Three Different Approaches











First Approach - Bits of Einstein's Life with Visions or Short Films within the Story

Second Approach - Einstein's Life without Visions or Short Films

Third Approach - Full four courses, all the actors portrayed in the book


What the Film-Documentary could cover

First Vision - Energy

Second Vision - Mass

Third Vision - C - The Speed of Light

Fourth Vision - 2

Fifth Vision - E=mc2 - Special Relativity (Einstein and the Equation)

Sixth Vision - General Relativity (Epilogue - What Else Einstein did)

Seventh Vision - Splitting Atoms (Into the Atom and Quiet in the Midday Snow)

Eighth Vision - The Atomic Bomb (Germany, Norway, America, Japan)

Ninth Vision - The Power of E=mc2 (The Fires of the Sun, Creating the Earth, A Brahmin Lifts His Eyes Unto the Sky)


Table of Content of the book Einstein A Life by Denis Brian

Einstein's Life Chronology (from the book Einstein by Peter D. Smith)

Einstein's Second Life Chronology (from the book Subtle is the Lord by Abraham Pais)










This report is for the sole purpose of making a case for the three approaches of making a film-documentary about Einstein's life instead of building a traditional documentary showing all the physicists who worked on the different elements that led to E=mc2 and the consequences of that famous equation. In all approaches we are still keeping the book of David Bodanis (E=mc2, the World's Most Famous Equation) as a guide to what the film will cover.


In the first approach we are having some glimpses of Einstein's life in different locations and time in which there will be 9 visions or 9 short films where Einstein will be thinking and visualising his theories and ideas. These visions will help the audience to picture the difficult concepts and the consequences of the Theories of Relativity.


The second approach is simply Einstein's life in more details in which the visions would simply be part of the narrative of the story. The characters will talk about it, use objects and different apparatus in order to explain to other physicists, students or Einstein's family members what energy, mass, the speed of light, etc., are all about. There will be no animation or leaving the screen to further explain these concepts, it will have to be carefully integrated in the story.


The third approach is still keeping the idea of the 9 short films that are no longer Einstein's visions. In fact Einstein will play a very small part of the short films that will no longer be linked together by a main story. In all it will be 9 stylish and cool stories with the main physicists who discovered parts of E=mc2. What you will find below will still be what we will do except that the stories will have to be adapted to contain a bit of the history of each characters involved with for example energy (Faraday, Sir Humphry Davy, etc.)


Because of the lack of time for this preliminary research, I have not gone into the details of Einstein's life in this report. I will only describe in details what are the 9 main points of David Bodanis' book that could become those 9 visions that will need to be explained. Since Tez, the other researcher, has been asked to concentrate on the third approach, I have not developed what those 9 stories would look like if the other physicists were involved. If we decide to go ahead with the third approach I will then develop this further.


In the second approach, which is Einstein's life in details, the 9 short stories are also the main points that will need to be brought across in the narrative. I have added at the end the Table of Content of the book Einstein A Life by Denis Brian that could become the titles of the different parts of Einstein's biographical movie. And I have also included a chronology of his life taken in the book Einstein by Peter D. Smith that will give you the background of Einstein's life that will be covered in the movie. Of course I don't think we should go into that many details if we decide to go along with the first approach in order to concentrate on these visions that would be ample for the documentary. We would still cover some of Einstein's life in that first approach without being exhaustive. And the 9 visions will be tone down in the second approach to leave more space to Einstein's life.


Now I will describe in more details what these three approaches are.





First Approach - Bits of Einstein's Life with Visions or Short Films within the Story



As much as we are trying to not follow the normal documentary that the BBC or Channel 4 would do by just picking the book E=mc2 and simply follow the path laid out by David Bodanis, we have to be equally careful that a movie about Einstein does not follow the normal ways of movie making.


It would be easy to put the emphasis on Einstein falling in love with Mileva in Zurich despite the scandal in the Einstein family because she is not Jewish. It would also be tempting to show that illegitimate daughter they had and that they got rid of somehow even though no one knows what happened to her. Then the two sons, the divorce, the new wife Elsa with her two daughters in Berlin during the First World War and finally the move to America and the Second World War. Except the movie needs to be about the science and the book of Bodanis can easily be our guide.


The movie-documentary Thirty Short Films about Glenn Gould is a very good starting point to this film. Not only we would not have to tell the whole story life of Einstein, but we could only have glimpses of it while he is working on his theories. That style of short films is perfect because it could give us the chance to show some of Einstein's life and also suddenly get lost in Einstein's own thoughts while he sits in his study to work on his theories.


The way this could be done, without doing like that fake Einstein in that other documentary we had which had no substance and no dramatic features, we could have something more profound and stylish. The movie would not need such linearity in the timeline and a story to be followed from A to Z. We don't need to tell his life story, we just have to show him in certain circumstances that led him to his ideas and theories.


As well, we don't need a Faraday character to explain what Energy is, we don't need Lise Meitner in the snow realising how to split the atoms of Uranium. We only need Einstein losing himself in the concept and in a short film explaining what is Energy, what is the splitting of the atom. The only thing to be careful about at that point is to make clear that Einstein is then working on others discoveries, on facts of science already established with which he is playing to make sense of it all. At this point we don't need either to talk about his discoveries that are not related to Relativity or E=mc2 though I believe we might and should talk about the Photoelectric effect which brought him his Nobel Prize. I have not added it below but it could be the 10th Vision coming before all the others.


There are too many other physicists who worked on all these concepts. If we start to reproduce all these stories and all the people involved, we will find ourselves with 100 actors playing small roles. We will quickly lose interest and confuse the audience. Ultimately, by putting the emphasis on Einstein only thinking about all this and visualising it in short films in the style of Glenn Gould, then we can achieve the same result without having to recreate the House of Cirey in France with Émilie du Châtelet and Voltaire.


Einstein can easily be imagining the concepts occupying the work of the physicists at Los Alamos and Leipzig, and can dream the idea and what happens without us seeing one of those physicists except when one actually visits Einstein, discussing the topic and taking the audience further in the course to Relativity.


These visions remind me of the movie Nostradamus that I find very well made, especially how the visions come to Nostradamus. Also, the scientific life in those days where you had to hide to pursue physics and chemistry, forming secret societies, is very well represented. It has powerful visions that are very poetic and perhaps better suited for us than what there is in Thirty Two Short Films about Glenn Gould. When Nostradamus gets the vision of the Nazi and the war, it is extraordinary.


Sometimes the short film could be explaining the phenomena, with Einstein's voice or even Einstein in his own vision playing around with the objects. Sometimes the short films could be just for the pleasure of visualising a concept and give us the chance to be creative like in the Glenn Gould movie.


I don't think we should set ourselves to explain everything, or explain everything clearly. I believe it could stay a work of art and be poetic without talking heads at any time or people who knew Einstein explaining to us what all the biographies already state. In this approach we want to make a film for the cinema, not a series for the television that could quickly become outdated and follow the paths of the forgotten documentaries of the BBC and Channel 4.





Second Approach - Einstein's Life without Visions or Short Films



If while writing the 10 short films or visions of Einstein we realise that it is a bit tacky or that it is not working very well, the second approach will be to do Einstein's life properly. A real biographical movie from the beginning to the end.


There again, the book by David Bodanis can be our guide as to what we will cover more precisely by integrating the following 9 short films inside the story instead of hiatus in the movie. We will still cover the main points of Bodanis books through the story but it will be more subtle, the characters will be talking about the situations, we might have some apparatus in front of them to help visualise what they are talking about. They will only represent the nice images to visualise Einstein theories by talking about it, explaining from one character to the other what exactly is on their mind. A bit like in the movie Insignificance where Marilyn Monroe tries to understand Einstein's theories using little trains and things in that hotel room.


For the sake of not doing another report for this second approach, I have included at the end a chronology of Einstein's life that clearly states most of the points we will cover. In that case we would still cover the 9 visions below but not in details because it will be important to keep the story running without boring the audience with too much science or techno-babble. The book Einstein in Love, A Scientific Romance by Dennis Overbye could become our second guide in this approach, it has a good balance of drama and science.


If we choose the first approach with the visions or short films inside the main movie, I suggest we only cover the Visions section (First Visions, Second Vision, etc.) and forget about showing the whole chronology of Einstein's life. As I said, we would still be showing Einstein in certain moments and places in his life as a mean to link together all the visions.




Third Approach - Full four courses, all the actors portrayed in the book



In the third approach I suggest to keep those 9 visions as stated below but not from the viewpoint of Einstein. In that approach Einstein's virtually disappears though he might be there in some visions. At that point there will be no more storyline to keep the visions together and those short stories would be independent from each other, they would stand on their own. It will be up to us to keep the ideas expressed below but replacing Einstein and the others with the characters like Faraday, Lavoisier, Lise Meitner, etc.


For this approach I suppose we could have talking heads and people who knew Einstein talking about him, a bit like the 32 short films about Glenn Gould. Our imagination is the limit and if we decide to pursue this approach I will be pleased to develop those short stories further.






What the Film-Documentary could cover




First Vision - Energy



The film could start in Munich just before Einstein's family moves to Milan and that Einstein starts studying in Germany that he did not like until he decided to stop and go back home in Milan. His father and his uncle were working at producing electricity using electrotechnical machines.


The first of Einstein little trip could be for example about Energy. So we would need some sort of initial start about Einstein's life in Munich actually working on these electromagnetic machines of the family business, the direct consequence of Faraday's work about energy and electromagnetic fields. We can easily see them discuss the weird features of the machines that do not exactly correspond to James Clerk Maxwell equations. Then Einstein start thinking about it further and our first short film about energy happens. In the second approach we will not have a short film and everything will have to be talked about where the machines are.


The important thing about energy is that before 1800 and before Faraday, people could not link all the different phenomena related to energy together. They saw them as different things: (p.11 of Bodanis' book) the crackling of static electricity, the billowing gust of a wind that snaps out a sail, thunder. Electricity and magnetism were also perceived as two different things. (p.13) Electricity was the crackling and hissing stuff that came from batteries. Magnetism was an invisible force that made navigators' needles tug forward, or pulled pieces of iron to a lodestone. Magnetism was not anything you thought of as part of batteries and circuits. Yet a lecturer in Copenhagen had now found that if you switched on the current in an electric wire, any compass needle put on top of the wire would turn slightly to the side.


In 1821 Faraday propped up a magnet and imagined that a whirling tornado of invisible circular lines was swirling around it (p.15). If he were right, then a loosely dangling wire could be tugged along, caught in those mystical circles like a small boat getting caught up in a whirlpool. He then connected the battery. This was the basis of an electric engine (p.16). A single dangled wire, whirling around and around. Suddenly the crackling of electricity, and the silent force fields of a magnet-and now even the speeding motion of a fast twirling copper wire-were seen as linked. As the amount of electricity went up, the available magnetism would go down. Faraday's invisible whirling lines were the tunnel-the conduit- through which magnetism could pour into electricity, and vice versa. (p.17) The full concept of energy has still not been formed, but Faraday's discovery that these different kinds of energy were linked was bringing it closer.


After that (p.19), independently from Faraday, all the world's seemingly separate forces were slowly being linked to create this masterpiece of the Victorian Age: the huge, unifying domain of energy. There was chemical energy in an exploding gunpowder charge, and there was frictional heat energy in the scrapping of your shoe, yet they were linked too.


The important thing is that the total amount of energy in the universe will remain the same forever. The energy will change from one type to another, but the amount of energy transferred will remain the same, linking all form of energy together. It will change from lets say a gunpowder charge into an air blast and falling rocks, or horse muscles into a cart moving. The amount of energy transferred is the same, it is the concept of energy conservation.


Einstein changed that vision. E=mc2 suddenly could provide much more energy out of mass. Energy was linked to mass and the ultimate speed possible (C), and after that the law of conservation of mass did not hold true anymore. Energy could become matter and matter could become energy. I guess we could already hint that Einstein was to change all that, like Bodanis does on p.22.


