Tag Archives: Einstein

Monument to Einstein in Ulm

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

This monument is located in the former Bahnhofstrasse B 135 (in 1880 renamed to Bahnhofstrasse 20) in Ulm where was placed the house where Albert Einstein was born in 1879.

The house was erected in 1871 and was destroyed in December 1944 in the bombardments of Ulm.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, and he lived in this house until the summer of 1880 when his fateher Hermann decided to move to Munich (on June 21, 1880, Hermann registered his family with Munich’s police).

This is a photography of Einstein’s birthplace before its destruction:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Location: monument to Einstein in Ulm (map)

Einstein House in Bern

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

This is the house where Albert Einstein and his familiy lived from late 1903 to May 1905 and where he developed his quantic theory.

Photography by Eduard Ribas

Photography by Eduard Ribas

The house host one of the most productive career of Albert Einstein meanwhile he worked in the patent office of Bern.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

In the house you can see the dining room and some dormitories and you can imagine Einstein’s family having lunch and Einstein discussing with his wife malena about his researches in Physics!

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

But… do you want to know something more about Eintein’s biography? Here you have one:

Childhood and youth

A man, distinguished by his desire, if possible, to efface himself and yet impelled by the unmistakable power of genius which would not allow the individual of whom it had taken possession to rest for one moment.

With these words Lord Haldane described Einstein after he had stayed at Lord Haldane’s house on his first visit to England in 1921.

Albert Einstein at the age of 3. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Albert Einstein at the age of 3.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Einstein has become, with no doubt, one of the most well known scientists in history. He was born in March 14, 1879 in Ulm, in the German Empire. In a Jewish family. His parents Hermann Einstein and Pauline Koch. Albert was the first of two sons: he had a sister, Maria, -or Maja, as she was always called- to whom Einstein felt very close. At his early years, Einstein had a great devotion for music, specially Mozart and Beethoven sonatas that he used to play with his mother. At his 12 birthday, he was given a book which he later referred as “the holy geometry book”: it was a book on Euclidean geometry, “the clarity and certainty of its contents made an indescribable impression on me”. It is true that Einstein was slow to speak, but the widespread belief that he was also a bad student is a myth, probably because the first bibliographers that wrote about him didn’t know that in Germany 1 is the maximum grade while 6 is the worst one, and in Switzerland is the opposite way. He actually was one of the best ones. There is a story that Einstein himself would occasionally tell quite amused from when he went at the Gymnasium in Munich. A teacher once said to him that he would be much happier if Einstein was not in his class. Einstein replied to him that he had done nothing wrong and the teacher said “Yes, that is true. But you sit there in the back row and smile, and that violates the feeling of respect which a teacher needs from his class”.

Switzerland: Bern and Zurich

Photography by Albert Ribas

Photography by Albert Ribas

When he was 16, Hermann’s business didn’t go so well and Einstein’s parents moved to Pavia, Italy, while he stayed in Munich to finish his courses. Albert felt alone and depressed in Munich, so he decided to leave before he had finished them and study by his own for passing the exam for the admission at the ETH in Zurich. He did it very well on sciences and mathematics, although he failed the general exam. Then he went to a school in Arau , in the German speaking part of Switzerland. That school made a great impression on him as he wrote shortly before his death:

This school has left an indelible impression on me because of its liberal spirit and the unaected toughness of the teachers, who in no way relied on external
authority.

In that year, 1896, Einstein successfully obtained the Matura, gave up the German citizenship, and finally enrolled at the ETH. During his years in Zurich he liked to go at a Kaeehaus to talk with friends. He spent happy hours with the distinguished historian Alfred Stern and his family, and started a life-long friendship with Michele Angelo Besso, a young engineer whom Einstein called “the best sounding board in Europe” for his scientic ideas. And it was also in this first year in the ETH when Einstein met Mileva Maric, a Serbian classmate -and the only woman in a group of six students- whom Einstein fell in love with, and would later become his wife. In 1900, Einstein passed the exams together with three other students, who immediately found a position as assistant at ETH. Mileva was unable to pass and, although Einstein did pass, he was jobless. After some more tries to find an university position, he worked as a teacher in Winterthur, Schahausen, and finally moved to Berna where he spend the most creative years of his life.

