Alfred Wegener studied astronomy and meteorologyâ€”and was even a record-holding balloonistâ€”before he became famous for his theories on how the land and seas on Earth were formed and change. These ideas are continental drift and plate tectonics. Seeing that the continents fit together like a puzzle, Wegener proved the theory that all of Earth's continents were once connected. Although his theories weren't accepted until after his death, scientists use plate tectonics to explain volcanoes and many other changes on Earth.
Ancient astronomers looked at movements in the sun, moon, and stars to guide travelers and keep track of the seasons. Nicholas Copernicus was the first to challenge people's beliefs that Earth was the center of the solar system and is known as the founder of astronomy. Galileo Galilei built a telescope and spotted craters on the moon and sunspots on the sun. Isaac Newton invented the reflecting telescope and discovered the law of gravity. Astronomers continue to work every day to uncover the mysteries of the universe.
Much of what we know today about Earth is from images taken by cameras on powerful telescopes. Edwin Hubble changed our view of the universe. Working in an observatory, he found that there are other galaxies besides the Milky Way. He also showed that the universe is still growing. Lyman Spitzer, Jr. proposed placing telescopes in space, and in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched. It sends us amazing images of the universe.
Rachel Carson began writing about nature when she was just 10 years old. She became a zoologist in 1932 and went to work for the United States government as a biologist and writer. She wrote about natural resources and encouraged others to care for the planet. She wrote books that helped people understand the world around them. Everyone can play a part in keeping the Earth healthy.
Planck studied physics, the science of matter and energy. He wound up making big discoveries in the area of thermodynamics, which is the study of heat and how it moves. Planck won the Nobel Prize for his work in Quantum Physics, which is the movement inside of atoms. It changed the way scientists understood the world.
Marie Curie's work in radioactivity changed the way scientists think about matter and energy and led to advancements in the treatment of disease. With her fellow scientist and husband, Pierre Curie, she searched for the source of radioactivity and discovered two elements, radium and polonium. They shared the 1903 Nobel Prize, the world's highest science award, for their discovery.
Albert Einstein is probably the most influential scientist and greatest physicist of the twentieth century. He revolutionized our ideas about time and space and is best known for his theory of relativity and his equation E=mc^2, which explains the relationship between energy and mass. By age 30, he was considered by many to be one of the world's greatest scientific thinkers.
Forces can't be seen, but without them, nothing around us would happen! A force is a push or pull that usually causes movement. Friction is a force that opposes motion and slows things down or stops them. Famous scientist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton wrote the rules about forces and motion.
Isaac Newton is considered one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. His work changed the way humans understand astronomy, physics, math, and more. He is probably most famous for three laws about the way things move, called Newton's Law of Motion.
Electromagnetism is the combined power of electricity and magnetism. Almost everything we doâ€”from watching television to using a computerâ€”is affected by electromagnets. In the 1830s, scientist Michael Faraday proved that electricity and magnetism are different ways to observe a unified force that he called electromagnetism.
There are 90 different elements, like the oxygen that we breathe, that can be found in nature. When two or more elements combine, they are held together by a chemical bond and form a compound. In 1869, chemist Dmitri Mendeléev organized the elements into a chart that is known as the Periodic Table of Elements.
British scientist Robert Hooke built an early microscope and was the first scientist to observe cells and give them their name. Anton van Leeuwenhoek created the best microscopes of his time and used them to study living organisms. Matthias Schleiden, Theodor Schwann, and Rudolf Virchow created Cell Theory, which says that all living things are made of cells; cells are the smallest part of a living thing; and all cells come from other cells.
French scientist Louis Pasteur has been called the founder of modern medicine. He proved that germs spread disease, and his work has saved millions of lives. A university chemistry professor, Pasteur is best known for discovering pasteurization, a process by which bacteria and molds are killed when liquids are heated. The process was named for him and is used today.
George Washington Carver was born a slave, but he became an important scientist and teacher. He experimented with soil and became famous for his work as a botanist. He used peanuts and other plants to make new products. Before Carver's research, plants were only used for food and clothing. His creative approach to agriculture taught people that plants could be used to make many products, like rubber, ink, fuel, and paper, to name a few.
Ecologists study the connections living things have with one another and their surroundings. John Woodward did some of the first ecology experiments in 1699 and figured out algae bloom. Aldo Leopold's work led to the Endangered Species Act to protect plants and animals from becoming extinct, and he led the U.S. government to begin considering the environmental impact of land use. Eugene Odum was the first to see Earth as a set of interlocking ecosystems. His work led to laws to protect wetlands.
What things do all animals have in common? How do scientists classify animals? How are humans classified and what makes them different? Enter the animal kingdom with zoologists who study animals! You'll explore how scientists use a system called taxonomy to classify and organize different kinds of living things as you explore the wonderful world of animals.
Jane Goodall is the world's leading authority on chimpanzees. She moved to the African jungle to study them. Her visit to Kenya led to a meeting with famous paleontologist Louis Leakey. Although she wasn't a trained scientist, Goodall began working with Leakey in 1960. She earned the trust of the apes and observed their social interactions. She studied them for more than 30 years. She learned that chimps use tools and are more intelligent than was previously thought.
Hippocrates was a Greek doctor who is called The Father of Medicine. Before he was born around 460 B.C., there was little science in medicine. Doctors thought the gods were to blame for illness. Hippocrates studied the human body and tried to figure out what caused disease so he could develop cures. Hippocrates suggested rules for doctors to follow. The Hippocratic Oath, which doctors still follow, was based on his teachings.