I just realised that Encarta was saying the same thing as me (and the same thing as Bodanis) but better. I am including it here because it might inspire you:


From Encarta: Energy, capacity of matter to perform work as the result of its motion or its position in relation to forces acting on it. Energy associated with motion is known as kinetic energy, and energy related to position is called potential energy. Thus, a swinging pendulum has maximum potential energy at the terminal points; at all intermediate positions it has both kinetic and potential energy in varying proportions. Energy exists in various forms, including mechanical (see Mechanics), thermal (see Thermodynamics), chemical (see Chemical Reaction), electrical (see Electricity), radiant (see Radiation), and atomic (see Nuclear Energy). All forms of energy are interconvertible by appropriate processes. In the process of transformation either kinetic or potential energy may be lost or gained, but the sum total of the two remains always the same.


A weight suspended from a cord has potential energy due to its position, in as much as it can perform work in the process of falling. An electric battery has potential energy in chemical form. A piece of magnesium has potential energy stored in chemical form that is expended in the form of heat and light if the magnesium is ignited. If a gun is fired, the potential energy of the gunpowder is transformed into the kinetic energy of the moving projectile. The kinetic mechanical energy of the moving rotor of a dynamo is changed into kinetic electrical energy by electromagnetic induction. All forms of energy tend to be transformed into heat, which is the most transient form of energy. In mechanical devices energy not expended in useful work is dissipated in frictional heat, and losses in electrical circuits are largely heat losses.


Empirical observation in the 19th century led to the conclusion that although energy can be transformed, it cannot be created or destroyed. This concept, known as the conservation of energy, constitutes one of the basic principles of classical mechanics. The principle, along with the parallel principle of conservation of matter, holds true only for phenomena involving velocities that are small compared with the velocity of light. At higher velocities close to that of light, as in nuclear reactions, energy and matter are interconvertible (see Relativity). In modern physics the two concepts, the conservation of energy and of mass, are thus unified.





Second Vision - Mass



For the Mass short film we could be in Zurich with Einstein studying with Mileva. The only thing we would have to say is that we are in Zurich in 1900. We could see Einstein and Mileva at the University, studying, meeting afterward in their little nest and starting a relationship. Now we know they were very much discussing physics, reading books and visualising the latest theories. In that context we could see them discussing Mass and the experiments of Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier.


Einstein could then find himself alone thinking about that mass and what exactly it represents, especially its relation with Energy. In the vision Einstein could either see the apparatus that Lavoisier created in order to measure the fact that a piece of metal burning in a air sealed container gains mass because the oxygen that disappears had particles that got stuck on the metal burning. Then we could go further than this boring apparatus that Einstein and Mileva themselves could have been playing with in the university lab and the vision could go further and we would imagine a nice way of picturing this mass-energy relation. It could be poetic and weird.


What is interesting in here is more this romantic vision that all material substances (matter) around were linked somehow: ice, rock, rusted metal and gases. Lavoisier was perhaps the first to prove that all the mass around was part of a single connected whole. All physical objects have a property called their mass, which affect how they move, and Lavoisier showed how their parts can combine and separate.


A nice image in Bodanis' book on p.30 is that if a city could be weighed and then broken by siege and its buildings burned by fire, if all the smoke and ash and broken ramparts and bricks were collected and weighed, there would be no change in the original weight. Nothing would have truly vanished, not even the weight of the smallest speck of dust. (The law of conservation of mass.) Faraday has also discovered that energy is conserved as well.


(p.35) At this point no one made the link between energy and mass. One was composed of fire and crackling battery wires and flashes of light-this was the realm of energy. The other was composed of trees and rocks and people and planets-the realm of mass. Einstein made that link by pure thinking, not by measuring anything or carefully looking at what Faraday and Lavoisier had worked on.


As for Einstein discoveries to change the concept of mass conservation, what Encarta says is better than what I could say:


From Encarta: Mass (physics), in physics, amount of matter that a body contains, and a measure of the inertial property of that body, that is, of its resistance to change of motion (see Inertia). Mass is different from weight, which is a measure of the attraction of the earth for a given mass (see Gravitation). Inertial mass and gravitational mass are identical (special relativity). Weight, although proportional to mass, varies with the position of a given mass relative to the earth; thus, equal masses at the same location in a gravitational field will have equal weights. A mass in interstellar space may have nearly zero weight. A fundamental principle of classical physics is the law of conservation of mass, which states that matter cannot be created or destroyed. This law holds true in chemical reactions but is modified in cases where atoms disintegrate and matter is converted to energy or energy is converted to matter (see Nuclear Energy; X Ray: Pair Production).


The theory of relativity, initially formulated in 1905 by the German-born American physicist Albert Einstein, did much to change traditional concepts of mass. In modern physics, the mass of an object is regarded as changing as its velocity approaches that of light, that is, when it approaches 300,000 km/sec (about 186,000 mi/sec); an object moving at a speed of approximately 260,000 km/sec (about 160,000 mi/sec), for example, has a mass about double its so-called rest mass. Where such velocities are involved, as in nuclear reactions, mass can be converted into energy and vice versa, as suggested by Einstein in his famous equation E = mc2 (energy equals mass multiplied by the velocity of light squared).





Third Vision - C - The Speed of Light



For the third vision, we cannot jump directly to E=mc2 because Special Relativity comes later (vision 5). We would then be in Bern in the Patent Office where Einstein was working and living with Mileva in their nice little apartment. The idea of special relativity came while he was day dreaming at the office, going on a spiritual quest at that point to visualise relativity should not be too weird for the audience.


There are a lot of ways of representing the speed of light, particle accelerators like the ones in Cern and the Cyclotron in the United States are showing particles reaching 99.94% the speed of light. These accelerators were invented later on though, so it will again be a poetic licence to use them in this vision.


Still, we don't need these accelerators to visualise the speed of light in Einstein's vision. The Michelson and Morley experiment, even though it was a failure to prove the existence of ether, was planned to measure a difference in the speed of light. What it proved was that the speed of light was constant.


Of course, in the third approach there are a lot of people who tried to measure unsuccessfully that speed of light, like Galileo and Cassini, they thought it was infinitely fast. Ole Roemer proved otherwise with his challenge to calculate when Io, the satellite of Jupiter, would appear on November 9 from behind the planet. We can get inspiration from this, they were all astronomers, dealing with the light of planets, the Sun and other stars and how long it took to reach us.


A vision representing the speed of light should be interesting. Light waves going in space relative to us. In that short film we can be very imaginative, and the actors can become dummies to the experiments as Einstein try to visualise what is happening. The energy fields, Einstein travelling on a wave at the speed of light, what would happened to the light then, what image would you see, could you stop time, or at least the image travelling in time? Travelling at the speed of light could in effect stop the world from turning. Eventually Einstein understands that this is not the case, that the equations of that Scottish guy Maxwell state otherwise.


The important thing to understand here is that Einstein realised that this speed of light would be constant to anyone, anywhere at any time. But we should not yet explain Special Relativity in this short film as it is the Fifth Vision. Here we need to explain why Einstein realised that the speed of light should be part of his equation, and it has something to do with Maxwell equations and how light waves behave compared with other waves like water for example. This also led to the Photoelectric effect.


In effect, Einstein realised that the electricity part of the light wave shimmers forward, and that squeezes out a magnetic part, as it powers up, creates a further surge of electricity so that the rushing cycle starts repeating (p.49 of Bodanis' book). Whenever you think you're racing forward fast enough to have pulled up next to a light beam, look harder and you'll see that whatever part you thought you were close to is powering up a further part of the light beam that is still hurtling away from you. In essence Einstein understood that the speed of light becomes the fundamental speed limit in our universe: nothing can go faster. Whatever your speed, a light wave will always be racing at 300,000 km per second in front of you. Light is not just a number, it is a physical process.


Of course there is here the nice little way of picturing all this by changing the speed of light to 30 miles per hour, well explained in the book of Bodanis (p.51). There is something nice to be done about this, seeing cars being distorted because they reach 30 miles per hour and a girl on a bicycle getting more massive (not bigger) and time slows down.


Here is the résumé of the speed of light from Encarta and at the end you can see the contribution of Einstein on the subject, the constancy of the speed of light for all observers in any frame of reference:



From Encarta: The Speed of Light



Scientists have defined the speed of light in a vacuum to be exactly 299,792,458 meters per second (about 186,000 miles per second). This definition is possible because since 1983, scientists have known the distance light travels in one second more accurately than the definition of the standard meter. Therefore, in 1983, scientists defined the meter as 1/299,792,458, the distance light travels through a vacuum in one second. This precise measurement is the latest step in a long history of measurement, beginning in the early 1600s with an unsuccessful attempt by Italian scientist Galileo to measure the speed of lantern light from one hilltop to another.


The first successful measurements of the speed of light were astronomical. In 1676 Danish astronomer Olaus Roemer noticed a delay in the eclipse of a moon of Jupiter when it was viewed from the far side as compared with the near side of Earth’s orbit. Assuming the delay was the travel time of light across Earth’s orbit, and knowing roughly the orbital size from other observations, he divided distance by time to estimate the speed.


English physicist James Bradley obtained a better measurement in 1729. Bradley found it necessary to keep changing the tilt of his telescope to catch the light from stars as Earth went around the Sun. He concluded that Earth’s motion was sweeping the telescope sideways relative to the light that was coming down the telescope. The angle of tilt, called the stellar aberration, is approximately the ratio of the orbital speed of Earth to the speed of light. (This is one of the ways scientists determined that Earth moves around the Sun and not vice versa.)


In the mid-19th century, French physicist Armand Fizeau directly measured the speed of light by sending a narrow beam of light between gear teeth in the edge of a rotating wheel. The beam then traveled a long distance to a mirror and came back to the wheel where, if the spin were fast enough, a tooth would block the light. Knowing the distance to the mirror and the speed of the wheel, Fizeau could calculate the speed of light. During the same period, the French physicist Jean Foucault made other, more accurate experiments of this sort with spinning mirrors.


Scientists needed accurate measurements of the speed of light because they were looking for the medium that light traveled in. They called the medium ether, which they believed waved to produce the light. If ether existed, then the speed of light should appear larger or smaller depending on whether the person measuring it was moving toward or away from the ether waves. However, all measurements of the speed of light in different moving reference frames gave the same value.


In 1887 American physicists Albert A. Michelson and Edward Morley performed a very sensitive experiment designed to detect the effects of ether. They constructed an interferometer with two light beams—one that pointed along the direction of Earth’s motion, and one that pointed in a direction perpendicular to Earth’s motion. The beams were reflected by mirrors at the ends of their paths and returned to a common point where they could interfere. Along the first beam, the scientists expected Earth’s motion to increase or decrease the beam’s velocity so that the number of wave cycles throughout the path would be changed slightly relative to the second beam, resulting in a characteristic interference pattern. Knowing the velocity of Earth, it was possible to predict the change in the number of cycles and the resulting interference pattern that would be observed. The Michelson-Morley apparatus was fully capable of measuring it, but the scientists did not find the expected results.


The paradox of the constancy of the speed of light created a major problem for physical theory that German-born American physicist Albert Einstein finally resolved in 1905. Einstein suggested that physical theories should not depend on the state of motion of the observer. Instead, Einstein said the speed of light had to remain constant, and all the rest of physics had to be changed to be consistent with this fact. This special theory of relativity predicted many unexpected physical consequences, all of which have since been observed in nature.





Fourth Vision - 2



The issues below could be discussed at The Olympia Academy, which is what Einstein and his physicist friends were calling their little group meeting at his apartment in Bern to discuss the new scientific issues.


In this vision, we are trying to understand why Einstein decided that the energy equalled mass multiplied by the speed of light not once but twice: E = m X c X c.


Newton said that E = mv1 (or E = mv) (v being the velocity). Gottfried Leibniz in Germany discovered that there was a problem with that equation. When calculating the energy released by two trains doing a frontal accident, the energy of both trains gets cancelled unless you change the equation to E=mv2. Then one v in each equation gets cancelled but there is still a v in each equation remaining and there can be energy released. This is obviously describing reality a bit more since the crash, the blast and all the pieces of the train flying in the air represent that release of energy. Émilie du Châtelet proved that Leibniz was right. After that it was normal for Einstein to conclude that E=mc2 and not E=mc (or E=mc1).


