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

Archives
June 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
July 2006

Blog: Einstein in the News

Comedians Try to Make Physics Funny
Monday, January 31, 2005

A team of stand-up comics are to attempt the near impossible by making physics funny.

The foursome, who call themselves punkscience, will tackle the mind-bending complexities of Albert Einstein’s theories at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre in London tomorrow.

Einstein would have appreciated the challenge of trying to get a laugh out of Special and General Relativity – not to mention Brownian motion and the Photoelectric Effect.

But punkscience intend to explain it all in just under an hour by fusing Edinburgh Festival-style comedy with a serious educational lecture.

The show, taking place tomorrow and next Tuesday, is part of a series of events marking the 100th anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s three major scientific papers.
Full story from Scotsman.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Optical tweezers to prove Einstein right
Monday, January 31, 2005

100 years after Einstein's landmark paper, optical tweezer technology could confirm the theory of classical Brownian motion in details that Einstein missed when he first proposed it a century ago. This research is reported today in a special Einstein Year issue of the New Journal of Physics published jointly by the Institute of Physics and the German Physical Society (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft).

"Optical tweezers" use a focused laser beam to trap and study microscopic objects, such as the individual bio-molecules that power muscle cells and propel sperm, and those that read the genetic code. The device is disturbed, however, by a subtle effect in Brownian motion known as the back-flow effect.

100 years ago in 1905, Einstein published a landmark paper on Brownian motion. He theorised that it is the constant buffeting of microscopic particles that goes on in any fluid as the fluid molecules randomly knock those particles around. He missed the subtle "back-flow effect" in which the very movement of a particle disturbs the water which ultimately bounces back to nudge the particle in return. "It's like a boat that tries to stop, and then is pushed by its stern wave when that wave catches up with the boat," explains Henrik Flyvbjerg of Risø National Laboratory in Denmark. "Optical tweezers sense the back-flow effect," adds Flyvbjerg, "but that also means it can be studied with them."
Full story from the Institute of Physics.

posted by Einstein A to Z
U.N. and U. honor Einstein, kick off World Year of Physics
Monday, January 31, 2005

The party is in full swing, relatively speaking.

On the 100th anniversary of what physicists refer to as Albert Einstein's "miraculous" year, the University of Utah is joining institutions around the globe to make 2005 the World Year of Physics. The United Nations is encouraging events worldwide.

In 1905, the Swiss patent clerk produced a trio of scientific papers. The first gave a theory on the behavior of light. Einstein's next paper offered an experimental test for the theory of heat. The last paper was the Theory of Special Relativity, which sought a way to connect electromagnetic theory and ordinary motion.
Full story from the Salt Lake Tribune.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Albert Einstein the genuis...
Sunday, January 30, 2005

AT birth, his most remarkable feature was his misshapen head; his parents harboured fears that he was mentally disabled. As a child, he took a long time to talk, but when he did he spoke in complete sentences. As a teenager, his nickname was Biedermeier, which means nerd, and he dropped out of school. Yet, by the time of his death in 1955, Albert Einstein was feted as one of the cleverest men who had ever lived.
Full story from New Straits Times.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Everything's coming up Einstein
Sunday, January 30, 2005

"What are you up to, you frozen whale, you smoked, dried, canned piece of soul?" So did Albert Einstein, then a 26-year-old patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, begin a letter to his pal Conrad Habicht in the spring of 1905. Whatever Habicht, a math teacher in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, had been up to was not much compared with his irreverent friend, who had been altering the foundations of physics during the few free hours left to a young father, husband and government worker. As he related to Habicht, Einstein had just finished writing three major physics papers.

One showed how the existence of atoms, still a debatable proposition, could be verified by measuring the jiggling of microscopic particles in a glass of water, a process known as Brownian motion. In another, his doctoral dissertation for the University of Zurich, he deduced the size of molecules. In still another, which he described as "very revolutionary," Einstein argued that light behaved as if it were composed of particles, rather than the waves that most physicists thought.

That paper, which won the 1921 Nobel Prize for him, was to help lay the foundation for quantum theory, a paradoxical statistical description of nature on the smallest subatomic scales that he himself later rejected, saying that God did not play dice with the universe.

But he wasn't done. There was a fourth paper, he told Habicht, still just a rough draft that employed "a modification of the theory of space and time."

That, of course, was relativity, the theory that set the speed of light as the universal speed limit and loosened space and time from their Newtonian rigidity, allowing them to breathe, expand, contract and bend — and led to the expanding universe and the apocalyptic marriage of energy and mass in the famous equation E=mc(squared).
Full story from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

posted by Einstein A to Z
A Century of Einstein
Saturday, January 29, 2005

If you think it's sometimes hard to understand how a teenager's mind works, have some sympathy for Albert Einstein's mother. When he was just a teenager, Einstein was pondering what a light wave would look like if he could observe it while moving at light speed.

