lundi 14 octobre 2013

Egypt: Two women scholars revolutionizing the world at the price of their life.*

 

Nobel Prizes postmortem ... to Hypatia of Alexandria and Moussa Samira!


Hypatia of Alexandria, the lunar crater.

         Daughter of the philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Theon of Alexandria * born in Alexandria in 370 A.D. . After his studies in Athens, she teaches Philosophy and Mathematics in Athens and at the Platonists School of Alexandria. She is sometimes invited to give public lectures in Alexandria by the governor of the city, Orestes. She published a critical edition of the works of Euclid (The Elements), of Ptolemy (The Almagest), of Diophantus, of Apollonius of Perge (The Wedge).

Mathematician, she dies stoned by monks Nitrians!

         She invented the astrolabe and the hydroscope. Pagan, she is accused of encouraging the persecution of Christians. Envied by Saint Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, who perceived her as an enemy to Christian thought (especially she taught that the moon was not flat but round), she dies stoned by monks Nitrians (sect of fanatical Christians) conducted by Peter the preacher in Alexandria in 415 A.D.. She was 45 years old, single. She is the first woman in history to have made ​​a significant contribution to the development of mathematics. Her works were all destroyed in the fire of the great library of Alexandria.
         It was not until the Renaissance that a second wife, the Milanese Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799) to make a name in Mathematics. The British novelist Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), author of The Water Babies (1863) has made Hypatia heroine of one of his novels. The French poet Charles-Marie Lecomte de Lisle (1818-1894) dedicated her a poem in "Ancient Poems". The poet and playwright Mario Luzi (1914-1959) wrote the play "Libro di Ipazia (The Book of Hypatia)" which is the central character of the French novelist and poet Marie-Florence Ehret (1950 -) built her novel around the character "Hypatia, daughter of Theon, Workshops breakers, Paris, 2001”. Her name was given to a lunar crater.
His bibliography included such as:
-Comment on Diophantus.
-Astronomical Canon.
-Comment on conical of Apollonius of Perge.
-Tables of Ptolemy.


Samira Moussa: The immortal Arab Marie Curie.

         Fourth daughter of Ali Hadj Moussa born on March 3, 1917 in the village of Sinbu Al-Kubra in the governorate of Al-Gharbiyah. After the Koranic school, she attended elementary school in elementary school "Ash-Qasr showq" before continuing his secondary education at "Banat Al-Ashraf ", one of the first private schools for girls in Cairo founded through the efforts of the feminist Nabawiyah Moussa (1886-1951). In 1935, she was among the first Egyptian to enter the Faculty of Sciences of University Fouad I (nowadays University of Cairo). In 1939, he earned a degree in Biology with highest distinction. She became an assistant professor at the University Fuad I  and became the first Egyptian female to hold such a position. She became also the first Egyptian to earn a doctorate in nuclear physics. Her thesis is on the property of materials to absorb X-rays.

Inventor of the medical use of radioactivity!


         She continued her scientific research on the medical use of radioactivity in England. She also manages to demonstrate that the ring atoms can be used to break down atoms of other materials such as copper. She organizes an international conference on the peaceful use of atomic energy itself. She received a grant to conduct research at the University of California and an internship at the Institute for Science and Education in Oak Ridge, in Tennessee, United States and is authorized to visit nuclear facilities administration the U.S. Atomic safety (N.N.S.A.). In 1951, during a visit to the United States, she accepts an offer to settle in America and the opportunity to make research progress in the Saint Louis University in Missouri. On August 15, 1951, during a trip to California, her vehicle avoids miraculously a collision with a truck bearing a false registration. On his return to Egypt, she plans to install a nuclear laboratory in Al- Haram.

Unexplained fatal bus accident!


         On 15 August 1952, during a trip back home in Egypt, the bus fell into a ravine. She died on the spot. No serious investigation has ever lifted the veil on this accident. Some sources are still wondering: what if it was a bomb disguised as ordinary road accident given the international context of the time and the level of knowledge of "atomic military secrets
" achieved by Samira Moussa? In 1953, she was honored posthumously by the Egyptian Army. In 1981, she was awarded the Order of Arts and Sciences by President Anwar el-Sadat (1918-1970). Her name was given to a laboratory of the Faculty of Sciences installed in his village. Egyptian television has produced and aired a documentary about his life entitled "The Immortal". In 1999, a postage stamp bearing the image of the "Arab Marie Curie" was issued by the Egyptian postal service.
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*Kanyarwunga I.N. Jean, Biographical Dictionary of African
, African New Digital Editions (N.E.N.A.), Dakar, 2013.

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