Émilie du Châtelet's confirmation that Leibniz was right had nothing to do with her doing little experiments with her friends physicists visiting her in her château in Cirey. She basically linked Leibniz's guess with the experiments of a Dutch researcher named Willem sGravesande.


(p.65) sGravesande had been letting weights plummet onto soft clay floor and discovered that a weight going twice as fast as an earlier one does not sink in twice deeply as Newton's equation indicated. A small brass sphere sent down twice as fast as before pushed four times as far into the clay, and if sent 3 times faster, then it sank 9 times as far in the clay.


Bodanis (p.67) says that the geometry of our world often produces squared numbers. When you move twice as close toward a reading lamp, the light on the page you're reading doesn't simply get twice as strong, the light intensity increase four times. When you are at the outer distance, the light from the lamp is spread over a larger area. When you go closer, that same amount of light gets concentrated on a much smaller area.


Another image (p.68) is that if you accelerate in your car from 20 mph to 80 mph, your speed has gone up by 4 times. But it won't take merely 4 times as long to stop if you apply brakes and they lock. Your accumulated energy will have gone up by the square of four, which is 16 times. That's how much longer your skid will be.


An important thing mentioned on p.69 is how big a number this c2 is as a conversion factor for mass turning into energy. A little bit of mass gets magnified 448,900,000,000,000,000 times when it converts to energy, so mass is simply the ultimate type of condensed or concentrated energy. Energy is the reverse: it is what billows out as an alternate form of mass under the right circumstances.




Fifth Vision - E=mc2 - Special Relativity (Einstein and the Equation)





For this vision, Einstein could be walking in the mountains with Marie-Curie, explaining to her what Special Relativity implies about radiation and other things mentioned below.


The only other credited name for Special Relativity is Michele Besso with whom Einstein studied in Zurich and worked at the Patent Office in Bern. He is a Mechanical Engineer (p.77) and should not be mixed up with Einstein's other friend, a mathematician called Marcel Grossman, who's father wrote a letter to get Einstein a job at the patent office. They both helped him tremendously with his theories and the maths involved, as Einstein was not that good with maths. Marcel Grossman particularly helped Einstein on General Relativity.


Einstein thinking about the equivalence of mass and energy. There must be nice ways to show that energy and mass become the same and can be interchanged. A picture in space showing the distribution of mass and energy, mass becoming energy by showing virtual particles flickering in and out of existence, leaving energy behind. Matter created out of thin air. It would almost be criminal to have a voice over if the images are poetic enough. I am watching right now The Animatrix from which we could get inspiration for those visions. They show a lot of kaleidoscope images with points and colours moving around, with the infinities, like something being part of something else at another scale. The feel is right. Just a suggestion.


There is a very nice image developed by Einstein himself to explain Special Relativity in the book of Dennis Overbye, Einstein in Love. It is the vision of all the clocks in the distance that show different timings. I believe it is in the chapter Six Weeks in May (pp.124-140) where Einstein discovers Special Relativity.


(p.73, Bodanis) When Einstein first published his theory of Special Relativity nobody noticed, nobody even thought mass and energy could be linked together in that fashion. (p.79) One of the main reasons might have been that no one understood at first why Einstein selected "c" as being so central, especially that this did not came from Einstein experiencing in a laboratory but just by thinking and dreaming about light and speed (p.80). He tried to get teaching jobs at this time, joining his paper on Relativity that he was so proud of, but to no avail (p.78).


This is where Bodanis mention (p.74) his analogy of a child entering the library of the universe filled with books of unknown languages that no one can understand until Einstein does comprehend one book, the one about Relativity. And all that started with Einstein observation that no one could ever catch up with light which led him to assume that mass and energy are one.


(p.75) One of the first applications of the equation E=mc2 was this puzzling thing Marie Curie was working on: radioactivity. Einstein met with her first at the Solvay Congress in 1911 in Belgium and only later after he was famous they met again for a hiking trip in the mountain. They must have discussed radioactivity and the reaction of E=mc2 in this process. Curie did not know at first that these metals like Radium and Uranium achieved their power by sucking immeasurably tiny portions of their mass into the greatly magnified form of sprayed energy. The amounts (p.75) seemed beyond credibility: a palm-sized chunk of these ores could spray out many trillions of high-speed alpha particles every second, and repeat this for hours and weeks and months, without any loss of weight that anyone could measure. Eventually Curie died of Leukemia (cancer) because she had been working with radioactive metals for years.


After Einstein published his paper and finally got some attention, jealousy set in. The French mathematician Henri Poincaré (pp.78-79) came close to Relativity and even had his own theory called Theory of Relativity, though not quite what Einstein came up with. He ignored Einstein and barely ever mentioned him throughout his life, even though in time it became clear that Einstein was right. They met at the Solvay Congress in 1911, God only knows what they might have talked about: relativity perhaps?


It is on page 83 that Bodanis mentions that E=mc2 is used in traditional TV sets, by shooting electrons from the back of the TV to the screen at the front, adding that these electrons travel very fast and act as if they had really grown in mass as they travel. I could not find evidence of this in my research though I admit I did not have enough time to investigate this particular topic. Michio Kaku told me that these electrons usually travel no where near the speed of light, except of course in particle accelerators.


The second example that Bodanis give on p.83 and p.260 is about GPS (Global Positioning Systems) (and even satellites will directly use the equation). This needs to end up in the documentary somehow. You can find more information about GPS on my research page:



Global Positioning Systems (GPS)  html or doc (no mention to relativity)
Applications of Relativity in GPS  html or doc
GPS depends on satellites that use Atomic Clocks  html or doc



On page 85, Bodanis mentions that Einstein's work (not necessarily E=mc2) helped lay the path for lasers, computer chips, key aspects of the modern pharmaceutical and bioengineering industry, and all the Internet switching devices. I admit that after some non-fructuous attempts to link these to E=mc2 more research would be needed in order to see how these technologies could be using E=mc2 to work.


There are more than just E=mc2 to be talked about or represented in Special Relativity as the equation is only a small part of Special Relativity. David Bodanis appears to have skip the part where he could have explained Special Relativity in order to concentrate on E=mc2. Here is the paragraph I previously wrote about Special Relativity that needs to be also considered about the relativistic effects:


Special Relativity derived from the facts that the speed of light is always constant for anyone anywhere going at any speed. As a result clocks (time) do not run at the same rate everywhere, it depends on your acceleration and the gravitational forces (that last point was uncovered in General Relativity which is a theory of gravity). Both acceleration and gravitation changes the values of time, length and mass, which are all relative to the point of view or frame of reference. 


There is no absolute motion, absolute space or absolute time in the universe. There is no universal clock somewhere on which we can time our clocks or a centre to the universe. Anywhere can become a frame of reference and the laws of physics would stand true in any frame of reference. Someone else in another frame of reference would calculate a different reality than yours. For example light might appear to cover a longer distance in the same amount of time from your point of view compared with someone else moving with that lamp on his ship.


The speed of light is fast but not that fast, it is not instantaneous, and it takes time to reach people. The image of a star exploding would not arrive to two persons living on different planets at the same time, it could happen years before on planet 1 compared with planet 2. One event is therefore not simultaneous to different observers, it is relative to the viewpoint. Special relativity also proved that Energy and Mass are the same and are interchangeable. To get an idea of the geometry of space-time (general relativity), we need to consider them together as one entity.






And now, I will flood you with information about Special Relativity and General Relativity (in the next vision) in order to make it clearer and inspire you. I have not included here the definitions found in Encarta and Britannica that can be reached following the links below:



Special and General Relativity  html or doc


Facts related to Special Relativity that we may need to explain:

Time Dilation  html or doc
Lorentz-Fitzgerald Contraction, Michelson & Morley Experiment  html or doc
Relativistic Effects/Relativistic Mechanics  html or doc



If you get bored, just jumped to the next vision:



Einstein based his special theory of relativity on two postulates:





1. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial systems (reference frames that move uniformly and without rotation). There are no preferred inertial systems. When a certain reference-frame moves with constant speed with respect to another, processes of nature will obey the same laws of physics in either reference-frame.



2. The speed of light in vacuum has the same constant value c in all inertial systems.




I found a nice résumé of Special Relativity at this URL:






1905 can only be described as having been a fabulous year for the young Albert Einstein. While working at the Bern patent office he published three ground breaking research papers. The scope of these papers, concerning the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion and the formulation of special relativity, respectively, was enormous.


With the formulation of the Special Theory of Relativity, Einstein started a scientific revolution that was to change our conception of both space and time. One of the cornerstones of Einstein's theory is the assumption that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light c (roughly 300 million meters/second). Once one takes into account the finite velocity with which signals such as light travel the Newtonian concept of simultaneity is destroyed. This leads naturally to a new concept, first proposed by Herman Minkowski, in which the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time are combined into a new single entity: a four dimensional continuum called space-time.


The concept of simultaneity is destroyed in Special Relativity. Because information cannot travel faster than the speed of light, it is more natural to discuss two events as being related through their location in the four-dimensional space-time.

The simple ideas underlying Special Relativity immediately lead to predictions of new physics:



As far as mathematics is concerned, the simplest way to express these results is to model the four dimensional space-time as possessing a flat metric which encodes the invariant interval which exists between events:



The fact that the metric is flat means that the stationary curves (geodesics) are straight lines. Free particles and light rays travel along certain classes of these straight lines .



Gravitational Time Dilation





Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity predicted that time does not flow at a fixed rate: moving clocks appear to tick more slowly relative to their stationary counterparts. But this effect only becomes really significant at very high velocities that approach the speed of light.


When "generalized" to include gravitation, the equations of relativity predict that gravity, or the curvature of spacetime by matter, not only stretches or shrinks distances (depending on their direction with respect to the gravitational field) but also w ill appear to slow down or "dilate" the flow of time.


In most circumstances in the universe, such time dilation is miniscule, but it can become very significant when spacetime is curved by a massive object such as a black hole. For example, an observer far from a black hole would observe time passing extremely slowly for an astronaut falling through the hole's boundary. In fact, the distant observer would never see the hapless victim actually fall in. His or her time, as measured by the observer, would appear to stand still.


Problems with Newtonian Gravity





Newton was fully aware of the conceptual difficulties of his action-at-a-distance theory of gravity. In a letter to Richard Bentley Newton wrote:



"It is inconceivable, that inanimate brute matter should, without the mediation of something else, which is not material, operate upon, and affect other matter without mutual contact; as it must do, if gravitation, ...., be essential and inherent in it. And this is one reason, why I desired you would not ascribe innate gravity to me. That gravity should be innate, inherent, and essential to matter, so that one body may act upon another, at a distance through vacuum, without the mediation of anything else, by and through their action and force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an absurdity, that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking, can ever fall into it."



So, clearly, Newton believed that something had to convey gravitational influence from one body to another. When later it became clear that influences travel at finite speeds it was reasonable to suppose this true of gravity also. But Newton's law of gravity did not incorporate the finite travel time of gravitational influences. If right now the sun were to be destroyed by a passing black hole we would not feel the gravitational effects until about 8 minutes had elapsed. Because Newton's law did not include such retardation effects, and permitted violations of special relativity, it was clear that Newton's law had to be an approximation to the correct law of gravity.


Special Relativity



In 1905 Albert Einstein introduced his theory of special relativity. With this theory Einstein sought to make the laws of motion consistent with James Clerk Maxwell's (1831-1879) laws of electromagnetism. Those laws predicted that light in vacuum traveled at a speed c (about 300,000 km/s) that was independent of the motion of the observer of the light and of the light source. Newton's law of motion, however, predicted that the speed of light should depend upon the motion of the observer. Einstein basically sided with Maxwell! Special relativity makes two postulates:



A non-accelerating observer is said to be in an inertial frame of reference.


If you conduct an experiment in a moving vehicle (provided it is moving at a constant velocity relative to the ground) the experiment will give exactly the same result as one conducted in a laboratory at rest relative to the ground. This is why we can drink a can of soda just as well in a vehicle moving at a constant velocity as in one that is at rest relative to the ground. The first postulate says that there is no experiment we can do that can determine whether it is we who are moving, or the ground, or both. The most that any observer can do is to determine their speed relative to something. The earth goes around the sun at a relative speed of 30 km/s. But this value is just the speed relative to the sun. The earth has also a speed relative to the galactic center. Einstein proposed that there is no absolute meaning to the phrase: the earth's speed through space.


