Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bi-centennial of Robert Bunsen's Birth

Reminded by Google's search page, Today is the 200th birthday of Robert Bunsen.  Known to high school students for his invention of the eponymous gas burner,  Bunsen did a lot more.  His burner invention was a means to an end.  To study the emission spectra of heated elements, one needs a source of clean and transparent heat -  either a hot, clean flame (no soot , just hot gas),  a source of hot inert gas heated by other means, or a source of directed light (e.g. UV) that energizes the sample without damaging it.  The simplest method is to use a flame containing only hot water and CO2. 
Google's doodle for today looks like this

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Utility Pole Replacement in Cambridge (Riverside)

Last night a wooden  utility pole  cracked at the base and fell toward the neighboring pole across the street. This caused the wires to d...