That's just the sort of gee-whiz anecdote that can distance normal people from Einstein's achievements (and from physics in general). But what Einstein did 100 years ago this year is neither irrelevant to everyday life nor merely arcane scientific lore. Without the revolutionary papers he wrote in 1905, we would barely recognize the world around us. Where would we be without him?
Full story from Wired News.

posted by Einstein A to Z
A critique of Einstein by Fred Hutchison
Friday, January 28, 2005

Discover Magazine had a special Einstein issue for September 2004. Fifty-eight pages of glossy magazine space was devoted to Einstein! Einstein seems to be growing as an American cult hero. He is not only a dominating figure in the sciences but he has a profound influence on the culture. His theory of relativity sends the message that all things are relative in the cosmos, with the strong implication that the realms of morality, truth and culture are relative. I dissent. I disagree that morality, truth and culture are purely relative. And I deny that the physical world is what Einstein says it is.

Who Am I to Question Einstein?
I claim to be able to criticize Einstein on grounds that do not require an advanced degree in physics. My grounds for criticism are ...
Full story from RenewAmerica.

posted by Einstein A to Z
'Mozart and Einstein helped me escape horror of Nazi death camps'
Thursday, January 27, 2005

FORMER Caversham school teacher Ruth Ascher has revealed how playing Mozart for Albert Einstein saved her from certain death in a Nazi extermination camp.

As a Jewish teenager the 91-year-old left her home in the German industrial town of Mannheim to meet the physicist - a personal friend of her uncle - who was living in self-exile in Belgium.

She said: "I had a beautiful holiday on the Belgian coast, and a tea party was organised where I played Mozart's concerto in C minor for him, and afterwards he came over and kissed me.

"My aunt asked if he would write some letters to influential people in England, and I was able to have a new life."
Full story from icBerkshire.

posted by Einstein A to Z
E-mail to Chongming to celebrate Einstein
Thursday, January 27, 2005

A special ceremony will be held on Chongming Island to receive an e-mail about Albert Einstein from Princeton University through an undersea fiber link on April 19, organizers said yesterday.

The event is part of a series of activities to mark the World Year of Physics in 2005 as well as to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the great scientist's death.

"We will raise a big screen on Chongming Island to amplify the special Einstein e-mail from the United States," Chen Hong, deputy director of the popular science department of the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology, said yesterday."We want to encourage more students to take up physics research," said Chen, noting that Shanghai will become the first Chinese city to receive the message.
Full story from China View.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein's remarks were nearly always quite remarkable
Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Albert Einstein was arguably one of the smartest people to ever live. He was also among the most quotable, offering commentary – funny, sad, pithy, edifying – on almost every subject imaginable, from the nature of the universe to himself.

On the universe
"For every one billion particles of antimatter, there were one billion and one particles of matter. And when the mutual annihilation was complete, one billionth remained – and that's our present universe."

"Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy."

On reality
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

On time
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."

On the future
"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."

On life
"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18."

On intelligence
"As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists."

On religion
"I do not believe in a personal God, and I have never denied this, but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious, then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

On science
"I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part, and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy."

On science and religion
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

On himself
"I hear from Elsa that you are dissatisfied because you did not see our Uncle Einstein. Let me therefore tell you what I look like: pale face, long hair, and a tiny beginning of a paunch. In addition an awkward gait, and a cigar in the mouth – if he happens to have a cigar – and a pen in his pocket or his hand. But crooked legs and warts he does not have, and so he is quite handsome – also no hair on his hands as is often found on ugly men. So it is indeed a pity that you did not see me." (In a letter to his niece.)

"I sometimes ask myself how it came about that I was the one to develop the theory of relativity. The reason, I think, is that a normal adult never stops to think about problems of space and time. These are things which he has thought about as a child. But my intellectual development was retarded, as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up."

On being quoted
"It never occurred to me that every casual remark of mine would be snatched up and recorded, otherwise I would have crept further into my shell."
Full story from SignOnSanDiego.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Israeli Campus Holds Key to Einstein's Memory
Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The dog-droopy eyes, spray of gray hair and rumpled suits may not have set many hearts aflutter, but nowadays Albert Einstein's image is guarded as jealously as that of the hottest Hollywood celebrity.

From entertainment moguls to educational innovators, anyone wanting to use a picture of the 20th century's most celebrated scientist must get permission from the Israeli university he helped found and which owns all the rights to his legacy.