He moved to Berna thanks to Marcel Grossman, a classmate in the ETH which afterwards would develop a principal role in the mathematics behind general relativity, whose father recommended Einstein to Friedrich Haller, the director of the federal patent office in Berna, back in 1900. Finally, Einstin applied for a vacant in the patent office and he was settled there in February 1902. Firstly Einstein worked as provate teacher of mathematics and physics and hence he met Maurice Solovine, a student of philosophy who read the advertisement where Einstein offered private lessons and contacted him because he was tired of the great abstraction of philosophy and he wanted to learn more about physics. Instead of that, they began to meet on a regular basis to discuss their shared interests in physics and philosophy. Soon Konrad Habicht, a good friend of Solovine, joined them. They called themselves the Akademie Olympia, and although sometimes a friend would join them, the Akademy remain basically among this trio.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Einstein and Mileva married on January 6, 1903 and hired his residence at Kramgasse 49, second door, in the autumn (they had a secret daughter since 1902). On May 1904, they had a son, Hans Albert Einstein. That same year Einstein got a permanent job at the patent office.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

In 1905 Einstein widened the horizons of physics in such a short time as no one had done before or since. This period is often referred as the Annus Mirabilis. In March 18 he completed a paper on the Photoelectric effect On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light which let him to win the Noble prize and in May 11 he finished an article on Brownian motion On the Motion of Small Particles Suspended in a Stationary Liquid, as Required by the Molecular Kinetic Theory of Heat which gained him the PhD degree from the University of Zurich. apparently this idea. On June 30 Einstein sent his third paper that year On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies which was known later as Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Finally on September 27 Einstein sent to Annalen der Physik a fourth paper Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content? in which Einstein developed an argument for probably the most famous equation in Physics: E=mc2. In 1906 Einstein was promoted to “2nd class technical expert” and at the end of 1907 Einstein made the first attempts to apply the laws of gravitation to the Special Theory of Relativity, which would eventually become the General Theory of Relativity. During all these years he did not have easy access to a complete set of scientic reference materials, although he regularly read and contribute reviews to Annalen der Physik. In addition to that, he often met with scientic colleagues such as Michele Besso or the members of the Akademie Olympia, and the most important colleague Einstein had: Mileva, his wife. In his own words:

How lucky I am to have found a creature who is my equal, who is as strong and independent as I am myself.

Also:

I’ve got an extremely lucky idea that will make it possible to apply our theory of molecular forces to gases as well.

Eventually , in 1909 Einstein resigned from his job at the patent office and accepted a position at the Zurich University, where began another phase of his life: his academic career. At the end of his life, Einstein wrote that the greatest thing Marcel Grossman did for him was to recommend him to the patent office.

This post has been written by Pau de Jorge and Eduard Ribas in the subject Història de les Matemàtiques (History of Mathematics, 2014-15).

Location: Kramgasse 49, Bern (map)

Some caricatures of famous mathematicians

Archimedes

Archimedes

In my last post about the Hewelanium Centre of Gdansk, I must show you the caricatures of the famous mathematicians and astronomers which you find on the walls (and you also can buy as a puzzle in the shop of the museum). You have pictures of Archimedes, Pascal, Copernicus:

Copernicus

Copernicus

Halley and Hevelius:

Halley and Hevelius

Halley and Hevelius

Galileo:

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei

Sir Isaac Newton:

Newton

Newton

and Albert Einstein:

Einstein

Einstein

These aren’t good pictures but the posters are in 3D and my camera is not the best camera in the World!

Location: Hewelianum Centre in Gdansk (map)

Immortal Books, essential instruments (and III)

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Descartes (1596-1650) and his Discours de la méthode (1637) is exhibited here although there is no word about his Géométrie. I could cry for it!

D’Alembert and Diderot are also here but the important D’Alembert’s mathematical works are not mentioned either. They compiled the first Encyclopèdie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (1751-1772) and we have to settle this:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Finally, a little mention to Albert Einstein (1879-1955) and his Über die spezielle und die allgemeine Relativitätstheorie: Gemeinverständlich (1917):

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

As you can see it’s a very good opportuniry to learn some things about all these great scientists and their works! The other scientist are Lavoisier, Lyell, Darwin, Bernard, Maxwell, Ramón y Cajal, Curie, Dirac and Morgan.

Location: MUNCYT in Madrid (map) and MUNCYT in A Coruña (map)

The Museum of the History of Science (II)

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

The great scientific names in the History of Science also have their space in the museum as we can see in this medal with the name of Edmund Halley.

