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 Invention of Cosmology
Monday, March 28, 2005

In 2005, we are celebrating the World Year of Physics as the centenary of Einstein's annus mirables – the year of miracles!

In 1905, Einstein shook the world three times. In a series of five papers and his Ph D thesis, he demonstrated the reality of molecules by measuring them and explained Brownian motion (which had bothered biologists for some time). He explained the photoelectric effect. His paper on special relativity changed the world.

In this article, I will discuss how his general theory led him to formulate "cosmology" the study of the Universe as a whole.
Full story from The Daily Times.

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It still staggers the mind: 5 papers in 6 months that would unlock some of the mystery of the universe and change our lives forever.
Sunday, March 27, 2005

After meticulously measuring the Earth's spin for 11 years, two satellites recently confirmed something straight out of weird science--the warping of space and time.

The Earth's rotation drags space and time with it, like molasses pulled around by a spinning bowling ball. Satellites embedded in that whirling space are swept along at a slightly faster rate. But the same stretching of space causes time to travel farther, making it slow down a smidgen.

It was just as Albert Einstein had predicted--space and time are inseparable and fluid, and they get pulled out of shape near a big rotating body like the Earth--though decades would pass before science developed the tools to prove him right.
Full story from The Chigago Tribune.

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Einstein pal 'knew human side'
Saturday, March 26, 2005

Gillett Griffin's birthday gift to Albert Einstein when he turned 75 in March 1954 - a Bach cantata recording - almost cost him his brief friendship with Einstein.

Griffin dropped off the record for Einstein at the master physicist's Mercer Street house, where he estimates he had dinner about a dozen times in the one or two years the two men knew each other.

"The next time I saw him, he was, for the first time, sort of cool and distant," Griffin recalled earlier this month in an interview from his Princeton Township house.

"I mustered up the courage and said, `Well, did you like the Bach cantata?' " Griffin said. "And he said, `Why did you give it to me?' "

Einstein, who was Jewish, had, for some reason, misunderstood the gift as an attempt to convert him to Christianity, Griffin said.

"Once he realized that I was not trying to Christianize him, it was amusing," said Griffin, a retired curator of the Princeton University Art Museum.
Full story from NJ.com.

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'Light of Einstein' to Illuminate Dokdo
Thursday, March 24, 2005

Celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Einstein's Theory of Relativity will be given an added twist when a light beamed halfway across the world will shine on the controversy-prone Dokdo Islets.

North Gyeongsang Province and Pohang City announced Thursday the rocks in the East Sea lie in the path of the "Light of Einstein" that will girdle the globe on April 19 at 8:00 p.m.

The light will travel from Princeton University in the United States, where Einstein found refuge from Nazi Germany, to the West Coast by a relay of flash lamps and headlights. Captured on a web camera in a coastal village, electric signboards will light up in Busan, Korea, when the light will be transformed into electromagnetic wave signals in Pohang to arrive on the Dokdo Islets. There they will be converted to light again, while illuminated fishing vessels will swarm the water around the islets. From there the light will be transmitted to Pohang.
Full story from The Chosun Ilbo.

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Was Einstein a Space Alien?
Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Albert Einstein was exhausted. For the third night in a row, his baby son Hans, crying, kept the household awake until dawn. When Albert finally dozed off … it was time to get up and go to work. He couldn't skip a day. He needed the job to support his young family.

Walking briskly to the Patent Office, where he was a "Technical Expert, Third Class," Albert worried about his mother. She was getting older and frail, and she didn't approve of his marriage to Mileva. Relations were strained. Albert glanced at a passing shop window. His hair was a mess; he had forgotten to comb it again.

Work. Family. Making ends meet. Albert felt all the pressure and responsibility of any young husband and father.

To relax, he revolutionized physics.
Full story from Science@Nasa.

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Einstein on CD
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Albert Einstein became famous before the advent of the mass media so there are very few recordings of him. However, as part of the celebrations of Einstein's famous discoveries in 1905 the British Library has released a CD containing various speeches and radio broadcasts by the great physicist. Although the CD starts with a 57 second explanation of E=mc2, most of the material concerns Einstein's interest in international affairs and the fate of the Jewish people.
Full story from PhysicsWeb.

