Einstein A to Z by Karen C. Fox and Aries Keck

Recent Posts
Einstein is smart
Einstein's home was window on the universe
An Einstein theory still tantalizes
Lights around the world relay Einstein's genius
Einstein's desk gets spruced up for return visit to Berlin
Einstein's time of space and relative peace
Einstein led an eccentric, contradictory private life
Benchmark of genius: Einstein theories alive
Another Einstein? Perhaps not for a very long time
Stamp show to feature Einstein commemoration

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Blog: Einstein in the News

Einstein's century
Thursday, December 30, 2004

Albert Einstein joined the patent office in Bern, Switzerland, a little more than a century ago with an undistinguished academic record. He had flunked the entrance exam for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and took a job evaluating inventions because it paid a regular salary.

He wondered if he was a fool to try to become a physicist. Yet in 1905 he made discoveries that dwarfed anything passing through the patent office. Between March and September, he published five papers that revolutionised our understanding of the cosmos, any one of which would have won the Nobel prize. And he was still only 26.

Next year, 2005, has been designated Einstein year with events around Britain to mark the centenary of the physicist's annus mirabilis of achievement. No one else has produced so many works of such importance and originality in so short a time.
Full story from The Independent.

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Space Probe Puts Einstein To The Test
Thursday, December 30, 2004

Einstein's nearly 90-year-old General Theory of Relativity is getting one of its most rigorous tests high above the Earth. The Gravity Probe B (GP-B) has been in orbit since April 2004 conducting what could be a two-year test of the so-called "frame-dragging" effect—the "twisting" of the local space-time fabric. Critical to the tests: advances in design of gyroscopes.
Full story from Design News.

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Einstein's General Theory of Relativity tested
Monday, December 27, 2004

During a total eclipse of the Sun in 1919 it was shown that, as predicted by Albert Einstein, when light from a star passes near the Sun it is bent by 11/2 arc seconds. This is twice that predicted by Newton's theory. Today the deflection of radio waves from a quasar passing near the Sun when it is occulted, or eclipsed, by the Sun is measured and gives a much firmer result, than using a total solar eclipse. This was a great success and brought Einstein instant fame.

But Einstein's General Theory of Relativity also explained a longstanding discrepancy in the predicted and observed orbit of Mercury. This is more subtle than simple light bending and although it made less of an impression on the public, it convinced most astronomers that Einstein's ideas about gravity were correct.
Full story from The Malaysia Star.

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U.N. to mark centennial of Einstein's year of genius
Sunday, December 26, 2004

If the name Albert Einstein is synonymous with genius, it is mostly because of the work he did in 1905 - the year, as he described it, when "a storm broke loose in my mind."

In just seven months, the scientific legend produced theories that still underpin modern physics and that ultimately made possible such developments as the atomic bomb and global positioning technology.

To mark the 100th anniversary, the United Nations has declared 2005 the International Year of Physics. Over its course, historians will try to breathe life into an icon who is often reduced to caricature, while scientists struggle to explain his impact on the modern world.
Full story from Cleveland.com.

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The Physics of Santa Claus
Thursday, December 23, 2004

Every Christmas, calculations circulate that have been dubbed "The Physics of Santa Claus". The calculations cast doubt as to whether Santa Claus could possibly deliver gifts to all the world’s good children – and still remain within the laws of physics. To deliver gifts to all who deserve them, they assert, Santa would need to move so fast that he would vaporise due to air resistance, be torn to pieces by gravitational forces or suffer other terrible fates we wouldn’t wish for Santa Claus.

Many fall for these calculations. Yes, there has even been one instance in which a vicar was criticised for using them to explain to small children that Santa does not exist. Luckily, some would say, the vicar has apologised to the traumatised children.

Because, even though the physics of the calculations is apparently good, the reasoning rests on a completely wrong premise, namely that Santa Clause does not exist. Even small children understand that this premise is completely wrong!
Full story from PhysOrg.

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A Century of Einstein
Thursday, December 23, 2004

1905 was the 26-year-old Einstein's Annus Mirabilis (miraculous year). Still just a patent clerk, in his spare time he wrote 4 papers and his doctoral dissertation, all 5 works central to the revolutions in physics of the 20th century.

Meanwhile, the world is celebrating Einstein's miracle year with the World Year of Physics - 2005 and the UN General Assembly declared next year the International Year of Physics. That doesn't mean there aren't people out there still trying to prove Einstein wrong though - it's all part of science... Physics News Update reports on recent experiments designed to provide a yet more stringent test of the principles of special relativity, recently published in Physical Review Letters. They didn't find any violation, though, down to one part in 10^27. Einstein squeaks through again!
Full story from SciScoop.

