Posted by: Valentino Radman | August 19, 2011

Ruđer Bošković – 300 years of his birth

A series of  stamps with Rudjer Bošković  (Rogerius Josephus Boscovich in Latin) that will mark 300 years of his birth will be published in 150.000 edition by the Vatican Post in Rome, Italy.

Rudjer Josip Bošković (1711 – 1787) was Croatian theologian, physicist, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, diplomat, poet, Jesuit, and a polymath from the city of Dubrovnik, who studied and lived in Italy and France.

He is famous for his atomic theory and made many important contributions to astronomy, including the first geometric procedure for determining the equator of a rotating planet from three observations of a surface feature and for computing the orbit of a planet from three observations of its position. In 1753 he also discovered the absence of atmosphere on the Moon.

His atomic theory, given as a clear, precisely formulated system utilizing principles of Newtonian mechanics inspired Michael Faraday to develop field theory for electromagnetic interaction. Other nineteenth century physicists, such as William Rowan Hamilton, Lord Kelvin, and the elasticity theorist Saint Venant stressed the theoretical advantages of the Boškovićian atom over rigid atoms. Some even claim (Nikola Tesla, among others) that Boškovićian atomism was a basis for Albert Einstein’s attempts for a unified field theory and that he was the first to envisage, seek, and propose a mathematical theory of all the forces of Nature; the first scientific theory of everything.

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