Interior of Iranian Mosque *Cliff Pickover@pickover |

Science does not have a moral dimension. It is like a knife. If you give it to a surgeon or a murderer, each will use it differently.

~Wernher von Braun

The 82nd day of the year; 82 is the sum of the 10th(8+2) prime and the 16th(8x2) prime. It is the smallest number with this property. Can you find the next?

82 is a happy number. Take the sum of the square of the digits, repeat on the result, and you eventually arrive at 1.

82 is the number of different ways you can arrange 6 regular hexagons by joining their adjacent sides:

82 can be written as :

The sum of Fibonacci numbers, 82 = 1 + 5 + 21 + 55

The sum of consecutive integers, 82= 19 + 20 + 21 + 22

and as the sum of squares 82= 1

^{2}+ 9

^{2}*What's Special About This Number

In 1840, Englishman J.W. Draper took the first successful photo of the full Moon. He made a daguerreotype, a precursor of the modern photograph.*TIS The photo from this night was destroyed in a fire in a New York University. The one at right is one he took three days later, and displayed at the New York Lyceum on April 13, 1840.

Daguerre himself is believed to be the first person to take a photograph of the moon, using his daguerreotype process, on January 2, 1839. Unfortunately, in March of that same year, his entire laboratory burnt to the ground, destroying all his written records and much of his early experimental work–and that historical image of the moon. *lightsinthedark *APS.org

Appropriately, it was an astronomer who coined the term photography in 1839, when Johann Heinrich von Madler combined “photo” (from the Greek word for “light”) and “graphy” (“to write”).

**1857**The Otis Elevator Company completes the first commercial passenger elevator installation at a five-story department store, the E. V . Haughwout Company at Broadway and Broome Street in what is now New York City’s SoHo district. ( I have been told the address was 488 Broadway)

Perched on a hoisting platform high above the crowd at New York’s Crystal Palace, a pragmatic mechanic (Otis himself, it seems) shocked the crowd when he dramatically cut the only rope suspending the platform on which he was standing. The platform dropped a few inches, but then came to a stop. His revolutionary new safety brake had worked, stopping the platform from crashing to the ground. “All safe, gentlemen!” the man proclaimed.Otis’ demonstration had the desired effect. He sold seven elevators that year, and 15 the next. *Wired, HT Rick Brutti@Rbrutti

1881 J J Sylvester writes to Arthur Cayley to announce, "I believe that I have proved Gordan's Theorem, and can assign a superior limit to the number of fundamental invariants." His proof was founded on the prospect that a certain sequence increased without bound. By October he knew that it did not.

1920 When Professor Johann Palisan of the University of Vienna discovered an asteroid on this date, he chose to name it after Herbert Hoover, who would later become the President of the USA. As head of the American Relief Administration, after WWI, Hoover organized shipments of food for millions of starving people in Central Europe. In Finnish it is common to use the word “hoover” with the meaning, “to help”. (at least it was, can someone tell me if this is still so) It seems strange that today most history books in his home country preserve his name in the term “Hooverville’s” for hobo camps and shanty towns where displaced peoples lived during the American Great Depression. *Wik

In 1950, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization was established. *TIS The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is the UN system's authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources. *WMO webpage

Rubik had begun distribution in Hungary in 1977, and by early 1979 Mathematical Intelligencer carried an introduction in of "The Hungarian Magic Cube" by David Singmaster with the note, "A new mathematical toy has been slowly becoming available in western Europe and is becoming more popular than the Soma Cube, Instant Insanity, and may well surpass the popularity of Mastermind or Sam Loyd's Fifteen puzzle."

In 1989, fusion at room temperature was claimed by Martin Fleischmann and Stan Pons, two Utah electrochemists. They believed they had sustained a controlled nuclear fusion reaction in a bench-top fusion percolator made up of two electrodes with heavy water which generated up to 100 per cent more energy than they put in. There were sporadic sightings of excess heat, which Fleischmann said cannot be accounted for by chemistry alone. However, the idea of cold fusion was discredited because leading scientists were unable to replicate the work and found no hallmarks of nuclear processes, especially none of the subatomic particles called neutrons. Their tantalizing promise of a limitless supply of cheap energy were invalid.*TIS

2023 Sonia Kovalevsky Day.. "Her birthday is January 15, but today gets to be her day. Cathy O'Neil (aka Mathbabe) started Sonia Kovalevsky Day at Barnard College in 2006, and it sounds like it's been going strong ever since." *Sue VanHattum .