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Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity
Monday, March 21, 2005

In 2005, we are celebrating the World Year of Physics as the centenary of Einstein’s annus mirables – the year of miracles! In 1905, Einstein shook the world three times. In a series of five papers and his Ph D thesis, he demonstrated the reality of molecules by measuring them and explained Brownian motion (which had bothered biologists for some time). He explained the photoelectric effect. His papers on special relativity changed the world. In this article, I will discuss his subsequent generalization of special relativity.
Full story from The Daily Time.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity
Sunday, March 20, 2005

In 2005, we are celebrating the World Year of Physics as the centenary of Einstein’s annus mirables – the year of miracles! In 1905, Einstein shook the world three times. In a series of five papers and his Ph D thesis, he demonstrated the reality of molecules by measuring them and explained Brownian motion (which had bothered biologists for some time). He explained the photoelectric effect. His papers on special relativity changed the world. In this article, I will discuss his subsequent generalization of special relativity.
Full story from The Daily Times.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity
Sunday, March 20, 2005

In 2005, we are celebrating the World Year of Physics as the centenary of Einstein’s annus mirables – the year of miracles! In 1905, Einstein shook the world three times. In a series of five papers and his Ph D thesis, he demonstrated the reality of molecules by measuring them and explained Brownian motion (which had bothered biologists for some time). He explained the photoelectric effect. His papers on special relativity changed the world. In this article, I will discuss his subsequent generalization of special relativity.
Full story from The Daily Times.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Albert Einstein's Year of Miracles: Light Theory
Thursday, March 17, 2005

One hundred years ago today, Albert Einstein finished a scientific paper that would change the world. His radical insight into the nature of light would help transform Einstein from an unknown patent clerk to the genius at the center of 20th-century physics.

Scientists call 1905 Albert Einstein's annus mirabilis -- his year of miracles. Within a few months, Einstein wrote a series of papers that would transform the way we see the universe. They included his theory of special relativity and the famous equation E=mc².

The first paper described his particle theory of light, which became one of the foundations of modern physics. Just as popular legend has it, Einstein really was a patent office clerk when he conceived his radical theories -- but he was also a doctoral candidate who spent his free time debating cutting-edge physics with his friends.
Full story from NPR.

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THE EINSTEIN CONUNDRUM: Will we know next one when we see him?
Thursday, March 17, 2005

He didn't look like much at first. He was too fat and his head was so big his mother feared it was misshapen or damaged. He-didn't speak until he was well past 2, and even then with a strange echolalia that reinforced his parents' fears. He beaned his little sister with a bowling ball and chased his first violin teacher from the house by throwing a chair at her.

There was, in short, no sign, other than the patience to build card houses 14 stories high, that little Albert Einstein would grow up to be "the new Copernicus," proclaiming a new theory of nature, in which matter and energy swapped faces, light beams bent, the stars danced, and space and time were as flexible and elastic as bubble gum.

No clue to suggest that he would help send humanity lurching down the road to the atomic age, with all its promise and dread, with the stroke of his pen on a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, certainly no reason to suspect that his image would be on T- shirts, calendars, coffee mugs, posters and dolls.

Einstein's modest beginnings are a perennial source of comfort to parents who would like to hope, against the odds, that their little cutie can grow up to be a world beater.
Full story from the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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Was Einstein right when he said he was wrong?
Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Over the last hundred years, the expansion of the universe has been a subject of passionate discussion, engaging the most brilliant minds of the century. Like his contemporaries, Albert Einstein initially thought that the universe was static: that it neither expanded nor shrank. When his own Theory of General Relativity clearly showed that the universe should expand or contract, Einstein chose to introduce a new ingredient into his theory. His "cosmological constant" represented a mass density of empty space that drove the universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate.

