|Family tree of Jesse. Chartres cathedral.|
and you're born into a family that has connections, lives in an interesting place. Or perhaps you're born into a family has a few remarkable family members.
Today's Search Challenge investigates one such family tree. Your first challenge is to investigate the family of the brothers who first showed the existence of the piezoelectric effect. That's the physical effect behind many gas lighters installed on backyard barbecue grills, the quartz beating heart of many watches, and radar transponders. Basically, when you squeeze certain crystals, they produce electricity that can be turned into sparks, or very slight mechanical movements that happen very precisely (as is the case for watches).
It turns out that these brothers were part of a large, VERY interesting family that includes a number of Nobel prize winners. In fact, a remarkable number of Nobel prize winners.
Today's questions are simple (#1), and slightly more complicated (#2).
Caution: You can easily spend hours and hours having fun with this. I spent waaay too much time investigating the family tree. This is a great jumping off point for hours of reading and investigation.
1. Who ELSE in the family worked in the sciences? What areas are they best known for? (And, for extra credit, who in this extended family had an affair with his PhD thesis advisor's wife? Just to keep things interesting, her granddaughter and his grandson were married years later.) Can you draw a diagram to keep track of who's-who in this remarkable family?
2. It turns out that remarkable families seem to center on a particular theme or domain of interest. The Bach family (for instance, Johann Sebastian, Carl Phillip Emmanuel, Johann Christoph Friedrich, etc etc) were synonymous with music from 1600 until 1800. Can you find another remarkable family with 8 or more members who distinguished themselves in math? (Or, if you prefer, some other area...)
When you find your answer, be sure to tell us HOW you found the answer and post it into the comment thread. What led you from clue-to-clue? What questions did you ask yourself, and how did you answer them?
(Note that we're all interested in what you really did, not what you think you should be doing. If you asked someone, that's totally fine--just tell us!)