"We have one objective -- perpetuating Einstein's memory with the proper dignity," said Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, a former president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who oversees a 55,000-item archive and trust willed by the German-born physicist.
Full story from Reuters.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
In a single year Albert Einstein changed science and history forever
Wednesday, January 26, 2005

In 1902, the great French mathematician Henri Poincaré wrote a book called "La Science et l'Hypothese," in which he described three fundamental unsolved problems:
  1. Why did ultraviolet light eject electrons from a metal surface?
  2. What caused the endless zigzagging of pollen particles in liquid?
  3. How do you measure Earth's movement through universal ether?
Between March and September of 1905, Einstein – working full time as a patent clerk to support a new wife and infant son – wrote five research papers that would ultimately help elevate him to icon status.
Full story from SignOnSanDiego.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein packed a lot of life into his 76 years
Wednesday, January 26, 2005

1879
Born March 14 in Ulm, Germany

1895
Attends school in Switzerland

1901
Becomes Swiss citizen

1902
Gets job at Swiss patent office in Bern
Full story from SignOnSanDiego.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Think big, like Einstein
Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Albert Einstein's achievements in his "annus mirabilis" a hundred years ago, and – even more – his theory of general relativity that emerged in 1915 gave him a status in the scientific pantheon matched only by Newton.

Einstein's great work was over well before he was 40. Photos from that time show him as a nattily dressed young professor, though we're more familiar with the image of the old Einstein – the benign and unkempt sage of poster and T-shirt. But Einstein didn't rest on his laurels in old age: he worked till his dying day seeking a unified theory of nature's forces. At that time it was, we now realise, a premature quest which was doomed from the start. Cynics have said that Einstein might as well have gone fishing from 1920 onwards.

Although there's something rather noble about the way he persevered in his attempts to reach far beyond his grasp, in some respects the Einstein cult sends the wrong signal. It unduly exalts "armchair theory", which by itself would achieve little. We're no wiser than Aristotle was, and the advance of science stems mainly from new technology and new instruments – in symbiosis, of course, with theory and insight.
Full story from telegraph.co.uk.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Physicists celebrate Einstein milestone
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Australia has kicked off the international year of physics with a call to recognise the nation's scientific heroes.

More than 900 Australian physicists are gathering for a congress in Canberra next week, the first major event for the United Nations International Year of Physics celebrating 100 years since Albert Einstein's world-changing theories were published.

Congress chairman and deputy director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Quantum Atom Objects, Dr Ken Baldwin, said one of Australia's main aims over the year was to get children excited about science.

"We should recognise our scientific and our artistic heroes and those in other fields of endeavour as much as we recognise our sporting heroes," Dr Baldwin said.
Full story from The Sydney Morning Herald.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Proving Einstein Right
Monday, January 24, 2005

It was 100 years ago when an obscure 26-year-old office worker in a Swiss patent office submitted five papers that would radically change the way people think about the universe.

In fact, Albert Einstein's ideas, devised entirely from thought, were so advanced that scientists are still trying to prove some of them.

To find evidence for the brilliant physicist's ideas, researchers are using the latest in technology and a century of research — neither of which Einstein had when he devised such profound concepts as the General Theory of Relativity.

"It's amazing Einstein came up with his theories just by thinking about the situation," said Peter Shawhan, a staff scientist at the California Institute of Technology.
Full story from ABC News.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein: man and myth
Sunday, January 23, 2005

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 world.
Full story from The Seattle Times.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Opinion: Celebrating Einstein
Saturday, January 22, 2005

Since Germany is making this year "Einstein Year" to honor the 100th anniversary of the invention of the physicist's theory of relativity, people are bound to ask themselves every now and then, exactly what the fascination surrounding this genius is all about. Exactly why, compared to many other 20th century experts, is this scientist considered an idol, a pop icon, and at the same time a citizen of the world, a rebel and a pacifist?

While names like Pointcare, Heisenberg and Bohr are little known to anything more than a small group of experts, Albert Einstein enjoys almost global fame and reverence. Even during his lifetime, he was a media star, for whom it proved possible to remain in touch with the world public in spite of his highly specialized scientific activity.
Full story from Detusche Welle.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Uneasy celebrations for Einstein, 'citizen of the world'
Saturday, January 22, 2005

Nowhere have the celebrations of Albert Einstein's life provoked as much tortuous soul-searching as in Germany, which seems intent on paying tribute to the physicist without mentioning that he was German.

While the world marks the centenary of his theory of relativity with fanfares, the land of his birth appears unsure how to do justice to a great scientist who was born and worked there but was hounded out by the Nazis.

Until he fled a month before Hitler became chancellor he was the target of widespread hostility from colleagues, who accused him of imposing his "Jewish ideas" on science, and the authorities put him on a political blacklist as early as 1923.
Full story from The Sydney Morning Herald.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein’s brain
Friday, January 21, 2005

During his life, Albert Einstein made some of the world’s greatest scientific discoveries. However, the location of his brain, which was controversially removed by the pathologist Dr Thomas Harvey upon Einstein’s death in 1955, remained a mystery for years. A new TV series, co-presented by UCL’s Dr Mark Lythgoe and physicist Dr Jim Al-Khalili, uncovers the odyssey of Einstein’s brain in order to understand whether a person’s brain, even after death, can reveal the truth behind their genius.

