**Mathematicians are like Frenchmen:**

whatever you say to them

they translate into their own language

and forthwith it is something entirely different.

whatever you say to them

they translate into their own language

and forthwith it is something entirely different.

-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflexions, 1829)

The 140th day of the year; 140 is the sum of the squares of the first seven positive integers. 1^{2} + 2^{2} + 3^{2} + 4^{2} + 5^{2} + 6^{2} + 7^{2} = 140. *Prime Curios

140 is a repdigit in bases 13 (aa), 19(7,7), 27(5,5), 34(4,4), 69(2,2), and 139(1,1). (students should become aware that every number n is a repunit in the base n-1.

There are 140 x 10^{21} (140 followed by 21 zeroes) different configurations of the Rubik's Cube. *Cliff Pickover@pickover (Would anyone notice if he was one off???)

140 is the character limit on Twitter (or was)

A. J. Meyl proved in 1878 that only three tetrahedral numbers are also perfect squares, The largest of these is T(48) =140^{2} = 19600:

T1 = 1² = 1

T2 = 2² = 4

T48 = 140² = 19600.

140 is the magic constant of this 5x5 square by *Srinivasa Raghave K Can you see how to easily make one for day 135, or 145? Jeff Miller's Web site on the Earliest Use of Math Words says that Frenicle de Bessy used the term magic in the title to his book, Des quarrez ou tables magiques, published posthumously in 1693, twenty years after his death. The first use in English was the same year in "A New Historical Relation of the Kingdom of Siam." Appropriate to have de Bessey mentioned here, as he first noted the cubic relation of the Taxi-cab number, 1729 and Srinivasa is a big fan, I believe, of Ramanujan.

**EVENTS**

1570 Cartographer Abraham Ortelius issues Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern atlas. *RMAT

The publication of his atlas in 1570 is often considered as the official beginning of the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography. He was the first person proposing that the continents were joined before drifting to their present positions.

* National Maritime Museum |

1608 In a letter to Christopher Clavius, Croation mathematician Marino Ghetaldi says that with his latest parabolic mirror:-

... the sun melts not only lead, but silver.

Ghetaldi had traveled extensively throughout Europe visiting and studying with many of the great science minds, including Viete and Galileo. From Galileo he learned optics and produced a 66cm diameter parabolic mirror which is at the National Maritime Museum in London.

*SAU

**1663** Robert Hooke was one of 98 persons who were declared members at a meeting of the Royal Society. He was admitted to society on 3 Jun 1663, and was peculiarly exempted of all payments. Before the Royal Society had been establish in 1660, Hooke was already distinguished for the invention of various astronomical instruments, and the air-pump he contrived for Charles Boyle (whom he had assisted for several years with chemical experiments at the Philosophical Society, Oxford). He invented a balance or pendulum spring (1656-58), one of the greatest improvements in the construction of timepieces. By 1662, he had been appointed curator of experiments to the Royal Society, and on 11 Jan 1664, awarded a salary of £30 per annum for life for that position.*TIS

**1665** Newton's earliest use of dots, "pricked letters," to indicate velocities or fluxions is found on a leaf dated May 20, 1665; no facsimile reproduction of it has ever been made.' The earliest printed account of Newton's fluxional notation appeared from his pen in the Latin edition of Wallis' Algebra [Cajori, History of Mathematical Notations, vol. 2, p. 197] *VFR

**1716** In a letter written to Leibniz, May 20, 1716, John Bernoulli discussed the equation : d^{2}y/dx^{2} = 2y/x^{2}

where the general solution when written in the form

y = x^{2}/a + b^{2}/3x

involves three cases: When b approaches zero the curves are parabolas; when a approaches infinity, they are hyperbolas; otherwise, they are of the third order. *John E. Sasser, HISTORY OF ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS

**1875** The International Bureau of Weights and Measures established by the International Metric Convention, Sevres, France. The bureau is the repository for the “International Prototype Meter” and the “International Prototype Kilogram.” *SAU= St. Andrews Univ

From 1960 to 1983 the definition used "1,650,763.73 wavelengths of light from a specified transition in krypton-86 ", using the lamp in the image below.

In 1983, the Length was defined as the length of the path traveled by light in a vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458 of a second

*Wik |

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And for your (in case you thought that 3D movie technology was new, file)**In 1901**, Claude Grivolas, one of Pathe's main shareholders in Paris, France, invented a projector that produced three-dimensional pictures.*TIS (The glasses in the image are from somewhat later in time.)

