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On This Day

  • 12-2-1594

    Gerardus Mercator died in the Duchy of Cleves (now Germany). The famous Flemish mapmaker's most celebrated mathematical achievement is the Mercator projection.

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    Gerardus Mercator
  • 12-2-1831

    Paul du-Bois Reymond born in Berlin, Germany, to a family that had recently emigrated from Switzerland. Primarily an analyst, his early mathematical interest was partial differential equations.

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    Paul du Bois Reymond
  • 12-2-1942

    At 3:36 p.m., in a squash court under the West Stands of Stagg Field (the abandoned football stadium) at the University of Chicago, the first self-sustaining nuclear (fission) reaction took place. Enrico Fermi (1901-1954) was leader of the Manhattan Project.

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    Enrico Fermi
    The Manhattan Project