International Scientists Celebrate Legacy Of Great Greek Mathematician Caratheodory

Karatheodori and his family
Great Greek mathematician Constantin Carathéodory (1873-1950) and his family. Credit: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

World-acclaimed researchers and academics from 11 countries will gather in northern Greece to celebrate the legacy of diaspora Greek Constantin Carathéodory (1873-1950), one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, on July 10-15.

The Constantin Carathéodory Symposium is co-organised by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and the Texas A&M University of Engineering, USA, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the great scientist’s birth.

It will celebrate Carathéodory’s groundbreaking contributions to maths and science, with a focus on thermodynamics, where the Greek scientist formulated the theorem of irreversibility, also known as The Second Law of Thermodynamics or The Principle of Carathéodory.

Some of the most important machines of the modern era, such as electric power plants, automobiles, and planes, are powered by thermodynamics – the processes by which energy is turned into heat and moved from one location to another, converted into power.

Symposium delegates in the footsteps of great Greeks

Northern Greece has been selected to host the symposium, as it will take guests to visit not only the birthplaces of great Greek philosophers Aristotle and Democritus, but also the place of origin of the Carathéodory family and the museum that opened in the celebrated mathematician’s honor in 2019.

The works will start from Thessaloniki on Tuesday, July 11, with opening remarks on the life of Constantin Carathéodory and his contributions to thermodynamics, followed by presentations and panel discussions.

Delagates will visit Stageira, the birthplace of Aristotle, on Wednseday, before the symposium moves to Alexandroupolis, where technical sessions will take place.

On Friday, they will visit the Carathéodory Museum in Nea Vyssa, near the city of Komotini.

The symposium’s works will conclude with a visit to the Abdera, birthplace of Democritus, for a discussion on Aristotelian vs Democritean philosophies.

Carathéodory Museum founded in honor of Greek mathematician

Carathéodory, who famously had mathematical genius Albert Einstein among his students, made significant contributions to mathematics, science, and archaeology, which gained him a prominent position in the scientific community.

Born in Berlin, where his father, Stefanos, was the ambassador of the Ottoman Empire, Constantin became a professor at four German universities as well as at the Technical University of Athens, when he undertook, on prime minister Venizelos’s orders, to organize the University of Ionia in Smyrna, Athens and Thessaloniki.

Constantin Caratheodory had Albert Einstein among his students.
Constantin Caratheodory’s letters to and from his student, Albert Einstein, are exhibited in the eponymous museum in Komotini, Thrace, northeastern Greece. Credit: Puiblic Domain

A museum dedicated to the great Greek mathematician was opened in the city of Komotini, Thrace, northeastern Greece, in 2019.

Among the exhibits are books, handwritten letters to and from Einstein, Rosenthal, Kneser, authentic documents and photographs of the Carathéodory family.

Supervised by the Municipality of Komotini, the Carathéodory Museum has disabled access and is open Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m..

Afternoon admissions are Wednesday and Friday 6-8 p.m..

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