# Category Archives: History

## Murcian trailblazers

A 1 million-year-old fire lit by human ancestors was discovered in 2012 in the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa. The soil of the cave yielded several dozen stone tools, microscopic plant ashes and burned bone bits. It is supposed that […]

## How do we know atomic stationary states are real?

The success of Bohr’s model of the atom in accounting for the spectrum of hydrogen left this question: Could experiments show directly that atoms do have only certain, separate energy states? In other words, are there really gaps between the […]

## Quantum disbelievers

The idea that the solution of Schrödinger’s equation is a wave that represents, not a physical wave, but the probability of finding the associated particle in some specific condition of motion has had great success. In fact, every experiment devised […]

## How the physical model of atoms was lost

By the mid-1920s it was clear that “things” (electrons, atoms, molecules) long regarded as particles also show wave properties. This fact is the basis for the currently accepted theory of atomic structure. This theory, quantum mechanics, was introduced in 1925. […]

## A Renaissance brain

He was a man of insatiable curiosity and a hallmark of modern multidisciplinarity. Yet he was born on an April day six centuries ago. He never attended university, and still he authored masterpieces in the history of art and cultivated […]

## Clearly placed before the mathematical mind

We recently explored the concepts that Faraday introduced regarding the relationship between electricity and magnetism. In this article we focus on their treatment by Maxwell. The work of Oersted, Ampere, Henry, and finally Faraday had established two basic principles of […]

## The unrehearsed lecture that changed the physics of light

We now refer to light as the form electromagnetic radiation to which the human eye is sensitive and on which our visual awareness of the universe and its contents relies. If we want to go a step forward we could […]

## Did the first Americans come from Bilbao?

As everybody knows, the people from Bilbao are born wherever they want. And, according to one of the most captivating conjectures in contemporary archaeology, this might have been so in a totally unexpected way even from many millennia ago. The […]

## The math of sex and hunger. A short history of population dynamics

The field of population dynamics lies between mathematics and biology. Its subject of study is the evolution of biological populations with time. The natural language for dynamical problems is that of differential equations, and population dynamics is not an exception […]

## From gas to cash. The unexpected applications of statistical mechanics

Mechanics and thermodynamics are two of the main pillars of physics. Mechanics, the branch of physics that studies movement, is considered to be well established since the publication of Isaac Newton’s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687). Thermodynamics, the science dealing […]