1960 in science
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Astronomy and space exploration
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- February 13
- March 5 – British marine biologist Sir Alister Hardy announces his aquatic ape hypothesis, theorising that swimming and diving for food exerted a strong evolutionary effect partly responsible for the divergence in the common descent of humans and other great apes.
- July – Robert Burns Woodward publishes a total synthesis of chlorophyll.
- July 14 – English primatologist Jane Goodall arrives at what will become Gombe Stream National Park in Tanganyika to begin her groundbreaking behavioral study of chimpanzees in the wild.
- November 4 – At the Kasakela Chimpanzee Community, Jane Goodall observes a chimpanzee using a grass stalk to extract termites from a termite hill, the first recorded case of tool use by animals.
- Jacques Ruffié invents hemotyping.
- Juan Oro finds that concentrated solutions of ammonium cyanide in water can produce the nucleotide adenine.
- Four independent researchers (Sam Weiss, Jerard Hurwitz, Audrey Stevens and J. Bonner) discover the bacterial RNA polymerase that regulates the polymerization of nucleotides under the control of DNA.
- Climatron geodesic dome greenhouse opens at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.
- August – Edsger W. Dijkstra and Jaap A. Zonneveld produce the first (X1) implementation of the ALGOL 60 programming language.
- John McCarthy of MIT publishes the Lisp programming language.
- May 22 – Valdivia earthquake: Chile's subduction fault ruptures from Talcahuano to the Taitao Peninsula (with its epicenter near Lumaco), causing the most powerful earthquake on record (with a magnitude of 9.5) and a tsunami.
- Harry Hammond Hess proposes the concept of seafloor spreading.
- January 23 – Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh reach bottom in the Mariana Trench in United States Navy bathyscaphe Trieste at a depth of 10,916 m.
- May 10 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton, under the command of Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr., completes the first underwater circumnavigation of the Earth.
- Wacław Sierpiński proves the existence of Sierpinski numbers.
- In the classification of finite simple groups, Michio Suzuki and Rimhak Ree introduce Suzuki–Ree groups; and John G. Thompson, Walter Feit and Marshall Hall prove that a group with a fixed-point-free automorphism of prime order is nilpotent, and that all finite simple CN groups of odd order are cyclic.
- April 15 – William C. Chardack implants the first fixed-rate cardiac pacemaker with mercury battery, designed by Wilson Greatbatch.
- May 2 – The first coronary artery bypass surgery is performed by a team led by Dr. Robert Goetz and thoracic surgeon Dr. Michael Rohman with the assistance of Drs. Jordan Haller and Ronald Dee at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Bronx Municipal Hospital Center in the United States using internal mammary artery as the donor vessel; the patient survives for 9 months.
- May 9 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces that it will approve birth control as an additional indication for Searle's Enovid, making it the world's first approved combined oral contraceptive pill.
- June 6 – The American Heart Association announces a strong statistical association between heavy cigarette smoking and coronary heart disease.
- October 30 – The first kidney transplantation in the United Kingdom is performed by a team led by English surgeon Michael Woodruff at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh between identical twins.
- October – 11th General Conference on Weights and Measures establishes International System of Units, abbreviated SI from the French name, Le Système international d'unités.
- November 4 – OH 7, first fragments of Homo habilis, discovered by Jonathan Leakey at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.
- March 22 – Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes receive the first patent for a laser.
- May 16 – Theodore Maiman demonstrates the first working laser, a ruby laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories.
- A tungsten halogen lamp bulb is patented by General Electric engineer Fredrick Moby.
- Prototype Pentax Spotmatic single-lens reflex camera, pioneering through-the-lens metering, is presented.
- May 3 – Jaron Lanier, American computer scientist.
- October 18 – Craig Mello, American biologist.
- December 24 – Carol Vorderman, British mathematician.
- April 24 – Max von Laue (born 1879), German physicist, winner of the 1914 Nobel Prize in Physics.
- May 8 – J. H. C. Whitehead (born 1904), British mathematician.
- June 17 – Sir Harold Gillies (born 1882), New Zealand-born plastic surgeon.