Christopher Wren’s name is in one of the windows of the stairs through which you go to the first floor:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

The inscription is under a big “coat of arms” dedicated to the Science:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

We must also notice this portrait of Tycho Brahe who is next to portraits of Flamsteed and Hevelius

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Finally, I am going to mention the famous blackboard written by Albert Einstein:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Location: The Museum of the History of Science (map)

Palazzo Bo in Padua

Palazzo BoPhotography by Carlos Dorce

Palazzo Bo
Photography by Carlos Dorce

The University of Padua was founded in 1222 after a group of law students from Bologna arrived in the city. After Padua came under the rule of Venice in 1406, the University had a period of splendor to last for two centuries because the Venetian Senate granded Padua the monopoly of university education so nobody could graduate on the Venetian State from a university other than that of Padua.

In 1493, the University of Padua was placed in Palazzo Bo (“Ox”, in Italian). The current building with its courtyard was designed by Andrea Moroni in 1552. The name of the palace is because its proximity to a quarter traditionally occupied by the butchers. In 1405, Francesco I da Carrara who was lord of Padua, donated the former building to a butcher who had assured him of regular supplies of meat. The butcher placed an inn (Hospitium Bovis) in it and the emblem of an ox skull began to be famous in the city. Also dating in the XVIth century is the anatomical theater which remained in use until 1872:

Anatomical theater
Source: Venetianvilla.co.uk

The building is designed around a rectangular arcaded courtyard and the walls are full of important families and graduates coats of arms. In 1688 the Venetian Republic ordered that no new coats of arms should be affixes due to the great number of them which were in the walls.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

When we arrived at Padua, the Palazzo Bo was closed but we were lucky because there was an act of homage and we could see the Sala dei Quaranta. This room takes its name from forty famous students of the University of Padua: the English physician William Harvey (1578-1657) and the Danish Thomas Bartholin (1616-1680) among them. These forty portraits were painted by Giacomo dal Forno in 1942. In front of them there is Galileo’s podium. According to the tradition, this podium was used by Galileo Galilei in his lessons in the University. It was located in the Aula Magna until the XIXth century when it was moved to the current location. Galileo Galieli taught at the University of Padua from 1592 to 1610, period in which he improved his telescope and made the first observations of the heaven together with the discovery of the four biggest moons of Jupiter:

Galileo Galilei's podiumPhotography by Carlos Dorce

Galileo Galilei’s podium
Photography by Carlos Dorce

The act of homage were placed in the Aula Magna which was the dining room of the old Hospitium Bovis. This Aula Magna was inaugurated on November 7, 1856 and Albert Einstein held a conference there in 1921.

In the XXth century, the wing for the Faculty of Jurisprudence was built and nowadays it’s possible to enjoy a sculpture dedicated to Galileo Galilei:

Monument to Galileo GalileiPhotography by Carlos Dorce

Monument to Galileo Galilei
Photography by Carlos Dorce

We can read in the pedestal:

Il Comune, il Rettore e il Senato Accademico dell’ Università di Padova posero nel quattrocentesimo anniversario della chiamata di Galileo Galilei alla Cattedra di Matematica.

Padova, 1992

Dono della Fidia Farmaceutici.

The reverse of the monument is dedicated to the Sidereus Nuncius.

Location: Palazzo Bo (map)

The Polytechnical Museum in Moscow

The Polytechnical Museum in Moscow is not the most popular museum in the Russian capital but it’s an interesting place if you love Science and Technology. I recognize that it can’t be compared with the Kremlin, the Red Square, the Pushkin Museum or other important sites located Moscow but you will have to go there if you have more than a few days to spent. It’s not very big and we find a lot of things related with the History of Technology and its applications in Russia and former U.S.S.R. There is a very complete exhibition about rockets, satellites and Space:

Exhibition about SpacePhotography by Carlos Dorce

Exhibition about Space
Photography by Carlos Dorce

Nevertheless, it’s not a very interesting place if you only look for Mathematical objects: all the Mathematics are hidden behind the technological advances so we must satisfy with a little bit more than a ruler and a compass:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

There are some posters hung from the roof of the main stairs and in one of them we find a reference to the great Archimedes (c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC) and his famous screw:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Finally, in the exhibition about the Space, we find another poster with the portraits of Bruno, Galilei, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Lomonosov and Einstein who are seven of the greatest names in the History of Philosophical Astronomy:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

I enjoyed the Museum a lot! I hope that you will be able to enjoy it too!

Location: Polytechnical Museum (map)