The second postulate says that the speed of light is always observed to be the same however we, or the source, might be moving. It is a universal invariant.


The consequence of Einstein's two postulates are radical: time and space become intertwined in surprising ways. Events that may be simultaneous for one observer can occur at different times for another. This leads to length contraction and time dilation, the slowing down of time in a moving frame. Every observer has her own personal time, caller proper time. That is the time measured by a clock at the observer's location. Two observers, initially the same age as given by their proper times, could have different ages when they met again after traveling along different spacetime paths.




Special relativity


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.




The special theory of relativity, or SR for short, is the physical theory published in 1905 by Albert Einstein that modified Newtonian physics to incorporate electromagnetism as represented by Maxwell's equations. The theory is called "special" because the theory applies only to the special case of measurements made when both the observer and that which is being observed are not affected by gravity. Ten years later, Einstein published the theory of General Relativity (GR), which is the extension of special relativity to incorporate gravitation.


Motivation for the theory of special relativity


Before the formulation of special relativity, Hendrik Lorentz and others had already noted that electromagnetics differed from Newtonian physics in that observations by one of some phenomenon can differ from those of a person moving relative to that person at speeds nearing the speed of light. For example, one may observe no magnetic field, yet another observes a magnetic field in the same physical area. Lorentz suggested an aether theory in which objects and observers travelling with respect to a stationary aether underwent a physical shortening (Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction) and a change in temporal rate (time dilation). This allowed the partial reconciliation of electromagnetics and Newtonian physics. When the velocities involved are much less than speed of light, the resulting laws simplify to Newton's laws. The theory, known as Lorentz Ether Theory (LET) was criticized (even by Lorentz himself) because of its ad hoc nature.


While Lorentz suggested the Lorentz transformation equations as a mathematical description that accurately described the results of measurements, Einstein's contribution was to derive these equations from a more fundamental theory. Einstein wanted to know what was invariant (the same) for all observers. His original title for his theory was (translated from German) "Theory of Invariants". It was Max Planck who suggested the term "relativity" to highlight the notion of transforming the laws of physics between observers moving relative to one another.


Special relativity is usually concerned with the behaviour of objects and observers which remain at rest or are moving at a constant velocity. In this case, the observer is said to be in an inertial frame of reference or simply inertial. Comparision of the position and time of events as recorded by different inertial observers can be done by using the Lorentz transformation equations. A common misstatement about relativity is that SR cannot be used to handle the case of objects and observers who are undergoing acceleration (non-inertial reference frames), but this is incorrect. For an example, see the relativisic rocket problem. SR can correctly predict the behaviour of accelerating bodies as long as the acceleration is not due to gravity, in which case general relativity must be used.


Invariance of the speed of light


SR postulated that the speed of light in vacuum is the same to all inertial observers, and said that every physical theory should be shaped or reshaped so that it is the same mathematically for every observer. This postulate (which comes from Maxwell's equations for electromagnetics) together with the requirement, succesfully reproduces the Lorentz transformation equations, and has several consequences that struck many people as bizarre, among which are:





Lack of an absolute reference frame


Another radical consequence is the rejection of the notion of an absolute, unique, frame of reference. Previously it had been believed that the universe traveled through a substance known as "aether" (absolute space), against which speeds could be measured. However, the results of various experiments, culminating in the famous Michelson-Morley experiment, suggested that either the Earth was always stationary (which is absurd), or the notion of an absolute frame of reference was mistaken and must be discarded.


Equivalence of mass and energy


Perhaps most far reaching, it also showed that energy and mass, previously considered separate, were equivalent, and related by the most famous expression from the theory:


E = mc2


where E is the energy of the body (at rest), m is the mass and c is the speed of light. If the body is moving with speed v relative to the observer, the total energy of the body is:


E = γmc2,



 \gamma = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1 - v^2/c^2}}.


(The term γ occurs frequently in relativity, and comes from the Lorentz transformation equations.) It is worth noting that if v is much less than c this can be written as


E \approx m c^2 + \frac{1}{2}m v^2


which is precisely equal to the "energy of existence", mc2, and the Newtonian kinetic energy, mv2/2. This is just one example of how the two theories coincide when velocities are small.


At very high speeds, the denominator in the energy equation (2) approaches a value of zero as the velocity approaches c. Thus, at the speed of light, the energy would be infinite, which precludes things that have mass from moving at that speed.


The most practical implication of this theory is that it puts an upper limit to the laws (see Law of nature) of Classical Mechanics and gravity formed by Isaac Newton at the speed of light. Nothing carrying mass or information can move faster than this speed. As an object's velocity approaches the speed of light, the amount of energy required to accelerate it approaches infinity, making it impossible to reach the speed of light. Only particles with no mass, such as photons, can actually achieve this speed (and in fact they must always travel at this speed in all frames of reference), which is approximately 300,000 kilometers per second or 186,300 miles per second.


The name "tachyon" has been used for hypothetical particles which would move faster than the speed of light, but to date evidence of the actual existence of tachyons has not been produced.


Special relativity also holds that the concept of simultaneity is relative to the observer: If matter can travel along a path in spacetime without changing velocity, the theory calls this path a 'time-like interval', since an observer following this path would feel no motion and would thus travel only in 'time' according to his frame of reference. Similarly, a 'space-like interval' means a straight path in space-time along which neither light nor any slower-than-light signal could travel. Events along a space-like interval cannot influence one another by transmitting light or matter, and would appear simultaneous to an observer in the right frame of reference. To observers in different frames of reference, event A could seem to come before event B or vice-versa; this does not apply to events separated by time-like intervals.


Special relativity is now universally accepted by the physics community, unlike General Relativity which is still insufficiently confirmed by experiment to exclude certain alternative theories of gravitation. However, there are a handful of people opposed to relativity on various grounds and who have proposed various alternatives, mainly Aether theories.



The Theory


SR uses tensors or four-vectors to define a non-cartesian space. This space, however, is very similiar, and fortunately by that fact, very easy to work with. The differential of distance(ds) in cartesian space is defined as:



where (dx1,dx2,dx3) are the differentials of the three spatial dimensions. In the geometry of special relativity, a fourth dimension, time, is added, except it is treated as an imaginary quantity with units of c, so that the equation for the differential of distance becomes:



If we reduce the spatial dimensions to 2, so that we can represent the physics in a 3-D space,



We see that the null geodesics lie along a dual-cone:



defined by the equation



, or



Which is the equation of a circle with r=c*dt. If we extend this to three spatial dimensions, the null geodesics are continuous concentric spheres, with radius = distance = c*(+ or -)time.





This null dual-cone represents the "line of sight" of a point in space. That is, when we look at the stars and say "The light from that star which I am recieving is X years old.", we are looking down this line of sight: a null geodesic. We are looking at an event d=\sqrt{x_1^2+x_2^2+x_3^2}meters away and d/c seconds in the past. For this reason the null dual cone is also known as the 'light cone'. (The point in the lower left of the picture below represents the star, the origin represents the observer, and the line represents the null geodesic "line of sight".)



Geometrically, all "points" along the null dual-cone represent the same point in space-time( because the distance between them is zero). This can be thought of as 'the window of combustion' of forces. ("Connection is when two motions, once thought to be mutually exclusive, meet in a single moment." -James Morrison) It is where events in space-time intersect; how space interacts with itself. It is how a point "sees" the rest of the universe and is "seen" by it. The cone in the -t region is the information that the point is 'recieving', while the cone in the +t section is the information that the point is 'sending'. In this way, we can envision a space of null dual-cones:



and recall the concept of cellular automata, applying it in a spatially and temporally continuous fashion. This also holds for points in uniform translatory motion to eachother, a.k.a. inertial frames:



This means that the geometry of the universe remains the same regardless of the velocity(\partial x/\partial t) (inertia) of the observer. Let us recall Newton's law of motion: "An object in motion tends to stay in motion; an object at rest tends to stay at rest." - the law of conservation of kinetic energy.


However, the geometry does not remain constant when there is acceleration (\partial ^2x / \partial t^2) involved, as this implies an application of force (F=ma), and consequently a change in energy, which brings us to general relativity, in which the intrinsic curvature of space is directly proportional to the energy density at that point.


Modifications of special relativity


In the early 21st century a number of modified versions of special relativity have been postulated. One of the most notable of these is doubly-special relativity, where a characteristic length is added to the list of invariant quantities.


Tests of postulates of special relativity



External links







Sixth Vision - General Relativity (Epilogue - What Else Einstein did)



For this vision, Einstein could be talking at a conference in front of other physicists. We could see him explaining Special Relativity and see E=mc2 on the black board.


This might be a very nice vision as it is the one that puts back into question everything we took for granted in Physics: space and time. There will be a great chance of showing this new way of picturing the universe we live in, the distribution of mass and energy in the geometry of space and time.


As Bodanis says on p. 204, Special Relativity would have not been enough to make Einstein the most famous scientist in the world; he might not have been known to the public. Also, E=mc2 was true where gravity, with its accelerating pull, did not play much of a role. That limitation and others had always troubled Einstein and in 1907 he got the first hint of a wider solution (the happiest thought of his life): a man in an elevator on Earth would not know if he was on Earth and standing on his feet because of the gravity of the Earth or if he was in space being pulled by a rope and accelerating. Acceleration and Gravity was the same thing.


This thought led him a few years later (1910) to reflect about the very fabric of space and how it was affected by the mass or energy of objects at any one location in it. The discovery was that the more mass or energy there was at any one spot (p.205), the more that space and time would be curved tight around it. This General Relativity was a far more powerful theory than what he'd come up with before, for it encompasses so much more.



Here is an important excerpt from the book of Bodanis, starting at the bottom of page 205 till page 207:



A small, rocky object, such as our planet, has only a little bit of mass and energy, and so only curves the fabric of space and time around it a bit. The more powerful sun would tug the underlying fabric around it far more taut.


The equation that summarizes this has a great simplicity, curiously reminiscent of the simplicity of E=mc2. In E=mc2, there's an energy realm on one side, a mass realm on the other, and the bridge of the "=" sign linking them. E=mc2 is, at heart, the assertion that Energy = mass. In Einstein's new, wider theory, the points that are covered deal with the way that all of "energy-mass" in an area is associated with all of "space-time" nearby, or, symbolically, the way that Energy-mass = space-time. The "E and the "m" of E=mc2 are now just items to go on one side of this deeper equation.


The entire mass-loaded Earth rolls forward, automatically following the shortest path amidst the space-time "curves" that spread rippling around us. Gravity is no longer something that happens stretching across an inert space: rather, gravity is simply what we notice when we happen to be traveling within a particular configuration of space and time.


The problem, though, is that it seems preposterous! How can seemingly empty space and time be warped? Clearly that would have to occur, if this extended theory, which now embedded E=mc2 in its wider context, were to be true. Einstein realized that there could be something of a test some demonstration that would be so clear, so powerful, that no one could doubt that this wild result he'd come up with was right.


But what could that be? The proving test came from the heart of the theory, that diagram of a warp in the very fabric around us. If empty space really could be tugged and curved, then we'd be able to see distant starlight "mysteriously" swiveled around our sun. It would be like watching a bank shot in billiards suddenly take place, where a ball spins around a pocket and comes out with a changed direction. Only now it would occur in the sky overhead, where nobody had ever suspected a curved corner pocket to reside.


Normally we couldn't notice this light being bent by the sun, because it would apply only to starlight that skimmed very close to the outer edge of our sun. Under ordinary circumstances the sun's glare would block out those adjacent daytime stars.


But during an eclipse?






* * *



After that of course Bodanis launch into the great story of Freundlich, junior assistant at the Royal Prussian Observatory in Berlin, trying unsuccessfully to measure the light bending during an eclipse, and the Englishman Arthur Eddington succeeding. Of course, in the third approach this story will become interesting as Eddington went to measure the light bending effect to escape going to war (the first one) because as a Quaker he was a pacifist. There is also this interesting story in Dennis Overby's book Einstein in Love where Eddington rejected one of the 3 photos (plates) because it did not agree with Einstein's prediction, even though that photo was better than one of the others he kept.


