Tuesday, September 29, 2020

September 29th in stamps Servetus, de Cervantes, Enrico Fermi, Diesel, Émile Zola

Here are some events that happened on September 29th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1511 Born: Michael Servetus, Spanish physician, cartographer, and theologian (d. 1553)

Michael Servetus (Spanish: Miguel Serveto, French: Michel Servet), also known as Miguel Servet, Miguel de Villanueva, Michel Servet, Revés, or Michel de Villeneuve (Tudela, Navarre, 29 September 1509 or 1511 – 27 October 1553), was a Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer, and Renaissance humanist. He was the first European to correctly describe the function of pulmonary circulation, as discussed in Christianismi Restitutio (1553). He was a polymath versed in many sciences: mathematics, astronomy and meteorology, geography, human anatomy, medicine and pharmacology, as well as jurisprudence, translation, poetry and the scholarly study of the Bible in its original languages.

He is renowned in the history of several of these fields, particularly medicine. He participated in the Protestant Reformation, and later rejected the Trinity doctrine and mainstream Catholic Christology. After being condemned by Catholic authorities in France, he fled to Calvinist Geneva where he was burnt at the stake for heresy by order of the city's governing council.

Spanish stamps depicting Servetus

Spain 1977 Miguel Servet, Physician and Theologian

Spain 2011 Miguel Servet, Physician and Theologian



1547 Born: Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright (d. 1616)

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (29 September 1547 (assumed) – 22 April 1616 ) was a Spanish writer widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language, and one of the world's pre-eminent novelists. He is best known for his novel Don Quixote, a work often cited as both the first modern novel, and one of the pinnacles of literature.

Much of his life was spent in poverty and obscurity, many of its details are disputed or unknown, and the bulk of his surviving work was produced in the three years preceding his death. Despite this, his influence and literary contribution are reflected by the fact Spanish is often referred to as "the language of Cervantes".

In 1569, Cervantes was forced to leave Spain and moved to Rome, where he worked in the household of a cardinal. In 1570, he enlisted in a Spanish Navy infantry regiment, and was badly wounded at the Battle of Lepanto in October 1571. He served as a soldier until 1575, when he was captured by Barbary pirates; after five years in captivity, he was ransomed, and returned to Madrid.

His first significant novel, titled La Galatea, was published in 1585, but he continued to work as a purchasing agent, then later a government tax collector. Part One of Don Quixote was published in 1605, Part Two in 1615. Other works include the 12 Novelas ejemplares (Exemplary Novels); a long poem, the Viaje del Parnaso (Journey to Parnassus); and Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses (Eight Plays and Eight Entr'actes). Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda (The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda), was published posthumously in 1616.

Stamps from various countries depicting Cervantes or his works

1949 - 400th Anniv. of the Birth of Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra

Chile, Miguel De Cervantes, 1947

Mexico 2005 Don Quijote Cervantes

Romania Cervantes, 1955

Spain 1916. Full Set. Cervantes



1901 Born: Enrico Fermi, Italian-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1954)

Enrico Fermi (29 September 1901 – 28 November 1954) was an Italian (later naturalized American) physicist and the creator of the world's first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He has been called the "architect of the nuclear age" and the "architect of the atomic bomb". He was one of very few physicists to excel in both theoretical physics and experimental physics. Fermi was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on induced radioactivity by neutron bombardment and for the discovery of transuranium elements. With his colleagues, Fermi filed several patents related to the use of nuclear power, all of which were taken over by the US government. He made significant contributions to the development of statistical mechanics, quantum theory, and nuclear and particle physics.

Fermi's first major contribution involved the field of statistical mechanics. After Wolfgang Pauli formulated his exclusion principle in 1925, Fermi followed with a paper in which he applied the principle to an ideal gas, employing a statistical formulation now known as Fermi–Dirac statistics. Today, particles that obey the exclusion principle are called "fermions". Pauli later postulated the existence of an uncharged invisible particle emitted along with an electron during beta decay, to satisfy the law of conservation of energy. Fermi took up this idea, developing a model that incorporated the postulated particle, which he named the "neutrino". His theory, later referred to as Fermi's interaction and now called weak interaction, described one of the four fundamental interactions in nature. Through experiments inducing radioactivity with the recently discovered neutron, Fermi discovered that slow neutrons were more easily captured by atomic nuclei than fast ones, and he developed the Fermi age equation to describe this. After bombarding thorium and uranium with slow neutrons, he concluded that he had created new elements. Although he was awarded the Nobel Prize for this discovery, the new elements were later revealed to be nuclear fission products.

Fermi left Italy in 1938 to escape new Italian racial laws that affected his Jewish wife, Laura Capon. He emigrated to the United States, where he worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II. Fermi led the team that designed and built Chicago Pile-1, which went critical on 2 December 1942, demonstrating the first human-created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. He was on hand when the X-10 Graphite Reactor at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, went critical in 1943, and when the B Reactor at the Hanford Site did so the next year. At Los Alamos, he headed F Division, part of which worked on Edward Teller's thermonuclear "Super" bomb. He was present at the Trinity test on 16 July 1945, where he used his Fermi method to estimate the bomb's yield.

