Sunday, November 29, 2009
The fellow above is one Christian Doppler, our 101st hero of the day, born this day in Salzburg, Austria in 1803. M. Doppler was born the son of a stone mason, but due to his physical frailty, he was unable to do the heavy work required to follow his dear old dad into the family business. That frailty was a blessing to the scientific world, since he was useless as a mason his family sent him to school to make something of himself. He studied astronomy and mathematics in Vienna. He soon got a job teaching physics in Prague, and it was there where he wrote, and published his greatest work describing what would eventually come to be called the Doppler effect. We all experience it when we heard the ambulance or the cop car siren come towards us and then recede into the distance. The effect is known in astronomy as the redshift when a star or galaxy is moving away from the observer, or the blue shift when it is moving towards the observer. I am currently experiencing the opposite of the Doppler effect my team Arsenal (red shirts) are currently getting the ever loving shit kicked out of them by Chelsea (blues), and therefore Chelsea are moving further and further away up the table. I swear they are getting bluer, not redder like they are supposed to be, but for discovering that one thing that led to so many other useful things being discovered, Christian Doppler (November 29th, 1803- March 17th, 1853, at the age of 49 of pulmonary disease), you are my hero of the day.