Field Trip


5 July

08:00 to 18:40


Finding Einstein in Bern - relatively speaking

Meeting point: Lausanne train station (main hall) at 08:00 (train to Bern leaves at 08:20 sharp)

Transport: by train (arrival back in Lausanne at 18:40)

Number of participants: 15

Registration fee: CHF 17 (includes transport and lunch)

Details: Wear comfortable shoes for walking

Organizer: Dot on the i Production and University of Bern

Contact: Beat Gerber (beat.gerber@dot-on-the-i.ch)


During his most creative scientific period, Albert Einstein lived in Bern. Here he was taken on as a “technical expert, third class” at the Federal patent office in June 1902, after his studies at ETH Zurich. The job was not very demanding and left a lot of spare time for private studies that would turn our understanding of the universe upside down. Einstein published his theory of special relativity in 1905 – just one of four landmark papers published during his “annus mirabilis” – and he also started to work on the general theory of relativity in Bern.

On this trip you will follow in Einstein’s footsteps through Switzerland’s capital. You will visit his apartment in the old town, close to the famous clock tower, as well as the Einstein Museum offering a unique account of the life and work of the famous physicist. In the afternoon you will discover the influence of Einstein’s theories on present day research at the University of Bern. At the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) and the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS (NCCR PlanetS) you will meet astronomer Prof. Willy Benz and other scientists, and discover Bernese instruments that have flown or will fly on board space probes to explore the formation of solar systems and the origin  of life. Currently, the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA) is on its way to Mercury with the European Space Agency mission. The University of Bern is also involved with PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillation of stars), the largest European exoplanet research mission. Historic exhibits include the Bernese solar sail, deployed on the moon even before the US-flag on NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, the mass spectrometer ROSINA on ESA's comet probe Rosetta and the CHEOPS model.