-Man Mini version, originally created by Google as an animated logo for the game's 30th anniversary on May 22, 2010. Play it here.

**BIRTHS**

**1783 William Sturgeon**(22 May 1783 - 4 December 1850) English electrical engineer who devised the first electromagnet capable of supporting more than its own weight (1825). The 7-oz (200-g) magnet supported 9-lb (4-kg) of iron with a single cell's current. He built an electric motor (1832) and invented the commutator, now part of most modern electric motors. In 1836, he invented the first suspended coil galvanometer, a device for measuring current. Sturgeon also worked on improving the voltaic battery, developing a theory of thermoelectricity, and even atmospheric charge conditions. From 500 kite flights made in calm weather, he found the atmosphere is consistently charged positively with respect to the Earth, and increasingly so at increased height. *TIS

**1848**

**Hermann Schubert**(22 May 1848 in Potsdam, Germany – 20 July 1911 in Hamburg, Germany) worked on parts of algebraic geometry that involve a finite number of solutions. This is called

*Enumerative Geometry*. *SAU

1865 Alfred Cardew Dixon (22 May 1865 in Northallerton, Yorkshire, England - 4 May 1936 in Northwood, Middlesex, England) Alfred Dixon graduated from London and Cambridge and then had professorial appointments in Galway and Belfast. He worked on ordinary and partial differential equations. *SAU

**1903 Yves-André Rocard**(Vannes, 22 May 1903 – 16 March 1992 in Paris) French mathematician and physicist who contributed to the development of the French atomic bomb and to the understanding of such diverse fields of research as semiconductors, seismology, and radio astronomy. During WW II, as Head of the Research Department of the Free French Naval Forces in England, he learnt about radars in England and interference from strong radio emission from the Sun. After the war, Rocard returned to France and proposed that France started a project to conduct radio astronomy. In the last part of his life he studied biomagnetism and dowsing which reduced his standing in the eyes of many of his colleagues. *TIS

1916 Albrecht Fröhlich FRS (22 May 1916 – 8 November 2001) was a mathematician famous for his major results and conjectures on Galois module theory in the Galois structure of rings of integers.

He was born in Munich to a Jewish family. He fled from the Nazis to France, and then to Palestine. He went to Bristol University in 1945, gaining a Ph.D in 1951 with a dissertation entitled On Some Topics in the Theory of Representation of Groups and Individual Class Field Theory under the supervision of Hans Heilbronn. He was a lecturer at the University of Leicester and then at the Keele University, then in 1962 moved as reader to King's College London where he worked until his retirement in 1981 when he moved to Robinson College, Cambridge.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1976. He was awarded the Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society in 1976 and its De Morgan Medal in 1992. The Society's Fröhlich Prize is named in his honour.

He is the brother of Herbert Fröhlich. *Wik

**DEATHS**

**1868 Julius Plücker**(16 June 1801 – 22 May 1868) German mathematician and physicist whose work suggested the far-reaching principle of duality, which states the equivalence of certain related types of theorems. He also discovered that cathode rays (electron rays produced in a vacuum) are diverted from their path by a magnetic field, a principle vital to the development of modern electronic devices, such as television. At first alone and later with the German physicist Johann W. Hittorf, Plücker made many important discoveries in spectroscopy. Before Bunsen and Kirchhoff, he announced that spectral lines were characteristic for each chemical substance and this had value to chemical analysis. In 1862 he pointed out that the same element may exhibit different spectra at different temperatures. *TIS

1974Irmgard Flugge-Lotz (6 July 1903 - 22 May 1974)born in Hameln, Germany. Her father encouraged her in mathematics, but she chose engineering because “I wanted a life which would never be boring—a life in which new things would always occur.” She studied applied mathematics at the Technical University of Hanover and in 1929 she became a Doktor-Ingenieur, the equivalent of an American Ph.D. in Engineering. She made contributions to aerodynamics, control theory, and ﬂuid mechanics. In 1960 she became full professor at Stanford. *WM

1991 Prime Number Theorist Derrick Lehmer (February 23, 1905 – May 22, 1991) Derrick Lehmer, one of the world's best known prime number theorists, born in Berkeley, California. Before World War II, Lehmer invented a number of electromechanical sieves for finding prime numbers and made many important contributions in prime number theory throughout his life. Prime numbers are of interest in themselves as mathematical curiosities but are also of great importance to cryptography. The Computer Museum History Center has three Lehmer sieves in its permanent collection. Lehmer died in 1991.*CHM Lehmer's peripatetic career as a number theorist, with he and his wife taking numerous types of work in the United States and abroad to support themselves during the Great Depression, fortuitously brought him into the center of research into early electronic computing.His father Derrick Norman Lehmer, known mainly as a pioneer in number theory computing, also made major contributions to combinatorial computing. *Wik

1967 Josip Plemelj (December 11, 1873 – May 22, 1967) was a Slovene mathematician, whose main contributions were to the theory of analytic functions and the application of integral equations to potential theory. He was the first chancellor of the University of Ljubljana.*Wik

1974 Irmgard Flügge-Lotz (16 July 1903 in Hameln, Germany - 22 May 1974 in Stanford, USA) worked on numerical methods for solving differential equations especially in fluid dynamics.*SAU

2009 Walter Ledermann (18 March 1911 in Berlin, Germany - 22 May 2009 in London, England) graduated from Berlin but was forced to leave Germany in 1933 to avoid Nazi persecution. He came to St Andrews and studied under Turnbull. He worked at Dundee and St Andrews until after World War II when he moved to Manchester and then to the University of Sussex. He is especially known for his work in homology, group theory and number theory. *SAU

**2010**

**Martin Gardner**(October 21, 1914 – May 22, 2010) died. Gardner more or less single-handedly sustained and nurtured interest in recreational mathematics in the U.S. for a large part of the 20th century. He is best known for his decades-long efforts in popular mathematics and science journalism, particularly through his "Mathematical Games" column in

*Scientific American*. *Wik

It is said that Gardner "Turned children into mathematicians and mathematicians into children.".. For some of us he did each in turn. More than any classroom teacher I ever had, Martin Gardner shaped my mathematical interests. "For 35 years, he wrote Scientific American's Mathematical Games column, educating and entertaining minds and launching the careers of generations of mathematicians"

Only two days before I learned of his death, I stood in the front yard of my Mother's home in Fort Worth and told Alex, my sister's grandson, aged 12, that if he wanted to nurture his curiosity for math and science he should find anything in the library by Martin Gardner and read it every year for the next ten years of his life, and each year, I promised, he would find something new in the reading.

I can not do justice to the life of a man who was the mathematical Pied-Piper of mathematics for a generation of us; so here is link to the article in Scientific American.

Credits

*CHM=Computer History Museum

*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts

*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History

*TIS= Today in Science History

*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA

*Wik = Wikipedia

*WM = Women of Mathematics. Grinstein & Campbell

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