The Brownian Movement

#OTD It's the anniversary of the death of Scottish botanist Robert Brown, who died on this day in 1858. 
 
Brown is best known for being the first to notice the natural continuous movement of minute particles. It's known as the Brownian movement.
 
Brown had experimented with all kinds of materials - including plants- and he saw the same jittery behavior.
 
He wrote,

“These motions were such as to satisfy me … that they arose neither from currents in the fluid, nor from its gradual evaporation, but belonged to the particle itself”
Brown was unable to explain why the particles moved, but 50 years later Einstein was able to fully understand Brownian motion. Today, Brownian Motion helping to explain "spin" from black holes.
 
Brown also named the nucleus in living cells. Nucleus in Latin means "little nut".
 
Brown published the remarkable survey on Australian flora which he called The Prodromus. The Prodromus opened doors for Brown when it attracted the attention of Joseph Banks. Brown was asked to serve as Banks' botanist librarian. They became great friends. So much so, that when Banks died in 1820, he left his home, his collections, and his library to Brown; and he also endowed him with a large yearly allowance.


This post was featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

helping gardeners find their roots,
one story at a time
Robert Brown
Robert Brown