1934 in science
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- Richard Tolman shows that black-body radiation in an expanding universe cools but remains thermal.
- Georges Lemaître interprets the cosmological constant as due to a vacuum energy with an unusual perfect fluid equation of state.
- The Mulliken scale of chemical element electronegativity is developed by Robert S. Mulliken.
- Norman Haworth and Edmund Hirst report the first synthesis of vitamin C.
- J. D. Bernal and Dorothy Crowfoot first successfully apply the technique of X-ray crystallography to analysis of a biological substance, pepsin.
- The first commercial heavy water plant is built at Vemork in Norway; production also starts this year at Dnepropetrovsk in the Soviet Union.
History of science and technology
- January 18 – The Iron Bridge in Shropshire, dating from the Industrial Revolution period, becomes an officially scheduled monument in England.
- Lewis Mumford publishes Technics and Civilization.
- Penrose triangle devised.
- Sonoluminescence is discovered at the University of Cologne.
- Gregory Breit and John A. Wheeler describe the Breit–Wheeler process.
Physiology and medicine
- March 8 – Sodium thiopental, the first intravenous anesthetic, synthesized by Ernest H. Volwiler with Donalee L. Tabern of Abbott Laboratories, is first administered to human subjects.
- Outbreak of "atypical poliomyelitis", strongly resembling what would later be called chronic fatigue syndrome, affects a large number of medical staff at the Los Angeles County Hospital.
- George de Hevesy uses heavy water in one of the first biological tracer experiments, to estimate the rate of turnover of water in the human body.
- Austrian biochemist Regina Kapeller-Adler develops an innovative early pregnancy test based on the presence of histidine in urine.
- Tudor Thomas' work on corneal grafting restores the sight of a man who had been nearly blind for 27 years.
- April 3 – Percy Shaw patents the cat's eye road-safety device in Britain.
- April 18 – Citroën Traction Avant introduced, the world's first front-wheel drive monocoque (welded steel unit body) production automobile, designed by André Lefèbvre and Flaminio Bertoni.
- April 24 – Laurens Hammond patents the Hammond organ in the United States.
- The 135 film cartridge is introduced in Germany and the United States with the Kodak Retina camera, making 35mm film easy to use.
- The first commercial electronic television sets with cathode ray tubes are manufactured by Telefunken in Germany.
- Samuel C. Bradford proposes Bradford's law of scattering, an example of Pareto distribution applicable in the bibliometrics of scientific literature and beyond.
- Karl Popper publishes Logik der Forschung.
- Nobel Prize
- March 4 – Janez Strnad, Slovenian physicist
- March 5 – Daniel Kahneman, Israeli-American psychologist, winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
- March 9 – Yuri Gagarin (died 1968), Russian cosmonaut, the first man in space.
- March 14 – Eugene Cernan (died 2017), American astronaut, the last man to walk on the moon for at least 45 years.
- March 23 – Ludvig Faddeev (died 2017), Russian mathematician and theoretical physicist.
- March 31 – Carlo Rubbia, Italian winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- April 2 – Paul Cohen (died 2007), American mathematician, winner of the Fields Medal.
- April 3 – Jane Goodall, English primatologist.
- May 21 – Bengt I. Samuelsson, Swedish biochemist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- May 23
- May 30 – Alexei Leonov (died 2019), Russian cosmonaut, the first man to walk in space.
- July 7 – Robert McNeill Alexander (died 2016), British zoologist, authority on animal locomotion.
- September 21 – David J. Thouless (died 2019), Scottish-born winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- November 9 – Carl Sagan (died 1996), American astronomer.
- November 27 – Gilbert Strang, American mathematician.
- January 6 – Fernand Lataste (born 1847), French zoologist.
- January 29 – Fritz Haber (born 1868), German chemist.
- February 25 – Elizabeth Gertrude Britton (born 1858), American botanist.
- April 10 – Cecilia Grierson (born 1859), Argentine physician and reformer.
- April 21 – Carsten Borchgrevink (born 1864), Norwegian Antarctic explorer.
- July 4 – Marie Curie (born 1867), Polish-born French physicist.
- October 17 – Santiago Ramón y Cajal (born 1852), Spanish winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- September 27 – Ellen Willmott (born 1858), English horticulturist.
- November 16 – Carl von Linde (born 1842), German refrigeration engineer.
- November 20 – Willem de Sitter (born 1872), Dutch mathematician, physicist and astronomer.
- William Hoskins (born 1862), American inventor.
- Davies, Michael B.; Austin, John; Partridge, David A. (1991). Vitamin C: Its Chemistry and Biochemistry. London: Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-85186-333-7.
- "Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, OM". Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- Tabern, D. L.; Volwiler, E. H. (1935). "Sulfur-containing barbiturate hypnotics". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 57 (10): 1961–3. doi:10.1021/ja01313a062.
- Patarca-Montero, R. (2004). Medical Etiology, Assessment, and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue and Malaise. New York: Haworth Press. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-0-7890-2196-0.
- de Hevesy, G.; Hofer, E. (1934). "Die vermeilzeit der Wasser in menschlischen Körper, untersucht mit hilfe von "shwerem" Wasser als Indikator". Klinische Wochenschrift. 13: 1524.
- Challoner, Jack, ed. (2009). 1001 Inventions That Changed the World. London: Cassell. pp. 634–5. ISBN 978-1-84403-611-0.
- US patent 1956350, Laurens Hammond, "Electrical Musical Instrument", issued 1934-04-24
- Bradford, Samuel C. (1934-01-26). "Sources of Information on Specific Subjects". Engineering. 137: 85–86.