Prof. David Flores: Exhibition – Old sparks for new hopes


The Museum of Science and Technology – Belgrade inaugurated the exhibition « Old sparks for new hopes » by David Flores, professor of natural sciences in Spain and Art Ambassador of UNESCO Club Sorbonne. The exhibition shows,  in as much old sparks, replicas of machines, apparatus and instruments that revive a cabinet of traditional physics, specialized in electrostatics, in the late nineteenth century, and while new hopes, in its metaphorical sense, proposes a reflection on the sciences, and their implications, that we transmitt to the children of today, the guarantors of tomorrow.

In view of the lack of didactic instruments found in many school cabinets for the teaching of physics, the author wanted, on the one hand, to recall the classical instruments used in the nineteenth century, and on the other to encourage young engineers and builders to reinstate the task of producing traditional instruments and instruments for the teaching of the experimental sciences.

More than 25 functional, antique-looking replicas of apparatus and instruments, brought from Spain, are exhibited in the exhibition. All the replicas were made by the author of the exhibition in a period of 20 years. All major types of electrostatic machines are represented, among them we find replicas of very rare machines like those of Nairne, Carré, Holtz, Righi and Bonenberg. In addition to the lesser known or unknown devices today, visitors can also see some of the classic devices such as Electroscopes, Leyden Bottles or a Van de Graaff generator. Another significant part of this exhibition are the books of the author’s specialized library. Important in the history of science, they are presented in memorable editions, with descriptions and illustrations describing machines, and other more modern ones, indispensable for the task of the teacher, historian, or constructor. Besides, exhibition shows the samples of the materials used in practice, for electrostatics and for the manufacture of models.

Electrostatic machines, as such, were created from the seventeenth century. They were used as high voltage generators for the study of electrical phenomena. Confirmation that an electrostatic machine is working almost always means getting a spark at one end. In addition to its application for scientific purposes, the public display of the appearance of electric shocks for decades aroused great interest and represented an important social entertainment. There were even small-scale machines that were designed for children at the end of the 19th century with the aim of having fun and teaching them. The rapid development of transforming devices, such as the Rumkorff coil, capable of producing high potential electric current from small electrochemical elements, or as the Tesla transformer capable of generating high voltage and frequency currents, caused the electrostatic machines to fall in oblivion Modern appliances such as the Van de Graaff generator are still used in the production of very high voltages of several million volts, with the main aim of exploring matter at a subatomic scale.

The author explains his intention: « My profession is teaching, I always exercise with a certain degree of restlessness and with a high degree of Hope. Of concern, to know that it is not easy to transmit love to Art and Sciences to With Esperanza, because I firmly believe that without it, it would not make sense to play any role in the field of teaching, and because I was convinced that my professional responsibility was determined by her, since it would be a crime transmitting desperation to young people who open themselves to life. « 

David Flores Masvidal, professor of natural sciences, was born in Spain in 1966. David Flores Masvidal, professor of natural sciences, was born in 1966 in Kanet de Mar, Spain. He graduated gemology at the Faculty of Geology at the University of Barcellona, where he specialized in the study of diamonds. He also completed studies of philosophy and pedagogy, and has been educating for more than 20 years. He is professionally engaged in the production of replica of old scientific apparatus.

Exhibition Old sparks for new hopes: 09.2017-15.10.2017,

Museum of Science and Technology, Belgrade