**It is the duty of every true Muslim, man and woman, to strive after knowledge.**

Ulugh Beg [quoting the Hadith. Inscribed on his gate in Bukhara] (see Deaths 1449)

The 300th day of the year; 300 is a triangular number, the sum of the integers from 1 to 24.

300 is also the sum of a pair of twin primes (149 + 151).

And the sum of ten consecutive primes, 300 = 13 + 17 + 19 + 23 + 29 + 31 + 37 + 41 + 43 + 47.

The Fibonacci sequence Modulo 50, has a period length of 300. As an example for a smaller number, mod 2, the numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 Mod 2 have residues 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 0, 1, for a repeating pattern of 3.

**EVENTS**

**1725**Nicolaus II and Daniel Bernoulli arrived in St. Petersburg on October 27, 1725 (OS)**In 1780**, the first U.S. astronomical expedition to record an eclipse of the sun observed the event which lasted from 11:11 am to 1:50 pm. The observers left about three weeks earlier, on 9 Oct from Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass., for Penobscot Bay, led by Samuel Williams. A boat was supplied by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the four professors and six students. Although the U.S. was at war with Britain, the British officer in charge of Penobscot Bay permitted the expedition to land and set up equipment to observe the predicted total eclipse of the sun. The expedition was shocked to find itself outside the path of totality. They saw a thin arc of the sun instead of its complete obscuration by the moon. *TIS**1859**The spectroscope was invented on this day. A spectroscope is a prism-based device which separates light into its different wavelengths. Gustav Kirchhoff initially used it to study the spectral “signature” of various chemical elements, allowing the identification of a new element if a new spectrum was observed. *rsc.org**1980**The first major network crash, the four-hour collapse of the ARPANET, occurred

The ARPANET, predecessor of the modern Internet, was set up by the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Initially it had linked four sites in California and Utah, and later was expanded to cover research centers across the country.

The network failure resulted from a redundant single-error detecting code that was used for transmission but not storage, and a garbage-collection algorithm for removing old messages that was not resistant to the simultaneous existence of one message with several different time stamps. The combination of the events took the network down for four hours. *CHM

**2011**

*EPL (Europhysics Letters)*went beyond Earthly limits by publishing its first ever paper submitted from space: a landmark for both European and physics-based research. Concerned with the properties of complex plasma in almost zero gravity conditions, the paper represents collaborative research of 29 individual missions performed over the last 10 years by German and Russian researchers aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The experiments detailed in the paper were performed on the ISS in July 2010 by Alexander Alexandrovich Skvortsov and were submitted on 27 October 2011 by Skvortsov’s colleague, Sergey Alexandrovich Volkov, who remains on the ISS. IOP Blog

**BIRTHS**

**1678 Pierre Rémond de Montmort**(27 Oct 1678 in Paris, France, 7 Oct 1719 in Paris, France) was a French mathematician who wrote an important work on probability. Montmort's reputation was made by his book on probability Essay d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard which appeared in 1708. The book, which is a collection of combinatorial problems, is a systematic study of games of chance and shows that there is important mathematics in this area.

Montmort collaborated with Nicolaus(I) Bernoulli and he was also a friend of Taylor. At a time of high feelings in the Newton-Leibniz controversy it says a lot for Montmort that he could be friends with followers of both camps.

In addition to those mentioned above, Montmort corresponded with Craig, Halley, Hermann and Poleni.

Montmort was elected to be a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1715, when he was on a trip to England. The following year he was elected to the Académie Royal des Sciences. *SAU

The work greatly influenced the thinking of Montmort's contemporary, Abraham De Moivre.

**1728 James Cook**(27 Oct 1728; 14 Feb 1779) English seaman who was the first of the really scientific navigators. Captain Cook spent several years surveying the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland. He observed a solar eclipse on 5 Aug 1766 near Cape Ray, Newfoundland. On the first of three expeditions into the Pacific (1768) he took Joseph Banks as the ship's botanist to study the flora and fauna discovered. (This practice of carrying a naturalist took place some 75 years before Charles Darwin's famous voyage.) Cook observed the transit of Venus on this voyage from the island of Tahiti on 3 Jun 1769. This would help scientists plot the distance between the sun to the earth. His geographical discoveries made him the most famous navigator since Magellan. He was killed by cannibal natives in Hawaii.*TIS

