Ruđer Bošković


He is taken to be one of the most significant scientists of his time and the founder of modern science. Numerous scientific and educational institutions bear his name, as well as one crater on the Moon. He is among the one hundred most important Serbs of all times. He was a universal genius: philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, physicist, engineer, theologist, man of letters and diplomate. He spent abroad his entire working age, where he achieved the world glory. He was a professor at the university, inventor and founding father who created the project for Milano observatory, the most modern of its age and he was a director of the Optical Institute of French Navy. He is considered to be the predecessor of the theory of relativity which he presented in his capital work “Theory of Natural Philosophy” reduced to one single law of forces existing in nature, because for him, time and space were relative. The unified law of force, according to which the attracting and the repulsive force take their turn between the particles depending on their distance, contributed to the discovery of the structure of atom and improved further understanding of the structure of the matter. He was the founder of modern civil engineering, because when working on the sanation of the dome of the Basilica of St. Peter he formed the first mechanical model of one building in history. Bošković is the author of the theory of the aberration of light, and he imagined the stars to be something like smaller or bigger suns.

He is the founder of practical astronomy and the pioneer in the examination and calculation of errors of instruments used for measuring. He is well known for his inventions of instruments for astronomic measuring such as prism with the alternating angle, round micrometre and telescope filled with water and the improvement of instruments for the measurement of time and angles. He was the first to determine the height of toposphere, the radius of Sun and the equation of the movement of the comets. For the first measurement of the shape of our planet, he invented the geodetic measuring bar with tripod support.