On the 29th of October (2016) more than 70 physicists attended the inauguration of the second EPS historic site in Sweden. The Uddmanska house in Kungälv, outside Göteborg, is where the Austrian-Swedish nuclear physicist Lise Meitner was staying when she understood that it was possible to split an atomic nucleus.
The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), located in Princeton, NJ-USA is one of the world’s foremost centers for curiosity-driven basic research. On 9 November 2016, the European Physical Society (EPS) and the American Physical Society (APS) were pleased to offically recognise the IAS as their first Joint Historic Physics Site in the United States. The text of the citation reads: “Honoring the pivotal contributions of the Institute for Advanced Study to the development of theoretical physics, including the work of Albert Einstein and many others.”
Great honour for the Würzburg science: The European Physical Society (EPS) has distinguished the institute where in 1895 Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered the radiation later named after him. The building is now the third “Historic Site” of the EPS in Germany.
On 11 March 2016, the European Physical Society (EPS) and the Portuguese Physical Society [SPF], honoured the “Cabinet of Physics of the University of Coimbra”, in the building of the oldest Jesuit college in the world (founded in 1542) donated by the Marquis of Pombal to the University of Coimbra.
2016 marks the centenary of Ernst Mach’s death. Some five years ago, in anticipation of this anniversary, the Czech physical society proposed to designate the building in Prague where Ernst Mach worked as an EPS historic site. Once accepted, the administrative and design planning for the plaque could begin. Indeed, the historical building, the former Institute of Physics, is located in the UNESCO protected Old Town of Prague, recognised by UNESCO’s cultural heritage programme, where patience and attention to details is required. Fortunately enough, the building is still part of Charles University, which – after initial detailed scrutiny of the project – considerably helped obtain the necessary authorisations.
On 24 October 2015, the European Physical Society [EPS], the Belgian Physical Society [BPS, short for ‘Belgische Natuurkundige Vereniging – Société Belge de Physique’] and the International Solvay Institutes [ISI] honoured the Hotel Metropole in Brussels as EPS Historic Site. At the initiative of Ernest Solvay, the Hotel Metropole hosted in 1911 the first Solvay Council where the foundations of Quantum Physics where laid. A commemorative plaque was unveiled in the lobby of the hotel by the President of the EPS, Christophe Rossel, and the President of BPS, Jef Ongena, following an academic session attended by 80 participants.
On 6 May 2015, the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (LMU) has been named a “Historic Site” by the European Physical Society (EPS). After the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Berlin in 2013, LMU is the second German institution to receive this honour.
Walking through the historic centre of Bern, the curious traveller comes across a sign at Kramgasse 49 indicating the “Einsteinhaus”. Walking up the steep, narrow staircase, it is possible to visit the apartment where Albert Einstein lived from 1903 to 1905.
During his time in Bern, A. Einstein lived with his wife and baby while working a 48 hour week as a clerk in the Patent Office. Despite a busy family and professional life, A. Einstein also published the 4 papers that revolutionised physics at the beginning of the 20th century.
The ceremony declaring the Residencia de Estudiantes as an EPS Historic Site took place on 13 May 2015. It was presided over by EPS President Dr Christophe Rossel, Prof. J. Adolfo de Azcárraga, President of the Spanish Physical Society [RSEF], Prof. Emilio Lora-Tamayo, President of the Spanish National Research Council [CSIC] and Alicia Gómez-Navarro, Director of the Residencia de Estudiantes.
The Institut Radiumforschung (Institute for Radium Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences), in Vienna is the first Historic Site of the European Physical Society in Austria. In a ceremony on 28 May 2015, a commemorative plaque was unveiled by Luisa Cifarelli, Chair of the EPS Historic Site Committee and former President of EPS, and Anton Zeilinger, the President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, in front of the building in Boltzmanngasse 3, which was originally constructed for the Institute for Radium Research.
“The fear of the lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
This is the motto of the Fasor Lutheran Secondary School of Budapest, Hungary, which was recently recognised as an EPS Historic Site. This school has proved to be very successful in finding and encouraging talent: Both Eugene Wigner (Nobel Prize in physics, 1963) and John von Neumann attended the school and learned the basics of science there.
On 9 February 2015, the European Physical Society [EPS], the Nederlandse Natuurkundige Vereniging – the Netherlands Physical Society [NNV] and the University of Leiden unveiled a plaque commemorating the former location of the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory and the Instituut-Lorentz as an EPS Historic Site. A series of talks preceded the unveiling ceremony, preside by Johannes Maria van Ruitenbeek, the President of the NNV.
Dirk van Delft, the Director of the Boerhaave Science Museum in Leiden gave an overview of the life work of Professor Kamerlingh Onnes, as well as the achievements of the University of Leiden. Carlo Beenaker from the Lorentz …