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The Statue of Eötvös Loránd in the Garden of Chestnuts in Budapest.

On the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the birth of Loránd Eötvös, a memorial tour will be organized in Budapest on Thursday.

The family intended the son of the writer and politician, Baron József Eötvös, to become a lawyer, but Loránd was much more attracted to the natural sciences. From 1867, he studied chemistry, physics, and mathematics at the University of Heidelberg. In 1871, he became an assistant professor, and afterwards the professor of experimental physics and director of the Institute of Physics at the University of Pest.

Loránd Eötvös. Photo via Wikipedia

His scientific work was mainly focused on gravity and geomagnetism, his best-known achievement being the construction of a very precise and sensitive torsion balance.

Another of his major discoveries and demonstrations is known as the Eötvös effect, stating that a body moving eastwards on the surface of the Earth is subject to a greater centrifugal force than a body moving westwards.

He has received numerous national and international awards for his scientific achievements and activities. In June 1894, he was appointed Minister of Religion and Education. During his term of only seven months, he established 400 new public schools. In addition to his work, he was also known as a sportsman and mountaineer, and in 1902, one of the 2,837-meter-high peak in South Tyrol was named after him, the Cima di Eötvös.

The torsion balance. Photo via Wikipedia

The event commemorating the physician starts at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday at the bust of Loránd Eötvös’s father, József Eötvös, on Svábhegy (in the 12th District of Budapest), followed by a memorial service at the statue of Loránd Eötvös in the Chestnut Garden (Gesztenyés-kert).

According to organizers, the main stages of Eötvös’s life will then be explored, with a lecture on his childhood and his activities as rector and youth educator at University Square, where the center of the Eötvös Lóránd University can be found. Afterwards,

participants will be able to visit the exhibition “Under the spell of precision” in the ELTE University Library and Archives.

At the Italian Institute of Culture, there will be a short lecture on Eötvös’ activities as Minister of Religion and Education. Afterwards, the guided walk will continue in ELTE Building D, followed by a memorial service in the Trefort Garden, in front of the Headquarters of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and in the Fiumei Road Graveyard.

The building of the Eötvös Lóránd University at the Trefort Garden Campus. Photo via elte.hu

The day-long program will end with a thanksgiving mass and the unveiling of a memorial plaque at the Our Lady of the Snows Parish Church in Krisztina town (in Districts 1 and 12).

The centenary of the physician’s death, 2019, was declared the Year of Loránd Eötvös, and in 2021, his statue was unveiled in the Garden of Chestnuts in Budapest.

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Featured photo via kozterkep.hu

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