By Stefano Comi
It all begins, as is often the case, with war or a prediction of a future war. after Vienna ConferenceThe Rhine and West-Westphalia region was assigned to the Kingdom of Prussia, a task that greatly changed the status of the kingdom’s foreign and military policy.
At Friedrich’s request Wilhelm IIIKing of Prussia and Prince-Elector of Brandenburg, an optical telegraph line was urgently built between Berlin and Koblenz allowing the rapid transmission of news from the borders of France, from which the attack was expected, to the heart of the capital.
Signs and symbols, from hill to hill
At a distance of about 550 kilometers, they spotted each other 62 Heights and hills Where the largest possible number have been installed Telegraph poles six meters high which are powered by six scoops by means of a simple pulley mechanism, depending on the supposed location, just like the waving of naval flags, signals and symbols being transmitted from hill to hill until reaching the military command at Potsdam.
On days of good weather, the news from Koblenz reached Berlin within an hour. A huge improvement over the usual three to four days of horse couriers reporting. This on the outskirts of Potsdam was stop number four. Fifteen years later, the optical telegraph was replaced by the electric telegraph, although it remained in operation in the Cologne-Koblenz section for a few more years before being completely replaced.
And look at the sky! The first astronomical observation station
Thanks to a site convenient but now unusable for military purposes, already in the middle of the nineteenth century, based on a design by the architect Paul-Emmanuel Speicher, the first Astronomical observation stationsand meteorological and geophysical, all immersed in a vast English-style garden. The works began in 1874, and the classical-style exposed-brick buildings were inspired by the style of the historic Prussian court architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. It was built between 1876 and 1879, and features a majestic building with three domes. The world’s first astrophysical observatory.
In the basement of the building, Albert A. Michelson, Nobel laureate, measurements of the relative motion of the Earth: his calculations will be the basis that will allow Albert Einstein To write his famous book Theory of Relativity. Another goal in this observatory is achieved by The first photographic map of the starry sky In 1916, thanks to Karl Schwarzschilds, an approach was reached to solve the problem of the redshift of the Sun’s spectral light, an approach that was indispensable for solving Albert Einstein’s theory mentioned above.
In quick succession one will then be made New dome with telescope To complete the photographic map of the starry sky (1889), HeadquartersGeodetic Institute (1892), andGeodetic Astronomical Observatory with the so-called “Meridian Homes“And a new observation tower to accurately determine the passage of time: in 1950 European history (ED50), for which this tower is considered a central reference point.
The innovations do not end here. In 1893 came the turn of the Magnetic Observatory and the Meteorological Observatory, followed by Big telescope (1899) was restored in 2003 and opened again on March 31, 2006. Ultimately, on the hill and in the park, there will be fourteen buildings dedicated to the study of heaven and earth in all possible aspects: optical, magnetic, gravitational and gravitational. Its speed compared to planets and other celestial bodies.
Today, up to 1,300 scientists, technicians and support staff work on campus. However, it is undoubtedly the building that attracts visitors’ attention more than any other Einstein Tower. Wanted by the physicist himself and built in collaboration with architect Erich Mendelssohn and astronomer Erwin Finley Freundlich, it was built with the aim of experimentally verifying the red shift of the spectral line of the Sun, as he himself had predicted. The tower was completely restored in 1999 and is still in scientific service.
Stroll the streets of Potsdam, inhaling the history
The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam is hosted here. This walk allows us to taste the essence of human space travel aboard Spaceship Earth.
How to get to Albert Einstein Science Park
From Potsdam Hauptbahnhof, bus number 691 takes you directly to the university campus. By car: Enter Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam on the navigator. Good walk!
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