Electrolysis of water was discovered on May 2, 1800

On May 2, 1800, English chemist William Nicholson (13 December 1753 – 21 May 1815), decomposed water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. This was the first electrolysis of water. The name “electrolysis” was given to this process in 1834 by another English scientist Michael Faraday (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867). Nicholson had …

J. J. Thompson announced the existence of electrons on April 30, 1897

On April 30, 1897, British physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics, Sir Joseph John Thomson (commonly known as J. J. Thompson, 18 December 1856 – 30 August 1940) announced the existence of electrons. Thompson called the particles “corpuscles”, meaning “small bodies”, but later scientific community preferred the name electron which had been suggested by the …

The atom was split for the first time on April 14, 1932: The story of splitting the atom

On April 14, 1932, the English physicist Sir John Douglas Cockcroft and the Irish physicist Ernest Walton split the atom for the first time using the nuclear particle accelerator they built, also the first particle accelerator in history. Cockcroft and Walton won the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics for their “work on the transmutation of …

Fred Hoyle unintentionally coined the term “Big Bang” on March 28, 1949

On March 28, 1949, the English astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle (24 June 1915 – 20 August 2001) unintentionally coined the term “Big Bang”. In fact, Hoyle was thinking the idea that the universe had a beginning to be pseudoscience and he was arguing the universe as being in a “steady-state”. Today’s (March 28) story of …

Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity was published as an academic paper on March 20, 1916

On March 20, 1916, Albert Einstein sent a paper to Annalen der Physik, one of the oldest scientific journals on physics which has been published since 1799. The study was titled “Die Grundlage der Allgemeinen Relativitatstheorie”, translated as “The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity.” It was the first comprehensive overview of the final …

A large solar storm can knock out the internet and electricity. Here’s how

On September 1 and 2, 1859, telegraph systems around the world failed catastrophically. The operators of the telegraphs reported receiving electrical shocks, telegraph paper catching fire, and being able to operate equipment with batteries disconnected. During the evenings, the aurora borealis, more commonly known as the northern lights, could be seen as far south as …

Albert Einstein explains his famous formula E=mc² in his own voice (video)

E=mc2 is probably the world’s most famous equation. It means “Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.” The formula basically implies that a small amount of rest mass corresponds to an enormous amount of energy, and that’s the physics behind nuclear fission or nuclear fusion. In this amazing video, Albert Einstein explains his …

Nuclear fusion: how excited should we be?

There’s been tremendous excitement about recent results from the Joint European Torus (JET) facility in the UK, hinting that the dream of nuclear fusion power is inching closer to reality. We know that fusion works – it is the process that powers the Sun, providing heat and light to the Earth. But for decades it …

AI Successfully Controls Plasma in Nuclear Fusion Experiment. Are we finally close to the Fusion Power?

To keep Earth from dangerous ongoing global warming, the world is looking for an energy source without CO2 emissions. There is actually a dream candidate: successfully achieving nuclear fusion holds the promise of delivering a limitless, sustainable source of clean energy.

Here’s why light slows down in water or glass

It’s a well-known fact that light slows down in water or glass, or any other transparent medium. Even more interestingly, after leaving that medium, it goes back to its original speed. Yes, it speeds up! But, how could do that happen? Why does light slow down in water or glass, and why and how does …