During the series, Dr Lythgoe profiles the individuals involved in the bizarre life after death journey of Einstein’s brain, including Dr Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who removed and dissected Einstein’s brain and Mr Steven Levy, a journalist who eventually rediscovered the brain in a cider box in Dr Harvey’s living room in Wichita, Kansas.
Full story from PhysOrg.

posted by Einstein A to Z
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt kicks off "Think Einstein, 2005."
Friday, January 21, 2005

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, in a lecture Thursday evening on the centenary of Albert Einstein's miraculous year, cited a lack today of the very qualities in Einstein being celebrated this year — intellectual honesty and protections against arrogance.

"We would do well to have a little more reliance on evidence than we do on ideology," said Rep. Holt (D-12), who delivered the Historical Society of Princeton's annual Lewis B. Cuyler lecture at the Computer Sciences Building on the Princeton University campus.

The lecture also kicked off "Think Einstein 2005," a Princetonwide celebration of the 100th anniversary of Einstein's "annus mirabilis," or miraculous year, which is being spearheaded by the historical society.
Full story from The Princeton Packet.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Faces of the week
Friday, January 21, 2005

Albert Einstein's face is iconic, one of the most identifiable of the 20th Century. It defines that "mad professor look" so beloved of 1960s horror or sci-fi movies.

Yet, the face we all know and love belonged to an old man whose best work had been done decades ago when he was a dapper youngster of 26.

Those who knew him say he was nothing like the scientist stereotype, neither absent-minded nor other worldly.
Full story from BBC NEWS.

posted by Einstein A to Z
One-fifth Germans like to dine with Einstein
Friday, January 21, 2005

One fifth of the Germans want to have dinner together with Albert Einstein if they had the chance, a new survey released on Thursday said.

Einstein is German's most favorite companion for dinner among eleven celebrities in the history, the survey conducted by the TV broadcaster Discovery Channel said.

Pupils and young people are especially enthusiastic at the genius physician who was born in Germany and lived in Berlin for 19 years before he fled the Nazi rule to the United States in 1933.
Full story from CHINAdaily.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Israeli campus holds key to Einstein's memory
Friday, January 21, 2005

The dog-droopy eyes, spray of grey hair and rumpled suits may not have set many hearts aflutter, but nowadays Albert Einstein's image is guarded as jealously as that of the hottest Hollywood celebrity.

From entertainment moguls to educational innovators, anyone wanting to use a picture of the 20th century's most celebrated scientist must get permission from the Israeli university he helped found and which owns all the rights to his legacy.

"We have one objective -- perpetuating Einstein's memory with the proper dignity," said Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, a former president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who oversees a 55,000-item archive and trust willed by the German-born physicist.
Full story from Reuters UK.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein: the wilderness years
Friday, January 21, 2005

ALBERT Einstein changed the world, and is celebrated for his early discoveries, which remain the basis of our understanding of how the universe works. Yet by the time he died, he had spent 20 years in a fruitless search for a theory he never found.

Einstein’s name is still a byword for brainy success, but his later career was marked by scientific wrong turns, as he strayed far from the cutting edge of physics. Colleagues mourned the waste of a great talent and his last act was to pen a glowing foreword to a book denying the existence of plate tectonics, even then widely accepted as an orthodoxy.

"His colleagues thought, and still think," wrote CP Snow in 1979, "that he wasted the second half of his life."
Full story from Scotsman.com .

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein's legacy
Thursday, January 20, 2005

Orbiting 400 miles above Earth, a satellite called Gravity Probe B is looking for subtle effects predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. Finding them requires unparalleled precision. The rotors in the satellite's gyroscopic instruments are the closest humans have ever come to making perfect spheres. The mission is the latest confirmation that the quest to follow Einstein's lead never ends.

It has been 100 years since Einstein published five papers that led directly to two Nobel Prizes, unveiled the world's most famous scientific equation, and set physics on the course it still follows today.

Now, a century later, physicists are throwing a year-long, worldwide party to commemorate the results of that trajectory. Einstein's work - along with subsequent advances in quantum mechanics - have blossomed into scientific discoveries that touch ordinary lives in many surprising ways.
Full story from The Christian Science Monitor.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Celebrating Einstein’s "miraculous year"
Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Arts and Sciences Libraries have constructed an online exhibit celebrating Albert Einstein's life and achievements with links to manuscripts and papers, scientific articles, related news and events, biographic data, photographs and audio-visual materials, games and thought experiments, as well as to a site designed to help kids think like physicists.

