Boscovich, Roger Joseph (1711-87) Jesuit mathematician and scientist. Born in Dubrovnik of Serbian and Italian parents, Rudjer Josip Bosšković was educated at Rome, and became professor of mathematics at the Collegium Romanum in 1740. He contributed extensively to different branches of mathematics and physics, but his philosophical fame rests on Philosophiae Naturalis Theoria Redacta ad Unicam Legem Virium in Natura Existentium (‘A Theory of Natural Philosophy Reduced to a Single Law of the Actions Existing in Nature’, 1758, trs. as Theory of Natural Philosophy, 1922). In this work Boscovich rejects the corpuscular theory that bases physics on the actions of impenetrable, inelastic, solid, massy atoms. Instead, following some of Leibniz's objections to this conception, he develops a theory of puncta, or point particles, interacting with each other according to an oscillatory law. There is nothing to the existence of a point particle except the kinematic forces with which it is associated. Boscovich's views were influential on scientists such as Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell and provided a forerunner of modern field theories. See also action at a distance, corpuscles, field.
According to some sources, Nikola Tesla claimed that Theory of Relativity concepts were advanced 200 years prior to Einstein by the same Boscovich (Uknown source):
"the relativity theory, by the way, is much older than its present proponents. It was advanced over 200 years ago by my illustrious countryman Ru?er Boškovic’, the great philosopher, who, not withstanding other and multifold obligations, wrote a thousand volumes of excellent literature on a vast variety of subjects. Boškovic’ dealt with relativity, including the so-called time-space continuum…"
In his modern scientific thinking about the structure of the universe, Boscovich was ahead of his time: He came to the conclusion that matter is composed of particles
that have powers of attraction and repulsion, and in 1748, he proposed a model for the structure of the atom. In the 19th century, scientists were aware that Boscovich's theories of forces
prefigured modern physics by nearly two centuries. British physicist Joseph John Thomson is said to have remarked that his own theory of the atom is pure "Boscovichian."
Quote from "Theoria Philosophiae Naturalis":
"It will be found that everything depends on the composition of the forces with which these particles of matter act upon one another: and from these forces, as a matter of fact, all phenomena of Nature take their origin".