This verification of Einstein's theory, as stated in Bodanis' book on p.213 was the turning point in Einstein's life. He suddenly overnight became the most famous scientist alive and got his title of the most intelligent or smartest man who ever lived. The celebration was worldwide on front page of every newspapers (that was on November 6, 1919).




What I said before about General Relativity:



General Relativity is to place that Energy and Mass in Space and Time, and it gives you the geometry of space (gravity). Instantly with about 10 points (tensor algebra) you can calculate anything anywhere in four dimensions instead of three, and you get a much better view of the universe, of the unity of the distribution of energy and mass in the geometry of space and time.


General Relativity added a fourth dimension, the dimension of time. Even a rocket at rest is moving in time. General Relativity also brought along the fact that the universe is curved, a straight line is not necessarily the shortest distance between two points (the geodesic).


The geometry of space (that is the result of the mass and the energy populating it) is curved in the neighbourhood of massive objects and light would bend following these curved lines.


The whole universe could be a hypersphere in which, if you light a super flashlight, light would eventually get back to you from behind. It is like going around the Earth and eventually coming back to where you are as it is a sphere in three dimensions. In four dimensions, the universe looks more like a balloon being blown or a hypersphere. It could also be a hyperbolic or another form, we just don't know at this time.


Even though photons are mass less because they are going at the speed of light, light is energy (which is equivalent to mass) and has momentum, which is known to apply pressure on whatever it meets. Light apparently has a mass (even though you could interpret it as energy, which is the same thing) and is also subject to gravitation (or the geometry of space-time).




Here is what I found about General Relativity at this URL:




A theory of curved space-time


Having formulated his Special theory, Einstein wanted to generalize it to incorporate the gravitational interaction. It took him ten years to complete this task. The final version of the theory was published in 1916. It is a relativistic theory of gravitation (i.e. one consistent with Special Relativity), known as General Relativity .


The key principle on which General Relativity is built derives from Galileo's experiments in which he dropped bodies of different composition from the leaning tower of Pisa. These experiments showed that all bodies fall with the same acceleration irrespective of their mass and composition. This is known as the principle of equivalence.



This equivalence principle is best understood in the context of Einstein's lift thought experiments where, neglecting non-local effects, a body in a linearly accelerated rocket ship behaves the same as one on the earth (experiencing the pull of gravitation).  On the other hand, a body in an unaccelerated rocket ship behaves the same as one in free fall.


In the absence of gravitation we get back to Special Relativity and a flat metric and so, in order to incorporate gravitation into the theory, Einstein proposed that the metric should become curved. This means that the geodesics (most direct route between two points) become curved as well, which results in free bodies no longer moving in straight lines when affected by gravity. The reason that a satellite (like the Earth) orbits a central body (like the Sun) in Newtonian theory is a combination of two effects: uniform motion in a straight line (Newton's first law) and gravitational attraction between the two bodies (i.e. the satellite "falls" under the attraction of the central body). In General Relativity, the reason that a satellite orbits a central body is that the central body "curves up" space (and, in fact, time as well) in its vicinity, and the satellite travels on the "straightest path" which is available to it, namely on a curved geodesic. One major difference between the two theories is that whereas Newtonian theory describes how things move, and it does so remarkably accurately for ordinary bodies, it does not really explain what is the cause. Einstein's theory neatly provides answers for both these questions.


The General theory of Relativity can be stated mathematically as



These are the so-called Einstein field equations. They correspond to 10 coupled highly nonlinear partial differential equations. Their solution gives rise to a curved spacetime metric from which one can obtain the geodesics and hence investigate such things as the motion of free particles and light rays.


This elegant symbolic formulation of Einstein's general theory of relativity cannot be used for actual calculations, but it clearly shows the principle that "matter tells spacetime how to curve, and curved space tells matter how to move"(John Wheeler, Princeton University and the University of Texas at Austin). The left side of the equation contains all the information about how space is curved, and the right side contains all the information about the location and motion of the matter. General relativity is beautiful and simple (to a physicist), but mathematically it's very complicated and subtle.



The meaning of the Einstein equations can be summed up in the famous words of John Archibald Wheeler:

"space tells bodies how to move and bodies tell space how to curve"



General Relativity is concerned with studying the nature of these equations and their solutions. Since few of the known exact solutions to Einstein's equations describe physically relevant situations these studies are based on approximations, such as post-Newtonian expansions or perturbation techniques, or numerical simulations.


One way to think of General Relativity is to use the idea of a "rubber sheet geometry" where in the absence of gravitation the sheet is flat, but a central massive body curves up the sheet in its vicinity so that a free body (which would otherwise have moved in a straight line) is forced to orbit the central body





Was Einstein right?

When Einstein proposed his field equations he believed they were far too complicated to allow explicit solutions to be found. Somewhat surprisingly, he was proved wrong within a year of his paper appearing in print. The first solution to be found, and also the most famous one is the Schwarzschild solution which describes a static, spherically symmetric vacuum spacetime.  From this solution one can derive what are known as the four `classic tests' of the theory. These are:





These have now all been checked to an accuracy better than 1%. In fact to date, Einstein's theory has passed all experimental tests which have been proposed with flying colours.





That light is deflected as it passes by a massive object (above) was first verified during a solar eclipse in 1919. This test of his theoretical prediction (left) made Einstein an international celebrity. 









If we take the idea of gravitational light bending to the extreme we can see how black holes can arise in a curved spacetime. We can imagine an object that curves spacetime so much that it can force light rays to travel in circles, and so stop any information escaping from some enclosed region.






The gravitational deflection of light can sometimes lead to multiple images of distant quasars being observed. This is known as `gravitational lensing'. The image to the left shows the famous `Einstein cross', an instance where four images of the same quasar are seen.







One of the most remarkable predictions of General Relativity is the existence of gravitational waves. Although such waves have not yet been observed directly, we see indirect evidence for their existence in the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar and we believe that we are on the verge of detecting them directly with a new generation of sensitive detectors.




Here are five ways from which The General Theory of Relativity was proven, all potentially offering nice images for the vision:









General Theory of Relativity


If the main starting point of special relativity is that you can not tell constant velocity from standing still, then the starting point for general relativity is that you can not tell acceleration from a gravitational field.


When a system is accelerated forces spring up due to the inertia of the body being accelerated. Think of trying to stand up in a coach or train as it speeds up. What you feel is the same as if the coach was stopped facing up a slope. Similarly a slowing coach feels much like one stopped facing down a slope. What Einstein set out to do was to produce a set of equations from which all the phenomena of gravity and mechanics could be derived. His approach was very much that of Maxwell who used vector calculus to produce a set of four equations for electricity and magnetism.


The equations summarised what was known about stationary charge and the electrostatic field, and moving charge, current, and the magnetic field, but additionally other solutions yielded te laws of optics and predicted electromagnetic waves, corresponding to accelerated charge. Whereas Maxwell's equations needed only four parameters, Einstein's equations needed ten parameters and a branch of mathematics called tensor calculus. In many situations these equations have not been solved exactly. The most famous solution is the one by Schwarzschild, for an isolated spherical mass.


The Newtonian theory of gravity is the first approximation to general relativity, corresponding to static mass, a second term corresponds to a field caused by moving mass, but in addition to this there is a third 'non-linear' effect. Around a mass is a region of gravitational potential energy, which is, by E = mc², in turn equivalent to mass. This mass acts as the source of an additional gravitational field, and an additional potential, and so on. This means that general relativity makes some subtle alterations to the predictions of Newtonian gravity which can be tested experimentally.


Bending of star light


The first experiment to gain public acclaim was the bending of light from distant stars by the sun. Even Newton himself suggested that light may have mass and be bent by a gravitational field, so that light from a distant star would be turned slightly from its straight line path as it passed the sun. The apparent position of the star would be shifted slightly away from the sun by an angle of 0".87. On the more complete Einstein theory the deflection would be 1".74, just twice as big. This is still a tiny amount; 60" = 1', and 60' = 1°, but in parallax measurements astronomers routinely measure angles less than a second of arc so a test should be possible.


The trouble is, that normally when the sun is in the sky the stars are not visible, but every now and then the moon fits in front of the sun to give a total solar eclipse. At this time it would be possible to see the stars in the vicinity of the sun. There is still the light of the corona to contend with so the stars closest to the limb will not be seen, and it lso needs a number of bright stars further away to act as reference points. It turns out that the most favourable day for doing this experiment is May 29 as on that day the sun passes across the open cluster of the Hyades in the constellation Taurus.


As luck would have it an eclipse did happen on May 29 1919. Two expeditions were sent by the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society to two different places on the line of totality to minimise the risk due to bad weather. Dr. A. C. D. Crommelin and Mr. C. Davidson went to Sobral in northern Brazil, and Prof. A. S. Eddington and Mr. E. T. Cottingham went to the island of Principe in the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa. Test plates were taken to check that none of the instruments had deformed during their travels and the Sobral team stayed in Brazil for a further two months to photograph the Hyades with the same apparatus without the presence of the sun.


Initial results from the Principe site were indicative of a good agreement with the Einstein result, but one set of the Sobral plates, with poorly defined images, seemed to show agreement with Newton. A second set from a different instrument produced pin sharp images and when these were eventually measured yield a figure in agreement with Principe; Sobral 1".98 ± 0".12, Principe 1".61 ± 0".30. The poor plates had indicated 0".93. Other attempts to make the measurement have been made since, some were stopped by bad weather, others by political or geographical constraints.


The results are certainly more in keeping with Einstein than Newton but show some irregularity. The condiions present in the corona are thought by some to be responsible for this. One expected variable would be the 11 year sunspot cycle, but this does not seem to fit; high and low figures occur at both sunspot maxima and minima.


We are no longer confined to solar eclipses to check out the prediction of bending. The objects called quasars are very strong point like radio sources, which can, like all radio objects, be detected in daylight. With the precision of long base line interferometry, using two wide-spaced telescopes, it is now possible to detect the bending of the radio waves when they pass close to the sun. The results are in accord with general relativity.



Orbit of Mercury


The observed motion of Mercury showed that its orbit was not fixed in space but precessed at a rate of 574".10 ± 0".41 per century. That is, the point of closest approach to the sun, perihelion, moved slightly, so that Mercury did not trace quite the same path on the next orbit. A single planet orbiting the sun would obey Kepler' Laws exactly, but the presence of other planets causes each orbit to be disturbed. In the case of Mercury, the perturbations, in seconds of arc per century, are as follows;


Venus: 277.856

Earth: 90.038

Mars: 2.536

Jupiter: 153.584


Saturn: 7.302

Uranus: 0.141


Neptune: 0.042

Sun's flattening: 0.010

Total: 531.509


The unexplained discrepancy is thus 42".56 ± 0".5.


In 1860, the French mathematician Urbain LeVerrier announced that the problem of the observed precession of Mercury could be solved by assuming an intra-Mercurial planet, or possibly a second asteroid belt inside Mercury's orbit. LeVerrier, together with Adams, had successfully predicted the existence of Neptune from the perturbations of the orbit of Uranus, and it was sensible to try the same thing at the other end of the Solar System. So confident was LeVerrier that he named this planet Vulcan. There were tentative sightings of something transiting the sun, (possibly a sunspot). and in 1860 there was a total eclipse of the Sun. Leerrier and several others tried to find Vulcan but nobody did.


In May 1929 Erwin Freundlich of Potsdam, photographed the total solar eclipse from Sumatra, and obtained several star images. Comparison photographs were taken six months later, but no unknown objects were found near the Sun.


However, by using Einstein's theory, the orbit is predicted to precess by 43".03 ± 0".03, removing the need for Vulcan completely. The orbit of Venus is so nearly a circle that no observation of precession is possible. For the Earth Einstein's prediction is 3".84 and the observed precession is 4".6 ± 2".7. The error is quite large because the Earth's orbit is also very nearly circular. For the other planets the discrepancies are all smaller than the error in the observations.


Gravitational Red-shift


Suppose you are in a lift which accelerates upwards. On the roof there is a light. A ray of light which leaves the roof, travelling down towards the floor, finds that the floor is coming up to meet it at a speed greaer than the speed which the roof had been travelling when the light set out. The distance travelled by the light ray is thus less than normal and the wavelength will be reduced. The light will appear slightly bluer.