The exhibit, was mounted because 2005 marks the 100th anniversary of Einstein's "miraculous year"—1905—when he published seminal papers on relativity, the photoelectric effect and "Brownian motion" that continue to influence all of modern physics.
Full story from the University of Buffalo Reporter.

posted by Einstein A to Z
'Einstein Comes Through' is the debut effort of a pair of rookie playwrights with long theater résumés
Thursday, January 20, 2005

Most first-time playwrights find it thrilling but also daunting to watch their plays go into rehearsal. For David Ellenstein and Marc Silver, getting their "Einstein Comes Through" up on its feet has been a "freeing and creative process, because we are still part of it. We are the playwrights, after all, and we can do anything that we want," said Ellenstein. He's directing the solo play at his North Coast Repertory Theatre, with Silver performing it.
Full story from SignOnSanDiego.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
New play uses Einstein to tackle life's problems
Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Even though Albert Einstein is a name that most people know, not everyone is truly familiar with his scientific breakthroughs. That's what David Ellenstein discovered when he played Einstein in a play at the Laguna Playhouse a few years ago.

"I did some research and was fascinated by his world view," said Ellenstein, now North Coast Repertory Theatre's artistic director. "He was a humanist who believed that everything that exists is there for a reason."

Ellenstein had been thinking of developing a one-man play that he could tour as a backup to his regular acting gigs. Then he bumped into Marc Silver, another actor who played Einstein in a show for kids. They decided to write their play together.
Full story from the North County Times.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Physicist who crosses the great divide to make you smile
Tuesday, January 18, 2005

IT'S THE 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's remarkable year - 1905. Exactly a century ago, Einstein - then a young man - produced in rapid succession three scientific papers which transformed the 20th century. Or perhaps the right phrase is that he created the 20th century, and our scientific understanding of it.

Most of us have heard of the theory of relativity, even if we are hard-pressed to describe what it means. Einstein himself, much, much later, when he had become a kind of scientific superstar in America after the Second World War, put it this way: if you are stuck in a room with a beautiful woman for an hour, it can seem like ten minutes. If you are stuck on a hot radiator which burns you for ten minutes, it can seem like an hour.

That's relativity. It's also quite funny. There are not many Nobel prize-winning physicists with such a well-developed sense of humour.
Full story from Scotsman.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Germany to mark year of Einstein
Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Germany, the birthplace of Albert Einstein, launches a year of international celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of three of the physicist's four papers that changed the way we view the Universe.

Tomorrow, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will officially open Einstein Year, a programme of events to celebrate the work of the best-known name in science whose Jewish origins and pacifist beliefs led him to turn his back on his homeland in the face of persecution from the Nazis.
Full story from Gulf Daily News.

posted by Einstein A to Z
The Riddle of Einstein’s Brain
Monday, January 17, 2005

During his life, Albert Einstein's brain was the source of ideas and concepts so incredible that they changed the world forever. Following his death in 1955, pathologist Dr Thomas Harvey saw an opportunity to study one of the greatest scientific minds of the century. Einstein's brain was removed and dissected for study in a controversy that is only now being finally resolved.
Full story from TV Today.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Physicists count on Einstein's relativity
Sunday, January 16, 2005

Physicist Albert Einstein once rued the disconnection between science and the world beyond the lab door.

"Science is a wonderful thing, if one does not have to earn one's living at it," he observed acidly.

Today, physicists around the world agree with that sentiment just as much as they agree with his theories of relativity.

But they are out to do something about it.
Full story from ABC News Online.

posted by Einstein A to Z
The matter between Einstein's ears
Saturday, January 15, 2005

The bizarre story of Albert Einstein's brain has taken a new twist: half a century after it was sliced into 240 pieces, a team has created a life-size replica which it believes could shed new light on one of the greatest scientific minds.

This year, scientists are commemorating the 50th anniversary of Einstein's death and the 100th anniversary of his intellectual flowering. In 1905, his then 26-year-old brain helped to redraw our understanding of energy, matter, motion, time and space.
Full story from The Sydney Morning Herald.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein owned the past century
Friday, January 14, 2005

Imagine if Albert Einstein were around today.

Imagine him showing up on David Letterman's show to explain his latest discoveries about time, space and gravity. Or going on TV shout-shows to defend his peacenik Zionist politics.

Do you think the genius who single-handedly overturned the way we understand the universe would be as big a celebrity today as, say, Dr. Phil? Oprah? And don't say it would be relative.

Einstein is still dead. And many of his cosmos-rocking ideas seem primitive in the age of quantum mechanics and assertions by top astrophysicists that we live in an infinite number of parallel universes.

But the past 100 years -- as Astronomy magazine clearly explains in "Relativity turns 100," its cover package on Einstein's brain, life and continuing influence -- still can credibly be called "Einstein's Century."
Full story from PittsburghLIVE.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Cosmic waves seen around black hole
Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Black holes may actually drag the fabric of space and time around them as they spin, creating waves for cosmic material to surf on, astronomers say.

This is new evidence that some black holes spin, even as they pull in everything around them, including light. Additional research shows that black holes can twirl material at tremendous speed, as fast as 33,000 kilometers per second.