When in 1929 Edwin Hubble proved that the universe is in fact expanding, Einstein repudiated his cosmological constant, calling it "the greatest blunder of my life." Then, almost a century later, physicists resurrected the cosmological constant in a variant called dark energy. In 1998, observations of very distant supernovae demonstrated that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. This accelerating expansion seemed to be explicable only by the presence of a new component of the universe, a "dark energy," representing some 70 percent of the total mass of the universe. Of the rest, about 25 percent appears to be in the form of another mysterious component, dark matter; while only about 5 percent comprises ordinary matter, those quarks, protons, neutrons and electrons that we and the galaxies are made of.
Full story from PhysOrg.com.

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Einstein on socialism
Tuesday, March 15, 2005

To introduce a series on Albert Einstein, we print extracts from his 1949 essay Why Socialism?

Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities.

As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life.

The personality that finally emerges is largely formed by the environment in which a man happens to find himself during his development, by the structure of the society in which he grows up.
Full story from Socialist Worker Online.

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Einstein's science genius wasn't just about IQ
Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Why was it Albert Einstein -- and not some other clever physicist -- who changed our view of the cosmos in 1905? What allowed this young man to see what so many others had missed?

No one can say whether he was truly the smartest man alive. There certainly were other smart scientists at work at the same time, but Einstein did have a unique vision, a gift for identifying the most important problems in physics, and a dogged determination to keep pursuing them.

One advantage -- and it certainly wouldn't have seemed like an advantage at the time -- is that Einstein was an outcast.
Full story from The Boston Globe.

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How would the world be different if Einstein had never lived?
Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Globe asked four top scientists about their views of Einstein's importance.

Scientifically, as physicists, we of course do think that physics would end up in the same place. . . .

I think the idea that the idea of him as the iconic figure -- he was the man of the century -- so I think the way we think about science would be different. . . . Maybe people would be less interested in science, and what would have happened with the (atomic) bomb? Probably World War II would have ended pretty soon anyway, but when would the Soviet Union have fallen apart?

LISA RANDALL, Harvard physicist
Full story from The Boston Globe.

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Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity
Monday, March 14, 2005

In 2005, we are celebrating the World Year of Physics as the centenary of Einstein’s annus mirables – the year of miracles!

In 1905, Einstein shook the world three times! In a series of five papers and his Ph D thesis, he measured molecules and explained Brownian motion (which had bothered biologists for some time). He explained the photoelectric effect.

In this article, I will discuss his two papers on the special theory of relativity ...
Full story from The Daily Times.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Israel shares Einstein's legacy with the world
Sunday, March 13, 2005

Israel's Hebrew University is sharing a rare treasure with the rest of the world - the legacy of perhaps mankind's greatest scientist, Albert Einstein.

In his will, Einstein left all of his intellectual property, including his literary estate and personal papers, to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. And ever since his death in 1955, the university has taken on the role of the preservers of Einstein's legacy with the utmost seriousness and awareness of its global responsibility.

"We consider ourselves the guardian of Einstein's heritage," HU's President Menachem Magidor said last week at a press briefing focused on the forthcoming anniversary of Einstein's birth and the 100th anniversary of the year of publication of his Special Theory of Relativity and other groundbreaking documents. "It's very important that we make his work available to the public."
Full story from ISRAEL21c.org.

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Participant Total for Grassroots Astrophysics Project Einstein@Home to Exceed 55,000 On Einstein's Birthday
Friday, March 11, 2005

The Einstein@Home distributed computing project is enlisting a rapidly growing army of computer users in a search for Einstein’s elusive gravitational waves.

Only three weeks after its February 19th kick-off, the Einstein@Home gravitational wave detection program is one of the fastest growing distributed computing projects in the world, adding roughly a thousand users a day. At current rates, more than 55,000 people from over 115 countries will have signed up to aid in the search for gravitational waves as of March 14, 2005 - the 126th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s birth.
Full story from PhysOrg.

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Einstein, icon for all time
Monday, March 07, 2005

Some celebs only get hotter once they're gone, like James Dean and Elvis.

And Einstein.

The 20th-century savant's mustachioed mug and proto-Don King hairdo grace newsstands once again. The United Nations and the scientific community are marking the centennial of Albert Einstein's "miracle year" — he published three revolutionary research papers in 1905 — by decreeing this the "World Year of Physics 2005."