For light travelling upwards the opposite is the case, and the shift will be towards the red. Now a gravitational field can be considered as equivalent to an accelerating frame of reference, so light coming up off a massive object should have its light red shifted - a gravitational red shift. Early attempts to measure such a shift for light from the Sun were inconclusive, mainly because of unknown conditions existing in the chromosphere. White dwarfs were at one time considered as a good source for the experiments but again it is difficult to be sure of the conditions at the surface and hence to be able to reliably calculate a shift in frequency of the light.


In 1960 the effect was confirmed in a laboratory experiment using - rays falling 23 m in the Earth's field. The exected change in frequency was 4.92 x 10-15 and the observed change was (5.13 ± 0.51) x 10-15


Some people, notably steady-stateists, have suggested that the Hubble red shift of galaxies is not caused by Doppler expansion but by gravitational red shift. There are two problems with this; (i) the galaxies would have to have much greater masses than observed and (ii) the masses would have to increase linearly with distance.


Gravitational Waves


In the same way that Maxwell's equations predicted electromagnetic waves which travel at velocity c, Einstein's equation predict that changes in a gravitational field should cause the emission of transverse gravitational waves which would also travel at velocity c. Just as photons are the particle aspect of EM waves, so gravitons would be the particle aspect of gravity waves. Like photons they would have energy E = hf but now things start to get complicated as they would also have mass, which will cause them to be sources of a gravitational field that is moving, andhence a source of themselves. Also unlike EM waves, and all other waves, which can pass through each other, gravitational waves would attract each other. The mathematics is formidable.


On the practical side Prof. J. Weber at the University of Maryland has built a detector consisting of an aluminium cylinder suspended in a vacuum chamber with transducers attached which can record very small changes in the length of the cylinder, which he claims are due to the passage of gravity waves. Attempts to duplicate his results have however been inconclusive. No one has claimed the discovery of gravitons.


Gravitational Lensing


The bending of light near a massive object can do more than just alter the apparent position of a star. In 1979 it was realised that two closely spaced quasars in the constellation Ursa Major, with nearly identical brightness, spectra and red-shifts, were in reality two images of the same object. The light from the quasar was being bent by a massive object acting as a 'gravitational lens'located between the two images. The object responsible was identified in 1980 by Alan Stockton at Hawaii, as a massive galaxy. If the alignment is perfect and the massive object spherical the distant object can be distorted into a ring, called an 'Einstein ring'. Such an object MG 1131 +0456 in the constellation Leo was observed in 1988 at MIT by Jacqueline Hewitt and her colleagues. In many cases only partial rings, called arcs are seen. Such sources are Abell 370, Abell 963, Abell 2218, CL 2244 -02, and CL 0500 -24. (see www.roe.ac.uk/~sd/phd/gl/a2218.html and www.roe.ac.uk/~sd/phd/gl/e_cross.html). These sources are used to find the masses of the galaxies responsible, which is in many cases larger than that calculated from the sum of their visible parts.


A second line of research follows the difference in times between brightening of different images of the same object. This allows calculations on the different paths to make accurate estimates of the Hubble constant, H0. R. Florentine-Nielsen of Copenhaen University Observatory obtained a figure of 77 km s-1 Mpc-1 for H0 this way in 1982. By 1988 more estimates had been made revising the figure to 86 km s-1 Mpc-1 .






General relativity


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.





General Relativity is the common name for the theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915. According to general relativity the force of gravity is a manifestation of the local geometry of spacetime. Although the modern theory is due to Einstein, its origins go back to the axioms of Euclidean geometry and the many attempts over the centuries to prove Euclid's fifth postulate, that parallel lines remain always equidistant, culminating with the realisation by Lobachevsky, Bolyai and Gauss that this axiom need not be true. The general mathematics of non-Euclidean geometries was developed by Gauss' student, Riemann, but these were thought to be wholly inapplicable to the real world until Einstein had developed his theory of relativity.


The special theory of relativity (1905) modified the equations used in comparing the measurements made by differently moving bodies, in view of the constant value of the speed of light: this had the consequence that physics could no longer treat space and time separately, but only as a single four-dimensional system, "space-time," which was divided into "time-like" and "space-like" directions differently depending on the observer's motion. The general theory added to this that the presence of matter "warped" the local space-time environment, so that apparently "straight" lines through space and time have the properties we think of "curved" lines as having.


On May 29, 1919 observations by Arthur Eddington of shifted star positions during a solar eclipse confirmed the theory.



Foundations of Relativity and Special Relativity


This section outlines the major experimental results and mathematical advances that led to the formulation of General Relativity, and also sketches the more limited Special Theory of Relativity.


Gauss had realised that there is no prior reason that the geometry of space should be Euclidean. What this means is that if a physicist holds up a stick, and a cartographer stands some distance away and measures its length by a triangulation technique based on Euclidean geometry, then he is not guaranteed to get the same answer as if the physicist brings the stick to him and he measures its length directly. Of course for a stick he could not in practice measure the difference between the two measurements, but there are equivalent measurements which do detect the non-Euclidean geometry of space-time directly; for example the Pound-Rebka experiment (1959) detected the change in wavelength of light from a cobalt source rising 22.5 meters against gravity in a shaft in the Jefferson Physical Laboratory at Harvard, and the rate of atomic clocks in GPS satellites orbiting the Earth has to be corrected for the effect of gravity.


Newton's theory of gravity had assumed that objects did in fact have absolute velocities: that some things really were at rest while others really were in motion. He realized, and made clear, that there was no way these absolutes could be measured. All the measurements one can make provide only velocities relative to one's own velocity (positions relative to one's own position, and so forth), and all the laws of mechanics would appear to operate identically no matter how one was moving. Newton believed, however, that the theory could not be made sense of without presupposing that there are absolute values, even if they cannot be determined. In fact, Newtonian mechanics can be made to work without this assumption: the outcome is rather innocuous, and should not be confused with Einstein's relativity which further requires the constancy of the speed of light.


In the nineteenth century Maxwell formulated a set of equations--Maxwell's field equations--that demonstrated that light should behave as a wave emitted by electromagnetic fields which would travel at a fixed velocity through space. This appeared to provide a way around Newton's relativity: by comparing one's own speed with the speed of light in one's vicinity, one should be able to measure one's absolute speed--or, what is practically the same, one's speed relative to a frame of reference that would be the same for all observers.


The assumption was whatever medium light was travelling through--whatever it was waves of--could be treated as a background against which to make other measurements. This inspired a search to determine the earth's velocity through this cosmic backdrop or "ether"--the "ether drift." The speed of light measured from the surface of the earth should appear to be greater when the earth was moving against the ether, slower when they were moving in the same direction. (Since the earth was hurtling through space and spinning, there should be at least some regularly changing mesurements here.) A test made by Michelson and Morley toward the end of the century had the astonishing result that the speed of light appeared to be the same in every direction.


(To get a sense of how strange this was, imagine a car is driving down the highway. You want to see how fast it is going, so you and a bunch of friends get in cars and drive after it at different speeds. You talk on cell phones and each keep an eye on your speedometer and the other car. Some of you will get closer to the other car; some will fall further behind. When one of your friends--Bill--notices that he is neither gaining nor losing distance on the other car, you can judge that the strange car's speed is the same as Bill's. Michelson and Morley's result would be like you and all of your friends discovering that you are each neither gaining nor losing time on the strange car, even though you are all going different speeds.)


Einstein synthesized these various results in his 1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies."



Outline of the Theory


The fundamental idea in relativity is that we cannot talk of the physical quantities of velocity or acceleration without first defining a reference frame, and that a reference frame is defined by choosing particular matter as the basis for its definition. Thus all motion is defined and quantified relative to other matter. In the special theory of relativity it is assumed that reference frames can be extended indefinitely in all directions in space and time. The theory of special relativity concerns itself with inertial (non-accelerating) frames while general relativity deals with all frames of reference. In the general theory it is recognised that we can only define local frames to given accuracy for finite time periods and finite regions of space (similarly we can draw flat maps of regions of the surface of the earth but we cannot extend them to cover the whole surface without distortion). In general relativity Newton's laws are assumed to hold in local reference frames. In particular free particles travel in straight lines in local inertial (Lorentz) frames. When these lines are extended they do not appear straight, and are known as geodesics. Thus Newton's first law is replaced by the law of geodesic motion.


We distinguish inertial reference frames, in which bodies maintain a uniform state of motion unless acted upon by another body, from non-inertial frames in which freely moving bodies have an acceleration deriving from the reference frame itself. In non-inertial frames there is a perceived force which is accounted for by the acceleration of the frame, not by the direct influence of other matter. Thus we feel g-forces when cornering on the roads when we use a car as the physical base of our reference frame. Similarly there are coriolis and centrifugal forces when we define reference frames based on rotating matter (such as the Earth or a child's roundabout). The principle of equivalence in general relativity states that there is no local experiment to distinguish non-rotating free fall in a gravitational field from uniform motion in the absence of a gravitational field. In short there is no gravity in a reference frame in free fall. From this perspective the observed gravity at the surface of the Earth is the force observed in a reference frame defined from matter at the surface which is not free, but is acted on from below by the matter within the Earth, and is analogous to the g-forces felt in a car.


Mathematically, Einstein models space-time by a four-dimensional pseudo-Riemannian manifold, and his field equation states that the manifold's curvature at a point is directly related to the stress energy tensor at that point; the latter tensor being a measure of the density of matter and energy. Curvature tells matter how to move, and matter tells space how to curve. The field equation is not uniquely proven, and there is room for other models, provided that they do not contradict observation. General relativity is distinguished from other theories of gravity by the simplicity of the coupling between matter and curvature, although we still await the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics and the replacement of the field equation with a deeper quantum law. Few physicists doubt that such a theory of everything will give general relativity in the appropriate limit, just as general relativity predicts Newton's law of gravity in the non-relativistic limit.


Einstein's field equation contains a parameter called the "cosmological constant" Λ which was originally introduced by Einstein to allow for a static universe (ie one that is not expanding or contracting). This effort was unsuccessful for two reasons: the static universe described by this theory was unstable, and observations by Hubble a decade later confirmed that our universe is in fact not static but expanding. So Λ was abandoned, but quite recently, improved astronomical techniques have found that a non-zero value of Λ is needed to explain some observations.


The field equation reads as follows:

R_{ik} - {g_{ik} R \over 2} + \Lambda g_{ik} = 8 \pi {G \over c^4} T_{ik}


where Rik is the Ricci curvature tensor, R is the Ricci curvature scalar, gik is the metric tensor, Λ is the cosmological constant, Tik is the stress-energy tensor, π is pi, c is the speed of light and G is the gravitational constant which also occurs in Newton's law of gravity. gik describes the metric of the manifold and is a symmetric 4 x 4 tensor, so it has 10 independent components. Given the freedom of choice of the four spacetime coordinates, the independent equations reduce to 6.







Seventh Vision - Splitting Atoms (Into the Atom and Quiet in the Midday Snow)




For this vision, Einstein could be in Berlin at his house or perhaps at the Institute of Physics they created for him, even though for a long time the HQ for that institute was at his house. He could be at the Chemistry Institute that created that Physics Institute for him. They had their HQ in Berlin. Or, why not have Einstein at the Einstein's tower, an observatory created in his honour. He could be meeting with Lorentz and Planck with whom he was discussing and developing Relativity.


They could be discussing the new discoveries of the atoms, especially Fermi's discoveries about the neutrons, that using water to slow down the bombardments of the Nucleus by Neutrons was a great way of splitting atoms and releasing the promised energy from the mass predicted by Einstein's equation. And Lise Meitner (Otto Hahn) being able to calculate exactly how much energy would be released from her experiments with Barium.


In the third approach to the documentary, we should see Enrico Fermi in Italy using water to accomplish this process and we should see him again in the next vision in America as he was one of the main players in the development of the American atomic bomb. Of course we should also see Meitner in the snow, looking at water drops and realising that the nucleus was a bit like that, kept together by a fragile force field.