- Perutz, M. F.; et al. (13 February 1960). "Structure of Hæmoglobin: A Three-Dimensional Fourier Synthesis at 5.5-Å. Resolution, Obtained by X-Ray Analysis" (PDF). Nature 185 (4711): 416–22. Bibcode:1960Natur.185..416P. doi:10.1038/185416a0. PMID 18990801. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
- Kendrew, J. C.; et al. (13 February 1960). "Structure of Myoglobin: A Three-Dimensional Fourier Synthesis at 2 Å. Resolution" (PDF). Nature 185 (4711): 422–7. Bibcode:1960Natur.185..422K. doi:10.1038/185422a0. PMID 18990802. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
- Hardy, Alister (1960-03-17). "Was man more aquatic in the past?" (PDF). New Scientist 7: 642–645. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2013-03-05.. More legible PDF at Elaine Morgan's The Aquatic Ape Theory website.
- Woodward, R. B.; et al. (1960). "The Total Synthesis of Chlorophyll" (PDF). Journal of the American Chemical Society 82: 3800–3802. doi:10.1021/ja01499a093. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
- Hurwitz, Jerard (December 2005). "The Discovery of RNA Polymerase" (PDF). Journal of Biological Chemistry 280 (52): 42477–85. doi:10.1074/jbc.X500006200. PMID 16230341. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
- "Climatron Conservatory – History and Architecture". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
- Kruseman Aretz, F.E.J. (2003-06-30). "The Dijkstra-Zonneveld ALGOL 60 compiler for the Electrologica X1". Software Engineering (PDF). History of Computer Science. Amsterdam: Centrum Wiskunde; Informatica.
- Daylight, E. G. (2011). "Dijkstra's Rallying Cry for Generalization: the Advent of the Recursive Procedure, late 1950s–early 1960s". The Computer Journal. doi:10.1093/comjnl/bxr002.
- McCarthy, John (1960). "Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine". Communications of the ACM 3 (4): 184–195. doi:10.1145/367177.367199. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
- Hess, H. H. (1960), Evolution of Ocean Basins, Report to Office of Naval Research. Contract No. 1858(10), NR 081-06
- Hess, H. H. (1962-11-01). "History of Ocean Basins" (PDF). In Engel, A. E. J.; James, Harold L.; Leonard, B. F., ed. Petrologic Studies: a volume in honor of A. F. Buddington. Boulder, CO: Geological Society of America. pp. 599–620.
- Suzuki, Michio (1960). "A new type of simple groups of finite order". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (United States) 46: 868–870. Bibcode:1960PNAS...46..868S. doi:10.1073/pnas.46.6.868. ISSN 0027-8424. JSTOR 70960. MR 0120283.
- Ree, Rimhak (1960). "A family of simple groups associated with the simple Lie algebra of type (G2)". Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 66: 508–510. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1960-10523-X. ISSN 0002-9904. MR 0125155. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
- Feit, Walter; Thompson, John G.; Hall, Marshall, Jr. (1960). "Finite groups in which the centralizer of any non-identity element is nilpotent". Mathematische Zeitschrift 74: 1–17. doi:10.1007/BF01180468. MR 0114856.
- Adam, John (1999-02-05). "Making Hearts Beat". InnovativeLives. Lemelson Center. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- Dee, R. (2003). "Who Assisted Whom?". Texas Heart Institute Journal 30 (1): 90. PMC 152850. PMID 12638685.
- Haller, J. D.; Olearchyk, A. S. (2002). "Cardiology's 10 Greatest Discoveries". Texas Heart Institute Journal 29 (4): 342–4. PMC 140304. PMID 12484626.
- "Smoking is Linked to Heart Disease". The New York Times. June 7, 1960. p. 36.
- "History of Kidney Transplantation in Edinburgh". EdREN. Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. 2001. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- International Bureau of Weights and Measures (2006). Le Système international d'unités (SI) – The International System of Units (SI) (PDF) (8th ed.). p. 110. ISBN 92-822-2213-6.
- 11th CGPM (1960): Resolution 12.
- Leakey, Richard E. (1981). The Making of Mankind. Elsevier-Dutton Publishing Co., Inc. pp. 65–66. ISBN 0-525-15055-2.
- U.S. Patent 3,243,634.Bellis, Mary. "History of Lighting and Lamps". About.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- At photokina 1960.