Anyone who has walked in to a high school science classroom across the globe remembers the first time they saw a Bunsen burner – one of the first awestruck moments of our youth – the stuff of every mad scientist movie we had watched as kids was there sitting at our desks. In recognition of Robert Bunsen’s 200th birthday, Google has honored the inventor with a Doodle – March 31st – and is showing on the Google homepage for countries where it is already that day.
The Doodle shows the burner and the gas analysis that Bunsen gave to the scientific community. Google shows how much they appreciate the contributions by not forcing the image to obviously spell out the company name as most doodle normally do. The burner is part of the first G and the coffee pot like apparatus appears to be a nod to the gas analyzer.
“Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen (30 March 1811 – 16 August 1899) was a German chemist. He investigated emission spectra of heated elements, and with Gustav Kirchhoff discovered caesium (in 1860) and rubidium (in 1861). Bunsen developed several gas-analytical methods, was a pioneer in photochemistry, and did early work in the field of organoarsenic chemistry. With his laboratory assistant, Peter Desaga, he developed the Bunsen burner, an improvement on the laboratory burners then in use. The Bunsen-Kirchhoff Award for spectroscopy is named after Bunsen and Kirchhoff. The Robert Wilhelm Bunsen Medal is assigned every year by the European Geosciences Union (www.egu.eu) to scientists who provided significant advance in the fields of Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology, and Volcanology,” as Wikipedia notes.
Bunsen’s name is one virtually every school child remembers and this honor no doubt brings a smile of recognition to all those using Google this March 31.