1996 in science
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The year 1996 in science and technology involved many significant events, listed below.
Astronomy and space exploration
- January 30 – Comet Hyakutake is discovered.
- February 17 – NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft launched. The craft will land on asteroid 433 Eros in 2001.
- May 20 – First naked-eye observation of Comet Hale-Bopp.
- June 4 – The European Space Agency's Cluster is lost when the maiden flight of the Ariane 5 rocket fails, self-destructing 37 seconds after launch from the Guiana Space Centre because of a software bug in the computer control system.
- November 7 – NASA launches the Mars Global Surveyor.
- The second 9.8 m reflecting telescope opens at Keck Observatory, Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
- July 5 – Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult cell, is born at The Roslin Institute in Scotland.
- August 6 – NASA announces that the Allan Hills 84001 meteorite thought to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life-forms.
- The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae's genome is sequenced, the first eukaryotic genome to be fully sequenced.
- February 9 – Copernicium first created at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany, by Sigurd Hofmann, Victor Ninov and others.
- January – The Google web search engine originates as "BackRub", a research project using PageRank by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, PhD students at Stanford University, California.
- January 23 – The first version of the Java programming language is released.
- February 10 – Deep Blue defeats chess grand-master Garry Kasparov for the first time.
- October – The Shetland Times and The Shetland News become involved in a landmark legal case over alleged copyright infringement and deep linking in their websites.
- The page ranking web search engine RankDex is originated by Robin Li.
- Brewster Kahle, with Bruce Gilliat, develops the Wayback Machine software to crawl and archive World Wide Web pages.
- Lov Grover, at Bell Labs, publishes the quantum database search algorithm.
- IRCnet is founded.
- May 23 – Swede Göran Kropp reaches Mount Everest summit alone without oxygen after having bicycled there from Sweden.
- March – The Cochrane Library launched.
- New variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease first identified in humans, in the United Kingdom.
- Sildenafil (Viagra), a treatment for erectile dysfunction, is patented by Pfizer.
- January 7 – A large blizzard hits the Eastern United States, killing more than 100.
- May 13 – Severe thunderstorms and a tornado in Bangladesh kills 600.
- July 18–21 – Storms provoke severe flooding on the Saguenay River in Quebec, in one of Canada's most costly natural disasters.
- August 2 – The first blizzard of snow in Texas.
- Australian philosopher David Chalmers publishes The Conscious Mind: in search of a fundamental theory.
- Zenith introduces the first HDTV-compatible front projection television in the United States. Broadcasters, TV & PC manufacturers set industry standards for digital HDTV.
- APS film format is introduced.
- Successful demonstration of magnetic refrigeration.
- Belgian physical chemist Ilya Prigogine publishes La Fin des certitudes (translated as The End of Certainty: time, chaos, and the new laws of nature).
- May - Sokal affair: American mathematical physicist Alan Sokal hoaxes the editors into publishing a deliberately nonsensical paper, "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity", in a "science wars" issue of the journal Social Text (Duke University Press) as a critique of the intellectual rigor of postmodernism in academic cultural studies.
- Nobel Prize
- Kyoto Prize
- Turing Award for Computing: Amir Pnueli
- Wollaston Medal for Geology: Nicholas John Shackleton
- January 12 – Bartel Leendert van der Waerden (b. 1903), Dutch mathematician.
- February 20 – Solomon Asch (b. 1907), Polish American social psychologist.
- March 26 – David Packard (b. 1912), American electrical engineer.
- June 6 – George Davis Snell (b. 1903), American mouse geneticist and basic transplant immunologist.
- June 17 – Thomas Kuhn (b. 1922), American philosopher of science.
- August 1 – Tadeusz Reichstein (b. 1897), Polish-Swiss winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
- August 9 – Sir Frank Whittle (b. 1907), English aeronautical engineer.
- August 12 – Victor Ambartsumian (b. 1908), Soviet Armenian theoretical astrophysicist.
- September 20 – Paul Erdős (b. 1913), Hungarian-born mathematician.
- November 19 – Grace Bates (b. 1914), American mathematician.
- November 21 – Abdus Salam (b. 1926), Punjabi-born winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- December 20 – Carl Sagan (b. 1934), American astronomer.
- Gleick, James (1996-12-01). "A Bug and A Crash". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- Hofmann, S. et al. (1996). "The new element 112". Zeitschrift für Physik A 354 (1): 229–230. doi:10.1007/BF02769517.
- "Our history in depth". Corporate Information. Google. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
- "The Shetland Times V. The Shetland News". The 'Lectric Law Library. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
- Greenberg, Andy (2009-10-05). "The Man Who's Beating Google". Forbes.
- Li, Yanhong (July–August 1998). "Toward a Qualitative Search Engine". IEEE Internet Computing 2 (4): 24–29. doi:10.1109/4236.707687.
- "About RankDex". IDD Information Services. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- USPTO, "Hypertext Document Retrieval System and Method", US Patent number: 5920859, Inventor: Yanhong Li, Filing date: 5 February 1997, Issue date: 6 July 1999.
- Kahle, Brewster (March 1997). "Archiving the Internet". Scientific American. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- "About the Cochrane Library". The Cochrane Library. Archived from the original on 5 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
- Will, R. G.; Ironside, J. W.; Zeidler, M. (April 1996). "A new variant of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in the UK". The Lancet 347 (9006): 921–5. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(96)91412-9. PMID 8598754. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
- Boolell, M.; Allen, M.J.; Ballard, S.A.; Gepi-Attee, S.; Muirhead, G.J.; Naylor, A.M.; Osterloh, I.H.; Gingell, C. (1996). "Sildenafil: an orally active type 5 cyclic GMP-specific phosphodiesterase inhibitor for the treatment of penile erectile dysfunction". International Journal of Impotence Research 8 (2): 47–52. PMID 8858389.
- Sokal, Alan D. (1996). "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity". Social Text. 46/47: 217–252. doi:10.2307/466856. JSTOR 466856. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
- Sokal, Alan D. (May 1996). "A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies". Lingua Franca. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
- "Willard Van Orman Quine". Inamori Foundation. Retrieved 15 December 2012.