1954 in science
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The year 1954 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.
- November 30 – In Sylacauga, Alabama, an 8.5 pound sulfide meteorite crashes through a roof and hits Mrs. Elizabeth Hodges in her living room after bouncing off her radio, giving her a bad bruise; the first known modern case of a human being hit by a space rock.
- January 10 – Last confirmed specimen of a Caspian tiger is killed, in the valley of the Sumbar River in the Kopet Dag Mountains of Turkmenistan.
- Daniel I. Arnon demonstrates in the laboratory the chemical function of photosynthesis in chloroplasts.
- Heinz Sielmann makes the pioneering nature documentary about woodpeckers, Zimmerleute des Waldes ("Carpenters of the forest").
- Eduard Paul Tratz and Heinz Heck propose the species name bonobo for what was previously known as the pygmy chimpanzee.
- Publication of the first analysis of the three-dimensional molecular structure of vitamin B12 by a group including Dorothy Hodgkin, and utilising computer analysis provided by Kenneth Nyitray Trueblood.
- The Wittig reaction is discovered by German chemist Georg Wittig.
- January 7 – Georgetown-IBM experiment: the first public demonstration of a machine translation system held in New York at the head office of IBM.
- December 31 – The first specimens of the mineral benstonite are collected by Orlando J. Benston in the Magnet Cove igneous complex of Arkansas.
History of science
- Joseph Needham begins publication of Science and Civilisation in China (Cambridge University Press).
- A History of Technology, edited by Charles Singer, E. J. Holmyard and A. R. Hall, begins publication (Oxford University Press).
- February 23 – The first mass vaccination of children against polio begins, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- The first organ transplants are done in Boston and Paris.
- The first of the anti-psychotic phenothiazine drugs, Chlorpromazine, starts being sold under the trade names Thorazine (U.S.) and Largactil (U.K.)
- The sucrose gap is introduced by Robert Stämpfli for the reliable measurement of action potential in nerve fibers.
- January 2 – Harold Hopkins and Narinder Singh Kapany at Imperial College London report achieving low-loss light transmission through a 75 cm long optical fiber bundle.
- March 1 – United States carries out a hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
- September 29 – CERN is founded by twelve European states.
- Summer – Robbers Cave Experiment carried out by Muzafer and Carolyn Sherif.
- Man Meets Dog is published by Konrad Lorenz.
- June 26 – Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant, the first civilian nuclear power station, is commissioned in the Soviet Union.
- June 29 – Buckminster Fuller is granted a United States patent for his development of the geodesic dome.
- September 30 – The submarine USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the first atomic-powered vessel, is commissioned by the United States Navy.
- October 18 – Texas Instruments announces development of the first commercial transistor radio, the Regency TR-1, manufactured in Indianapolis; it goes on sale the following month.
- December 16 – The first synthetic diamond is produced.
- New Zealand engineer Sir William Hamilton develops the first pump-jet engine (the "Hamilton Jet") capable of propelling a jetboat.
- The first electric drip brew coffeemaker is patented in Germany and named the Wigomat after its inventor Gottlob Widmann.
- Staley T. McBrayer invents the Vanguard web offset press for newspaper printing in Fort Worth, Texas.
- Fields Prize in Mathematics: Kunihiko Kodaira and Jean-Pierre Serre, the latter being the youngest-ever winner, at age 27
- Nobel Prizes
- February 9 – Kevin Warwick, English scientist, author of March of the Machines.
- June 20 – Ilan Ramon (died 2003), Israeli astronaut.
- July 17 – Angela Kasner, German physical chemist and Chancellor.
- August 28 – George M. Church, American geneticist, molecular engineer and chemist.
- September 5 – Myeong-Hee Yu, South Korean microbiologist.
- November 7 – Vijay Kumar, Indian molecular biologist.
- January 17 – Leonard Eugene Dickson (born 1874), American mathematician.
- March 7
- April 10 – Auguste Lumière (born 1862), French inventor, film pioneer.
- April 21 – Emil Post (born 1897), American mathematician and logician.
- June 7 – Alan Turing (born 1912), English mathematician and computer scientist (probable suicide).
- July 11 – Henry Valentine Knaggs (born 1859), English practitioner of naturopathic medicine.
- October 3 – Vera Fedorovna Gaze (born 1899), Soviet Russian astronomer.
- November 29 – Enrico Fermi (born 1901), Italian American physicist.
- Dement'yev and Rustamov (1985). The Red Data Book of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat: Turkmenistan Publishing House.
- Arnon, Daniel I.; Allen, Mary B.; Whatley, F. R. (1954). "Photosynthesis by Isolated Chloroplasts" (PDF). Nature. 174 (4426): 394–6. Bibcode:1954Natur.174..394A. doi:10.1038/174394a0.
- Laurence, William L. (December 30, 1954). "Sun is Harnessed to Create Food: Science Team on the Coast Duplicates Photosynthesis Outside Plants' Cells". The New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
- de Waal, Frans B. M., ed. (2002). Tree of Origin: What Primate Behavior Can Tell Us About Human Social Evolution. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. p. 51. ISBN 0-674-00460-4.
- Brink, Clara; Hodgkin, Dorothy Crowfoot; Lindsey, June; Pickworth, Jenny; Robertson, John H.; White, John G. (December 25, 1954). "X-ray Crystallographic Evidence on the Structure of Vitamin B12" (PDF). Nature. 174 (4443): 1169–117. Bibcode:1954Natur.174.1169B. doi:10.1038/1741169a0. PMID 13223773. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
- Glusker, Jenny P. (1994). "Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910–1994)" (PDF). Protein Science. 3: 2465–2469. doi:10.1002/pro.5560031233. PMC . PMID 7757003. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
- "Benstonite". Mindat. Retrieved 2012-12-31.
- "Donor Of First Successful Organ Transplant Dies 56 Years Later". The Huffington Post. December 29, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
- Stämpfli, R. (1954). "A new method for measuring membrane potentials with external electrodes". Experientia. 10 (12): 508–509. doi:10.1007/BF02166189. PMID 14353097.
- Akert, K. (August 1996). Swiss Contributions to the Neurosciences in Four Hundred Years: From the Renaissance to the Present. Verlag der Fachvereine Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zurich. ISBN 978-3728123626.
- Hopkins, H. H.; Kapany, N. S. (1954). "A flexible fibrescope, using static scanning". Nature. 173 (4392): 39. Bibcode:1954Natur.173...39H. doi:10.1038/173039b0.
- "1954: foundations for European science". CERN. 2008. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- Sherif, M.; Harvey, O. J.; White, B. J.; Hood, W.; Sherif, C. W. (1961). Intergroup Conflict and Cooperation: The Robbers Cave Experiment. Norman, OK: University Book Exchange.
- "Nuclear Power in Russia". World Nuclear Association. December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- U.S. patent 2,682,235
- "Sir William Hamilton OBE". HamiltonJet. 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- "Sixty years of the Federal Republic of Germany – a retrospective of everyday life". Retrieved 2002-12-28.[dead link]
- "Staley McBrayer, 92; Inventor of Offset Press for Newspaper Printing". Associated Press. 2002-04-18. Retrieved 2017-10-19 – via Los Angeles Times.