Great Croatian Scientists

Faust Vrančić or Faust Verantius (born in Šibenik, 1551-1617)
The author of a five language dictionary "Dictionarium quinque nobilissimarum Europeae linguarum: Latinae, Italicae, Germanicae, Dalmaticae et Hungaricae" (Venice, 1595), with more than 5000 words.

Juraj Dragišić (born in the Bosnian town Srebrenica, 1445-1520)
Also know as Georgius Benignus, suggested a reform of the Julian calendar to Pope Leon X in 1514 in his study Correctio erroris, which was accepted by the Pope Gregory XIII. The new, Gregorian calendar is in use since 1582.

Mark Antun de Dominis (born on the island of Rab, 1560-1624)
His work in physics was cited in Newton's first book "The optics" published in 1704 (page 147). Among other things he contributed to the explanation of the phenomenon of the double rainbow. His theory of tides was based on the idea of attractive force between the Moon and the Earth, which was later made precise in Newton's theory of gravitation. He also discovered the phenomenon of diffraction of white light (G. Hund's "Geschite der Physik").

Marin Getaldić - Ghetaldus (born in Dubrovnik, 1568-1622)
He was the most outstanding Croatian scientist of his time. His best results are mainly in physics, mathematics and especially optics. Among his numerous books let us mention Promotus Archimedus (Rome, 1603) and De resolutione et compositione mathematica (Rome, 1630, in five voluminous books), in which Getaldic appears as a pioneer of algebraization of geometry. Getaldic is considered to be the main predecessor of Analytic Geometry. He is also the constructor of the parabolic mirror (diameter of 0.66 m), kept today in the National Maritime Museum in London.

Ruđer Bošović (born in Dubrovnik, 1711-1787)
The greatest and most famous Croatian philosopher and scientist. Most important is his graph of regions of attractive and repelling forces between material points (elementary particles), the closest region being repelling, tending to infinity (nuclear force; published in his Dissertationes de lumine pars secunda, 1748), and the farthest region is repelling, corresponding to gravitational force. This graph is called the Bošković curve (curva Boscovichiana) since 1763.

Ivan Lupis Vukić (born on the Pelješac peninsula, 1814-1875)
Also known as Giovanni Biagio Luppis von Rammer, studied in Austrian Naval Academy in Vienna. He was born in the village of Nakovane on the beautiful Pelješac peninsula near Dubrovnik. Presented the first torpedo to emperor Franz Jozeph, 1869 in Rijeka. That 6m design, nicknamed Salvacoste, was not accepted in the Navy due to its insufficient propulsion and control system. Lupis was introduced to R. Whitehead, a young engineer and manager in a local factory, who latter developed torpedo based on Lupis ideas, and invented the original launch tube. Whitehead obtained full control of all future sales in 1866. Mass production of the torpedo started in 1875, in the newly founded Torpedo-Fabrik von Robert Whitehead factory in Rijeka.

Eduard (Slavoljub) Penkala (born in Slovakia, 1871-1922)
He became a naturalized Croat when he immigrated to Zagreb with his family after he got married. He invented the mechanical pen in 1906 and fountain pen in 1907 which bear his name even now in daily use.

Nikola Tesla (born in Smiljan, 1856-1943)
Croatian inventor and researcher, a mechanical and electrical engineer. He was an important contributor to the use of commercial electricity, and is best known for developing the modem alternating current (AC) electrical supply system. Some of his inventions are: a telephone repeater, rotating magnetic field principle, poly phase alternating-current system, induction motor, alternating-current power transmission, Tesla coil transformer, wireless communication, radio, fluorescent lights, and more than 700 other patents. In honor of the centennial of his birth the International Electrotechnical Commission gave its name to the unit of magnetic induction - Tesla (T). Encyclopaedia Britannica ranked him among the 10 most important people in world history.

Andrija Mohorovičić (born in Volosko, 1857-1936)
Among scientists studying seismology the famous Moho-layer (or Moho-discontinuity) of the Earth is well known. It was named after the great Croatian geophysicist Andrija Mohorovičić, professor at the University of Zagreb. His discovery was essential for understanding the inner structure of the Earth and the behavior of seismic waves.

Lavoslav Ružička (born in Vukovar, 1887-1976)
Son of a Czech father and a Croat mother, obtained the Nobel Prize for discoveries in organic chemistry.

David Schwarz (born in Zagreb, 1852-1897)
A Zagreb Jew, invented steerable metal airship that is today unjustly bearing the name of the German count Zeppelin. Indeed, Zeppelin bought the complete project from Schwartz's wife, shortly after his premature death. In 1897 the "Zeppelin" constructed by Schwartz fell down during its trial flight near Berlin, due to a small technical error in the propeller, having reached the height of 460 m.

Josip (Juan) Vučetić (born on the island of Hvar, 1858-1925)
A criminologist and anthropologist, lived in Argentina. He was one of the pioneers of the scientific dactyloscopy (identification by fingerprints) and occupied the position of the director of the Center for Dactiloscopy in Buenos Aires. His method of identification was in use throughout South America. Vučetić was also the one who introduced the notion of dactyloscopy in 1920, now in current use worldwide.

Ferdinand Kovačević (born in Smiljan, 1838-1913)
One of the pioneers of telegraphy, invented the possibility of telegraphic connection along a single wire (the duplex connection), whereas before four wires had been used.

Franjo Hanaman (born in Drenovci, 1878-1941)
Chemist and metallurgist, together with Aleksandar Just invented the first economical electric bulb with wolfram filament.

Fran Bošnjaković (born in Zagreb, 1902-1993)
He was one of the world's leading experts in technical thermodynamics. He worked as a professor in Zagreb at the Technical Faculty, part of today's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture.