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Einstein and God

Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Just to show what's available on the other side. i.e license fee paying channels compared to cable. Programs like this one are what makes TV worthwhile in the long run.

There was a very interesting program on Einstein on BBC 2 right after a documentary covering Bush's inaugration ( there is a Bush doll saying strange things that people might give as presents than an ipod , an eminent British poet wrote an Ode to Bush or was it Ode to a Barbed Bush, New Yorkers are in denial about the election results)..

Einstein said that he believed that God doesn't keep anything hidden but people just need to search harder.There is much more to Einstein than science, big hair and no dress sense.

I've got a list of 10 things everyone ought to know about Einstein.
Let's see how well the ranchers can put a list together. No peeking.

[ January 21, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
[ January 21, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

Le Cafe Mouse - Helen's musings on the web - Java Skills and Thrills
"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
To start off here are three things :

Einstein was no swot. Born in ULM, Germany in 1879 he loathed schoola nd dropped out at 16 having been told he would never amount to anything. He later turned up at college in Switzerland but his lecturers found him idle and he graduated with the second worst marks in class.

While working as a clerk in a job he wangled at the patent office Einstein published the 4 breakthroughs being celebrated this year. The first showed that light behaves like a stream of bullet like particles called quanta. Quantum Theory is now used to probe the mysteries of the sub-atomic world. His second paper resolved the ancient dispute about the reality of atoms while his third and fourth papers put forward his Theory of Relativity.

Despite his reputation as the rational scientist Einstein was deeply spiritual and believed in an abstract God revealed through cosmic order. Unlike most scientists he refused to dismiss the paranormal though he drew the line at communication beyond the grave.
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Or a little questionnaire is called for

1. What was Einstein doing when Relativity came to him and in what form/model ?

2.How did Einstein find the connection between stars and nuclear weapons ?

3. when did he win the Nobel Prize and how long did he have to wait for confirmation he insisted on despite lab results showing he was wrong. He insisted that he must be right - because his ideas were simply too elegant to be wrong.

4. What event proved to Einstein what he himself dismissed of his work?
And what was that work ?

5. Which of today's technologies are underpinned by Einstein's esoteric theories ? Answers would surprise many.

6. Einstein made amorous advances to an Oscar winning actress despite his two marriages and nearly killed her. How ?

7. The contents of Einstein's head were removed and the brain pickled.
Did they show any clues to his genius ?

Next week on BBC2 Horizon - Einstein's Equation of Life and Death.

The best things in life are free - or nearly free.

Fahrenheit 9/11 and Pi are on Channel 4 starting at the same time.
[ January 21, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Steven Bell
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Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
Off the top of my head:

7) Findings show that Einstein's brain had a higher than normal ratio of glial(sp?) cells to neuron. Recent study has shown that these cells form networks that parallel the networks of neurons in some ways. Some believe these cells play a very important part in building neurolocial pathways (learning). Also I vaugly remember something about a missing wrinkle on one lobe and some slightly larger other lobes, but those were within reasonable flucuations.
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Originally posted by Helen Thomas:

1. What was Einstein doing when Relativity came to him and in what form/model ?


He was inspired when he hit his head on the bathroom sink while trying to hang a clock above his toilet.


A good workman is known by his tools.
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Steven Bell:
Off the top of my head:

7) Findings show that Einstein's brain had a higher than normal ratio of glial(sp?) cells to neuron. Recent study has shown that these cells form networks that parallel the networks of neurons in some ways. Some believe these cells play a very important part in building neurolocial pathways (learning). Also I vaugly remember something about a missing wrinkle on one lobe and some slightly larger other lobes, but those were within reasonable flucuations.


Attempts to find the source of Einstein's genius came up with very little.
The great man's brain is slightly smaller than the average and the cells seem perfectly normal. The only difference is in the part of the brain linked to spatial and visual reasoning which may have helped Einstein make the astounding discoveries.
Einstein had an IQ of 160, Liam Gallagher has an IQ of 164. Carol Vodermann an IQ of about 150.
I remember Liam only for thumping a papparazzi.
[ January 22, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Marc Peabody:


He was inspired when he hit his head on the bathroom sink while trying to hang a clock above his toilet.