"Gas whipping around the black hole has no choice but to ride that wave," Jon Miller of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics said on Monday. "Albert Einstein predicted this over 80 years ago, and now we are starting to see evidence for it."
Full story from STUFF.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Quantum Computer Scientist Profiled In Nature In Connection With Einstein Centenary
Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Dr. Dorit Aharonov, of the Benin School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been chosen by the science journal Nature as one of four young theorists being profiled in the current issue of the magazine to mark the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's publication of three of his landmark theories in 1905, when he was 26 years old.

Dr. Aharonov's work focuses on a new computational model based on the law of quantum physics that has caused a revolution in the theory of computer science.
Full story from PhysOrg.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
An idea that's pure genius
Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Expect to see a lot of the familiar, wild-haired image of Albert Einstein this year.

The United Nations has declared 2005 the International Year of Physics. And for good reason — it's the 100th anniversary of Einstein's emergence as last century's greatest scientist.

In a single year, he published four fundamental papers on the nature of light, heat, special relativity and energy.
Full story from HoustonChronicle.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
World Year of Physics 2005 Begins with Paris Conference
Monday, January 10, 2005

The World Year of Physics 2005 will officially launch at the Physics for Tomorrow conference in Paris, January 13-15. Four American students have received scholarships from U.S. physics organizations to attend the historic meeting and help decide the future of physics and physicists.

The meeting features Nobel Laureates, eminent scientists, and outstanding young physics students from around the globe who will gather together to discuss the impact of physics on daily life and the importance of physics research for socio-economic development in the 21st century.
Full story from PhysOrg.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Black hole whips up wave in space-time
Monday, January 10, 2005

Armed with cosmic speed guns and other high-tech devices, astronomers have witnessed amazing speeds around one black hole and an exotic wave in space-time careening around another.

The findings are among the most convincing ever of the incredible velocities and distortions that occur very close to black holes, and they help provide better estimates of the masses of the black holes. They also showcase a new method for getting an even better handle on these gravitational behemoths.

In one finding, a spinning black hole appears to create an orbiting wave. In a gross oversimplification, the process is similar to the wobble of a spinning top. The other study found evidence of hot spots — perhaps blobs of hot gas the size of the sun, or maybe regions lit by magnetic energy — traveling at 10 percent the speed of light.
Full story from MSNBC.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Science world celebrates centennial of Einstein theory
Monday, January 10, 2005

Albert Einstein was well known in Princeton for his generosity. But Jack Rosenberg remembers the time Einstein's colleagues asked him to turn the tables and help give the famous scientist a gift.

"The look of pleasure on his face was a sight I will never forget," said Rosenberg, then a young engineer, who installed a personal recording studio in Einstein's home for his 70th birthday in 1949.

"I have never witnessed a more authentic surprise," Rosenberg recalled in a recent newsletter of the Institute for Advanced Study.

Yet the gifts Einstein was known to give were not just personal; his remarkable contributions to Princeton and scientific progress are known throughout the world.
Full story from The Daily Princetonian.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein ballet is packed with catchy numbers
Monday, January 10, 2005

There's "high" art, there's "difficult" art, and there's the really inaccessible stuff. But it's hard to imagine anything potentially more challenging than a ballet based on Einstein's theory of relativity.

Nonetheless, the celebrated equation E=mc2 is being turned into a dance as part of the Einstein Year festivities.

The ballet, Constant Speed, will be staged by the Rambert, the country's oldest dance company, as one of the highlights of its spring tour.
Full story from telegraph.co.uk.

posted by Einstein A to Z
E=mc2 at 100 years; Einstein remembered
Sunday, January 09, 2005

This week's Q&A is with Yannick Meurice, professor of physics at the University of Iowa. Questions include:
  • Why are [Einstein's 1905 papers] considered to be such a watershed moment in modern physics?
  • Does physics today rely more upon the multi-million dollar experiments or the logical imagination that explains the significance of those experiments?
  • Who are our Einsteins in 2005?
Full story from Iowa City Press-Citizen.

posted by Einstein A to Z
We can learn from Einstein's greatest failure
Saturday, January 08, 2005

We have entered what is being celebrated as the Einstein Year, marking the centenary of the physicist's annus mirabilis in 1905, when he published three landmark papers -- those that proved the existence of the atom, showed the validity of quantum physics and, of course, introduced the world to his theory of special relativity. Not bad for a beginner.

"It's not that I'm so smart," Einstein once said, "It's just that I stay with problems longer." Whatever the reason for his greatness, there is no doubt that this determination allowed him to invent courageous new physics and explore realms that nobody else had dared to investigate.

What he was not, however, was a perfect genius. In fact, when it came to the biggest scientific issue of all -- the origin of the universe -- he was utterly wrong. And while we should certainly laud his achievements over the next 12 months, we may learn a more valuable lesson by investigating Einstein's greatest failure.
Full story from HoustonChronicle.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein's century
Friday, January 07, 2005

Albert Einstein began working at 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 the job evaluating inventions because it paid a regular salary.

