January 30: In 1950, development of the hydrogen fusion bomb (H-bomb) was ordered by U.S. President Truman. The codename of "Super" for the project reflected the far greater power of this thermonuclear device over the earlier fission bombs used to end WW II.
January 29: In 1896, Émil H. Grubbe, a Chicago researcher, became the first known to administer x-ray radiation treatment for the recurrent breast cancer of a fifty-five-year-old woman. X-rays had been discovered the previous year in Germany. Grubbe tried radiation as a tool against cancer after he suffered a radiation burn while experimenting with X-rays. His experiment didn't cure the woman's cancer, but others in the late 1890s who applied X-rays to various cancers - especially skin cancer - not only relieved cancer pain but actually cured some, which encouraged continued use and study of the X-rays. Grubbe did not publish his work until several years later, and his claims of priority as the first to use radiation treatment were widely doubted.
January 28: In 1958, the first privately-owned thorium-uranium atomic reactor to supply power began construction. It was the first reactor designed to supplement fissionable uranium-235 with fertile thorium-232. This was the Indian Point nuclear generating station, built at Buchanan, New York, at a cost of $100 million. It was a pressurized water reactor able to produce 275,000 kilowatts of power. The design and construction was executed by the Babcock and Wilcox Co. for the Consolidated Edison Co. The Indian Point 1 operating licence was dated 26 Mar 1962 and its shutdown date was 31 Oct 1974.
January 24: In 1958, after heating to 100 million degrees, two light atoms are smashed together to create a heavier atom (the first man-made nuclear fusion).
January 23: In 1896, Wilhelm Roentgen first made a public lecture-demonstration of his X-ray device, in Würzburg, Germany.
January 22: In 1939, the uranium atom was split for the first time using the cyclotron at Columbia University in New York City. Thus began the Manhattan Project, leading to the construction of the atom bomb. The project was subsequently moved inland to the University of Chicago to protect the research from any possible German bombing of New York. (Also the weight of the apparatus was so great that the floor was in danger of collapsing!) The cyclotron that performed the first-ever fission experiment was designed and built by John Dunning (who became Dean of the Engineering School, 1950-69). In 1965, the cyclotron was taken to the Smithsonian Institute. The original invention of the first cyclotron was by physicist Ernest Lawrence.
January 21: In 1954, the first atomic submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Connecticut. Nautilus' nuclear propulsion system was a landmark in the history of naval engineering and submersible craft. All vessels previously known as "submarines" were in fact only submersible craft. Because of the nuclear power plant, the Nautilus could stay submerged for months at a time, unlike diesel-fueled subs, whose engines required vast amounts of oxygen. Nautilus demonstrated her capabilities in 1958 when she sailed beneath the Arctic icepack to the North Pole. Scores of nuclear submarines followed Nautilus, replacing the United States' diesel boat fleet. After patrolling the seas until 1980, the Nautilus is back home at Groton.
January 20: In 1896, X-rays were first used in a clinical setting, both in America and in Gemany.
1633, Galileo, at age 68, left his home in Florence, Italy, to face the
Inquisition in Rome. By 22 Jun 1633, he buckled under the threats and
interrogation by the Inquisition, and renounced his belief that the Earth
revolved around the Sun.
January 18: In 1896, The first x-ray machine is exhibited in the U.S. at Casino Chambers, New York City. For an admission charge of 25 cents, patrons could view the "Parisian sensation."
January 16: In 1953, a sample amounting to about 200 atoms of fermium (Fm, atomic number 100) was first by ion-exchange chromatography and identified at the University of California, Berkeley. Like einsteinium, fermium was first isolated from the debris of the Nov 1952 test of the hydrogen-bomb (called the "Mike" event, conducted at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific Ocean). Samples of debris were collected by drone aircraft flying through the cloud. For security reasons, it was kept secret until 1955 [See Phys. Rev., 99,1048 (1955)]. Because it is short-lived, scientists doubt that enough fermium will ever be obtained to be weighed. Fermium was the eighth transuranium element of the actinide series to be discovered, and was named in honour of Enrico Fermi.
Edward Teller, nuclear physicist
born January 15, 1908
Theoretical and technical innovator
Ernst Abbe dies
January 13: In 1958, Linus Pauling (1901-1994) presented the petition of 9,000 scientists to the U.N., asking to halt the testing of nuclear bombs. Pauling, together with his wife, was instrumental in collecting thousands of signatures from scientists all over the world for the petition to end nuclear bomb testing, which was presented to Dag Hammarskjöld, secretary general of the United Nations. A few months later the Soviet Union called for an immediate halt to nuclear testing, and in October, after more tests by both sides that added markedly to world concern about fallout, talks began in Geneva to discuss details of a possible test ban.
physicist Wilhelm Wien born January 13, 1864
January 12: In 1896, Dr. Henry Louis Smith took the first x-ray photograph, Davidson, NC. It showed the location of a bullet in the hand of a corpse, using a 15 minute exposure. Smith obtained the hand of the corpse, and fired a bullet into it, for this experiment. Smith was a professor of physics and astronomy at Davidson College, Davidson, N.C.
January 12: In 1965, at 10:58 a.m. PST, scientists conducted what they called a "controlled excursion", burning up a nuclear rocket in Nevada. It produced a radioactive cloud over Los Angeles.
January 9: On this date in 1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
9: Richard Wilhelm Heinrich
Abegg, Physical chemist was born.
January 8: 1642 - Galileo Galilei, Italian physicist/astronomer, dies at 77 in Italy
8: English physicist Stephen
W. Hawking born
January 8. 1942
8: 1989 - Soviet Union promises
to eliminate stockpiles of chemical weapons
Wilhelm Georg Bothe, born 8 Jan 1891; died 8 Feb 1957.
- Nikola Tesla, Yugoslavian physicist (tesla motor), dies at 86
January 7: In 1953, President Harry Truman announced in his State of the Union address that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.
January 7: In 1896, a special article titled THE LIGHT THAT NEVER WAS is published in the Post-Dispatch in New York announcing that Professor Wilhelm Roentgen had discovered a light which, for the purpose of photography, will penetrate wood, flesh and most other organic substances.
January 5: On this date in 1896 The Austrian newspaper Wiener Presse reported the discovery by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen of a type of radiation that came to be known as an X-ray.