There will be a nice opportunity in this vision to show the atom and how it was perceived in different time periods:




From Encarta: Models of the Atom


Experimental data has been the impetus behind the creation and dismissal of physical models of the atom. Rutherford's model, in which electrons move around a tightly packed, positively charged nucleus, successfully explained the results of scattering experiments, but was unable to explain discrete atomic emission—that is, why atoms emit only certain wavelengths of light. Bohr began with Rutherford’s model, but then postulated further that electrons can only move in certain quantized orbits; this model was able to explain certain qualities of discrete emission for hydrogen, but failed completely for other elements. Schrödinger’s model, in which electrons are described not by the paths they take but by the regions where they are most likely to be found, can explain certain qualities of emission spectra for all elements; however, further refinements of the model, made throughout the 20th century, have been needed to explain all observable spectral phenomenon.







For more information about splitting atoms, please read the files from the research:


Atoms, Nuclei, Neutrons  html or doc
Radioactivity  html or doc
Discovery of Fission  html or doc






Eighth Vision - The Atomic Bomb (Germany, Norway, America, Japan)




For this vision, Einstein should be in America at Princeton NJ in his new house, talking with some other physicists like Bohr with whom he often discussed the theory of the electron started by Einstein but brought forward in new directions by Bohr.


The way this vision could be done without having all the physicists involved in the nuclear tests in America and in Germany could be if Einstein was considering the question of this possibility of an atomic bomb as a consequence of his equation E=mc2. Bohr working on the nuclear project could be visiting Einstein to discuss the issues. Or perhaps even Leo Szilard could be visiting, he his the one who wrote the letter to Roosevelt on behalf of Einstein and came to visit Einstein to get his signature. 


Einstein could explain how he imagines a bomb could be made and what he heard from his friends about it. Then we could see this process of how to make an atomic bomb (the 3 different ways). And see the two different bombs falling over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And see Einstein thinking how horrible it would be.


This vision could also be a journalist interviewing Einstein after the bombs were dropped in which Einstein would have to justify himself by saying that at the time there was no way to realise that E=mc2 could even produce that amount of Energy out of mass (in the early days of announcing his theory). And from there he could try to explain the process of the nuclear weapons and we could get lost in the vision.


In the third approach to the documentary, we could see a group of physicists in Los Alamos competing with another group of physicists in Leipzig trying to build their bombs. And in between we would see the other events of the Second World War related to this race to destruction, like the heavy water production in Norway, the British attacks and the German invasions.


(p.77) A Uranium bomb works when less than 1 percent of the mass inside it gets turned into energy. An even larger amount of matter, compressed into a floating star, can warm a planet for billions of years, just by seemingly squeezing part of itself out of existence, and turning those fragments of once-substantial matter into glowing energy.






For more information about the atomic bomb, please read the files from the research:


Uranium, Fission, Nuclear Weapons  html or doc

USA: Manhattan Project/Atomic Bomb  html or doc

Japan: Hiroshima and Nagasaki  html or doc






Ninth Vision - The Power of E=mc2 (The Fires of the Sun, Creating the Earth, A Brahmin Lifts His Eyes Unto the Sky)




For this vision, I have two ideas. Einstein could be on a boat sailing with his grand-children, explaining the full potential of E=mc2 in the Universe. Or, Einstein could be out of space and time, talking with or to God. If he talks to God, I guess we don't necessarily need God to be there or answer back. Good luck if you choose that second possibility.


This vision should be the best of all visually. We have the chance to recreate the Big Bang, the formation of a wormhole in the light of Special and General Relativity, the fires on the Sun and the explosion of the Sun. It is also the vision where we can show the new technologies that E=mc2 has permitted, like Satellites, GPS and perhaps the Hydrogen engine that propels the Shuttle into space. The whole new Space Station depends on E=mc2 and Relativity to correct many relativistic effects from signals beamed in and out from Earth. We can show nice images of all these things.


For all these applications that could be shown, please read pp.191-194 where Bodanis explains how E=mc2 is applied to: atomic bombs, volcanoes, nuclear submarine, nuclear power plants = electricity = Eiffel Tower being illuminated (nice image), smoke detectors (sample of radioactive americium inside), the red glowing emergency exit lights, medical diagnostics, radiation treatment for cancer, Carbon 14, Geiger Counter, GPS Navigation System.







For more information about the power of E=mc2, please read the files from the research:


Cecilia Payne-Gaboschkin (spectroscopy, hydrogen on the sun)  html or doc

Black Hole formations  html or doc




From Encarta: Nuclear Fusion in the Core of the Sun



The separation of hydrogen nuclei from their electrons makes nuclear fusion possible at the Sun’s core, producing the Sun’s light and heat. With their electrons gone, hydrogen nuclei (protons) can be packed much more tightly than complete atoms. At great depths inside the Sun, the pressure of overlying material is enormous, the protons are squeezed tightly together, and the material is very hot and densely concentrated. At the Sun’s center, the temperature is 15.6 million degrees C (28.1 million degrees F), and the density is more than 13 times that of solid lead. This is hot and dense enough to make the nuclei fuse together. Outside the solar core, where the overlying weight and compression are less, the gas is cooler and thinner, and nuclear fusion cannot occur.


The nuclear fusion reaction that powers the Sun involves four protons that fuse together to make one nucleus of helium. Two of the original protons become neutrons (electrically neutral particles about the same size as protons). The result is a helium nucleus, containing two protons and two neutrons. The helium nucleus is slightly less massive (by a mere 0.7 percent) than the four protons that combine to make it. The fusion reaction turns the missing mass into energy, and this energy powers the Sun.


The relationship between energy and the missing matter was explained in 1905 by German-born American physicist Albert Einstein. The mass loss, m, during the transformation of four protons into one helium nucleus, supplies an energy, E, according to the relation E = mc2, where c is the speed of light. The speed of light is a constant number equal to 3 × 108 m/s (1 × 109 ft/s).


Every second, fusion reactions convert about 700 million metric tons of hydrogen into helium within the Sun’s energy-generating core. In doing so, about 5 million metric tons of this matter become energy. This energy leaves the Sun as radiation, and the part of this radiation that constitutes visible light is what makes the Sun shine.


The rate of nuclear reactions in the Sun is relatively low, because protons repel each other. This repulsion often prevents them from getting close enough to each other to fuse. Protons push each other away because they have the same electrical charge. The particles must overcome this repulsion in order to fuse together. Only a tiny fraction of the protons inside the Sun are moving fast enough to overpower this repulsive electrical force. The nuclei that are moving fast enough can get very close together, and a force called the strong nuclear force takes over. The strong nuclear force is, as its name implies, very powerful, but only over very short distances. It pulls the nuclei together and holds them together. In this way, nuclear reactions proceed at a relatively slow pace inside the Sun. If the pace were much quicker, the Sun would explode like a giant hydrogen bomb.









Table of Content

of the book Einstein A Life by Denis Brian


(It offers a good start for the parts of a biographical movie about Einstein, the second approach)




1 Childhood and Youth

2 First Romance

3 To Zurich and the Polytechnic

4 Marriage Plans

5 Seeking a Position

6 The Schoolteacher

7 Expectant Father

8 Private Lessons

9 The Patent Office

10 The Olympia Academy

11 The Special Theory of Relativity

12 "The Happiest Thought of My Life"

13 To Prague and Back

14 The War to End All Wars

15 In the Spotlight

16 Danger Signals

17 Einstein Discovers America

18 The Nobel Prize

19 The Uncertainty Principle

20 The Perfect Patient

21 The Unified Field Theory

22 On the International Lecture Circuit

23 Einstein in California

24 Weighing Options

25 Einstein the Refugee

26 A New Life in Princeton

27 Settling In

28 Family Matters

29 Politics at Home and Abroad

30 World War II and the Threat of Fission

31 The Race for the Bomb

32 Einstein Goes to War

33 The Atomic Bomb

34 Toward a Jewish State

35 The Birth of Israel

36 The FBI Targets Einstein

37 The Communist Witch-Hunt

38 Conversations and Controversies

39 Einstein's Mercy Plea for the Rosenbergs

40 The Oppenheimer Affair

41 The Last Interview

42 Einstein's Legacy

43 Einstein's Brain







Einstein's Life Chronology


From the book Einstein by Peter D. Smith




Year    Age            Life


1879   0        14 March: Albert Einstein born in Ulm, Germany; parents: Hermann Einstein (1847-1902) and Pauline Einstein, née Koch (1858-1920).


1880   1          The Einstein family move to 3 Müllerstrasse, Munich.


1881   2        18 November: Maria (Maja) Einstein born.


1883-4          Einstein's wonder at a compass given to him by his father. Private tuition at home.


1885   6        31 March: family moves to 14 Rengerweg (later renamed Adlzreiterstrasse), Sendling district. October: Einstein enters Petersschule on Blumenstrasse, a Catholic primary school. Starts violin lessons (continue till age of 14).


1888   9           October: passes the entry examinations for Luitpold Gymnasium, Munich. Receives religious instruction at the school from Heinrich Friedmann.


1889   10           Meets 21-year-old medical student Max Talmud who over the next five years introduces Einstein to some key scientific and philosophical texts.


1891   12          Einstein experiences a second wonder - the holy little book of geometry.


1894   15           June: Einstein family firm goes into liquidation and they move to Via Berchet 2, Milan. Einstein remains in Munich until 29 December when he withdraws from school and joins his family in Italy.


1895   16           Family moves to Via Foscolo 11 in nearby Pavia and establishes an electrotechnical factory. They sell it a year later and move back to Milan. Einstein writes his first scientific essay, 'On the Investigation of the State of the Ether in a Magnetic Field', in the summer and sends it to his uncle, Caesar Koch. 8 October: Einstein fails entry examination to the Swiss Polytechnic in Zurich. 26 October: enrolls in the Technical School of the Aarau Cantonal School; lives in Aarau, Switzerland with the family of Jost Winteler.


1896   17      28 January: released from Württemberg (and hence German) citizenship. Falls in love with Marie Winteler. September: Einstein passes his school leaving exams with flying colours. October: begins studies at the Polytechnic. Lives at 4 Unionstrasse.


1897   18           Meets Michele Angelo Besso. October-April 1898: fellow student Mileva Marie attends lectures in Heidelberg.


1898   19           October: Einstein passes intermediate diploma exam. Moves to 87 Klosbachstrasse.


1899   20           March: reprimanded by Professor Pernet for poor attendance. 19 October: applies for Swiss citizenship. 9 November: moves back to 4 Unionstrasse.


1900   21      27 July: passes diploma and is qualified to teach mathematical subjects. Mileva fails. August: reveals plans to marry Mileva to his mother. October: returns to Zurich to work on doctorate, but fails to win an assistantship at the Poly. 13 December: submits his first scientific paper to the Annalen der Physik; published the following March.


1901   22      21 February: becomes Swiss citizen. 5 May: meets Mileva at Lake Como. 16 May-n July: substitute teacher at the Technical School in Winterthur. In May Mileva tells him she is pregnant. September: tutor at Schaffhausen. November: submits doctoral dissertation to Zurich University; Mileva returns to her parents in Novi Sad. 18 December: applies for a position at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern.


1902   23           January: Lieserl is born. 1 February: Einstein withdraws his dissertation and moves to Bern, living at 32 Gerechtigkeitsgasse. Gives private lessons to Maurice Solovine, with whom he later founds the Olympia Academy. 3o April: submits second paper to the Annalen. 23 June: begins work as a Technical Expert Third Class at the Patent Office. Lives at 43A Thunstrasse. 10 October: Einstein's father dies, aged 55.

1903 24 6 January: marries Mileva in Bern. August: Mileva visits her parents, possibly to arrange adoption of Lieserl, who has fallen ill with scarlet fever.


1904   25      14 May: son Hans Albert born (d. 1973, Berkeley, California). 16 September: position at the patent office is made permanent.


1905   26      17 March: submits paper' On a Heuristic Point of View Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light' to Annalen. 30 April: completes doctoral dissertation, 'A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions'. in May: the Annalen receives 'On the Motion of Small Particles Suspended in Liquids at Rest Required by the Molecular-Kinetic Theory of Heat'. 30 June: Annalen receives 'On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies', the special theory of relativity (published 26 September). 27 September: Annalen receives 'Does the inertia of a Body Depend on its Energy Content?', the paper that forms the basis of E=mc2. May: The Einsteins move from 49 Kramgasse to 28 Besenscheuerweg. In the summer, Einstein travels with Mileva and son to Belgrade and Novi Sad.