**1927** At 7:40 a.m., Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y., aboard the "Spirit of St. Louis" monoplane on his historic first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He arrived in France thirty-three and one-half hours later. *TIS

**1930** The Institute for Advanced Study incorporated. Two and a half years later Albert Einstein and Oswald Veblen were appointed the ﬁrst professors. [Goldstein, The Computer from Pascal to von Neumann, p. 77]*VFR

**In 1956,** the first hydrogen fusion bomb (H-bomb) to be dropped from an airplane exploded over Namu Atoll at the northwest edge of the Bikini Atoll. The fireball was four miles in diameter. It was designated as "Cherokee," as part of "Operation Redwing."*TIS

**1961** France issued a stamp honoring Charles Coulomb (1736–1806) [Scott #B 352].

**1964 ** American radio astronomers Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), the ancient light that began saturating the universe 380,000 years after its creation. And they did so pretty much by accident. It is ironic, too, that many researchers -- both theoretical and experimental -- had stumbled on this phenomenon before, but either discounted it or never put it all together. This was partly because, as Steven Weinberg wrote, "in the 1950s, the study of the early universe was widely regarded as not the sort of thing to which a respectable scientist would devote his time."

Bell Labs' Holmdale Horn Antenna in New Jersey picked up an odd buzzing sound that came from all parts of the sky at all times. The noise puzzled Wilson and Penzias, who did their best to eliminate all possible sources of interference, even removing some pigeons that were nesting in the antenna.

*Wik |

**===================================================================**

**1968** A team of six high school students from Upstate New York went to London to participate in the Fourth British Mathematical Olympiad. This was the ﬁrst time a team from the U.S. participated in an international mathematical competition. [The College Mathematics Journal, 16 (1985), p. 331] *VFR

Would love a picture of the contestants. surely some proud family took a shot.

**1975 **Norway issued a stamp for the centenary of the International Meter Convention in Paris. It pictures Ole Jacob Broch (1818– 1889), the ﬁrst director of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. [Scott #655] *VFR At least ten other countries issued stamps to commemorate the same event, including Bulgaria, Romania, France, the Soviet Union..... but not the USA. (see 1975 below for another)

**1975** Sweden issued a stamp picturing a metric tape measure to honor the centenary of the International Meter Convention in Paris. [Scott #1121] *VFR

**1990** the Hubble Space Telescope sent its first photograph from space, an image of a double star 1,260 light years away. *TIS

Hubble First Light, *NASA |

**2012 Solar Eclipse, **A total of 154 U.S. national parks will provide views of the eclipse, from partial to full annularity. Many western parks will offer solar observing as a ranger-led program or host a solar party with the help of local amateur astronomy clubs.

Poster advertising viewing the eclipse from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Poster © Tyler Nordgren.

**2063** 99 year old Johnny Depp rolls down red-carpet in wheel-chair for opening of Pirates of the Caribbean sequel #42, “Sun City Pirates”.

**1782 William Emerson** (14 May 1701 – 20 May 1782), English mathematician, was born at Hurworth, near Darlington, where his father, Dudley Emerson, also a mathematician, taught a school. William himself had a small estate in Weardale called Castle Gate situated not far from Eastgate where he would repair to work throughout the Summer on projects as disparate as stonemasonry and watchmaking. Unsuccessful as a teacher, he devoted himself entirely to studious retirement. Possessed of remarkable energy and forthrightness of speech, Emerson published many works which are singularly free from errata.

He was early influence in the life of Jeremiah Fenwicke Dixon, of Mason-Dixon fame.

In The Principles of Mechanics (1754) he shows a wind-powered vehicle in which the vertically mounted propeller gives direct power to the front wheels via a system of cogs. In mechanics he never advanced a proposition which he had not previously tested in practice, nor published an invention without first proving its effects by a model. He was skilled in the science of music, the theory of sounds, and the ancient and modern scales; but he never attained any excellence as a performer. He died on 20 May 1782 at his native village, where his gravestone bears epitaphs in Latin and Hebrew.

Emerson dressed in old clothes and his manners were uncouth. He wore his shirt back to front and his legs wrapped in sacking so as not to scorch them as he sat over the fire. He declined an offer to become FRS because it would cost too much after all the expense of farthing candles he had been put to in the course of his life of study. Emerson rode regularly into Darlington on a horse like Don Quixote's, led by a hired small boy. In old age, plagued by the stone, he would alternately pray and curse, wishing his soul 'could shake off the rags of mortality without such a clitter-me-clatter.' *Wik

**1825 George Phillips Bond** ((May 20, 1825 *{sometimes given 1826}* – February 17, 1865) Astronomer who made the first photograph of a double star, discovered a number of comets, and with his father discovered Hyperion, the eight moon of Saturn.*TIS

**1861 Henry Seely White** (May 20, 1861 - May 20, 1943) worked on invariant theory, the geometry of curves and surfaces, algebraic curves and twisted curves. *SAU He matriculated at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and graduated with honors in 1882 at the age of twenty-one. White excelled at Wesleyan in astronomy, ethics, Latin, logic, mathematics, and philosophy. At the university, John Monroe Van Vleck taught White mathematics and astronomy. Later, Van Vleck persuaded White to continue to study mathematics at the graduate level.[1] Subsequently, White studied at the University of Göttingen under Klein, and received his doctorate in 1891.

