Anders Jonas Ångström Google Doodles


    Today 13 August, 2014, 200 years ago a boy was born on the 13th of August 1814 in Lögdö, Medelpad, Sweden. His parents named him Anders Jonas Ångström. He later became world renowned for his work in Physics. He was a Swedish physicist and one of the founders of the science of spectroscopy.


    The history of spectroscopy began with Isaac Newton’s optics experiments in 1666 to 1672. Isaac Newton applied the word “spectrum” to describe the rainbow of colors that combine to form white light and that are revealed when the white light is passed through a prism.

    During the early 1800s, Joseph von Fraunhofer made experimental advances with dispersive spectrometers that enabled spectroscopy to become a more precise and quantitative scientific technique.

    Since then, spectroscopy has played and continues to play a significant role in chemistry, physics and astronomy.

    The list of world renowned spectroscopists contains a few including names like Isaac Newton, Johann Balmer, Nikolay Basov, Frederick Sumner Brackett, Robert Curl and of course Anders Jonas Ångström.

    In 1858, he succeeded Adolph Ferdinand Svanberg in the chair of physics at Uppsala. His most important work was concerned with the conduction of heat and with spectroscopy. In his optical researches, Optiska Undersökningar, presented to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1853, he not only pointed out that the electric spark yields two superposed spectra, one from the metal of the electrode and the other from the gas in which it passes, but deduced from Leonhard Euler’s theory of resonance that an incandescent gas emits luminous rays of the same refrangibility as those it can absorb.

    This statement, as Sir Edward Sabine remarked when awarding him the Rumford medal of the Royal Society in 1872, contains a fundamental principle of spectrum analysis, and though overlooked for a number of years it entitles him to rank as one of the founders of spectroscopy.

    He was the first, in 1867, to examine the spectrum of the aurora borealis, and detected and measured the characteristic bright line in its yellow-green region; but he was mistaken in supposing that this same line, which is often called by his name, is also to be seen in the zodiacal light.

    Sadly Anders Jonas Ångström passed away on the 21st of June 1874 at the young age of 59, Yet his research and contribution to Science and Spectroscopy still stand valid today! A truly remarkable man and very interesting and educational to have Google honor  him as part of their Doodles and providing the world the opportunity to learn more about this great physicist.

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