Not quite. Relativity came to Einstein in a daydream he had as a teenager.
He wondered what it would be like to ride on a light-beam.
Most teenagers dreamt of romantic conquests and riding on two-wheels.
Einstein's daydream led him to realise the key importance of light in understanding space and time., and to claim the speed of light must be the same for everyone, no matter how fast they move relative to each other. His 1905 paper revealed the consequences of this, such as time passing more slowly for fast moving objects.
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
I just noticed from a Google ad that Arabic TV is available in the UK. Wonder if they do Al-Jazeera. Al-Jazeera got an extended time slot because a French channel accidentally broadcast an X-rated adult film instead of the learning program it was scheduled to do so. This channel appears to be getting more credibility.
Steven Bell
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Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
Originally posted by Marc Peabody:


He was inspired when he hit his head on the bathroom sink while trying to hang a clock above his toilet.


I believe that is where the flux capacator came from.
soumya ravindranath
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Joined: Jan 26, 2001
Posts: 300
Anyone read David Bodanis' E=mc2 ?
John Smith
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Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
E=mc<sup>2</sup> -- just checking if superscript works.

Hmm, isn't that wonderful. H<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4</sub>

I didn't realize fully that we have <input type="radio" value="HTML">HTML <button>enabled</button> here. Scripts, too?
[ January 22, 2005: Message edited by: John Smith ]
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Tonight on a free channel we have

Anatomy for beginners.

The presenter is going to cut up some dead lady and lay her out on a table 12 ft long starting with her brain and ending with her , um there's no other way to put it delicately, her the Latin an nus or Old Irish annee, at the other end of the table.
[ January 28, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
Just to show what's available on the other side. i.e license fee paying channels compared to cable. Programs like this one are what makes TV worthwhile in the long run.

If ever...
Public TV here gave rise to commercial stations because people were ever more disappointed with the quality of the programming.
Of course by now the commercial stations are as bad or worse.

Originally posted by Helen Thomas:

There is much more to Einstein than science, big hair and no dress sense.


That's an insult to geekhood worldwide.
While I agree with the science and the hair, your comments about his dress are uncalled for.

Einstein wrote a letter to Roosevelt about the atomic bomb. He was worried about the political consequences of a weapon with that much destructive power (not as some people claim with radiation poisoning of the target area).


42
peter wooster
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Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
Einstein wrote a letter to Roosevelt about the atomic bomb. He was worried about the political consequences of a weapon with that much destructive power (not as some people claim with radiation poisoning of the target area).


Please try to research the stuff you post on these forums. Einstein's letter to Roosevelt was strongly in favour of the construction of atomic bombs before they were built by Germany. He later described this as the "the greatest mistake of my life". He did not sign the letter from the 69 scientists that asked that the bomb not be used on Japan, he was actually on vacation at the time. He heard about Hiroshima on the radio, just like everybody else.

And from the other thread, Fermi died of radiation poisoning, its on the FNAL site, or do you know more about Fermi than FNAL.
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:


That's an insult to geekhood worldwide.
While I agree with the science and the hair, your comments about his dress are uncalled for.



He was flea-ridden too.
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
In his final paper Einstein showed that his Theory of Relativity impled that all mass could be converted into a collossal amount of energy according to the now famous equation E=Mc<sup>2</sup>.

In theory one pound of matter contains the energy equiv to 10 million tons of TNT. Thus Einstein opened the way to nuclear weapons and atomic power.

As late as 1934 Einstein dismissed the idea that the equation would lead to atomic power. HE was proved wrong four yewars later when scientists in Germany split atoms of Uranium and released energy in accordance with Einstein's formula.
Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
I just noticed from a Google ad that Arabic TV is available in the UK. Wonder if they do Al-Jazeera.


If you have Sky or Sky Plus, you will get Al-Jazeera, along with at least a dozen 'Al' and other channels!


[ flickr ]
Jeff Fisher
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 14, 2002
Posts: 18
Helen Thomas wrote:
"As late as 1934 Einstein dismissed the idea that the equation would lead to atomic power. HE was proved wrong four yewars later when scientists in Germany split atoms of Uranium and released energy in accordance with Einstein's formula."

This is an interesting thread. I think Einstein was correct - I don't think the scientists and engineers who figured out how to build nuclear power plants and atomic bombs got any ideas from E=mc2. I think it's very likely those things would have been developed even if Einstein hadn't been around to explain the theoretical underpinnings.