Cook Tahiti |

**1798 Heinrich Ferdinand Scherk**(27 Oct 1798 in Poznań, Poland - 4 Oct 1885 in Bremen, Germany) was a mathematician born in what is now Poland who discovered an important example of a minimal surface. Scherk discovered the third non-trivial examples of a minimal surface which appeared in his paper Bemerkungen über die kleinste Fläche innerhalb gegebener Grenzen published in Crelle's Journal. The first two examples, the catenoid and the helicoid (also called the screw surface), had been found by the Frenchman Jean Baptiste Marie Meusnier in 1776. The catenoid arises from rotating the catenary curve about a horizontal line. Scherk's result was certainly seen as a major breakthough and brought him considerable fame; two surfaces, Scherk's First Surface and Scherk's Second Surface, as they are named today, are studied in the paper. Scherk's doubly periodic surface is the first example of a complete, embedded, doubly periodic minimal surface. His minimal surfaces have recently been the basis of sculptures by the American artist Brent Collins who has based many of his works on Scherk's second minimal surface.

Another contribution by Scherk is still important today, namely his work on the distribution of the prime numbers. *SAU

*Animation of Scherk's first and second surface transforming into each other: they are members of the same associate family of minimal surfaces.*Wik*

**1827 Pierre-Eugène-Marcellin Berthelot**(27 Oct 1827, 18 Mar 1907 at age 79) was a French chemist and science historian and government official whose creative thought and work significantly influenced the development of chemistry in the late 19th century. He helped to found the study of thermochemistry, introduced a standard method for determining the latent heat of steam, measured hundreds of heats of reactions and coined the words exothermic and endothermic. Berthelot systematically synthesized organic compounds, including some not found in nature. His syntheses of many fundamental organic compounds helped to destroy the classical division between organic and inorganic compounds. *TIS

**1856 Ernest William Hobson**(27 Oct 1856 in Derby, England, -19 April 1933 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England) wrote the first English book on the measure theory and integration of Baire, Borel and Lebesgue. *SAU

**1890 Olive Clio Hazlett**(October 27, 1890 - March 8, 1974) was an American mathematician who spent most of her career working for the University of Illinois. She mainly researched algebra, and wrote seventeen research papers on subjects such as nilpotent algebras, division algebras, modular invariants, and the arithmetic of algebras.*Wik She was the most prolific of the US-born women of her time who worked in pure mathematics and was recognized for her research accomplishments when, in 1927, she became the second US-born woman to be ranked as one of American’s leading mathematicians by her peers, a distinction marked by a “star” in American

**Men**of Science. *Natl Museum of American History

**1915 Robert Alexander Rankin**(27 Oct 1915 in Garlieston, Wigtownshire, Scotland, - 27 Jan 2001 in Glasgow, Scotland) studied at Cambridge University. His fellowship there was interrupted by his wartime work on rockets. He became Professor of Mathematics at Birmingham before moving to the professorship at Glasgow, a post he held for 27 years. His most important work was on Number Theory. He became President of the EMS in 1957 and 1978 and an honorary member in 1990. *SAU

**DEATHS**

**1449 Ulugh Beg**(22 Mar 1394- 27 Oct 1449) The only important Mongol scientist, mathematician, and the greatest astronomer of his time. His greatest interest was astronomy, and he built an observatory (begun in 1428) at Samarkand. In his observations he discovered a number of errors in the computations of the 2nd-century Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy, whose figures were still being used. His star map of 994 stars was the first new one since Hipparchus. After Ulugh Beg was assassinated by his son, the observatory fell to ruins by 1500, rediscovered only in 1908. Written in Arabic, his work went unread by the world's next generation of astronomers. When his tables were translated into Latin in 1665, telescopic observations had surpassed them. *TIS

**1553 Michael Servetus**(/sərˈviːtəs/; Spanish: Miguel Serveto as real name, French: Michel Servet), also known as Miguel Servet, Miguel de Villanueva, Michel Servet, Revés, or Michel de Villeneuve (Tudela, Navarre, 29 September 1511 – 27 October 1553), was a Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer, and Renaissance humanist. He was the first European to correctly describe the function of pulmonary circulation, as discussed in Christianismi Restitutio (1553). He was a polymath versed in many sciences: mathematics, astronomy and meteorology, geography, human anatomy, medicine and pharmacology, as well as jurisprudence, translation, poetry and the scholarly study of the Bible in its original languages.

He is renowned in the history of several of these fields, particularly medicine. He participated in the Protestant Reformation, and later rejected the Trinity doctrine and mainstream Catholic Christology. After being condemned by Catholic authorities in France, he fled to Calvinist Geneva where he was burnt at the stake for heresy by order of the city's governing council.

