Skynet becomes self-aware (1997)

posted Saturday, 29 August 2015

According to Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the military-designed artificial intelligence system called Skynet became self-aware on 29 August 1997 at 2:14 AM and turned against its creators on what became known as Judgement Day. According to Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines, this event occurred on 19 April 2011 at 8:11 PM. All times are assumed Eastern Daylight because that’s where I live.

Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction (1831)

posted Saturday, 29 August 2015

Entry from Faraday’s lab notebook dated 29 August 1931.

I have had an iron ring made (soft iron), iron round and ⅞ths of an inch thick, and ring six inches in external diameter. Wound many coils of copper round, one half of the coils being separated by twine and calico; there were three lengths of wire, each about twenty-four feet long, and they could be connected as one length, or used as separate lengths. By trials with a trough each was insulated from the other. Will call this side of the ring a. On the other side, but separated by an interval, was wound wire in two pieces, together amounting to about sixty feet in length, the direction being as with the former coils. This side call b.

Charged a battery of ten pairs of plates four inches square. Made the coil on b side one coil, and connected its extremities by a copper wire passing to a distance, and just over a magnetic needle (three feet from wire ring), then connected the ends of one of the pieces on a side with battery: immediately a sensible effect on needle. It oscillated and settled at last in original position. On breaking connection of a side with battery, again a disturbance of the needle.

Michael Faraday, 1831

Drawing of Faraday's Apparatus Photo of Faraday's Apparatus

RDS-1: First Soviet nuclear weapon test (1949)

posted Saturday, 29 August 2015

Date: 29 August 1949
Code name: RDS-1 (РДС-1), Reaktivniy dvigatel’ Stalina (Реактивный Двигатель Сталина), "Stalin’s Jet Engine"
Type: plutonium fission
Yield: 10–20 thousand tons of TNT
Location: Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan

The Soviet Union exploded its first nuclear weapon near Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan on this day in 1949. It was a plutonium fission device similar in design and yield to the test device detonated near Alamogordo, New Mexico and the aerial bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in the summer of 1945. The Soviet code name for the device was “Stalin’s Jet Engine” (Реактивный Двигатель Сталина).

Michael Faraday: 1791–1867

posted Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Michael Faraday died 25 August 1867 at the age of 76. He …

  • Invented the concept of the field — originally applied to electricity, but later expanded to magnetism and gravitation.
  • Discovered electromagnetic induction.
  • Built the first electric motor and electric generator.
  • Discovered electrostatic shielding, also known as the Faraday cage.
  • Discovered diamagnetism.
  • Was one of the founders of electrochemistry. Introduced the terms ion and electrode.
  • Discovered benzene.
  • Participated in numerous public service research projects (health, safety, environmentalism, etc.).
  • Gave many lectures on scientific subjects for the general public, including nineteen Christmas lectures for young people.

Michael Faraday is buried in Highgate Cemetery, London.

Galileo Galilei presents his telescope (1609)

posted Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Galileo Galilei presented his telescope to the Venetian Senate on this day in 1609.

Voyager 2 reaches Neptune (1989)

posted Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Neptune on 25 August 1989. It is the only space probe to have visited this planet so far. Voyager 2 is one of five space probes currently on a solar system escape trajectory.

full globe image of neptune

Voyager 2 reaches Saturn (1981)

posted Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Saturn on 25 August 1981. It was the second space probe to have visited this planet. Voyager 2 is one of five space probes currently on a solar system escape trajectory.

Canopus: First French thermonuclear weapon test (1968)

posted Monday, 24 August 2015

Date: 24 August 1968 (8:30 AM Tahiti Time)
Code Name: Canopus
Type: two-stage fusion
Yield: 2.6 million tons of TNT
Location: Fangataufa Atoll, French Polynesia