1933 in science
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- October 13 – The British Interplanetary Society is founded.
- Walter Baade and Fritz Zwicky invent the concept of the neutron star, a new type of celestial object, suggesting that supernovae might be created by the collapse of a normal star to form a neutron star.
- Sir Arthur Eddington publishes The Expanding Universe: Astronomy's 'Great Debate', 1900–1931 in Cambridge.
- Comedian Will Hay observes the periodic Great White Spot on Saturn from his private observatory in London.
- Fritz Zwicky postulates the existence of dark matter.
- Gilbert N. Lewis isolates the first sample of pure heavy water by electrolysis.
- Morris S. Kharasch and Frank R. Mayo propose that free radicals are responsible for anti-Markovnikov addition of hydrogen bromide to allyl bromide.
- March 10 – Long Beach earthquake in Southern California: First recording of earthquake strong ground motions by an accelerograph network, installed in 1932 by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.
- Andrey Kolmogorov publishes Foundations of the Theory of Probability, laying the modern axiomatic foundations of probability theory.
- David Champernowne, while still a Cambridge undergraduate, publishes his work on the Champernowne constant in real numbers.
- Alfréd Haar introduces Haar measure.
- Jerzy Neyman and Egon Pearson publish the Neyman–Pearson lemma.
- Stanley Skewes discovers Skewes' number.
- July 14 – Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring enacted in Nazi Germany allowing compulsory sterilization of citizens suffering from a list of alleged genetic disorders.
- Manfred Sakel begins to practice insulin shock therapy on psychiatric patients in Vienna.
- September 12 – Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light on Southampton Row in Bloomsbury (London), conceives the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.
- June – A research group at RCA headed by Vladimir K. Zworykin publicly launches the iconoscope, the first practical cathode ray tube television camera.
- Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago) first opens to the public, as part of the Century of Progress Exposition.
- The Institute for Advanced Study opens at Princeton, New Jersey, attracting Albert Einstein, John von Neumann and Kurt Gödel.
- Sheffield Trades Historical Society (later South Yorkshire Industrial History Society) established in England.
- Nobel Prizes
- January 6 – Oleg Makarov (died 2003), Soviet cosmonaut.
- March 9 – Sir David Weatherall (died 2018), English molecular geneticist.
- March 10 – Patricia Bergquist (died 2009), New Zealand scientist specializing in anatomy and taxonomy.
- March 23 – Philip Zimbardo, American social psychologist.
- April 14 – Yuri Oganessian, Russian nuclear physicist.
- July 9 – Oliver Sacks (died 2015), English-born neurologist.
- July 12 – Max Birnstiel (died 2014), Swiss molecular biologist.
- August 10 – Ed Posner (died 1993), American mathematician.
- August 15
- September 6 – Juliet Clutton-Brock (died 2015), English zooarchaeologist.
- September 10 – Yevgeny Khrunov (died 2000), Soviet cosmonaut.
- September 26 – Charles C. Conley (died 1984), American mathematician specializing in dynamical systems.
- October 2 – Sir John Gurdon, English developmental biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- October 9 – Sir Peter Mansfield (died 2017), English physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- November 1 – Dijen K. Ray-Chaudhuri, Bengali-born mathematician.
- November 4 – Sir Charles K. Kao (died 2018), Chinese electrical engineer and physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- December 22 – Thomas Stockham (died 2004), American electrical engineer and inventor
- December 23 – Akihito, ichthyologist and Emperor of Japan.
- May 22 – Sándor Ferenczi (died 1873), Hungarian psychoanalyst.
- June 14 – Ernest William Moir (born 1862), British civil engineer.
- September 25 – Paul Ehrenfest (born 1880), Austrian physicist and mathematician.
- December 8 – John Joly (born 1857), Irish physicist.
- Hay, W. T. (1933). "The spot on Saturn". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. London. 94: 85. Bibcode:1933MNRAS..94...85H. doi:10.1093/mnras/94.1.85. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
- Zwicky, F. (1933). "Die Rotverschiebung von extragalaktischen Nebeln". Helvetica Physica Acta. 6: 110–127. Bibcode:1933AcHPh...6..110Z.
- Lewis, G. N. (1933). "The Isotopes of Hydrogen". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 55 (3): 1297. doi:10.1021/ja01330a511.
- Kharasch, M. S.; Mayo, Frank R. (1933). "The Peroxide Effect in the Addition of Reagents to Unsaturated Compounds. I. The Addition of Hydrogen Bromide to Allyl Bromide". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 55: 2468–2496. doi:10.1021/ja01333a041.
- Yan, Ming; Lo, Julian C.; Edwards, Jacob T.; Baran, Phil S. (2016). "Radicals: Reactive Intermediates with Translational Potential". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 138: 12692–12714. doi:10.1021/jacs.6b08856. PMC 5054485.
- Crilly, Tony (2007). 50 Mathematical Ideas you really need to know. London: Quercus. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-84724-008-8.
- Champernowne, D. G. (1933). "The construction of decimals normal in the scale of ten". Journal of the London Mathematical Society. 8: 254–260.
- "Professor David Champernowne". The Daily Telegraph. London. 4 September 2000. Retrieved 2011-12-02..
- Haar, Alfred (January 1933). "Der Massbegriff in der Theorie der kontinuierlichen Gruppen". Annals of Mathematics. 2. 34 (1): 147–169. doi:10.2307/1968346. JSTOR 1968346.
- Neyman, Jerzy; Pearson, Egon S. (1933). "On the Problem of the Most Efficient Tests of Statistical Hypotheses". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 231 (694–706): 289–337. Bibcode:1933RSPTA.231..289N. doi:10.1098/rsta.1933.0009. JSTOR 91247.
- Skewes, S. (1933). "On the difference π(x) − Li(x)" (PDF). Journal of the London Mathematical Society. 8: 277–283. doi:10.1112/jlms/s1-8.4.277. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-01. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
- Coming into force January 1934. Black, Edwin (2001). IBM and the Holocaust. Crown / Random House. p. 93.
- Wortis, J. (1958). "In Memoriam Manfred Sakel". American Journal of Psychiatry. 115: 287–8.
- Lawrence, Williams L. (27 June 1933). "Human-like eye made by engineers to televise images. 'Iconoscope' converts scenes into electrical energy for radio transmission. Fast as a movie camera. Three million tiny photo cells 'memorize', then pass out pictures. Step to home television. Developed in ten years' work by Dr. V.K. Zworykin, who describes it at Chicago". The New York Times.
- Zworykin, V. K. (September 1933). "The Iconoscope, America's latest television favourite". Wireless World (33): 197.
- Zworykin, V. K. (October 1933). "Television with cathode ray tubes". Journal of the IEE. Institution of Electrical Engineers (73): 437–451.
- Abramson, Albert (2003). The History of Television, 1942 to 2000. McFarland. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-7864-1220-4.