Why the fuss? Because the physics giant, Time magazine's "Man of the Century" in 1999, is vying for the 21st-century title as well. The conceptual mutiny he started by showing that time and space, matter and energy are all interconnected continues to shape technology, policy and philosophy today.
Full story from USA Today.

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Even Einstein had his off days
Monday, March 07, 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," Albert 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 ABS-CBN News.

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Einstein’s work on the reality of molecules
Monday, March 07, 2005

In 2005, we are celebrating the World Year of Physics as the centenary of Einstein’s annus mirables – the year of miracles! In 1905, Einstein shook the world three times. In a series of five papers and his Ph D thesis, he demonstrated the reality of molecules by measuring them and explained Brownian motion (which had bothered biologists for some time). He explained the photoelectric effect. His paper on special relativity is the classic for theoretical scientific reasoning.

In this article, I will discuss his work on the reality of molecules ...
Full story from The Daily Times.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Vassar displays Einstein letters
Friday, March 04, 2005

A new exhibit at the Vassar College Library, titled "Albert Einstein: Life and Letters, 1905-1955," is bringing some new insight into the personality of the most renowned scientist of the 20th century.

The exhibit documents 50 years in the life of the scientist, with the help of 41 letters, photographs and books.
Full story from The Journal News.

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Moonbeams Shine on Einstein, Galileo and Newton
Friday, March 04, 2005

Thirty-five years after Moon-walking astronauts placed special reflectors on the lunar surface, scientists have used these devices to test Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity to unprecedented accuracy. The findings, which also confirm theories from Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, may help to explain physical laws of the universe and benefit future space missions.
Full story from NASA.

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Einstein conference celebrates 20th-century genius
Friday, March 04, 2005

One hundred years ago, 26-year-old physicist Albert Einstein rocked the science world.

He developed the special theory of relativity, demonstrating that measurements of time and distance vary systematically as anything moves relative to anything else.

He came up with the quantum theory of light—the idea that light exists as tiny packets or particles, which are now known as photons. And he developed an extension of his special theory—that energy and matter are linked—in that now famous equation, E=mc2.

UVic and Camosun College are celebrating the centenary of this astonishing burst of creativity with a conference, "The Unknown Einstein: Reassessing the 20th Century's Most Famous Scientist," on March 18-19.
Full story from The Ring.

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Einstein to Appear on New $25.00 Bill Instead of Reagan
Thursday, March 03, 2005

Departing from the tradition of using portraits of dead presidents on US currency, images of famous scientists will now be featured on new bills. To initiate this change in tradition, the familiar image of the genius Albert Einstein will grace the front of the new $25.00 bill. Being considered for future appearance on new currency is the inventor Thomas Edison, also Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb, and possibly Al Gross, inventor of the cordless telephone.

The new $25.00 bill featuring Einstein will be released into circulation this week. In addition to the portrait of Einstein, the new bill features the statement: "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash", and also the disclaimer: "Genuine Fake Currency". As you may have surmised, the 25-Dollar Bill is actually a practical joke product known as Sucker Money. The new product is the work of Cheap Tricks, a practical joke business based in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Full story from PRWeb.

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Einstein's Relativity Theory Still Perplexes
Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Researchers have discovered the possibility of billions or trillions of stars and planets like our own in existence, but can you imagine what would happen if you could visit just one of them at near light-speed?

In the 100th anniversary year of Albert Einstein's published theory of special relativity, the physics of reaching even the closest of star systems remain daunting, said Dr. Jerry Pournelle (author and Science Editor of Byte magazine). Assuming a near light-speed propulsion system were invented, getting to Proxima Centauri (the star nearest to the Sun) would take 4.2 years one way.

There are bigger problems, he adds. Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity says that if we could travel at or near the speed of light, time, as regulated by a stationary point such as Earth, would differ greatly from time as measured on the moving vessel. Meaning? "Space travelers returning to Earth would have experienced only a few years, while decades could have passed on Earth," said Dr. Pournelle.
Full story from Sci-Tech Today.

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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