1971 in science
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Astronomy and space exploration
- January 31 – Apollo program: Astronauts aboard Apollo 14 lift off for a mission to the moon.
- February 5 – Apollo 14 lands on the Moon.
- February 9 – Apollo program: Apollo 14 returns to Earth after the third manned moon landing.
- May 19 – Mars probe program: Mars 2 is launched by the Soviet Union.
- May 30 – Mariner program: Mariner 9 is launched toward Mars.
- June 30 – The crew of the Soyuz 11 spacecraft are killed when their air supply leaks out through a faulty valve during re-entry preparations, the only human deaths to occur outside Earth's atmosphere.
- July 26 – Apollo program: Launch of Apollo 15. On July 31 the Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover a day after landing on the surface.
- November 13 – Mariner program: Mariner 9 enters Mars orbit.
- July – Francis G. Howarth discovers communities of specialized thermophile cave animals living in lava tubes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
- C. A. W. Jeekel publishes Nomenclator Generum et Familiarum Diplopodorum.
- John O'Keefe discovers place cells in the mammalian brain.
- July 4 – Michael S. Hart posts the first e-book, a copy of the United States Declaration of Independence, on the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign's mainframe computer, the origin of Project Gutenberg.
- November 3 – The UNIX Programmer's Manual is published.
- November 15 – Intel release the world's first microprocessor, the 4004.
- Ray Tomlinson sends the first ARPAnet e-mail between host computers, at BBN, Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the first use of the @ sign in an address.
- Kenbak-1 goes on sale. It is considered by the Computer History Museum and the American Computer Museum to be the world's first personal computer.
- the earliest floppy disks, invented at IBM, which were 8 inches wide and long, commercially available by 1971
- Computer Space is released. The first arcade video game.
- February 2 – The international Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands is signed in Ramsar, Mazandaran, Iran.
- February 9 – The San Fernando (Sylmar) earthquake occurred in southern California with a magnitude of 6.6 and a perceived intensity of XI (extreme) on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale.
- Stephen Cook and John Hopcroft introduce the concept of NP-completeness in computational complexity theory at the 3rd Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing.
- Daniel Quillen publishes a proof of the Adams conjecture.
- Steven Takiff introduces Takiff algebras.
- October 1 – Godfrey Hounsfield's invention, X-ray computed tomography, is first used on a patient with a cerebral cyst at Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon, London.
- Boston Women's Health Book Collective publishes Our Bodies, Ourselves in the U.S.
- E. G. L. Bywaters characterises adult-onset Still's disease, a rare form of inflammatory arthritis.
- Smallpox is eradicated from the Americas.
- August 14–20 – Stanford prison experiment.
- Konrad Lorenz publishes Studies in Animal and Human Behavior, Volume II.
- Richard H. Frenkiel, Joel S. Engel and Philip T. Porter of Bell Labs in the United States set out the parameters for a practical cellular telephone network.
- J. J. Stiffler publishes his book Theory of Synchronous Communications and edits a special issue of IEEE Transactions on Communication Technology on error correction codes.
- Paris Descartes University begins to function in continuation of the medical department of the University of Paris.
- Nobel Prizes
- Turing Award – John McCarthy
- May 29 – Howard Gobioff (d. 2008), American computer scientist.
- June 28 – Elon Musk, South African-born Canadian-American entrepreneur, engineer, inventor and investor.
- July 4 – Sivakumar Veerasamy, Indian plant geneticist.
- August 2 – Ruth Lawrence, English-born mathematician.
- January 25 – Donald Winnicott (b. 1896), English child psychiatrist.
- February 16 – Heinrich Willi (b. 1900), Swiss pediatrician.
- March 11 – Philo T. Farnsworth (b. 1906), American television pioneer.
- April 1 – Dame Kathleen Lonsdale (b. 1903), Irish-born crystallographer.
- April 6 – Margaret Newton (b. 1887), Canadian plant pathologist.
- June 6 – Edward Andrade (b. 1887), English physicist.
- June 30 – Soviet cosmonauts
- Howarth, Francis G. (1972-01-21). "Cavernicoles in Lava Tubes on the Island of Hawaii". Science. 175 (4019): 325–326. Bibcode:1972Sci...175..325H. doi:10.1126/science.175.4019.325. JSTOR 1733505. PMID 17814543.
- O'Keefe, John; Dostrovsky, Jonathan (1971). "The hippocampus as a spatial map: preliminary evidence from unit activity in the freely-moving rat". Brain Research. 34 (1): 171–175. doi:10.1016/0006-8993(71)90358-1. PMID 5124915.
- Binder, Marc D (2009). Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Springer. p. 3166. ISBN 978-3-540-23735-8.
- Hart, Michael (August 1992). "The History and Philosophy of Project Gutenberg". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2011-10-05..
- Tomlinson, Ray. "The First Network Email". Archived from the original on 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2011-10-05.
- Cook, Stephen (1971). "The complexity of theorem proving procedures". Proceedings of the Third Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing. pp. 151–158.
- Quillen, Daniel (1971). "The Adams Conjecture". Topology. 10: 67–80. doi:10.1016/0040-9383(71)90018-8. ISSN 0040-9383. MR 0279804.
- Takiff, S. J. (1971). "Rings of invariant polynomials for a class of Lie algebras". Transactions of the American Mathematical Society. 160: 249–262. doi:10.2307/1995803. ISSN 0002-9947. JSTOR 1995803. MR 0281839.
- Beckmann, E. C. (2006). "CT scanning: the early days". British Journal of Radiology. 79 (937): 5–8. doi:10.1259/bjr/29444122. PMID 16421398.
- Bywaters, E. G. L. (March 1971). "Still's disease in the adult". Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 30 (2): 121–33. doi:10.1136/ard.30.2.121. PMC 1005739. PMID 5315135. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- "Americas region is declared the world's first to eliminate rubella". WHO. 2015-04-30. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
- Penrose, R.; Floyd, R. M. (1971). "Extraction of Rotational Energy from a Black Hole". Nature Physical Science. 229 (6): 177. Bibcode:1971NPhS..229..177P. doi:10.1038/physci229177a0.