The Nord Scholars – Part 2

In part one of the best scientific Nordic people we looked at some great scientists from the Nordic region that have contributed to big steps in the field of science. For such a relatively small region in terms of population, the Nordic area has punched well above its weight in the field of science: notably in astronomy, physics and mathematics.  

Christian Oersted

Christian Oersted founded the Oersted Law which states that an electrical current creates a magnetic field. He discovered this in 1820 when he studied that a compass needle was affected by an electric wire lying next to it.

His law was mathematical and governs how strong the magnetic field was. This Danish scientist was the first to connect the relationship between magnetism and electricity which of course is used regularly in many practical applications.

Niels Henrik Abel

Niels Henrik Abel was one of the finest mathematicians of his time, his whole scientific research involved mathematics to prove his theories. Abel was a remarkable man as his tremendous output of vital work was done in such a short space of time.

Abel died when he was twenty-six, but his genius was apparent when he was just sixteen years old. One of his major discoveries was that he was able to prove binomial theorem, that has been essential for the understanding of numbers. He was also responsible for putting forward the theory of elliptic functions. It is staggering that a man of such youth could have such a brain, and had he lived a full life it would be quite amazing to see what else he could have proven.   

Anders Angstrom

Science now knows that an Angstrom is a measurement of length of one ten-billionth of a meter, (o.1 nm). This measurement has been invaluable to natural science in the respect to size very small structures, such as atoms, molecules, integrated circuit parts, chemical bonds, and wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.

This Swedish scientist was one of the greatest pioneers in the field of spectroscopy which is vital in the studies of such things as the aurora borealis and heat transfer. He was also credited of developing a law of absorption which was later developed into a law of thermal radiation.

Svante Arrhenius

Svante August Arrhenius was a Swedish physicist but often was better known as a chemist, and indeed was one of the founders of physical chemistry. It was largely for this that he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

His work is particularly poignant in this day and age with governments around the world concerned about how much CO2 is in the air. And of course, the effect this has on the Earth’s temperature, commonly known as the Greenhouse Effect.

Arrhenius was one of the very first to predict that emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels could cause global warming and all that that entails. He made his calculations from the feedback of water vapor with latitudinal effects. In effect he was the first person to blow the whistle on the damage the human race was doing to the earth, and the consequences that this could have in the future.