On this day in science history: 5 December

From the days of ancient technology to modern science - find out what happened on this day in the history of science.

5th December 2017
1901 - Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg is born

© O.d.P./ullstein bild via Getty Images

1901 - Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg is born

The theoretical physicist and pioneer in the field of quantum mechanics Werner Heisenberg is born in Wurzburg, Germany. In 1927 he published a paper in which he described his uncertainty principle. Heisenberg made significant contributions to research into the atomic nucleus, and, controversially, was key to the development of nuclear weapons in Nazi Germany.

1952 - The Great Smog of London descends upon the capital

1952 - The Great Smog of London descends upon the capital  © Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images
© Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images

A heavy smog blankets the city, lasting for several days. Bus and train services were brought to a standstill due to poor visibility, inconveniencing millions of people. More than 4,000 people were killed because of the smog, consisting largely of those with lung conditions and the elderly.

1958 - UK builds first stretch of motorway

1958 - UK builds first stretch of motorway  © Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images
© Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images

An eight-mile stretch of road is the first section of motorway to be opened in the UK. It was known as the Preston By-pass and was located on the east side of the city. The stretch of motorway was designed and built by engineer James Drake, and consisted of two lanes running in each direction. The section of motorway is now part of the M6.

 

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