After the war, Fermi served under J. Robert Oppenheimer on the General Advisory Committee, which advised the Atomic Energy Commission on nuclear matters. After the detonation of the first Soviet fission bomb in August 1949, he strongly opposed the development of a hydrogen bomb on both moral and technical grounds. He was among the scientists who testified on Oppenheimer's behalf at the 1954 hearing that resulted in the denial of Oppenheimer's security clearance. Fermi did important work in particle physics, especially related to pions and muons, and he speculated that cosmic rays arose when material was accelerated by magnetic fields in interstellar space. Many awards, concepts, and institutions are named after Fermi, including the Enrico Fermi Award, the Enrico Fermi Institute, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station, and the synthetic element fermium, making him one of 16 scientists who have elements named after them.

A great and beloved teacher, Fermi tutored or directly influenced no less than 8 young researchers who went on to win Nobel Prizes.

US stamp depicting Enrico Fermi


1902 Died: Émile Zola, French novelist, playwright, journalist (b. 1840)

Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism, and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse…! Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902

More than half of Zola's novels were part of a set of 20 collectively known as Les Rougon-Macquart, about a family under the Second Empire. Unlike Balzac, who in the midst of his literary career resynthesized his work into La Comédie Humaine, Zola from the start, at the age of 28, had thought of the complete layout of the series. Set in France's Second Empire, in the context of Baron Haussman's changing Paris, the series traces the "environmental" influences of violence, alcohol, and prostitution which became more prevalent during the second wave of the Industrial Revolution. The series examines two branches of a family—the respectable (that is, legitimate) Rougons and the disreputable (illegitimate) Macquarts—for five generations.

As he described his plans for the series, "I want to portray, at the outset of a century of liberty and truth, a family that cannot restrain itself in its rush to possess all the good things that progress is making available and is derailed by its own momentum, the fatal convulsions that accompany the birth of a new world."

He is considered to be a significant influence on those writers that are credited with the creation of the so-called new journalism; Wolfe, Capote, Thompson, Mailer, Didion, Talese and others. Tom Wolfe wrote that his goal in writing fiction was to document contemporary society in the tradition of John Steinbeck, Charles Dickens, and Émile Zola.

Emile Zola - L'Assommoir, Germinal, J'Beschuldigt - Paris


France 2002 - Death of Emile Zola, 1840-1902


France Emile Zola


1913 Died: Rudolf Diesel, German engineer, invented the diesel engine (b. 1858)

Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel (18 March 1858 – 29 September 1913) was a German inventor and mechanical engineer, famous for the invention of the Diesel engine, and for his suspicious death at sea.

In early 1890, Diesel moved to Berlin with his wife and children, Rudolf Jr, Heddy, and Eugen, to assume management of Linde's corporate research and development department and to join several other corporate boards there. As he was not allowed to use the patents he developed while an employee of Linde's for his own purposes, he expanded beyond the field of refrigeration. He first worked with steam, his research into thermal efficiency and fuel efficiency leading him to build a steam engine using ammonia vapour. During tests, however, the engine exploded and almost killed him. His research into high compression cylinder pressures tested the strength of iron and steel cylinder heads. One exploded during a run in. He spent many months in a hospital, followed by health and eyesight problems.

Ever since attending lectures of Carl von Linde, Diesel intended designing an internal combustion engine that could approach the maximum theoretical thermal efficiency of the Carnot cycle. He worked on this idea for several years, and in 1892, he considered his theory to be completed. The same year, Diesel was given the German patent DRP 67207. In 1893, he published a treatise entitled Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat-engine to Replace the Steam Engine and The Combustion Engines Known Today, that he had been working on since early 1892. This treatise formed the basis for his work on and invention of the Diesel engine. By summer 1893, Diesel had realised that his initial theory was erroneous, which led him to file another patent application for the corrected theory in 1893.

Diesel understood thermodynamics and the theoretical and practical constraints on fuel efficiency. He knew that as much as 90% of the energy available in the fuel is wasted in a steam engine. His work in engine design was driven by the goal of much higher efficiency ratios. In his engine, fuel was injected at the end of the compression stroke and was ignited by the high temperature resulting from the compression. From 1893 to 1897, Heinrich von Buz, director of MAN SE in Augsburg, gave Rudolf Diesel the opportunity to test and develop his ideas.

The first successful Diesel engine ran in 1897 and is now on display at the German Technical Museum in Munich.

Rudolf Diesel obtained patents for his design in Germany and other countries, including the United States.

He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1978.

Stamps from Germany and Saarland depicting Diesel

Germany 100 Years Diesel Engine

Saarland Rudolph Diesel



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