Profiles of women scientists who made significant contributions to 20th-century’s science development
1. Hazel Bishop (1906-1998)
She was an American chemist and cosmetics manufacturer, born in New Jersey, who founded her own company Hazel Bishop, Inc. In 1950 she invented “lasting lipstick”, the first of the “non-smear, long lasting” type. Her sales rose to millions in the early 1950s. She continued to experiment, creating other beauty products. Bishop became the head of the cosmetics marketing program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1978. She was the first person to occupy the Revlon Chair at Fashion Institute of Technology.
2. Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941)
She was an American astronomer from Dover, Delaware. She was educated at Wellesley and Radcliffe and joined the Harvard College Observatory in 1911 as curator of astronomical photographers. In 1938, she was appointed William Cranch Bord Astronomer at Harvard where she spent her entire career. Cannon classified some 400,000 stars in her lifetime and published The Henry Draper Catalogue which classified the spectra of all stars from the North to the South Poles as studied by photographing their light through a refracting prism.
3. Marie Curie (1867-1934)
A polish-born French chemist and physicist, Marie Curie is famous for radioactivity. She discovered polonium and radium and the first woman to win two Nobel prizes, one for physics in 1903, and another in 1911 for chemistry. Continue reading
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When a chemical element is heated to incandescence, it produces its own characteristic lines in the spectrum of light.
As chemistry students many of us will never forget the Bunsen burner as a constant laboratory companion in our numerous “flame test” experiments. Bunsen developed the burner in 1855. The test is used to identify the presence of a particular metal by the colour of the flames produced. The burner’s non-luminous flame is basically used as it does not interfere with the coloured flame given off by the sample metal being tested.
Bunsen-Kirchhoff Spectroscopy theory and other Discoveries
Together, Bunsen and Kirchhoff developed the first spectroscope, a device used to produce and observe a spectrum. Using their spectroscope, in 1860, they went on to discover two elements: caesium and rubidium. These discoveries ushered a new era in the means used to find new chemical elements. The first 50 elements discovered (beyond those known since ancient times) were either the products of chemical reactions or were released by electrolysis. From 1860, however, thanks to Burner and Kirchhoff, the search was on for trace elements detectable only with the help of specialized instruments like the spectroscope. The Bunsen–Kirchhoff Award for spectroscopy is named after Bunsen and Kirchhoff.
Kirchhoff also discovered that when heated to incandescence, each chemical element produced its own characteristic lines in the spectrum. For instance, sodium (Na) has a spectrum with two yellow lines, wavelengths about 588 and 589 nanometres. Extending experiments beyond Bunsen and Kirchhoff, later scientists were able to determine the presence of elements, for example, in the sun or stars once similar wavelengths were identified in their spectra. Continue reading
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Polish-French Chemist and Physicist, famous for pioneering work on Radioactivity
Marie Skłodowska Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934), was born in Warsaw, Poland. She was a chemist and physicist famous for her pioneering work on radioactivity. She was married to a fellow scientist, Pierre Curie, and mother of Irène Joliot-Curie and Ève Curie.
Irene followed in her parents’ footsteps also becoming a Nobel laureate in Chemistry (1935) with her husband Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Eve (Ève Denise Curie Labouisse) was a writer, journalist and pianist. Ève was the only member of her family who did not choose a career as a scientist, however, her husband Henry Richardson Labouisse, Jr., American diplomat and statesman, collected the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 on behalf of UNICEF.
Madame Curie was the first person honoured with two Nobel Prizes – in physics and chemistry. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris and the first woman to be entombed on her own merits (in 1995) in the Paris Pantheon. Continue reading
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Alfred Bernhard Nobel (21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, engineer, armaments manufacturer and industrialist. Aside from being famous for Nobel Prizes, he is also best known as the inventor of dynamite.
As inventor, Nobel held 355 different patents. He invented the patent for dynamite in Great Britain in 1866 and in the U.S. in 1867. In his last will, he used his enormous fortune acquired from the manufacture of explosives and from interests in oil fields in Russia to institute the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic element nobelium was named after him. His name also survives in modern-day companies such as Dynamit Nobel and Akzo Nobel, which are descendents of the companies Nobel himself established. Nobel Prizes was first awarded in 1901.
Check out this related article: Dynamite and Inventor Alfred Nobel
MLA style: “Biographical Information”. Nobelprize.org. 1 Nov 2011 http://www.nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/biographical/
Alfred Nobel, en.Wikipedia.org