Radiation was discovered as a source of energy, explained in terms of atomic models (heavy nucleii splitting into smaller nucleii), and the idea of a chain reaction in an atomic pile was devised, all without the need for the concept of mass-energy equivalence to explain the ultimate source of the energy.

This is something I've wondered about a lot - how much of technological progress is driven by science and mathematics vs. by engineers who see how things work and figure out ways to take advantage without necessarily understanding WHY things work? Did the theory of thermodynamics have to be developed before steam engines could be built?
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
It's a process of cross pollination.
Engineers get an idea and scientists provide the theoretical basis for why that idea is correct (or not), at which point the engineers can start defining and refining its implementation.
Or scientists get an idea which inspires engineers to think of practical applications which leads to scientists being able to finetune their theories.

I don't think anyone would have thought of creating a bomb out of a lump of metal if there were no scientific basis for that lump of metal going boom under specific conditions for example.
So here a scientist comes to the conclusion that an explosive chain reaction will happen in a lump of Uranium if that lump is large enough and the engineers thought up a way to get that lump large enough at just the right time.
Scientists also came up with the theory that you can decrease the required mass at which this happens by compressing the lump of metal to a smaller volume. Again the engineers then went ahead and did it. Or maybe in this case the engineers discovered it could be done and the scientists later fit it with the proper theoretical basis which in turn enabled engineers to more reliably create their implementations.
Dave Lenton
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Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by Jeff Fisher:

I think it's very likely those things would have been developed even if Einstein hadn't been around to explain the theoretical underpinnings.
[...]
engineers who see how things work and figure out ways to take advantage without necessarily understanding WHY things work? Did the theory of thermodynamics have to be developed before steam engines could be built?


It could well be an urban legend, but I read somewhere that the scientists who were working on splitting the atom had wondered if it may cause an out of control chain-reaction that could spread outwards splitting every atom on in and around the earth. Despite that they decided to risk it


There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
that sure sounds like an urban legend.
They knew what caused the chain reaction and what conditions in the atom have to be satisfied for it to occur before beginning to experiment.
How else could they have known so well what materials to use and that the graphite blocks and boron rods used would act as a moderator and slow the reaction?
peter wooster
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Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
that sure sounds like an urban legend.
They knew what caused the chain reaction and what conditions in the atom have to be satisfied for it to occur before beginning to experiment.
How else could they have known so well what materials to use and that the graphite blocks and boron rods used would act as a moderator and slow the reaction?


Not quite an urban legend, but close. The night before the Trinity test, as a form of comic relief, Enrico Fermi took bets with other scientists about whether the Trinty test would ignite the atmosphere, destroying just New Mexico, or the whole world. This got reported in the press after the test.

Actually they had a small example of what would happen, Harry Daghlian had accidentally formed a super-critical mass in the Los Alamos lab, resulting in a very small explosion that made a bright flash and burned his hands, Daghlian died a month later.
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Einstein tried to seduce Oscar winning actress Luise Rainer, who became so flustered she capsized the boat. Her husband was so furious that he took a photo of his wife with Einstein and removed the scientist's head.
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Thanks to Einstein , we have nuclear power. 20% of Britain's electricity comes from nuclear power. His work led to modern solar cells , medical scanners and lasers in everything from DVDs to gun-sights. His revelation about space and time were crucial to the Global Positioning System and the network of satellites that can pin down the location of anything to within a few inches anywhere on Earth. Personally I doubt that scientists would have come up with these technologies so quickly if it wasn't for Einstein.

The 10 Points about Einstein are by Robert Mathews , Visiting Reader in science at Aston University.And I must say you guys added a lot more to the thread. Thank you.

And don't forget tonight's BBC2 Horizon : Einstein and the Equation of Life and Death. (E=mc<sup>2</sup>) The imagery is stunning even if the science is OTT.
[ January 27, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Helen Thomas
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Posts: 1759
In a nutshell , the Horizon program covered the other side of the equation E=mc<sup>2</sup>. i.e the part that creates life

Energy condenses to form mass, and how the universe and every living being was formed in accordance with this equation. Einstein never lived to see experiments uncovering this side, the side to life. He only saw the side to death.

