Science Birthdays, May 1

5/1/1824          Alexander Williamson,           chemist he is known for the Williamson synthesis of ethers by treating alcohol with sulfuric acid.

5/1/1825          Johann Balmer,           mathematician,  although he was a mathematician he is not remembered for any significant contributions in that field, he is know for establishing a formula for the visible spectral lines of the hydrogen atom called the Balmer lines or Balmer Series.

5/1/1839          Louis Chardonnet,      chemist,            worked for Pastuer, in 1894 he discovered a method to make rayon.  It was so flammable that it was called “Mother-in-law” silk. Because a rayon dress and a match were ideal presents for a mother-in-law.  I don’t know what “sicko” came up with this name, but it might be the worst I have posted. My Mother-in-Law was a great woman.  I wonder how many of my chemistry students remember the rayon synthesis.  This was always one of our favorite organic labs.

5/1/1852          Ramon Y Cajal           biologist

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