**1616 Johann Richter or Johannes Praetorius**(1537 Jáchymov, Bohemia – 27 October 1616, Altdorf bei Nürnberg) was a Bohemian German mathematician and astronomer. From 1557 he studied at the University of Wittenberg, and from 1562 to 1569 he lived in Nuremberg. His astronomical and mathematical instruments are kept at Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg.

In 1571 be became Professor of mathematics (astronomy) at Wittenberg where he met Valentinus Otho(Otto) and Joachim Rheticus. When Otho came to Wittenberg in 1573, he suggested to him the fraction |( \frac{355}{113}\) as an approximation to pi. Although known much earlier in the Orient, this is the first known time it was introduced in Europe.

He taught Copernicus' theory of astronomy initially as a means of eliminating the equant from Ptolemy's account, and later moving to a proto-Tychonic system.

He died in Altdorf bei Nürnberg, aged about 79. *Wik

**1845 Jean-Charles-Athanase Peltier**(22 Feb 1785, 27 Oct 1845) French physicist who discovered the Peltier effect (1834), that at the junction of two dissimilar metals an electric current will produce heat or cold, depending on the direction of current flow. In 1812, Peltier received an inheritance sufficient to retire from clockmaking and pursue a diverse interest in phrenology, anatomy, microscopy and meteorology. Peltier made a thermoelectric thermoscope to measure temperature distribution along a series of thermocouple circuits, from which he discovered the Peltier effect. Lenz succeeded in freezing water by this method. Its importance was not fully recognized until the later thermodynamic work of Kelvin. The effect is now used in devices for measuring temperature and non-compressor cooling units. *TIS

**1675 Gilles Personne de Roberval**(8 Aug 1602- 27 Oct 1675) French mathematician who developed powerful methods in the early study of integration, writing Traité des indivisibles. He computed the definite integral of sin x, worked on the cycloid and computed the arc length of a spiral. Roberval is important for his discoveries on plane curves and for his method for drawing the tangent to a curve, already suggested by Torricelli. This method of drawing tangents makes Roberval the founder of kinematic geometry. [The fundamental idea in Roberval's method of tangents is to consider a curve as described by two motions of the same point. Roberval used the same idea about 1643 to compare the arclength of a parabola with that of an Archimedean spirall7, and to solve some extremal problems]

In 1669 he invented the Roberval balance with an articulated parallelogram is now almost universally used for weighing scales of the balance type. He studied the vacuum and designed apparatus which was used by Pascal in his experiments and also worked in cartography. *TIS

*Wik |

**1878 Lise Meitner**(7 Nov 1878; 27 Oct 1968) Austrian physicist who shared the Enrico Fermi Award (1966) with the chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann for their joint research beginning in 1934 that led to the discovery of uranium fission. She refused to work on the atom bomb. In 1917, with Hahn, she had discovered the new radioactive element protactinium. She was the first to describe the emission of Auger electrons. In 1935, she found evidence of four other radioactive elements corresponding to atomic numbers 93-96. In 1938, she was forced to leave Nazi Germany, and went to a post in Sweden. Her other work in the field of nuclear physics includes study of beta rays, and study of the three main disintegration series. Later, she used the cyclotron as a tool. *TIS

In Lise Meitner, Ruth Lewin Sime tells a story that may shed some light on Meitner's early interest in experimentation:"When Lise was still very young, her grandmother warned her never to sow on the Sabbath, or the heavens would come tumbling downLise was doing some embroidery at the time and decided to make a test. Placing her needle on the embroidery, she stuck just the tip of it in and glanced nervously at the sky, took a stitch, waited again, and then, satisfied that there would be no objections from above, contentedly went on with her work."

It happened that Meitner’s nephew, Otto Frisch, also a physicist, was visiting Meitner in Sweden for the holidays, and as the two strolled in the snow in those days after Christmas, they came to understand that, in Hahn's bombardment experiment, uranium atoms must have split into two lighter by-products, one of which was barium. Hahn had split the atom, only he didn't know it. Meitner and Frisch figured out how and why a nucleus could divide, and they also understood that such a reaction would produce a prodigious amount of energy, and they immediately sent off a paper to Nature, a paper that was published on Feb. 11, 1939, with the title "Disintegration of uranium by neutrons: a new type of nuclear reaction." They called the new reaction: "fission." The Pandora's Box of atomic energy had suddenly been opened.

