5103 Diviš & Prokop Diviš memorial - Znojmo (South Moravia)
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
N 48° 51.469 E 016° 02.876
33U E 576865 N 5412179
Quick Description: Asteroid 5103 bears name of the Czech priest, inventor and scientist Prokop Diviš. The given coordinates indicate a small Prokop Diviš memorial with his bronze bust, situated in square bearing his name in historic centre of Znojmo.
Location: Jihomoravský kraj, Czechia
Date Posted: 5/6/2020 3:38:53 AM
Waymark Code: WM12DKV
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 5

Long Description:

Asteroid 5103 bears name of the Czech priest, inventor and scientist Prokop Diviš. The given coordinates indicate a small Prokop Diviš memorial with his bronze bust, situated in square bearing his name in historic centre of Znojmo.

The bust of Prokop Diviš on a simple granite pedestal is located in the front of the former Jesuit College in Znojmo, where Diviš studied in 1716-1719. Bust, the work of sculptor Jan Tomáš Fischer, was unveiled on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the invention of the lightning rod in 1954.


Václav Prokop Diviš (real name Václav Divíšek; March 26, 1698– December 21, 1765), was a Czech Catholic priest, theologian, member of the Premonstratensian Order, naturalist, healer, musician and inventor. He is best known as the inventor of the lightning rod or lightning conductor (1750–1754). He built his "meteorological machine", which functioned as a lightning conductor, earlier (1754) than the world-renowned inventor of the lightning conductor Benjamin Franklin (theoretical concept 1753, built 1760). However, Diviš's concept was different from Franklin's, his lightning rod was mainly grounded, and therefore it worked better.

Václav Divíšek was born in a small farmstead on the outskirts of Žamberk, to Anna and Jan Divíšek. Young Václav was an excellent student. At the urging of his relative, the rector of the Jesuit College in Znojmo, Jindrich Dušík, he was accepted to study at the Jesuit Latin Grammar School in Znojmo as a holder of the scholarship by Premonstratensian convent in Znojmo-Louka. After making a religious vow, he adopted the name Prokop and changed his surname to Diwisch (in the Czech orthography Diviš).

As a novice he joined the Premonstratensian order in Louka near Znojmo in 1720 and in September 1726 he was ordained a priest. He became a science teacher and in 1729 was appointed professor of philosophy and theology. During his pedagogical activities he developed a dissertation in the field of theology and philosophy. he successfully defended his work in 1733 and was awarded a doctorate in theology in Salzburg and a doctorate in philosophy in Olomouc. After graduating in Salzburg, he was appointed sub-prior of Convent in Louka. In 1736, he accepted the proposal of Abbot Nolbek to take over the management of the parish in Prímetice near Znojmo and become a priest working in the church of St. Margaret. Here he devoted himself fully to his experiments with static electricity. For this purpose, he made a device himself called an electrum. Prokop Diviš took over the office of prior in Louka convent in the years 1741–1742 and thanks to his foresight, the meadow saved the Louka convent from destruction during the war for the Austrian heritage.

In 1742 he returned to the Prímetice rectory and continued his research there. Even then, he discovered that lightning and thunder during thunderstorms were electrical in nature, and were in fact the same phenomena he had observed in his experiments. The rumor of his experiments soon reached the imperial court in Vienna. In 1750, he was invited to demonstrate his experiments right in front of Emperor Francis Stephen I of Lorraine and Empress Maria Theresa. The imperial couple was so enthusiastic about the experiments that he rewarded him with gold medals with their likenesses. All the time he kept a lively correspondence with physicists all over the world.

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Celestial Body: Asteroid

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