There are few people in the history of science who were so academically versatile and fruitful at the same time such as Ruđer Bošković. It would be no surprise that you came across this name, but did you know that this worldwide acclaimed scientist was Croatian?
Bošković was born in Dubrovnik in 1711. and quickly after finishing elementary education in Dubrovnik, left for further study to Rome where he completed his theology and philosophy studies.
During his stay in Italy, he joined the Jesuits and started teaching mathematics.
His determination to solving many questions in the field of mathematics resulted in important theories regarding trigonometry, osculating circle and non-Euclidean geometry.
His contribution to astronomy is visible in „Opera pertinentia ad opticam“ opus divided in five books where he discussed the constancy of the speed of light centuries before Einstein and made significant predictions about heavenly bodies discovered in the 20th century.
Bošković’s influence is also visible in the fields of geodesy (where he discussed the shape of Earth) and optics in which he used the circular micrometer.
His work was recognized all around the world, and Bošković was praised for his contributions in every scientific field in which he worked which made him a member of London’s Royal Society.
Other notable marks he left is the observatory in Brera near Milan and repairing the dome of St. Peter’s church in Rome.
He died in 1787. Milan where he is buried, but legend says that his heart lies in the Dubrovnik cathedral.
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