Applied Materials Celebrates Ireland’s Contributions to Science

Scientists and inventors may not be the first things that come to mind with the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day holiday. The day is usually associated with four-leaf clovers, leprechauns, performers or food and most importantly green beer. It turns out Ireland has a significant scientific heritage that has produced many top inventors, scientists and innovators who have made great contributions in pioneering new technologies. In honor of the upcoming holiday, Applied Materials would like to take this opportunity to recognize and honor some major Irish figures in the history of science.


Jocelyn Bell Burnell - Discovered pulsars, rapidly rotating neutron stars, in 1967 when working as a research student at Cambridge.
George Boole - The Father of Computer Science, developed the Boolean algebra — the symbolic underpinning of all computers.
Robert Boyle – He coined the term ‘analysis,’ though is best remembered for Boyle’s Law, a physical law that explains how the pressure and volume of a gas are related. He was instrumental in the founding of the British Royal Society, possibly the world’s oldest organization dedicated to the advancement of the sciences.
George Johnstone Stoney – His most notable scientific work was his conception and calculation of the magnitude of the ‘atom’ of electricity, for which he named the ‘electron.’
William Thompson –Otherwise known as ‘Lord Kelvin’ was a world renowned physicist who introduced the absolute scale of temperature – the Kelvin scale. His work on conversion of energy led to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
In 1931, Ernest Walton and John Cockcroft were the first two people to ‘split the atom’ – their pioneering work initiated a period of rapid discovery in nuclear physics. Walton is Ireland’s only science Nobel Laureate and in 1951 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Cockcroft.

As the various Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations kick off this weekend, I encourage you to take a second to remember these great innovators and the countless others that have made lasting and significant contributions to the sciences and the world as we know it.

And to my colleagues in Ireland —those contributing to the Irish strategic research cluster on advanced materials for electronics —thank you! I’ll be thinking of you while celebrating this holiday in traditional form —with a big feast, wearing green, searching for a four-leaf clover and a pot of gold!

For more on how Applied is being green all year round, check out our Corporate Responsibility page.

How will you celebrate Saint Patrick's Day?

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