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Thomas Robert
Malthus

1766-1834


English economist known for his theory that population growth will always outrun food supply and reproduction limits are necessary.

Malthus, however, failed to take several factors into consideration. One was the industrial rebolution, the other was the growth of technology. The development of effective contraception also made 'restraint' a non-issue in terms of checking population growth in Western society.

Many underdeveloped nations, however, never adopted improved farming techniques or new methods of contraception, and overpopulation, famine, and war continue to ravage the third world. These events constitute an un-happy element of Malthusian doctrine.

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Marconi, Guglielmo

1874-1937


Italian electrical engineer and Nobel laureate. Inventor of a workable system of radio telegraphy.

In 1895 Marconi had developed an apparatus with which he could send signals to a point a few kilometers away with a directional antenna.

In 1901, his wireless trans-Atlantic transmission caused a worldwide sensation, and in 1907 a wireless telegraph service was established for public use.

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Maxwell, James Clerk

1831-1879


Maxwell, born in Edinburgh, is generally regarded as one of the greatest physicists the world has ever seen.

Maxwell's researches united electricity and magnetism into the concept of the electro-magnetic field. He discovered that light is an electromagnetic wave.

His theory that when a charged particle is accelerated, the radiation produced has the same velocity as that of light paved the way for Einstein's special theory of relativity.

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Meitner, Lise

1878-1968


Austrian physicist who served as an assistant to Max Planck at the University of Berlin.

Although she moved to Sweden in 1938, she still corresponded with her colleagues in Berlin. At her instruction, Otto Hahn bombarded uranium with neutrons and produced barium, but he did not realize that he had split the atom until Lise Meitner developed a mathematical theory to explain the splitting of the uranium into two fragments - introducing the term nuclear fission.

Lise Meitner had realised that if one of the two fragments was Barium, the other was Krypton, and there should also be an accompanying release of several neutrons and a large amount of energy. She was the first in the world to explain what had happened, and the first to realise the massive release of energy that takes place.

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Meitner Online