400 Years of Big Science in Prague…

Interesting observation from the programme committe chair at the Speakers’ Reception that Prague could well be considered the origin of international big science collaboration.

Four hundred years ago Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer, determined to make the most accurate astronomical observations that were possible with the technology of the day. He had previously had generous funding from the Danish/Norwegian king (up to 4% of the united countries’ GDP, plus the gift of an island off the coast near Copenhagen for his observatory!) but when that had been withdrawn had come to Prague to seek funding from the Holy Roman Emperor. Here he met Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician with the ability to use Tycho’s results to derive equations for planetary motion that would later be used by Newton to derive the laws of universal gravitation that we still (with a bit of modification by Einstein) use today.

Good to see that the conference hotel commemorates this by having two of its parallel rooms named “Kepler” and “Tycho”, while the room at the university where we had the reception this evening dates was already 200 years old in the 17th Century. Nothing like starting the conference with a challenge to have a similar impact😉

This entry was posted in TNC2011 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s