Friday, January 23, 2015

Cambridge Walking Tour

by Leslie Montano

Once upon a time a group of students took a 10 hour flight to London and started their adventures a week ago. A week ago! Time flies when you're having fun! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015... It starts off like any other day: Get up, get ready, eat breakfast & sign a paper to get money (per diem), but today was different. Today, we arrived at King's Cross Station and took a 50min train ride to CAMBRIDGE. It was like a Harry Potter scene! Except half the people were still asleep...Regardless, we finally made it to Cambridge where we got a lovely tour about the University and its many accomplishments. Pretty cool eh?

First of all this University is nothing but beauty. But besides the breathtaking sites, some pretty amazing people attended and/or performed research there. Because this course focuses on the history of Science I thought it would interesting to mention some of those people who have made a major impact. Some of those people included: Charles Darwin, Ernest Rutherford, J. J Thompson, Francis Crick, James Watson, Sir Isaac Newton, and James Clerk Maxwell. (collage below in no particular order)

Clockwise from top left: Charles Darwin, Ernest Rutherford, J. J Thompson, Francis Crick and James Watson, James Clerk Maxwell, and Sir Isaac Newton
Quick Facts:
Charles Darwin 
  • He is most famous for his work on natural selection
  • His 1859 book ‘On the Origin of Species’, detailed much of his research on natural selection, it contained a large amount of evidence to back up his ideas and became a landmark work in the field of evolutionary biology
Ernest Rutherford
  • Rutherford, Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden carried out the Geiger-Marsden experiment, an attempt to examine the structure of the atom. The surprising results of this experiment demonstrated the existence of the atomic nucleus and became an integral part of the Rutherford model of the atom.
J. J Thompson
  • Sir Joseph John Thomson, more commonly known as J. J. Thomson, was an English physicist who stormed the world of nuclear physics with his 1897 discovery of the electron, as well as isotopes. 
  • He is also credited with the invention of the mass spectrometer.
Francis Crick & James Watson
  • Discovered the structure of DNA and postulated a mechanism for the duplication of genetic material.
Sir Isaac Newton
  • In 1687, Newton published Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, what is widely regarded to be one of the important books in the history of science. In it he describes universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, concepts that remained at the forefront of science for centuries after.
James Clerk Maxwell
  • He produced a set of equations, known as ‘Maxwell’s Equations’ that explain the properties of magnetic and electric fields and help show that light is an electromagnetic wave.

Besides all those great people, we got to see some of the amazing monuments, memorials, and buildings Cambridge has offer.
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    Now that you all know how important these people are I'll tell you what we saw. First we got to see Emmanuel College and its dining hall. No one is allowed to walk on the grass here unless you were a fellow so needless to say that the grass around here was pretty nice. Students of all majors live here and attend lessons. They even attend a smaller meeting of about 2 students with one fellow to follow up on their studies. From there we were able to see the dining hall where, they too, eat like Harry Potter on long tables. 

Dining Hall at Emmanuel College
      The next quick site was a nice small pond where ducks could be seen. Emmanuel College is known for their ducks so it was nice to see them roaming around the college. 
     We then left Emmanuel College and visited other campus sites including the zoology building, the buildings of environmental sciences and the old location of the Cavendish Lab. As you can see, science radiated throughout the walls.
      As we continued our walk we were able to visit the famous pub where Watson and Crick liked to hang around. They even labeled the booth where they sat! At this pub, Watson and Crick first announced their discovery of the structure of DNA. Because of that, the pub even has a beer called Eagle DNA and a dessert called the Double Helix. 

The Eagle pub, where Crick and Watson first announced their ideas. 
      So we continued through our tour and stopped to look at a famous clock called the Corpus Clock. This clock has a scary creature that lies on top called a Chronophage, literally meaning "time eater." The Chronophage moves along the top of the clock while it eats the seconds reminding us that time is eaten and we can never get that second back. 

Corpus Clock
     As time was being eaten our tour continued. From there we crossed the street towards King's College and it's chapel. The king had loads of money and decided to build this amazing chapel. I was able to walk inside and see this amazing chapel with all of it's stained glass windows. The glass was even removed at one point because of the fear it might be damaged in the war and was later put back into the chapel. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside, but believe me, the chapel inside we gorgeous! We even got to hear the organist practice!

Entrance to King's College
       And last but not least, we reached  the famous Newton Apple Tree. Of course this wasn't the actual apple tree where Newton claims to have discovered the theory of universal gravitation, but it was genetically tested to prove that it was in fact a descendant from the original tree. Close enough right?
A descendant of Newton's Apple Tree
   This is where our tour ends. We only got to see a portion of the University, but it all was great to see. Hopefully one day I can see the rest of it.

From here we departed to our next adventure at the Cavendish Lab!

Long Live the Queen!

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