1754 (Jurij)Georg Freiherr von Vega (23 Mar 1754 in Zagorica, Ljubljana, Slovenia - 26 Sept 1802 in Vienna, Austria) wrote about artillery but he is best remembered for his tables of logarithms and trigonometric functions. Vega calculated π to 140 places, a record which stood for over 50 years. This appears in a paper which he published in 1789.

In September 1802 Vega was reported missing. A search was unsuccessful until his body was found in the Danube near Vienna. The official cause of death was an accident but many suspect that he was murdered. *SAU

1795 Bernt Michael Holmboe (23 March 1795 – 28 March 1850) was a Norwegian mathematician. Holmboe was hired as a mathematics teacher at the Christiania Cathedral School in 1818, where he met the future renowned mathematician Niels Henrik Abel. Holmboe's lasting impact on mathematics worldwide has been said to be his tutoring of Abel, both in school and privately. The two became friends and remained so until Abel's early death. Holmboe moved to the Royal Frederick University in 1826, where he worked until his own death in 1850.

Holmboe's significant impact on mathematics in the fledgling Norway was his textbook in two volumes for secondary schools. It was widely used, but faced competition from Christopher Hansteen's alternative offering, sparking what may have been Norway's first debate about school textbooks. *Wik

1827 Pierre Simon, Marquis de Laplace (23 Mar 1749, 5 Mar 1827 at age 78) was a French mathematician, physicist, statistician and astronomer known for his mathematical analysis of the stability of the solar system (1773), alleviating Isaac Newton's concerns about perturbations between planets. He took an exact approach to science. He developed an explanation of surface tension of a liquid in terms of inter-molecular attractions, investigated capillary action and the speed of sound. He assisted Antoine Lavoisier (1783) investigating specific heat and heats of combustion, initiating the science of thermochemistry. He believed the solar system formed from a collapsing nebula. He contributed to the mathematics of probability and calculus, in which a differential equation is known by his name, and was involved in establishing the metric system.*TIS His last words were, “What we know is very slight; what we don’t know is immense.” *Eves, Mathematical Circles Revisited, 319◦

1829 Norman Robert Pogson (23 Mar 1829; 23 Jun 1891 at age 62) English astronomer who devised the magnitude scale of the brightness of stars (1850) now in use. He divided the classical scale in which a first magnitude star is one hundred times brighter than a sixth magnitude star using five integer steps. Each step represents a fifth-root of 100 (about 2.512) increase in brightness. The Sun's magnitude on this scale is -26.91, whereby negative numbers denote objects brighter than first magnitude. Sirius is magnitude -1.58, Aldebaran is 1 and the faintest star detected is 30. His interest in astronomy began in his youth; by age 18 he had calculated orbits for two comets. He discovered 8 asteroids, 21 new variable stars and compiled a massive star catalogue. In 1860 he moved to India for the remainder of his life's work.*TIS

1837 Richard Anthony Proctor (23 Mar 1837, 12 Sep 1888) English astronomer who first suggested (1873) that meteor impacts caused lunar craters, rather than volcanic action. He studied the motion of stars, their distribution, and their relation to the nebulae. In 1867 he prepared a map of the surface of Mars on which he named continents, seas, bays and straits (in the same manner that Riccioli used on his map of the moon). However, he did not perceive "canals" on the surface, which later Schiaparelli identified. Proctor participated in expeditions of 1874 and 1882 to observe the transit of Venus. He was very successful popularizing astronomy by his writings in books, periodicals, and lectures he gave as far abroad as Australia and America (where he stayed after 1881).*TIS

*LH |

1855 Franklin H(enry) Giddings (23 Mar 1855; 11 Jun 1931 at age 76) American sociologist, one of the first in the United States to turn sociology from a branch of philosophy into a research science dependent on statistics. He was noted for his doctrine of the "consciousness of kind," which he derived from Adam Smith's conception of "sympathy," or shared moral reactions. His explanation of social phenomena was based this doctrine - his theory that each person has an innate sense of belonging to particular social groups. He encouraged statistical studies in sociology. *TIS

1862 Eduard Study (23 March 1862 in Coburg, Germany - 6 Jan 1930 in Bonn, Germany)Study became a leader in the geometry of complex numbers. He reformulated, independently of Severi, the fundamental principles of enumerative geometry due to Schubert. He also worked on invariant theory helping to develop a symbolic notation. In 1923 he published important work on real and complex algebras of low dimension publishing these results. Study's contribution is summarized by W Burau as follows, "... Study demonstrated what he considered to be a thorough treatment of a problem. ... With Corrado Segre, Study was one of the leading pioneers in the geometry of complex numbers. ... Adept in the methods of invariant theory ... Study, employing the identities of the theory, sought to demonstrate that geometric theorems are independent of coordinates. ... Study was the first to investigate systematically all algebras possessing up to four generators over R and C. "

Other areas which Study worked on were straight lines in elliptic space, with his student at Bonn J L Coolidge, and he simplified the method of differential operators. In 1903 he published Geometrie der Dynamen which considered euclidean kinematics and the mechanics of rigid bodies. *SAU

Emmy Noether’s house in Erlangen is in a blog at The Renaissance Mathematicus

**1897 John Lighton Synge**(March 23, 1897–March 30, 1995) was an Irish mathematician and physicist. Synge made outstanding contributions to different fields of work including classical mechanics, general mechanics and geometrical optics, gas dynamics, hydrodynamics, elasticity, electrical networks, mathematical methods, differential geometry, and Einstein's theory of relativity. He studied an extensive range of mathematical physics problems, but his best known work revolved around using geometrical methods in general relativity.

He was one of the first physicists to seriously study the interior of a black hole, and is sometimes credited with anticipating the discovery of the structure of the Schwarzschild vacuum (a black hole).

He also created the game of Vish in which players compete to find circularity (vicious circles) in dictionary definitions. *Wik

*SAU |

**1989 Hassler Whitney** (March 23, 1907 – May 10, 1989) was an American mathematician. He was one of the founders of singularity theory, and did foundational work in manifolds, embeddings, immersions, and characteristic classes. *SAU

In 1947 he was elected member of the American Philosophical Society. In 1969 he was awarded the Lester R. Ford Award for the paper in two parts "The mathematics of Physical quantities" (1968a, 1968b). In 1976 he was awarded the National Medal of Science. In 1980 he was elected honorary member of the London Mathematical Society. In 1982, he received the Wolf Prize from the Wolf Foundation, and finally, in 1985, he was awarded the Steele Prize from the American Mathematical Society. *Wik

1928 Computer Pioneer Jean Sammet Is Born :

Jean Sammet, an early pioneer of computing, is born in New York. Sammet attended Mount Holyoke College and the University of Illinois, where she launched a teaching career. Trained in math, she moved into industry in 1961, developing the language FORMAC at IBM. The language was the first commonly used language for manipulating non-numeric algebraic expressions. She also wrote one of the classic histories of programming languages in her book, "Programming Languages: History and Fundamentals." *CHM

1945 Sir (William) Napier Shaw (4 Mar 1854; 23 Mar 1945 at age 90) was an English meteorologist who applied his training in mathematics. He studied the upper atmosphere, using instruments carried by kites and high-altitude balloons. He measured (1906) the movement of air in two anti-cyclones, finding descent rates of 350 and 450 metres per day. He calculated the reduction in pressure due to a certain depression to correspond to the removal of two million million tons of air. He introduced the millibar unit for measurement of air pressure (1000 millibar = 1 bar = 1 standard atmosphere) and the tephigram to illustrate the temperature of a vertical profile of the atmosphere. He also co-authored an early work on atmospheric pollution, The Smoke Problem of Great Cities (1925).*TIS

