Now reading: Great Physicists and the Pets Who Inspired Them

Welcome Inside the Perimeter! Learn more about our new site.

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:


The International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP) gives likeminded high-schoolers from around the world a chance to get hands-on with physics at Perimeter Institute. 

/August 18, 2015

Happy Birthday, ISSYP! Perimeter’s theoretical physics summer camp for high school students turned 10 this year.

/April 17, 2015

Matt Parker, the “Number Ninja,” performs at the Starlight Lounge in Waterloo, Ontario, May 29 and 30. He’s half-mathematician, half-comedian, half-ninja. If you get why that doesn’t add up, you’ll love his show. Limited tickets still available: utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=body&utm_content=Fun&utm_campaign=MattParker

/May 27, 2014