Saturday, May 11, 2013

On Getting Acquainted with Nicholas Copernicus

The guide in the Collagium Maius asked, who is the most famous person from Poland. I stood there, not knowing a single name.

"Nicholas Copernicus." She said.

Nicolaus Copernicus (19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a heliocentric model of the universe which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center. The publication of Copernicus' book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death in 1543, is considered a major event in the history of science. It began the Copernican Revolution and contributed importantly to the rise of the ensuing Scientific Revolution. Copernicus was born and died in Royal Prussia, a region of the Kingdom of Poland since 1466. Copernicus had a doctorate in canon law and, though without degrees, was a physician, polyglot, classics scholar, translator, governor, diplomat, and economist who in 1517 set down a quantity theory of money, a principal concept in economics to the present day, and formulated a version of Gresham's Law in the year 1519, before Gresham. -Wikipedia

So, while walking around in the Educational trail along Krakow waiting for the guided tour into Collagium Maius of the Jagiellonian University, the second oldest university in Europe, I came across his monument, standing proud in front of one of the university building, just adjacent to the music school.

Inside the collage museum, we were brought to see the astronomical instruments used by the golden son of Poland, very much well preserved despite aging hundreds of years. While I had  not much general knowledge (thanks to our well-controlled education system), after reading a brief history of this famous man online, I have a sense of awe and respect for him.

I wonder now though, is there any chance for anybody to ever have such a breakthrough in knowledge? For instance, to come up with a theory that there is actually another us in an adjacent world of the same time yet different space... Hmmm... Fringe-like much? LMAO.

2 Jujus:

Twilight Man said...

Interesting to know that was the 2nd oldest university. Which is the oldest? Bologna!!

Medie007 said...

oldest is Charles University in Prague! :D