It's mind boggling

0.6 grams of uranium split to give 125 or 250 (?) kilotonnes of energy that wiped out Hiroshima. Just imagine how much energy was required to create the Universe at the Big Bang.
[ January 28, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Bacon
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Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Posts: 305
Einstein was a visionary more than he was a genius. Although the measure of a genius is debatable. What I mean is that his vision was his greatest asset not his intellect.

He invented "thinking outside the box". In fact, I don't think he knew there was a box. He was the Christopher Columbus of his time. Many of the ideas he proposed where met skepticism and ridicule.

He is much more revered and appreciated today than he was during his run.

An amazing man and not an atheist, not even agnostic based on what I have read.
[ January 28, 2005: Message edited by: Ray Marsh ]
Helen Thomas
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Posts: 1759
There are probably no other scientists who could reach Einstein's stature in the science world.

Stephen Hawking ? Probably in the next few decades if his theories are proven. He had to rework some of his thinking on Black Holes quite recently.
[ January 28, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Bacon
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Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Posts: 305
I read Hawking's book "The Universe in a Nutshell"

The chapter on P-branes made me feel like one. The book was a little disappointing in that so many of the ideas are purely theorhetical and cannot be verified by current means. It came down to: If "A" is true then "B" could be true... if "A" and "B" are true then "C" is a distinct possibility... I found myself thinking that I could be reading a bunch of hogwash, that none of it is true and the real truth was something that no one has even considered.

I kept wondering, as I read, what ol' Albert would have thought of all this.
Helen Thomas
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Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Ray Marsh:
I read Hawking's book "The Universe in a Nutshell"

I kept wondering, as I read, what ol' Albert would have thought of all this.


I think Einstein would have been very excited. After all, it's uncovering the upside to his equation.
Bacon
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Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Posts: 305
Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
I think Einstein would have been very excited. After all, it's uncovering the upside to his equation.


What I meant was, what would he have thought of their conclusions and the theories that have been built upon his work. I'm sure he would have been honored and excited that his work endured so long and continued to have such impact. I'm curious if his vision of the "next level" would agree with the ideas that are being offered today. I guess what I'm asking is... "Is there a visionary today like Einstein was in his day?" Or are they all ordinary scientist doing the best they can with what's available.

"Ordinary" is not meant as an insult, its just that Einstein was so far removed from the pack that I wonder if his equal is alive today or even will be in our lifetime.

Its not a question that can be adequately answered. But that's the type of questions we live for in MD!
Helen Thomas
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Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Ray Marsh:


What I meant was, what would he have thought of their conclusions and the theories that have been built upon his work. I'm sure he would have been honored and excited that his work endured so long and continued to have such impact. I'm curious if his vision of the "next level" would agree with the ideas that are being offered today. I guess what I'm asking is... "Is there a visionary today like Einstein was in his day?" Or are they all ordinary scientist doing the best they can with what's available.

"Ordinary" is not meant as an insult, its just that Einstein was so far removed from the pack that I wonder if his equal is alive today or even will be in our lifetime.

Its not a question that can be adequately answered. But that's the type of questions we live for in MD!


Stephen Hawking himself claims his work stands on the shoulder of these giants -
Copernicus, Galilei, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein.
I can't think of any scientist today who could be added to the list.

It's quite probable that a student of Hawking might make it - everyone talks of Hawking if only because he has popularised cosmology by writing of things that concern most folk , their place in creation, in a way that people would read it even if not really understand.
Helen Thomas
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Posts: 1759
It's funny how scientific theories start out as conspiracy theories, more often to deny the existence of God.

It's quite possible there are two answerss to every question, two sides to every coin. Hawking , quite early in his career became a confirmed atheist. Einstein grudgingly conceded to a superior being though he didn't believe in a personal God just an abstract God.
[ January 28, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Peter Rooke
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Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 803

Stephen Hawking himself claims his work stands on the shoulder of these giants
.
It was [Sir] Isaac Newton that first made this comment "If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants". I believe he was actually ridiculing his great rival Robert Hooke.

I don't think we have yet taken full advantage of Einstein's theories. I heard it said that Newtonian principals enabled the Industrial Revolution.
-------------------------
"No great genius has ever been without some madness." - Aristotle


Regards Pete
 
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