Date of Birth: 05/02/1868
Place of Birth: Concord
Citizenship: United States
"My dear, good grandmother Wood!
The mother can not write today - and so she wanted me to himself proclaimed his arrival this morning, it occurred two weeks earlier than expected this my friends. I so enjoyed - surprise them all. My trip was not long - only thirty-six hours, but it seemed to me not easy. However, having arrived, I did not feel tired, on the contrary, I am healthy and in good spirits ... ``
Mother asked us to bow to you and subscribe
Your faithful grandson
Robert Williams Wood Jr. "
This message is written by Robert ... the day of his birth - 2 May 1868. Texture and colors of paper and ink faded correspond stamped date.
Of course, it`s a hoax - one of those that filled to the brim with a biography of Wood.
His hoax was not evil. In addition, they helped him to become a laboratory magician, "Mozart of physics." Biographers Robert called "the American boy who became the original experimenter, but never grew up."
Throughout his life Wood has published more than 250 experimental works - usually with the facts and procedure, not previously known to science. Later, he was awarded the title of "father of modern optics", "virtuoso of the experiment."
Experience - a vivid and unexpected as a flash from the hands of a magician - was Wood`s trump card.
And the experiment and juggle it began almost from birth. Little Robbie was bored with ordinary toys. They were replaced by giant factory blower machines in Jamaica-Plain, near Boston. factory owner was a friend of the father of the Wood, and Robbie with ten years has acquired the right not only to go to all the shops with a powerful and ingenious technique, but also to do it whatever he wants. From that time on his hands, restless child became available hydraulic presses, molds, all kinds of machines. Can you imagine, "igrushechki"!
In early childhood, Wood liked to arrange arsons and explosions. By eight years for him entrenched frightening reputation of Prometheus. Dangerous hobby Robert later used the New York police, referring to him for an urgent examination of explosives Applied on criminals.
Wood, Sr., head of the Hawaiian islands (near the infamous Pearl Harbor) is an American hospital for sailors, and sometimes he took part in the pranks of his son. When Wood-son was 14 years old and his father 80, they decided to freshen up some standard hits the Civil War veterans. The demonstrators had to pass by high granite monument, the completed figure of the soldier, which is based on the gun. Wood-son decided to put on a sculpture of a warrior head with a large straw hat motley flowers and ribbons. We had to get to the statues of the head - at a height of about seven meters - and attach a rubber band hat to avoid being blown away by the wind. But the stairs right length in the Woods was not. So Robert has constructed a fairly sophisticated device: 5-meter pole with horizontal bars on the hinges and rope rotary actuator. At two o`clock in the morning and a small old Woods successfully carried out his plan. When morning patriotic citizens poured into the area, their indignation knew no bounds. Updated monument did not come to their taste, and call the fire department recovered the familiar face of the stone warrior.
From the school expelled for Robbie modernization drive on the railing of the spiral staircase. Ironically, school teachers believed Wood jerk. Unevenness was his training at Harvard University, where he was not by choice, but on the advice of his father. There he became interested in experiments with explosions and successfully joined the substances that chemists believed incompatible. Interestingly, half a century later the Moscow schoolchildren reaching his mind to a similar recipe, used them in order to disrupt the lesson. It was only later that the chemical combination (which for obvious reasons I will not lead) seriously interested in the military.
Purely scientific curiosity led Wood-sophomore try cannabis. He experienced a series of visions, "some - terrible, the other - the full glory and grandeur or the full consciousness of infinite space and eternity." His sensations Robert handed in a report to Professor James, who turned on the self-observation of the student in the book "Principles of Psychology". Imagine this "freaky story" Wood is considered his first scientific publication!
Far from being a model student, Wood a long time connected his life with universities. At the turn of the century, he worked at the University of Wisconsin, and then another 37 years was a professor at the University of George. Hopkins in Baltimore.
Eventually becoming an experimental physicist, Professor Wood nevertheless often resorted to an old girlfriend - chemistry. Especially when it demanded by life. One day, he suspected that the landlady adds leftovers in the fresh food for the guests, and he cast into the food a little lithium chloride - safe for the human body, and in appearance and taste similar to salt. The next day, the spectral analysis of the new Food issued a red line, characteristic of the substance. Wood suspicions were confirmed. On another occasion, an original way Wood dispersed the crowd of idlers, prevents him to cross the vast - from sidewalk to sidewalk - a puddle. Pushing through the crowd, Wood coughed loudly and in front of everybody spat into the pool, quietly dropping into the water at the same time a small bead of tin. In an instant, the entire surface of the puddle burst into flames. The effect was accompanied by an explosive roar and sparks. From Wood shied as Satan - so he was immediately dubbed the crowd.
Chemistry resourceful Robert used on winter walks with his fiancee, who came to the Golden West, and first published. Wood added drops of sulfuric acid in a bottle of cold water - it was heated to near boiling and quite old enough to warm frozen hands. For explanations of the same love for his future wife, he chose to use a phonograph invented shortly before the great Edison. The roller with the recording of his voice Wood packed in tin out of flour and sent it by mail.
However, when it was not a delicate subjects, mischievous Robert preferred a different method of transmitting voice over a distance. Much earlier than such devices were on sale, Wood fashioned from solid cardboard conical horn - a megaphone in length a little less than three meters in diameter and 60 centimeters in the socket. Sticking it out the window pal apartments, he mocking remarks led to the astonishment of passers single and policemen, are two blocks away. Those on the deserted streets at dusk heard as the voice of heaven.
The Wood publishes humorous illustrated the first years of the XX century the book "How to distinguish birds by color", where played with harmonies English names. A book considered "sverhchepuhoy" ... and quickly sold out, and then from a distance 18 times more. One copy of the Wood sent to the then US President Theodore Roosevelt. When he replied, grateful letter and expressed a desire to read other books by the same author, Robert sent the head of state a "Physical Optics".
In 1896, journalist Willard Wood`s friend, took his companion on a trip to Russia. From a journalist expect essays on the All-Russia exhibition of Nizhny Novgorod and the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. In Russia Wood drove, loaded like the ox ... smuggling of Leo Tolstoy. It turned out that Willard previously visited graph, promised to bring to the event when about a dozen editions in Berlin by his own works, banned in Russia. Wood had strapped voluminous portion "tamizdat" string to your body.
Wood traveled to Nizhny Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Tomsk, where different stories (see. Below on this page) continued to happen to him.
With the outbreak of World Wood poser