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Lane, Jonathan Homer (09 August 1819–03 May 1880), physicist and mathematician, was born in Genesee, New York, the son of Mark Lane and Henrietta Tenny, farmers. After the age of eight, the boy was taught chiefly at home. He was well enough educated to teach in district schools for a year, and in 1839 he entered Phillips Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, to prepare for college. There he developed an interest in determining absolute zero, the hypothetical lowest limit of temperature....

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Thaxton, Hubert Mack (20 March 1909–03 January 1974), mathematician, physicist, and engineer, was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, the son of Henry Thaxton and Sarah Jamison. Thaxton obtained his first two degrees at Howard University, the B.S. in mathematics, physics, and chemistry in 1931 and the M.S. in mathematics and physics in 1933. He entered the graduate program at the University of Wisconsin and received the M.A. degree in mathematics in 1936. He then switched to physics and took his Ph.D. in 1939 under the noted theoretical nuclear physicist ...

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von Neumann, John Louis (28 December 1903–08 February 1957), mathematician, mathematical physicist, and theoretical economist, was born in Budapest, Hungary, the son of Max Neumann, a well-to-do banker, and Margaret Kann. He was born Neumann János (in Hungarian the surname is written first). In 1913 his father was ennobled by the Kaiser Franz Joseph with the hereditary title of “Margittai,” which is roughly the Hungarian equivalent of “von.” While studying in Germany, the young Neumann used the name Johann Ludwig von Neumann, and because this name appeared on his German publications before coming to the United States, his name was anglicized retaining the “von” title. He attended the Lutheran Gymnasium in Budapest and from 1921 to 1923 studied chemistry and mathematics at the University of Berlin. In 1923 he entered the Eidgenosse Technische Hochschule in Zürich, from which he received the degree of ...