Many thousands of frogs fell victim to Luigi Galvani’s scientific curiosity, and all because the anatomist observed how the leg of a dissected frog began to twitch as if from nowhere. This occurrence took place in Bologna in 1780 and led to one of the most important discourses in scientific history – and to the birth of the novel Frankenstein.
Few natural phenomena are as spectacular to the observer as the aurora with its arcs of light. While it was known in antiquity as band of fire, beam or opening, metaphorical expressions prevailed in the Middle Ages such as fiery lances or burning red. It is now
‘Eripuit caelo fulmen sceptrumque tyrannis’ (He snatched the thunderbolt from heaven and the sceptre from tyrants) is an epigram about Benjamin Franklin, coined by the French economist and minister Anne-Robert Jacques Turgot (Möhring 2010, p. 253). It shows that Franklin achieved fame in the eighteenth century not only as co-author and signatory of the American Declaration of Independence but also as researcher into electricity and inventor of the lightning conductor.
Undoubtedly, the exclamation was an expression of Albert Einstein’s joy regarding his return to his alma mater. He had studied mathematics and physics at the Federal Polytechnic School (now ETH Zurich) from 1896 to 1900, where he obtained a teaching diploma. However, it is fair to speculate that his appointment as a full professor of theoretical physics also triggered a sense of