Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

Calendar Of Science – February

Every month, Pacific Science Center publishes a Calendar of Science, a compendium of science facts to add a little knowledge to your daily routine. Read on and discover a few things you may not have known. If you would like to receive a daily dose of science, subscribe to Calendar of Science on Twitter. Have a comment or question? Please drop us a line. Remember, life’s boring without discovery.


Feb. 1, 1944: O.T. Avery, Colin MacLeod, and Maclyn McCarty identified DNA as the hereditary agent in a virus.
Feb. 2, 1935: The detective Leonard Keeler conducted the first use of his invention, the Keeler polygraph, or lie detector machine.
Feb. 3, 1925: A newspaper published report of the first “missing link” fossil, named Australopithecus africanus, found by Raymond Dart.
Feb. 4, 1936: The U.S. produced the first radioactive substance synthetically, radium E, by bombarding the element bismuth with neutrons.
Feb. 5, 1861: A U.S. patent was issued for the kinematoscope – a photographic attempt to show motion – to Coleman Sellers.
Feb. 6, 1886: TheĀ  element germanium was discovered by German chemist, Clement Winkler.
Feb. 7, 1932: The Neutron was first described by James Chadwick, who discovered it by bombarding Beryllium with alpha particles.
Feb. 8, 1700: Birthday: Daniel Bernoulli, mathmatician/physicist, wrote the Bernoulli principle regarding mechanical energy and fluids.
Feb. 9, 1996: Element 112, now called, Copernicium, was created for the first time in Germany.
Feb. 10, 1863: The first fire extinguisher was patented by Alanson Crane of Virginia.
Feb. 11, 1994: Posilac, the genetically engineered growth hormone for cows goes on sale to dairy farmers, made by Monsanto Company.
Feb. 12, 1941: The first injection of penicillin into a human test subject was conducted by Ernst Chain and Howard Walter Florey.
Feb. 13, 1946: World’s first electronic digital computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator), was first demonstrated.
Feb. 14, 1888: Thomas Edison was issued a patent for a “Telephone-Transmitter.”
Feb. 15, 1951: The first atomic reactor to be used in medical therapy treated its first patient at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Feb. 16, 1937: Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon, the first first synthetic polymer.
Feb. 17, 1888: Birthday: Otto Stern, won Nobel prize for development of the molecular beam for studying the characteristics of molecules.
Feb. 18, 1930: The planet Pluto discovered by Clyde Tombaugh, when comparing two photographic plates taken 6 days apart the previous month.
Feb. 19, 1878: The phonograph was patented by Thomas A. Edison.
Feb. 20, 1962: John Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first U.S. manned orbital mission.
Feb. 21, 1947: Edwin H. Land first demonstrated, the first instant camera, the Polaroid Land camera.
Feb. 22, 1997: Scientists in Scotland announced the birth of the world’s first successfully cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep.
Feb. 23, 1960: F. M. Jones was issued a U.S. patent for a “Thermostat and Temperature Control System” .
Feb. 24, 1955: Birthday: Steve Jobs, an American technology entrepreneur, visionary and inventor, who co-founded Apple Inc.
Feb. 25, 1837: Thomas Davenport received a patent for the first practical electrical motor.
Feb. 26, 1935: Robert Watson-Watt demonstrated the feasibility of radar (RAdio Detection And Ranging) to Air Ministry officials in England.
Feb. 27, 1879: Saccharin, the artificial sweetener, was discovered by Constantin Fahlberg.
Feb. 28, 1951: The theoretical description of the structure of proteins was published by Linus Pauling and Robert Corey.
Feb. 29, 1968: The discovery of the first pulsar, a star which emits regular radio waves, was announced by Dr. Jocelyn Burnell.