News Report: 4/16/05 "100th Anniversary of Einstein's Quest "To Read The Mind of GOD"
Worldwide, universities and academies are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Einstein's "miracle year", when he published five scientific papers in 1905 that fundamentally changed our grasp of space, time, light and matter; followed about a decade later by his "theory of general relativity". Einstein's, stated intellectual quest
was for a single coherent law that governs the universe, saying that such a unified super theory of everything, still unwritten, would enable us to "read the mind of God."
Albert Einstein As Spiritualist: He escaped Hitler's Germany and devoted the rest of his life to humanitarian and pacifist causes with an authority unmatched by any scientist today, or even most politicians and religious leaders.
He used his celebrity to speak out against social injustices such as fascism and racial prejudices; as well as promoting international peace.
Gerry M. Kaye
April 18, 2005; 5:30 A. M. PT - Albert Einstein remains the foremost scientist of the modern era. In more than 2,000 years, only Newton, Galileo and Aristotle were his equals. "We are a different race of people than we were a century ago," says astrophysicist Michael Shara of the American Museum of Natural History, "utterly and completely different, because of Einstein." Undoubtedly, his genius launched a spectacular technological revolution that has generated more change in a century than in the previous two millennia.
The inventions of nuclear power, television, computers, satellites, telecommunication, lasers, etc., spring from Einstein's exploration into a complicated, technical world waiting to be discovered; and launched an intellectual quest for a single coherent law that governs the universe, Einstein saying, "...such a unified super theory of everything, still unwritten, would enable us to "read the mind of GOD."
Albert Einstein was born in an era of horse drawn carriages on March 14,1879 in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. He began his school career in Munich. From age six to age thirteen, he studied the violin and also had religious education at home where he was taught Judaism. Two years later he entered the Luitpold Gymnasium followed by religious education at school. In around 1891, he studied mathematics, particularly the calculus. He attended the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich, graduating in 1900 as a teacher of mathematics and physics.
Einstein worked in a patent office in Bern, from 1902 to 1909, holding a temporary post when he was first appointed. By 1904 the position was made permanent and in 1906 he was promoted to technical expert second class.While in the Bern patent office he completed an astonishing range of theoretical physics publications, written in his spare time without the benefit of close contact with scientific literature or colleagues. Einstein earned a doctorate from the University of Zurich in 1905 for a thesis on a new determination of molecular dimensions. After completing a series of impressive papers, by 1909 Einstein was recognized as a leading scientific thinker and resigned from the patent office.
He was appointed a full professor at the Karl-Ferdinand University in Prague in 1911, a very significant year for Einstein since he was able to make preliminary predictions about how a ray of light from a distant star, passing near the Sun, would appear to be bent slightly, in the direction of the Sun. This would be highly significant as it would lead to the first experimental evidence in favor of Einstein's theory.
In about 1912, Einstein began a new phase of his gravitational research, with the help of his mathematician friend Marcel Grossmann, by expressing his work in terms of the tensor calculus of Tullio Levi-Civita and Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro. Einstein called his new work the "General Theory of Relativity". He moved from Prague to Zurich in 1912 to take up a chair at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich. In 1914 he accepted an impressive offer of a research position in the Prussian Academy of Sciences together with a chair without teaching duties, at the University of Berlin. He was also offered the directorship of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics in Berlin which was about to be established.
In 1915, Einstein published the definitive version of general theory. When British eclipse expeditions in 1919 confirmed his predictions, Einstein was idolized by the popular press. The London Times ran the headline on November 7, 1919: "Revolution In Science - New Theory of the Universe - Newtonian Ideas Overthrown"
In 1920 Einstein lectured in Berlin, disrupted by demonstrations which, although officially denied, were thought to be anti-Jewish. There were strong feelings expressed against his works during this period to which Einstein replied to the press quoting the respected Lorentz, Planck and Eddington as supporting his theories.
He had a tumultuous personal life, married twice and indifferent toward his children while obsessed with physics.Yet he charmed friends and admirers with poetry and sailboat outings. Friends and neighbors fiercely protected his privacy. He famously stuck his tongue out at photographers, that is, when he wasn't wearing a Native American war bonnet or some other "disguise". Cartoonists loved him.
He never learned to drive and would walk home from his office at Princeton University, sockless and submerged in the pursuit of the "eternal riddle," letting his umbrella rattle against the bars of an iron fence. If his umbrella skipped a bar, he would go back to the beginning of the fence and start over. He demonstrated intense concentration, disregard for fashion with innate playfulness, while stopping traffic, and he inevitably, would be interrupted by both presidents and passers-by to "explain the universe". His musings on God, love and the meaning of life graced greeting cards and publications.
"Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something," Einstein once said, "wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." His shock of white hair and droopy mustache still symbolize genius.Who else could it be but Albert Einstein?
During 1921 Einstein made his first visit to the United States mainly to raise funds for the planned Hebrew University of Jerusalem. However, he received the Barnard Medal during his visit and lectured several times on relativity. He is reported to have commented to the chairman at the lecture he gave in a large hall at Princeton which was overflowing with people: " I never realized that so many Americans were interested in tensor analysis."
Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his 1905 work on the photoelectric effect. In 1922 he made many international visits. He had visited Paris and in 1923 he visited Palestine. After making his last major scientific discovery on the association of waves with matter in 1924 he further traveled in 1925 to South America. Einstein received the Copley Medal of the Royal Society in 1925 and the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1926.
