1877 in science
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- June 19 – Eadweard Muybridge successfully produces a fast-motion sequence of photographs showing a horse in movement, Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, using multiple cameras at Palo Alto, California, demonstrating that a running horse has all four legs lifted off the ground at once. The sequence could be run on a Zoopraxiscope.
- August 12 – American astronomer Asaph Hall discovers Deimos, the smaller of the two moons of Mars. On August 18, he discovers the larger, Phobos.
- Ludwig Boltzmann establishes statistical derivations of many important physical and chemical concepts, including entropy, and distributions of molecular velocities in the gas phase.
History of science
- Dr. August Eisenlohr publishes the first translation and study of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus.
- American railroad lawyer and ethnologist Lewis H. Morgan publishes Ancient Society, linking social progress with technological change.
- October 2 – Berlin urologist Maximilian Nitze and Viennese instrument-maker Josef Leiter introduce the first practical cystourethroscope with an electric light source.
- Adolph Kussmaul first describes dyslexia as "word-blindness".
- William Macewen at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary develops the first bone grafts, and also performs knee surgery using a special instrument (Macewen's osteotome), for the treatment of rickets.
- Patrick Manson studies animal carriers of infectious diseases.
- March 28 – Frederick Wolseley is granted his first patent for a sheep shearing machine.
- April 30 – French poet Charles Cros describes a method of recording sound, the Paleophone.
- June – Emile Berliner files a patent for a "combined telegraph and telephone" incorporating a microphone.
- June 20 – Alexander Graham Bell installs the world's first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario.
- September 4 – Louis Brennan patents the Brennan torpedo.
- October – Emile Berliner files a patent for a telephone with induction coils.
- November 4 – Opening of Gustave Eiffel's Maria Pia Bridge carrying the railway across the Douro into Porto, Portugal.
- November 29 – Thomas Edison first demonstrates his phonograph sound recording machine.
- December 13 – Thomas Edison files a patent for "telephones or speaking-telegraphs" incorporating a microphone.
- Surveyor and inventor George R. Carey of Boston, Massachusetts, creates a selenium telectroscope — a camera that can project a moving image to a distant point, an ancestor of television. Constantin Senlecq of Ardres, France, develops the same idea independently at about the same time.
- February 2 – Margarete Zuelzer (died 1944), German microbiologist.
- February 7 – G. H. Hardy (died 1947), English mathematician.
- March 16 – Thomas Wyatt Turner (died 1978), American civil rights activist, biologist and educator; first black person ever to receive a doctorate from Cornell.
- April 5 – Walter Sutton (died 1916), American geneticist and surgeon.
- April 24 – José Ingenieros (died 1925), Argentine polymath.
- June 14 – Ida Maclean, born Ida Smedley (died 1944), English biochemist.
- September 1 – Francis William Aston (died 1945), English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate.
- September 2 – Frederick Soddy (died 1956), English physical chemist.
- September 11 – James Hopwood Jeans (died 1946), English mathematician.
- September 13 – Wilhelm Filchner (died 1957), German explorer.
- October 21 – Oswald Avery (died 1955), Canadian American bacteriologist.
- October 25 – Henry Norris Russell (died 1957), American astronomer.
- January 12 – Wilhelm Friedrich Benedikt Hofmeister (born 1824), German botanist.
- February 8 – Charles Wilkes (born 1798), American navigator.
- May 5 – Joseph Bienaimé Caventou (born 1795), French chemist.
- June 3 – Ludwig von Köchel (born 1800), Austrian musicologist and botanist.
- September 17 – H. Fox Talbot (born 1800), English pioneer of photography.
- September 23 – Urbain Le Verrier (born 1811), French astronomer.
- September 26 – Hermann Günther Grassmann (born 1809), German mathematician.
- Clegg, Brian (2007). The Man Who Stopped Time. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press. ISBN 978-0-309-10112-7.
- Peirce, C. S. (1877). "Appendix No. 15. A Quincuncial Projection of the Sphere". Report of the Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey Showing the Progress of the Survey for Fiscal Year Ending with June 1877. pp. 191–194.
- Weisstein, Eric W. (1996). "Boltzmann, Ludwig (1844–1906)". Eric Weisstein's World of Scientific Biography. Wolfram Research Products. Retrieved 2007-03-24.
- Eisenlohr, August (1877). Ein mathematisches Handbuch der alten Aegypter (Papyrus Rhind des British Museum). Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- Mouton, Wolfgang G.; Bessell, Justin R.; Maddern, Guy J. (1998). "Looking Back to the Advent of Modern Endoscopy: 150th Birthday of Maximilian Nitze" (PDF). World Journal of Surgery. 22 (12): 1256–8. doi:10.1007/s002689900555. PMID 9841754. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
- U.S. Patent 463,569.
- U.S. Patent 199,141.
- U.S. Patent 203,018.
- Scientific American 17 May 1878.