White was Mathematics Department Chair at Northwestern University. He left Northwestern to be near his ill mother and became Chairman of the Mathematics Department at Vassar College. He "attributed his interest in geometry both to his work at Wesleyan and Goettingen and to summers spent working on his grandfather’s farm."[2] His particular interests were in the fields of the geometry of curves and surfaces (Curves, Differential geometry of surfaces), algebraic planes and twisted curves (Algebraic Geometry, Algebraic curves, Twisted curves), homeomorphic sets of lines in a plane (line coordinates), the theory of invariants, relativity in mechanics, and correspondences.

In 1915 Seely was elected a Fellow of the United States National Academy of Sciences. Northwestern conferred upon him an LL.D. in the same year. At the time of its 100th anniversary in 1932, Wesleyan conferred upon him an D.Sc. *Wik

Died on his birthday in 1943

**1874 Friedrich Moritz Hartogs** (20 May 1874, Brussels–18 August 1943, Munich) was a German-Jewish mathematician, known for work on set theory and foundational results on several complex variables. *Wik

**1901 Machgielis (Max) Euwe **(last name is pronounced [ˈøːwə]) (May 20, 1901 – November 26, 1981) was a Dutch chess Grandmaster, mathematician, and author. He was the fifth player to become World Chess Champion (1935–37). Euwe also served as President of FIDE, the World Chess Federation, from 1970 to 1978. *Wik

**1901 Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén** (born 30 May 1908 in Norrköping, Sweden; died 2 April 1995 in Djursholm, Sweden) was a Swedish electrical engineer, plasma physicist and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). He described the class of MHD waves now known as Alfvén waves. He was originally trained as an electrical power engineer and later moved to research and teaching in the fields of plasma physics and electrical engineering. Alfvén made many contributions to plasma physics, including theories describing the behavior of aurorae, the Van Allen radiation belts, the effect of magnetic storms on the Earth's magnetic field, the terrestrial magnetosphere, and the dynamics of plasmas in the Milky Way galaxy.*Wik

**1913 William Redington Hewlett** (20 May 1913; Ann Arbor, Michigan - 12 Jan 2001 at age 87) was an American electrical engineer who co-founded the Hewlett-Packard Company, a leading manufacturer computers, computer printers, and analytic and measuring equipment. In 1939, he formed a partnership known as Hewlett-Packard Company with David Packard, a friend and Stanford classmate. (The order of their names was determined by a coin toss.) HP's first product was an audio oscillator based on a design developed by Hewlett when he was in graduate school. Eight were sold to Walt Disney for Fantasia. Lesser-known early products were: bowling alley foul-line indicator, automatic urinal flusher, weight-loss shock machine. The company began with $538 intial capital, and its first production facility was a small garage in Palo Alto. *TIS

"In the beginning..." |

**DEATHS**

**1798 Erland Bring** (19 August 1736 – 20 May 1798) was a Swedish mathemaician who made contributions to the algebraic solution of equations.*SAU

At Lund he wrote eight volumes of mathematical work in the fields of algebra, geometry, analysis and astronomy, including Meletemata quaedam mathematematica circa transformationem aequationum algebraicarum (1786). This work describes Bring's contribution to the algebraic solution of equations. *Wik

**1943 Henry Seely White**, died on his birthday. (see 1861 above)

**1947 Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard **(7 June 1862 – 20 May 1947), was a German physicist and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1905 for his research on cathode rays and the discovery of many of their properties. He was a nationalist and anti-Semite; as an active proponent of the Nazi ideology, he had supported Adolf Hitler in the 1920s and was an important role model for the "Deutsche Physik" movement during the Nazi period.

Lenard is remembered today as a strong German nationalist who despised "English physics", which he considered to have stolen its ideas from Germany. He joined the National Socialist Party before it became politically necessary or popular to do so. During the Nazi regime, he was the outspoken proponent of the idea that Germany should rely on "Deutsche Physik" and ignore what he considered the fallacious and deliberately misleading ideas of "Jewish physics", by which he meant chiefly the theories of Albert Einstein, including "the Jewish fraud" of relativity. An advisor to Adolf Hitler, Lenard became Chief of Aryan physics under the Nazis. *Wik

Credits :

*CHM=Computer History Museum

*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts

*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar

*RMAT= The Renaissance Mathematicus, Thony Christie

*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History

*TIA = Today in Astronomy

*TIS= Today in Science History

*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA

*Wik = Wikipedia

*WM = Women of Mathematics, Grinstein & Campbell

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