March 31, 2011

GOOGLE DOODLE: 200th Birthday of Chemist Robert Bunsen

The baker can dispense with the candles: Today’s birthday boy comes with his own form of eternal flame.

On Google’s home page today, its animated fire-and-beakers “doodle” marks the 200th birthday of German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen a man of science, a man of success and, so notably to the wider world, a man with a “burner” named and flickering in his honor.

Bunsen, who was born March 31, 1811, in Gottingen, Germany, co-developed with University of Heidelberg mechanice Peter Desaga the burner that so brightly illuminates usually only one of their names.

Beyond the single, open gas flame that marks the grade school science memories of so many, the chemist also discovered or helped discover caesium and rubidium.

So in honor of your birthday, Mr. Bunsen, let the brilliant flame burn.

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