Monday, May 11, 2020

May 11th in stamps von Guericke, Salvador Dalí, Richard Feynman

Here are some events that happened on May 11th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day

1686 Died: Otto von Guericke, German physicist and politician (b. 1602)

Otto von Guericke (November 20, 1602 – May 11, 1686 [Julian calendar]; November 30, 1602 – May 21, 1686 [Gregorian calendar]) was a German scientist, inventor, and politician. His major scientific achievements were the establishment of the physics of vacuums, the discovery of an experimental method for clearly demonstrating electrostatic repulsion, and his advocacy for the reality of "action at a distance" and of "absolute space".

He was also a very spiritual man in the Dionysiac tradition, as were many scientists of the Enlightenment, and connected the vacuum of space to an infinite divinity. Von Guericke described this duality "as something that ‘contains all things’ and is ‘more precious than gold...more joyous that the perception of bountiful light’ and ‘comparable to the heavens’."

German stamp depicting Otto von Guerick

Otto von Guericke Germany

1904 Born: Salvador Dalí, Spanish artist (d. 1989)

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol (11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989) was a Spanish Surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship and the striking and bizarre images in his work.

Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Dalí received his formal education in fine arts at Madrid. Influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters from a young age, he became increasingly attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements. He moved closer to Surrealism in the late 1920s and joined the Surrealist group in 1929, soon becoming one of its leading exponents. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931, and is one of the most famous Surrealist paintings. Dalí lived in France throughout the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) before leaving for the United States in 1940 where he achieved commercial success. He returned to Catalonia in 1948 where he announced his return to the Catholic faith and developed his "nuclear mysticism" style, based on his interest in classicism, mysticism and recent scientific developments.

Dalí's artistic repertoire included painting, graphic arts, film, sculpture, design and photography, at times in collaboration with other artists. He also wrote fiction, poetry, autobiography, essays and criticism. Major themes in his work include dreams, the subconscious, sexuality, religion, science and his closest personal relationships. To the dismay of those who held his work in high regard, and to the irritation of his critics, his eccentric and ostentatious public behavior sometimes drew more attention than his artwork. His public support for the Francoist regime, his commercial activities and the quality and authenticity of some of his late works have also been controversial. His life and work were an important influence on other Surrealists, pop art and contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. There are two major museums devoted to his work: The Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain and the Salvador Dalí Museum in Florida.

Stamps from Spain, France and Germany depicting Salvador Dali or his works

100th Anniversary of the birth of Salvador Dali

France 1979 Salvador Dali

Germany Salvador Dali FDC

Spain Salvador Dali

1918 Born:  Richard Feynman, American physicist and engineer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1988)

Richard Phillips Feynman (May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga.

Feynman developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions describing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World, he was ranked as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.

He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II and became known to a wide public in the 1980s as a member of the Rogers Commission, the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Along with his work in theoretical physics, Feynman has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing and introducing the concept of nanotechnology. He held the Richard C. Tolman professorship in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.

Feynman was a keen popularizer of physics through both books and lectures, including a 1959 talk on top-down nanotechnology called There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom and the three-volume publication of his undergraduate lectures, The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Feynman also became known through his semi-autobiographical books Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think?, and books written about him such as Tuva or Bust! by Ralph Leighton and the biography Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick.

US stamp and First Day Cover depicting Richard Feynman

USA Richard Feynman

USA Richard Feynman FDC

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