Exploring the world is a great opportunity to observe the beauty of the nature and different phenomenon all around us. This story is going to take you to United Kingdom - a place where natural philosophers, great astronomers and world famous scientists come from. A very keen traveller - Brigita - Alumni member from UL SPIE Chapter had a wonderful chance to visit a few places closely connected to optics, as well as a particular place where the time starts - the Prime Meridian, based at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London.
|Standing on the historic Prime Meridian of the World|
Brigita shares her trip experience: “It is usually easy to get to the Royal Observatory via the local train, unless there are not some big events with thousands of people and crowded streets. After a while, walking down the streets of Greenwich and following the signs, I reached the Royal Observatory Park. While climbing the hill, I observed the beautiful surroundings, as it was the beginning of the spring, the trees blooming everywhere with the nice, fresh spring scent. Finally, I reached the top of the hill and the majestic Royal Observatory.”
|Sweet prize for the long hiking|
Interestingly, there have been a number of camera obscuras at Greenwich, dating from the late 17th century till mid-19th century, when John Flamsteed (1646 –1719), the first Astronomer Royal, lived in UK. He catalogued over 3000 stars. Nowadays, the Royal Observatory Greenwich camera obscura is located at a small summerhouse in the Meridian Courtyard. I entered a small dark chamber through the curtain where a panning mechanism was installed, and there it was - one of the biggest optical inventions! Fortunately, that was a very sunny day, so I could see the power of the optics at its best. Such a great possibility to use this tool and to be able to view the Queen’s House and the River Thames when participants of the London Marathon 2017 were running along.
|View from the Royal camera obscura|
One of the must-see places is the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum: one of London's best tourist attractions displaying the waxworks of famous and historic people, as well as scientists. While being there, it felt like I could turn the clock back for a while and stay side by side with Sir Isaac Newton (1642 –1726) who was one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution. Uhh, one of those priceless moments of my lifetime!
|M.Sc. B.Zutere and Sir I.Newton playing with optics|
Then, a few steps further I faced the author of the world's most famous equation E = mc2, the laureate of the Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect" - Albert Einstein (1879 –1955). That was a day that charged me positively.
|Just a regular afternoon: me chilling with Albert|
A place I would definitely love to attend is a Science Museum which is visited by around 450,000 young people on educational trips or benefit from its outreach programmes each year. That definitely will be included in the to-do list for the next UK tour.