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Scientists offer theories on physics of Santa Claus' flight
Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Scientists think they have figured out how Santa Claus does it.

Employing Einstein's theory of relativity, Santa can zip around the world warping time and space and turning Rudolph's nose a blurry blue.

For the past several years, a handful of holiday-hearted physicists, engineers and biologists have theorized as to just how Kris Kringle performs his yearly Christmas miracle while obeying the laws of physics. They've come up with different explanations for how fast Santa moves, how his reindeer fly, how Santa fits down chimneys and how he makes presents.
Full story from The Kansas City Star.

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Einstein Year Website Review
Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Einstein Year
Rating: 4/5 Stars
www.einsteinyear.org
Reviewed By: Web User

Backed by the Institute of Physics, this site promotes Einstein Year 2005, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of the genius’ papers.

It aims to get people fired up by physics and includes a Did you know section so you can impress friends with your grey matter, advice on putting on your own physics-inspired events and a cartoon character, Marvin the Cat, helps out with experiments. Online games include the Einstein Year Game where you become an intergalactic bear whose time machine is stolen by aliens. With so many fun things to do, the site might teach young people that physics + the web = fun.
Full story from WebUser Magazine.

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Einstein Looking for Volunteers
Monday, December 20, 2004

Volunteer engineers and physicists are being sought for the Institute of Physics' 'Lab in a Lorry' project, part of the Institute's Einstein Year. There are to be three of these mobile physics labs which will tour schools, festivals and supermarket car parks throughout the UK and Ireland. Volunteers are needed in each area to show youngsters how physics is one of the ultimate puzzles to explore and play with.
Full story from RedNova.com

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'Einstein' challenges North County leaders to work together, examine new ideas
Friday, December 17, 2004


The Einstein Guy
On the surface, it was a typical holiday meeting. But Wednesday's luncheon of the San Diego North Economic Development Council was actually a pitch for cooperation and understanding among the group's key members: business people, politicians and educators.

The pitchman: Arden Bercovitz, a Vista-based consultant and motivational speaker who appears in the persona and garb of Albert Einstein.

Bercovitz challenged those holding political, business and education jobs to look outside their own thoughts and beliefs to find useful ideas in other viewpoints. He drew parallels between Einstein's work in formulating relativity theory and insights that can be applied in daily life to increase creativity and productivity.

Relativity theory itself, Bercovitz pointed out, is based on the idea that reality depends on the frame of reference or point of view of the observer. Einstein's insight into differing views of the reality of nature also applies to people, he said.
Full story from North County Times.

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2005 - International Year of Physics, 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein
Friday, December 10, 2004

The United Nations has declared 2005 the International Year of Physics - and there's a very good reason why this particular year was chosen to raise worldwide public awareness of physics. It is also the 100th anniversary of physicist Albert Einstein's miraculous year in which he wrote five - or three depending on whom you ask - of his most famous scientific papers.

Also known as the World Year of Physics (WYP) - as declared by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics - 2005 will feature worldwide events of interest not only to physicists, but also to the general public.
Full story from PhysOrg.com.

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Einstein experts available to talk about 100th anniversary of his 1905 ground-breaking papers
Thursday, December 09, 2004

The United Nations has declared 2005 the International Year of Physics — and there's a very good reason why this particular year was chosen to raise worldwide public awareness of physics. It is also the 100th anniversary of physicist Albert Einstein's miraculous year in which he wrote five — or three depending on whom you ask — of his most famous scientific papers.

Also known as the World Year of Physics (WYP) — as declared by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics — 2005 will feature worldwide events of interest not only to physicists, but also to the general public.

Two physicists from Washington University in St. Louis — Clifford M. Will, Ph.D., professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, and John S. Rigden, Ph.D., adjunct professor of physics — who are both known for their ability to speak and write clearly about physics to the layperson will be giving talks throughout 2005 about Einstein's ideas and their impact on science and society 100 years later.
Full story from WUSTL News & Information.

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Einstein fridge comes in from the cold
Wednesday, December 01, 2004

He is best known as the past century's most famous genius. But as well as devising the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein was also responsible, it emerged yesterday, for a less celebrated discovery - a fridge.

Nearly 80 years after he invented it, a group of German physicists have begun making Einstein's unique alcohol-powered fridge.

The existence of the fridge shows that the great scientist was not only a theoretician but also a down-to-earth practical inventor.
Full story from Guardian Unlimited.

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Einstein A to Z * Karen C. Fox and Aries Keck
Wiley publishing * Publication date: August 2004 * ISBN: 0-471-46674-3 * $17.95 paperback * 300 pp