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Ozymandias

Mathematician Mocked by Monarch

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When Frederick the Great was crowned King of Prussia in 1740 he wanted to construct a fountain at the Sanssouci palace in Potsdam, with a 100-foot jet of water pumped up from the River Havel far below the gardens. The engineering challenge was formidable but feasible given the right materials and design but years of effort produced only failures. Frederick asked Leonhard Euler (pronounced 'Oiler'), the renowned mathematician, to calculate the hydraulics of the fountain. Euler concluded that the project would be feasible but warned the King that the proposed scheme was doomed to failure unless metal pipes, not wooden ones, were used. Euler was mocked by the King, who was contemptuous of scientists in general and misunderstood or misinterpreted Euler’s conclusion. However, Euler was proved right after repeated failures by the king's engineers to bring the project to fruition.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/euler-and-the-failed-fountain-of-sanssouci-1.3205969 

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And in that case, all that happened as a result was that a fountain didn't work. 

There are far greater things at stake.

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