July 6: deaths of Ohm, Hargrave, and Hong; Pasteur immunises against rabies

Georg Ohm

German physicist and mathematician Georg Simon Ohm died on 6 July, 1854 at the age of 65.

Georg ohm
Credit: Creative Commons

Ohm proved that all conductors have some resistance, and he established that there was a direct proportionality between the potential difference (voltage) applied across a conductor and the resultant electric current. This relation is called Ohm’s law and the unit of electrical resistance is named after him.


Lawrence Hargrave

Lawrence Hargrave, British-born Australian engineer, explorer, astronomer, inventor and aeronautical pioneer died on 6 July, 1915, aged 65.

Lawrence hargrave box kites
Credit: Charles Bayliss (Public domain)

He is best remembered as the inventor of the box kite, which became a staple in military and meteorological areas thanks to its capability of carrying heavy payloads and capacity for high-altitude flight. Hargrave also made important studies of wing surfaces, and worked with rotary engines and gliders.


Louis Pasteur commences first rabies immunisation

On this day in 1885, French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur and his colleagues injected the first of 14 daily doses of rabbit spinal cord suspensions containing a progressively inactivated rabies virus into 9-year-old Joseph Meister, who had been bitten by a rabid dog two days earlier.

Louis pasteur
Credit: World Photos/Alamy

The successful immunisation marked the beginning of widespread vaccination – and Pasteur’s rabies immunisation procedure was adopted worldwide. Interestingly, as an adult Joseph Meister became caretaker of the Pasteur Institute.


Daniel Chonghan Hong

South Korean-American theoretical physicist Daniel Chonghan Hong died on 6 July, 2002 at the age of 46. He became well known for his research into the physics of popcorn, and it resulted in a paper on controlling the size of popcorn by monitoring the pressure of the cooking chamber. Hong was also the first proponent of the diffusing void model of granular flow, which describes how granular materials such as particles move in a confined space.

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