It was on this date, January 31, 1881, that American chemist Irving Langmuir was born in Brooklyn, NY. Langmuir is chiefly remembered for coining in 1923 the physics term “plasma” to describe a fourth state of matter, distinct from solid or liquid or gas and present in stars and fusion reactions, such as that which powers the sun. He was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. A true scientist, Langmuir was deeply skeptical of shortcuts to knowledge. When asked about his inattention to religion, Langmuir once responded…
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Giuseppe Verdi (1813) It was on this date, October 10, 1813 – the same year as Richard Wagner – that Italian opera composer Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was born in Roncole, Duchy of Parma, which was then under the occupation of Napoleon's army. This self-described "peasant from Roncole" began his education with local priests before […]