In 1945, Hahn received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (for 1944) for his discovery of fission. Meitner and Frisch were not so honored, or even mentioned in the citation. Now that the records of the prize committee’s deliberations have been unsealed, it appears that the committee was not prepared to consider the possibility that a pair of physicists might have made an important contribution to a discovery that was essentially chemical. Meitner was very gracious about the omission in her later years, but there are many people who feel that a share of that Nobel Prize should have been hers. *Linda Hal Org

in 1939 during the Fifth Washington Conference on Theoretical Physics at the George Washington University, Nobel Laureate Niels Bohr publicly announced the splitting of the uranium atom. The resulting “fission,” with its release of two hundred million electron volts of energy, heralded the beginning of the atomic age.

The announcement came just weeks after Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, two of Bohr’s colleagues at Copenhagen, reported that they had discovered the element barium after bombarding uranium with neutrons. After receiving the news in a letter, physicist Lise Meitner and her cousin, Otto Frisch, correctly interpreted the results as evidence of nuclear fission. Frisch confirmed this experimentally on January 13, 1939. *atomicheritage.org

With Hahn in Laboratory

**1930 Ellen Amanda Hayes**(September 23, 1851 – October 27, 1930) was an American mathematician and astronomer. Born in Granville, Ohio (

*pop 1,127 in the 1880 census*) she graduated from Oberlin College in 1878 and began teaching at Adrian College. From 1879 to her 1916 retirement, she taught at Wellesley College, where she became head of the mathematics department in 1888 and head of the new department in applied mathematics in 1897.Hayes was also active in astronomy, determining the orbit of newly discovered 267 Tirza while studying at the Leander McCormick Observatory at the University of Virginia.

She wrote a number of mathematics textbooks. She also wrote Wild Turkeys and Tallow Candles (1920), an account of life in Granville, and The Sycamore Trail (1929), a historical novel.

Hayes was a controversial figure not just for being a rare female mathematics professor in 19th century America, but for her embrace of radical causes like questioning the Bible and gender clothing conventions, suffrage, temperance, socialism, the 1912 Lawrence Textile Strike, and Sacco and Vanzetti. She was the Socialist Party candidate for Massachusetts Secretary of State in 1912, the first woman in state history to run for statewide office. She did not win the race, but did receive more votes than any Socialist candidate on the ballot, including 2500 more than their gubernatorial candidate.

Hayes was concerned about under-representation of women in mathematics and science and argued that this was due to social pressure and the emphasis on female appearance, the lack of employment opportunities in those fields for women, and schools which allowed female students to opt out of math and science courses.

Her will left her brain to the Wilder Brain Collection at Cornell University. Her ashes were buried in Granville, Ohio. *Wik

**1980 John Hasbrouck Van Vleck**(13 Mar 1899, 27 Oct 1980) was an American physicist and mathematician who shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1977 with Philip W. Anderson and Sir Nevill F. Mott. The prize honoured Van Vleck's contributions to the understanding of the behaviour of electrons in magnetic, noncrystalline solid materials. *TIS

**1998 Dan Pedoe**(29 October 1910, London – 27 October 1998, St Paul, Minnesota, USA[1]) was an English-born mathematician and geometer with a career spanning more than sixty years. In the course of his life he wrote approximately fifty research and expository papers in geometry. He is also the author of various core books on mathematics and geometry some of which have remained in print for decades and been translated into several languages. These books include the three-volume Methods of Algebraic Geometry (which he wrote in collaboration with W. V. D. Hodge), The Gentle Art of Mathematics, Circles: A Mathematical View, Geometry and the Visual Arts and most recently Japanese Temple Geometry Problems: San Gaku (with Hidetoshi Fukagawa). *Wik [His book on San Gaku is one of the most beautiful math books I have ever owned. Many of the temple plaques are the work of working peasants who learned and created beautiful geometric works as offerings to the gods. Soddy's hexlet, thought previously to have been discovered in the west in 1937, had been discovered on a sangaku dating from 1822.]

Replica of Sangaku at Hōtoku museum in Samukawa Shrine.

**1999 Robert L. Mills**(15 Apr 1927 - 27 Oct 1999)American physicist who shared the 1980 Rumford Premium Prize with his colleague Chen Ning Yang for their "development of a generalized gauge invariant field theory" in 1954. They proposed a tensor equation for what are now called Yang-Mills fields. Their mathematical work was aimed at understanding the strong interaction holding together nucleons in atomic nuclei. They constructed a more generalized view of electromagnetism, thus Maxwell's Equations can be derived as a special case from their tensor equation. Quantum Yang-Mills theory is now the foundation of most of elementary particle theory, and its predictions have been tested at many experimental laboratories. *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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