Yet in 1905 he made discoveries that dwarfed anything passing through the patent office. Between March and September, he published five papers, any one of which would have won the Nobel Prize. They revolutionised our understanding of the cosmos. He was 26.

This year has been designated Einstein year 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. He demonstrated, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.
Full story from The New Zealand Herald.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein Gets Make-over
Thursday, January 06, 2005

The University of the West of England in Bristol has compiled a new pack of physics tricks for scientists which aims to engage a wide audience in some of the important principles of physics as part of Einstein Year (2005).

'Physics to Go' is an innovative pack, full of advice designed to allow interested scientists to take fun, educational demonstrations into their community.

Some of the ideas are 'Balloon kebabs', 'Alka-Seltzer rockets' and a 'tame tornado'.

The purpose of the pack is to contribute to Einstein Year's aim of raising the profile of physics with young people and those who influence them.
Full story from Scotsman.com.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Recalling the Relative Genius of Einstein
Thursday, January 06, 2005

Under the Microscope/Prof William Reville: This year has been nominated World Year of Physics to mark the centenery of 1905, the "miraculous year" when Einstein published five papers that shattered cherished scientific beliefs and established him as the world's leading physicist.

The only other period of comparable individual scientific achievement was 1665 and 1666 when Isaac Newton, confined at home to avoid plague, began to develop the calculus, his law of gravitation and his theory of colours.

The discoveries of Newton and Einstein were so great that they each left worldviews behind them. The Newtonian worldview describes a universe of absolutes, whereas the Einsteinian worldview describes a world of relativities. In the Newtonian world time invariably flows at the same rate, effects have precise causes and the future is predictable from the past. In the Einsteinian world the rate at which time flows depends on the observer and innate uncertainties at the subatomic level mean that the future can be predicted only as probability, not certainty.
Full story from RedNova News.

posted by Einstein A to Z
2005: a year dedicated to physics
Thursday, January 06, 2005

When asked to name a prominent scientific equation, E=mc² comes to mind. A hundred years down the line, this equation still echoes the scientific brilliance that was Einstein.

As a schoolboy, he was never regarded as a 'genius', but at the age of just 26, Albert Einstein had published three papers in a renowned German physics journal that made him one of the most legendary scientists of all time. The papers focused on Brownian motion, the photoelectric effect (for which he won the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics) and special relativity. These papers were published in 1905 and, in that memory, 2005 has been named the World Year of Physics.
Full story from Felix On-line.

posted by Einstein A to Z
BMX stunt gives Einstein Year a flying start
Thursday, January 06, 2005

A head-reeling BMX bicycle stunt - a collaboration between a physicist and one of Britain's top riders - was performed for the first time yesterday to mark the launch of Einstein™ Year.

The flip was commissioned by the Institute of Physics (IoP) as part of the UK's contribution to the International Year of Physics, branded Einstein™ Year to mark the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's annus mirabilis, when he rewrote the understanding of the cosmos with three papers, and the 50th anniversary of his death in 1955.

The "Einstein Flip" was performed after an incongruous opening ceremony in the Science Museum, in which the president of the institute, Sir John Enderby, was introduced as the "main man of the IoP crew" by a rapper, "DJ Vader", and a lookalike of the elderly, unproductive, Einstein wandered about.
Full story from news.telegraph.

posted by Einstein A to Z
It’s all relative
Thursday, January 06, 2005

In his remarkable novel Einstein's Dreams, physicist Alan Lightman delves deep into the mind of a young Albert, struggling to catch vanishing wisps of inspiration in what he could not have possibly have known would be his annus mirabilis.

In Lightman's fictionalisation, Einstein, a patent clerk in Berne in that memorable 1905, is finishing work on his Special Theory of Relativity. The theory — to be complemented with the General Theory a decade later — would fix the speed of light. But situated as he was in the land of super-punctilious clockmakers, Einstein would simultaneously liberate time itself from exactitude.

The novel is a string of dreams the patent clerk has, the questions about the nature of time that anguish him.
Full story from The Indian Express.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein: facts and figures
Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Who was Einstein, and what did he discover? Here are 10 facts that could come in handy next time you get out Trivial Pursuit:

· Einstein wasn't very good at school. When he graduated from Polytechnic school in Zurich he couldn't even get a job in a university so he went to work in the Swiss Patent office.

· In his spare time he tinkered with some physics questions which had been bothering him. In 1905, at the age of 26, he published three articles in a leading German physics journal, Annalen der Physik ...
Full story from EducationGuardian.co.uk.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein and BMX bikes to rebrand physics
Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Einstein year is being launched today at the Science Museum in London with the first performance of a BMX stunt dubbed the "Einstein flip".

