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Great Physicists and the Pets Who Inspired Them

Sometimes the best kind of scientific collaborator is a silent partner who lends a hand (or a paw) simply by keeping things uncomplicated. 

From Maxwell’s dogs and Hubble’s cat to Tycho Brahe’s unfortunate elk, four-legged friends have been a mainstay in lives of great scientists. 

Here’s a look at influential scientists whose pets gave them paws for reflection. 

Einstein-cat

Watch a Perimeter Institute talk on Einstein and his (two-legged) collaborators. 

tesla-cat1

Read Tesla’s letter to a friend about his early fascination with electricity. 

newton-cat

Read the evidence for (and against) Newton’s invention of the cat door. 

Hubble-Nicholas1

Check out the Slice of PI on the life and work of Edwin Hubble

Feynman-dog

Check out the Slice of PI on Richard Feynman’s most notable quotes.

boltzman-shepherd

Watch “Boltzmann’s Dog and Darwin’s Finch,” a biophysics colloquium at Perimeter Institute. 

Maxwell-toby

Watch a short documentary about the life and work of James Clerk Maxwell. 

Brahe-elk2

Learn more about the astronomical work and odd life of Tycho Brahe. 

Schrodinger-collie1

Find out more about Burschie and all of Schrödinger’s animals in this PBS Nova article “Schrödinger’s Menagerie”.

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