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albatross

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History — Zoology and Animal Sciences.

The albatross is traditionally believed to bring bad luck, and the word is used for a source of frustration or guilt or an encumbrance, in allusion to Coleridge's poem about the Ancient Mar...

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Alexander Robertus Todd

Overview page. Subjects: Science and Mathematics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

(1907–1997) British biochemist

Todd graduated from the university in his native city of Glasgow in 1928 and spent a further year there on a Carnegie Scholarship before going to the...

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algebra

Overview page. Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) — Computing.

The area of mathematics related to the general properties of arithmetic. Relationships can be summarized by using variables, usually denoted by letters x, y, n,… to stand for unknown...

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altitude

Overview page. Subjects: Science and Mathematics — Maritime History.

(h or a)

The angular distance of a celestial object above or below the observer's horizon. Altitude is 0° at the horizon and 90° at the zenith. See also Zenith Distance.

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Andrea Cesalpino

Overview page. Subjects: Science and Mathematics — Early Modern History (1500 to 1700).

(1524/5–1603),

Italian botanist, physician, anatomist, and metallurgist. He was born in Arezzo and studied medicine in Pisa, where in 1555 he became director of the botanical...

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Arctic Ocean

Overview page. Subjects: Maritime History — Science and Mathematics.

Smallest and shallowest of the major oceanic areas, the shallowness being caused by the surrounding wide continental shelves (up to 1 700 km wide). For much of the year the surface is...

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armillary sphere

Overview page. Subjects: History — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

An instrument used since ancient times to demonstrate and observe the movements of the heavens. It consists of a number of rings (armillaries) representing celestial great circles such as...

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Arnold Johannes Wilhelm Sommerfeld

Overview page. Subjects: Science and Mathematics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

(1868–1951)

German physicist who modified the Bohr theory of the atom, suggesting that orbital electrons travelled in elliptical orbits.

The son of a physician, Sommerfeld...

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Arthur Holly Compton

Overview page. Subjects: Science and Mathematics — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

(1892–1962)

US physicist, who became professor of physics at the University of Chicago in 1923. He is best known for his discovery (1923) of the Compton effect, for which he shared...

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Arthur Kornberg

Overview page. Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Science and Mathematics.

(1918–2007)

US biochemist who discovered how deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is replicated in the cell and reproduced the reaction in the test tube. He was awarded the 1959 Nobel Prize...

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