In 1930 he came back to the United States, and again in 1932 when offered a post at Princeton. The idea was that Einstein would spend seven months a year in Berlin, five months at Princeton. Einstein accepted and left Germany in December 1932 for the United States. The following month the Nazis came to power in Germany and Einstein was never to return there.
During 1933 Einstein traveled in Europe visiting Oxford, Glasgow, Brussels and Zurich. Offers of academic posts which he had found so hard to get in 1901, were plentiful. He received offers from Jerusalem, Leiden, Oxford, Madrid and Paris.
What was intended only as a visit became a permanent arrangement by 1935 when he applied and was granted permanent residency in the United States. At Princeton his work attempted to unify the laws of physics. However, he was attempting problems of great depth and he wrote, "I have locked myself into quite hopeless scientific problems - the more so since, as an elderly man, I have remained estranged from the society here... "
He escaped Hitler's Germany and devoted the rest of his life to humanitarian and pacifist causes with an authority unmatched by any scientist today, or even most politicians and religious leaders. He used his celebrity to speak out against social injustices such as fascism and racial prejudices.
In 1940 Einstein became a citizen of the United States, but chose to retain his Swiss citizenship. He made many contributions to peace during his life. In 1944 he made a contribution to the war effort by hand writing his 1905 paper on special relativity and putting it up for auction. It raised six million dollars, the manuscript today being in the Library of Congress.
By 1949 Einstein was unwell. Time in a hospital helped him recover, but he began to prepare for death by drawing up his will in 1950. He left his scientific papers to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a university which he had raised funds for on his first visit to the USA, and had served as a governor of the university from 1925 to1928; but he had turned down the offer of a post in 1933 as he was very critical of its administration.
Albert Einstein died: April 18, 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. He was cremated at Trenton, New Jersey. His ashes were scattered at an undisclosed place.
Yet there is more to why Einstein transcends mere genius and has become our culture's grandfatherly icon. One week before his death Einstein signed his last letter. It was a letter to Bertrand Russell in which he agreed that his name should go on a manifesto urging all nations to give up nuclear weapons. It is fitting that one of his last acts was to argue, as he had done all his life, for international peace.
March, 1905: Conventional physics described light as a wave and could not explain how light can knock electrons off metal. Einstein showed that light is made of tiny packets of energy, or quanta, that can behave like individual particles, too.
His explanation of the "photoelectric effect" won him the Nobel prize in 1921.
April: Based on cafe conversations over tea, Einstein submits a paper that determined the size of sugar molecules by calculating their diffusion in the liquid.
May: He shows how particles (like pollen) that appear to be independently moving in water are being jostled by atoms in water that are moving chaotically. Known as Brownian motion, Einstein's calculations confirmed the atom's existence and by extension, the makeup of chemical elements.
June: Einstein's paper on "special relativity" separates him from the mainstream physics crowd. Newton considered gravity to be absolute — mass attracts mass. It's what makes gas and dust form stars and debris form planets.
But Einstein sought to explain anomalies in this rule. Scientists had concluded that light was just one of many kinds of electromagnetic waves moving through an unseen medium they called ether, and the speed of light is always the same.
Einstein recalled a teenage daydream of racing a light beam. According to the physics of his day, if he moved as fast as the light, then the beam would be stationary in space.
Einstein said the speed of light is constant at 186,282 miles per second. But it will appear different depending on where you are and how fast you are traveling.
For example, clocks on orbiting satellites run a bit slower because the satellites are orbiting at 17,000 mph. They have programs that help them align with clocks on Earth.
Or, suppose you were to "witness" a star exploding into a supernova. The explosion occurred thousands of years ago, but it has taken that long for the light to reach you here.
November: Einstein publishes an extension of special relativity regarding the conversion of mass into energy, noting that the "mass of a body is a measure of its energy content." In 1907, he abbreviated it to what would become science's most famous equation: The amount of energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, or Emc2.
C2 is such a huge number that even small amounts of mass pack big power.
This became the theoretical basis for both atomic explosions and atomic energy.
"Each of these papers is a landmark in physics," said University of Maryland physicist S. James Gates. "And yet all of his work in 1905 is a prelude to his greatest composition: the "Theory of General Relativity."
Special relativity was incomplete because it did not deal with gravity. To Newton, gravity was a constant, absolute force. Drop an apple and it hits the ground. A planet traces a curved orbit because the sun's gravity tugs at the planet.
In Einstein's relative world, matter warps the time and space around it. So, the sun's mass dents and distorts the space-time fabric, curving the planet's trajectory.
He reasoned that even particles of light, which have very tiny mass, should be affected in this way.
In 1919, astronomers watching a solar eclipse observed the light from a distant star being deflected by the darkening sun's mass, by a few hundredths of a millimeter.
General Relativity laid the foundation for all kinds of discoveries, such as the Big Bang, the expansion of the universe and black holes.
Yet relativity is both so profound and confounding that even other physicists have trouble grasping its nuances.
Einstein described relativity this way: "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity."
News: 8/21/05 "Handwritten Manuscript by Einstein Discovered"
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands; Leiden U., Lorentz Inst. for Theoretical Physics - Scholars say that the original manuscript of a paper published by Albert Einstein in 1925 has been found in Leiden University's archives. Dated Dec., 1924, the handwritten manuscript titled "Quantum Theory of the Monatomic Ideal Gas" was considered one of Einstein's last great breakthroughs, it was published in the proceedings of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin in Jan., 1925.
References: Albert Einstein | "Einstein's Legacy Keeps on Expanding" By JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA, AP Science Writer, Apr. 16, 2005
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