Now reading: Great Physicists and the Pets Who Inspired Them

Take a self-guided tour from quantum to cosmos!

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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

More Bites of PI:


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/Jun 21, 2021

Are you searching for ways to both entertain and educate yourself — and perhaps the young people at home with you? Perimeter has loads of free science content for every age and scientific background — from curious stargazers to experts in cosmic inflation, and everyone in between. Below are some highlights of Perimeter’s “Slice of […]

/Mar 16, 2020

Early computers were room-sized mechanical brains complete with wheels, shafts, and cranks. Then the playful and ingenious Claude Shannon came along.

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