1946 Gilbert Newton Lewis (23 Oct 1875, 23 Mar 1946 at age 70) American chemist who collaborated with Irving Langmuir in developing an atomic theory. He developed a theory of valency, which introduced the covalent bond (c. 1916), whereby a chemical combination is made between two atoms by the sharing of a pair of electrons, one contributed from each atom. This was part of his more general octet theory, published in Valence and the Structure of Atoms and Molecules (1923). Lewis visualized the electrons in an atom as being arranged in concentric cubes. The sharing of these electrons he illustrated in the Lewis dot diagrams familiar to chemistry students. He generalized the concept of acids and bases now known as Lewis acids and Lewis bases. *TIS

**1961 Max Mason**(26 Oct 1877; 23 Mar 1961) American mathematical physicist, educator, and science administrator. During World War I he invented several devices for submarine detection - several generations of the Navy's "M," or multiple-tube, passive submarine sensors. This apparatus focused sound to ascertain its source. To determine the direction from which the sound came, the operator needed only to seek the maximum output on his earphones by turning a dial. The final device had a range of 3 miles. Mason's special interest and contributions lay in mathematics (differential equations, calculus of variations), physics (electromagnetic theory), invention (acoustical compensators, submarine-detection devices), and the administration of universities and foundations. *TIS

**1963 Thoralf Skolem**,(23 May 1887 in Sandsvaer, Buskerud, Norway - 23 March 1963 in Oslo, Norway) number theorist and logician. At the International Congress of Mathematicians in Cambridge in 1950 he said “We ought not to regard all that is written in the traditional textbooks as something sacred.” It was this attitude that earlier allowed him to discover that the real numbers could have countable models, a fact known as Skolem’s paradox.

**1979 Ivo Lah**(AKA Ivan Lah; September 5, 1896 Štrukljeva vas near Cerknica, Austria-Hungary, now Slovenia,– March 23, 1979, Ljubljana, SFR Yugoslavia, now Slovenia) was a Slovenian mathematician and actuary, best known for his discovery of the Lah numbers in 1955. His scientific bibliography contains about 120 items covering a wide spectrum of topics from Mathematics to Statistics, Demographics, etc. For instance one can find 10 items in Maths Reviews, and 19 items in Zentralblatt für Mathematik. His most important mathematical result, published in 1955, is the so-called "Lah identity" where he shows how the rising powers can be expressed in terms of falling powers. The reviewer of his paper was a leading combinatorialist of that time, John Riordan. *Wik Unsigned Lah numbers have an interesting meaning in combinatorics: they count the number of ways a set of n elements can be partitioned into k nonempty linearly ordered subsets. Lah numbers are related to Stirling numbers.*Wik

**1981 Beatrice Muriel Hill Tinsley**(27 January 1941 – 23 March 1981) was a British-born New Zealand astronomer and cosmologist whose research made fundamental contributions to the astronomical understanding of how galaxies evolve, grow and die.

Tinsley completed pioneering theoretical studies of how populations of stars age and affect the observable qualities of galaxies. She also collaborated on basic research into models investigating whether the universe is closed or open. Her galaxy models led to the first approximation of what protogalaxies should look like.

In 1974 she received the American Astronomical Society's Annie J. Cannon Award in Astronomy, awarded for "outstanding research and promise for future research by a postdoctoral woman researcher", in recognition of her work on galaxy evolution.

In 1977, Tinsley, with Richard Larson of Yale, organized a conference on 'The Evolution of Galaxies and Stellar Populations'.

Shortly after, in 1978, she became the first female professor of astronomy at Yale University. Her last scientific paper, submitted to the Astrophysical Journal ten days before her death, was published posthumously that November, without revision. *Wik

1934 Paul Joseph Cohen (2 Apr 1934, March 23, 2007 )American mathematician who received the Fields Medal (1966) for his fundamental work on the foundations of set theory. Cohen invented a technique called "forcing" to prove the independence in set theory of the axiom of choice and of the generalised continuum hypothesis. The continuum hypothesis problem was the first of Hilbert's famous 23 problems delivered to the Second International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900. Hilbert's famous speech The Problems of Mathematics challenged (then and now) mathematicians to solve these fundamental questions and Cohen has the distinction of solving Problem 1. He also worked on differential equations and harmonic analysis. *TIS

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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