The stunt was created by Cambridge physicist Helen Czerski in collaboration with professional BMX rider Ben Wallace. Ms Czerski claims the stunt is "pushing the boundaries of what it is humanly possible to do on a bike".

Mr Wallace, 18, a competitor in extreme sports events around the world, will launch off a 1.8m (6ft) high ramp and spin backwards through 360 degrees while simultaneously folding his bike underneath him in a move known to BMX devotees as a 'tabletop'.

At one point, onlookers should see him upside down, travelling at 15mph, with his head almost 4m off the floor.

Ms Czerski looked at the physics behind different stunts and used computer simulations to determine the limits of what would be physically possible in the manoeuvre. She drew on several theories for inspiration, including the conservation of angular momentum and Newton's laws of motion.

It is rumoured that Einstein was a keen cyclist who claimed his theory of relativity came to him while he was out riding his bike.
Full story from EducationGuardian.co.uk.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Physicist and stunt rider create world's first 'Einstein Flip'
Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A unique BMX stunt, created in a collaboration between a physicist and one of the UK's top international stunt riders, was performed for the first time today (5th Jan 2005) to mark the launch of Einstein Year at the Science Museum in London.

Einstein was a keen cyclist and although there is no evidence to suggest he ever attempted a "360-degree back-flip with table-top", or even a humble wheelie, it is claimed that inspiration for his theory of Special Relativity came to him while riding his bicycle.

One hundred years after the publication of his landmark papers on Special Relativity, Brownian Motion and the Photoelectric Effect, cycling and science will come together once more in another world first: a BMX bicycle stunt designed by a physicist.

The stunt was performed live and for the first time on 5th Jan 2005 at the official launch of Einstein Year at London's Science Museum. It was commissioned by the Institute of Physics to mark the beginning of a year-long celebration of physics. Einstein Year is the UK's contribution to the International Year of Physics in 2005.

Caitlin Watson, Einstein Year project manager, said: "Einstein Year is all about challenging people's perceptions of physics – especially young people's perceptions."
Full story from The Institute of Physics.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein's E=mc² inspires ballet
Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A ballet inspired by Albert Einstein's theory of relativity (E=mc²) will premiere in London later this year. The ballet, called Constant Speed, will be the highlight of the Rambert Dance Company's Spring tour.

The work is the inaugural choreographic piece from Rambert artistic director Mark Baldwin and was commissioned by the Institute of Physics. A professor of physics is working with Baldwin to advise on the technical aspects of the work.

Jerry Cowhig from the Institute of Physics said the collaboration between art and science was "ideal for abstract concepts like the theories of Einstein". It was commissioned to mark Einstein Year in 2005 - 100 years after Albert Einstein published three seminal research papers, which changed scientific thinking about the universe forever.
Full story from BBC News.

posted by Einstein A to Z
A 'relative' genius : Albert Einstein
Monday, January 03, 2005

Albert Einstein is the one indisputable towering figure of the 20th century. He was, without doubt, the greatest intellect of the last 100 years, a reputation that began on 30 June 1905, when a German physics journal published a seemingly innocuous article entitled "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" - the beginnings of the theory of relativity.

Our understanding of the cosmos, from the smallest quark to the most distant quasar, has been shaped by Einstein's insight. And many of the great breakthroughs of the last hundred years - quantum theory, the computer revolution, nuclear power, lasers, space travel, GPS systems - owe a debt to Einstein's creative genius.
Full story from Radio Netherlands.

posted by Einstein A to Z
2005 is centennial of Einstein's miracle year
Sunday, January 02, 2005

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 The Times-Picayune.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Even Einstein Had His Off Days
Sunday, January 02, 2005

WE have now entered what is being celebrated as the Einstein Year, marking the centenary of the physicist's annus mirabilis in 1905, when he published three landmark papers - those that proved the existence of the atom, showed the validity of quantum physics and, of course, introduced the world to his theory of special relativity. Not bad for a beginner.

"It's not that I'm so smart," Einstein once said, "It's just that I stay with problems longer." Whatever the reason for his greatness, there is no doubt that this determination allowed him to invent courageous new physics and explore realms that nobody else had dared to investigate.

What he was not, however, was a perfect genius. In fact, when it came to the biggest scientific issue of all - the origin of the universe - he was utterly wrong. And while we should certainly laud his achievements over the next 12 months, we may learn a more valuable lesson by investigating Einstein's greatest failure.
Full story from The New York Times.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Beautiful Mind: A 100 Years Since Einstein Launched Himself
Saturday, January 01, 2005

The year 2005 will be celebrated the world over as the centenary of the discovery of the special theory of relativity by Albert Einstein. Although Einstein published three major results during 1905, he became famous only 14 years later, or after November 6, 1919. The Einstein story is an absorbing account of how a scientific achievement caught the popular imagination and made international headlines.
Full story from The Times of India.

posted by Einstein A to Z
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