1939 in science
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The year 1939 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.
- November 6 – Sonderaktion Krakau: The Gestapo arrests scientists from the Jagiellonian University and other institutions in Kraków, Poland; on November 27 they are sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
- Robert Oppenheimer jointly predicts two new types of celestial object:
- April 30 – Nylon fabric is first introduced to the general public at the New York World's Fair.
- July – Edward Adelbert Doisy of Saint Louis University publishes the chemical structure of vitamin K.
- Linus Pauling publishes The Nature of the Chemical Bond, a compilation of a decade's work on chemical bonding, explaining hybridization theory, covalent bonding and ionic bonding as explained through electronegativity, and resonance as a means to explain, among other things, the structure of benzene.
- September 4 – Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman report to the United Kingdom Government Code and Cypher School, Bletchley Park.
- October – John V. Atanasoff with Clifford Berry demonstrate the first prototype Atanasoff–Berry Computer at Iowa State University.
History of science
- Cornelis de Waard begins to publish the Journaal of Isaac Beeckman.
- Philosopher and historian Alexandre Koyré originates the term scientific revolution to describe the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, from the late Renaissance to the late 18th century.
- January–February – Discovery of nuclear fission is announced independently by Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner.
- August 2 – The Einstein–Szilárd letter is signed, advising President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt of the potential use of uranium to construct an atomic bomb. It is delivered on October 11.
- October 21 – First meeting of the Advisory Committee on Uranium under Lyman James Briggs, authorised by President Roosevelt to oversee neutron experiments.
Physiology and medicine
- John H. Lawrence uses beams of energized neutrons from a particle accelerator to treat a patient with leukemia.
- Drs Philip Levine and Rufus Stetson published a first case report on the clinical consequences of non-recognized Rh factor, hemolytic transfusion reaction and hemolytic disease of the newborn in its most severe form.
- January 1 – Hewlett-Packard is founded as an electronics company in Palo Alto, California.
- January 11 – First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.
- August 27 – Flying the Heinkel He 178, Erich Warsitz makes the first flight entirely on turbojet power (the HeS 3 jet engine).
- November 1–2 – Physicist Hans Ferdinand Mayer writes the Oslo Report on German weapons systems and passes it to the British Secret Intelligence Service.
- December 9 – First flight of the Consolidated XB-24 "Liberator" bomber prototype.
- Kirlian photography is invented by Semyon Kirlian.
- Nobel Prizes
- January 20 – Chandra Wickramasinghe, Ceylonese-born British astronomer.
- May 19 – Dick Scobee (killed 1986), American astronaut.
- June 26 – Julia Polak (died 2014), Argentine-born British pathologist and pioneer of tissue engineering.
- August 19 – Alan Baker, English mathematician.
- October 7 – John Hopcroft, American theoretical computer scientist.
- October 10 – Neil Sloane, Welsh-born American mathematician.
- November 11 – Alf Adams, English physicist.
- November 18 – John O'Keefe, American-born British neuroscientist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- February 4 – Edward Sapir (born 1884), American anthropological linguist.
- July 15 – Eugen Bleuler (born 1857), Swiss psychiatrist.
- September 23 – Sigmund Freud (born 1856), Austrian-born psychoanalyst.
- October 7 – Harvey Cushing (born 1869), American neurosurgeon.
- Phys.Rev. 55: pp. 374–381. 1939.
- Phys.Rev. 56: pp. 455–459. 1939.
- "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1948". NobelPrize.org. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
- Snyder, John P. (1993). Flattening the Earth: Two Thousand Years of Map Projections. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-76747-7.
- MacCorquodale, D. W.; Binkley, S. B.; Thayer, S. A.; Doisy, E. A. (1939). "On the Constitution of Vitamin K1". Journal of the American Chemical Society 61 (7): 1928–1929. doi:10.1021/ja01876a510. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "Linus Pauling: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1954". Nobel Lectures, Chemistry 1942–1962. Elsevier. 1964. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
- Smith, Michael (2007). Station X: the Codebreakers of Bletchley Park. Pan Grand Strategy Series (rev. ed.). London: Pan Macmillan. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-330-41929-1.
- Mollenhoff, Clark R. (1988). Atanasoff: Forgotten Father of the Computer. Ames: Iowa State University Press. ISBN 0-8138-0032-3.
- Shapin, Steven (1996). The Scientific Revolution. University of Chicago Press.
- Crilly, Tony (2007). 50 Mathematical Ideas you really need to know. London: Quercus. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-84724-008-8.
- Hahn, O.; Strassmann, F. (January 6, 1939). "Über den Nachweis und das Verhalten der bei der Bestrahlung des Urans mittels Neutronen entstehenden Erdalkalimetalle". Naturwissenschaften 27 (1): 11–15. doi:10.1007/BF01488241.
- Meitner, Lise; Frisch, O. R. (February 16, 1939). "Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons: a New Type of Nuclear Reaction". Nature 143 (3615): 239–240. doi:10.1038/143239a0. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- Frisch, O. R. (February 18, 1939). "Physical Evidence for the Division of Heavy Nuclei under Neutron Bombardment". Nature 143 (3616): 276–276. doi:10.1038/143276a0. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
- Levine, P.; Stetson, R. E. (1939). "An unusual case of intragroup agglutination". JAMA 113: 126–7. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.72800270002007a.