Today is March 31. It is the last day featuring the
crappy old book, Anniversaries and Holiday: A Calendar of Days and How to Observe them, as C rappy Old Book of the Month.
Appropriately, today is the anniversary of René Descartes’ birth in 1596 and of Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen’s in 1811.
In their honors here are a few other things Descartes and Bunsen thought & said.
“XVI. That a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely no body is repugnant to nature,” Descartes, On the Principles of Material Things.
“I. That in order to see the truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life to doubt, as far as possible, of all things,” Descartes, The Principles of Human Knowledge.
“LXXVI. That we ought to prefer Divine authority to our perception, but that, apart from things revealed, we ought to assent to nothing that we do not clearly apprehend.” ibid.
Bunsen’s ice calorimeter: A body of mass m at temperature t causes a motion of the mercury column of l centimeters in a tube whose volume per unit length is v. The specific heat is
s = _____
Bunsen is considered one of the fathers of spectroscopy– a sub-discipline of chemistry on the border of physics. Spectroscopy is the study of the relationship among element (e.g.,caesium), heat, and light. What wavelengths of light (colors) are emitted from a burning element? (Caesium is latin for ‘deep blue’.)
You can almost hear Hank Hill talking about Sweet Lady Propane’s blue flame, can’t you?