1906   27           Receives doctorate from University of Zurich. 1 April: promoted to Technical Expert Second Class. 9 November: completes the first paper written on the quantum theory of the solid state.


1907   28      Has the happiest thought of my life: the equivalence principle, which leads to the general theory of relativity. Max von Laue visits.


1908   29      24 February: becomes Privatdozent at Bern University. April: Jakob Laub, Einstein's first collaborator in physics, visits. Einstein designs a little machine for measuring minute voltages. 21 December: Maja receives a doctorate in Romance languages from Bern University.


1909   30      7 May: Einstein appointed Extraordinary Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Zurich. 6 July: resigns from patent office. 9 July: receives first honorary doctorate, from Geneva University. 21 September: lectures on radiation theory at the Congress of German Natural Scientists and Physicians. 2 October: nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics. 15 October: moves to 12 Moussonstrasse, Zurich, and begins teaching. The Anna Meyer-Schmid affair sours relations with Mileva.


1910   31           March: Maja marries Paul Winteler. 21 April: Einstein proposed for a professorship at University of Prague. 28 July: second son born, Eduard (d. 1965, Zurich). October: finishes a paper on opalescence.


1911   32      6 January: appointed to the chair at the German University, Prague. The Einsteins leave Zurich at the end of March. June: Einstein realises that a total eclipse would enable his theory of the bending of light to be tested. November: delivers lecture on `The Current State of the Problem of Specific Heat' to first Solvay Congress, Brussels.


1912   33      30 January: appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Zurich Polytechnic (after 1911 the Swiss Federal Technical University). 15-22 April: visits Berlin and renews acquaintance with his cousin Elsa Löwenthal (née Einstein). 25 July: returns to Zurich. August: start of collaboration with Marcel Grossmann on mathematical aspects of the general theory of relativity.


1913   34           July: Max Planck and Walther Nernst visit and offer Einstein membership of the Prussian Academy of Sciences and a professorship without teaching obligations at Berlin University. December: formally accepts their offer and resigns his position at Zurich.


1914   35          April: Einstein arrives in Berlin. July: inaugural address to the Prussian Academy; at the end of the month he and Mileva separate; she returns with the boys to Zurich. November: shocked by the outbreak of war, Einstein signs Georg Nicolai's anti-war `Manifesto to Europeans'.


1915   36           June: stays with David Hilbert in Göttingen and lectures on general theory of relativity. 4-25 November: four lectures to Prussian Academy outlining completed general theory of relativity.


1916   37      20 March: completes' The Foundations of the General Theory of Relativity', his first systematic account of the theory; published in the Annalen and as a book. 5 May: succeeds Planck as president of German Physical Society. July: after working on gravitational waves he returns to quantum theory. Mileva is hospitalised. December: Einstein completes Relativity: The Special and the General Theory. A Popular Exposition.


1917   38           Einstein suffers a physical collapse and has to be cared for by Elsa. February: writes first paper on cosmology and introduces the cosmological constant.


1919   40           January: lectures in Zurich. 14 February: divorces Mileva. 2 June: marries Elsa. 22 September: learns (via telegram from Lorentz) that the two British expeditions to observe the solar eclipse have confirmed his prediction about the bending of light by the gravitational field of the sun. 6 November: formal announcement of this in London and reported around the world the following day. His friend Kurt Blumenfeld encourages his interest in Zionism.


1920   41          February: Pauline Einstein dies. August: Einstein attends two antirelativity lectures at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall and publishes an angry newspaper article condemning his opponents. 23 September: argues with Philipp Lenard at the conference of the Society of German Natural scientists and Physicians.


1921   42      1 April-30 May: first visit to USA. June: returns via England, where he lectures at Manchester and London.


1922   43           January: first paper on unified field theory. April: becomes a member of the League of Nations Commission for Intellectual Cooperation. 8 October: departs for the Far East; visits Colombo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Japan. 8 November: awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize.


1923   44      2 February: arrives in Palestine after returning from Japan. a July: Nobel lecture in Göteborg, Sweden. 1923-4          Relationship with Betty Neumann.


1924   45           The Einstein Tower, an observatory in Potsdam, is opened. Ilse Einstein marries Rudolf Kaiser.


1924-5          Collaborates with Satyendra Nath Bose and discovers the state of matter known as the Bose-Einstein condensate.


1927   48           October: engages in intense debates about quantum mechanics at the Solvay Congress. Hans Albert marries Frieda Knecht.


1928   49           Einstein collapses in Davos; confined to bed for four months, but continues to work on his unified field theory. April: Helen Dukas (d. 1982) becomes Einstein's secretary.


1929   50           Visits the Belgian royal family. The Einsteins build a summer home at Caputh. Einstein's unified field theory.


1930   51           First grandchild, Bernhard, born to Frieda and Hans Albert; stepdaughter Margot (d. 1986) marries Dmitri Marianoff (marriage ended in divorce). Eduard develops schizophrenia. December: Einstein begins a visiting professorship at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


1931   52           Einstein finally rejects the cosmological constant as unnecessary. May: offered research fellowship at Christ Church College, Oxford. 3o December-4 March 1932 at Caltech.


1932   53           August: appointed to the new Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, starting October 1933. to December: Einstein and Elsa depart for Caltech, intending to return to Caputh in March the following year.


1933   54           March: Einstein's Caputh home is searched by Nazis; at the end of the month he returns to Europe, staying in Belgium. He resigns from the Prussian Academy. An exchange of letters between Einstein and Freud is published as Why War? Visits Eduard and Mileva for the last time. 17 October: arrives in New York and goes straight to Princeton. Rents a house at 2 Library Place.


1934   55           Stepdaughter Ilse Kayser-Einstein dies in Paris, aged 37. Margot and Dimitri come to Princeton.


1935   56           May: travels to Bermuda to apply for permanent residency in America. It is the last time he leaves America. August: the Einsteins and Dukas move to 112 Mercer Street, his final home. Einstein receives the Franklin medal.


1936   57           Hans Albert receives doctorate from the Polytechnic in Zurich. 7 September: Marcel Grossmann dies. 2o December: Elsa dies aged 60.


1937   58           Hans Albert emigrates to America with his family. Collaboration with Leopold Infeld on The Evolution of Physics.


1939   60           Maja comes to live with her brother in Princeton. 2 August: Einstein signs the letter to President Roosevelt warning of the threat posed by atomic weapons.


1940   61           Einstein becomes an American citizen.


1943   64           Einstein becomes a consultant with the Research and Development Division of the US Navy Bureau of Ordnance for a fee of $25 a day.


1944   65      A handwritten copy of Einstein's special relativity paper is auctioned for $6 million as a contribution to the war effort.


1945   66      10 December: at a speech in New York Einstein declares The war is won, but the peace is not. He begins campaigning for world government as a way of ensuring peace.


1946   67           Maja is bedridden after a stroke.


1947   68           Hans Albert becomes a professor of hydraulic engineering at the University of California at Berkeley.


1948   69      4 August: Mileva dies in Zurich aged 73. December: after an operation on Einstein, surgeons discover an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta.


1950   71      18 March: Einstein draws up a will in which he bequeaths his papers to the Hebrew University and his violin to his grandson, Bernhard.


1951   72      25 June: Maja dies.


1952   73           November: Einstein is offered the presidency of Israel, but declines.


1955   76      15 March: Michele Besso dies in Geneva, aged 82. 11 April: Einstein's last signed letter is to Bertrand Russell, agreeing to add his name to a manifesto calling all nations to renounce nuclear weapons. 13 April: rupture of aortic aneurysm. 15 April: admitted to Princeton hospital. 18 April: Einstein dies. His body is cremated the same day and his ashes scattered at a secret location.





Einstein's Second Life Chronology


From the book Subtle is the Lord by Abraham Pais




1876 August 8. Hermann Einstein (b. 1847) and Pauline Koch (b. 1852) are married in Cannstatt.


1879 March 14, 11:30 a.m. Albert, their first child, is born in the Einstein residence, Bahnhofstrasse 135, Ulm.


1880 June 21. The Einsteins register as residents of Munich. 1881 November 18. E.'s sister Maria (Maja) is born.


-1884* The first miracle: E.'s enchantment with a pocket campass. First instruction, by a private teacher.


-1885 E. starts taking violin lessons (and continues to do so to age thirteen).


-1886 E. attends public school in Munich. In order to comply with legal requirements for religious instruction, he is taught the elements of Judaism at home.


1888 E. enters the Luitpold Gymnasium.** The religious education continues, at school this time, where Oberlehrer Heinrich Friedmann instructs E. until he is prepared for the bar mitzvah.


1889 First encounter with Max Talmud (who later changed his name to Talmey), then a 21-year-old medical student, who introduces E. to Bernstein's Popular Books on Physical Science, Büchner's Force and Matter, Kant's Kritik der rein en Vernunft, and other books. Talmud becomes a regular visitor to the Einstein home until 1894. During this period, he and E. discuss scientific and philosophical topics.


-1890 E.'s religious phase, lasting about one year.


-1891 The second miracle: E. reads the `holy geometry book.'


-1891-5 E. familiarizes himself with the elements of higher mathematics, including differential and integral calculus.



*The symbol - means that the date is accurate to within one year.

**This school, situated at Müllerstrasse 33, was destroyed during the Second World War. It was rebuilt at another location and renamed Albert Einstein Gymnasium.



1892 No bar mitzvah for E.


1894 The family moves to Italy, first to Milan, then to Pavia, then back to Milan. E. stays in Munich in order to finish school.


1894 or 95* E. sends an essay entitled `An investigation of the state of the aether in a magnetic field' to his uncle Caesar Koch in Belgium.


1895 Spring. E. leaves the Luitpold Gymnasium without completing his schooling. He rejoins his family in Pavia.


Fall. E. fails entrance examination for the ETH,** although he does very well in mathematics and physics.


October 28-early fall 1896. E. attends the Gewerbeabteilung of the cantonal school in Aarau. He lives in the home of `Papa' Jost Winteler, one of his teachers. In this period, he writes a French essay, 'Mes projets d'avenir.'


1896 January 28. Upon payment of three mark, E. receives a document which certifies that he is no longer a German (more precisely, a Württemberger) citizen. He remains stateless for the next five years.


Fall. E. obtains his diploma from Aarau,1 which entitles him to enroll at the ETH. He takes up residence in Zurich on October 29. Among  his fellow students are Marcel Grossmann and Mileva Maric (or Marity). He starts his studies for the diploma, which will entitle him to teach in high schools.


-1897 E.'s meeting in Zurich with Michele Angelo Besso marks the beginning of a lifelong friendship.


1899 October 19. E. makes formal application for Swiss citizenship.


1900 July 27. A board of examiners requests that the diploma be granted to, among others, the candidates Grossmann and Einstein. The request is granted on July 28. E.'s marks are 5 for theoretical physics, experimental physics, astronomy; 5.5 for theory of functions; 4.5 for a diploma paper (out of a maximum 6).


Fall. E. is unsuccessful in his efforts to obtain a position as assistant at the ETH.

December 13. From Zurich, E. sends his first paper to the Annalen der Physik.


1901 February 21. E. becomes a Swiss citizen. On March 13 he is declared unfit

for Swiss military service because of flat feet and varicose veins. March-April. Seeking employment, E. applies without success to Ostwald in Leipzig and to Kamerlingh Onnes in Leiden.


May 17. E. gives notice of departure from Zurich.


May 19-July 15. Temporary teaching position in mathematics at the technical high school in Winterthur, where E. stays until October 14.



*So dated by Einstein in 1950.


**ETH = Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, The Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. + His final grades were 6 for history, algebra, geometry, descriptive geometry, physics; 5 for German, Italian, chemistry, natural history; 4 for geography, drawing (art), drawing (technical), out of a maximum 6.



October 20-January 1902. Temporary teaching position in Schaffhausen.

December 18. E. applies for a position at the patent office in Bern.


1902 February 21. E. arrives in Bern. At first his only means of support are a small allowance from the family and fees from tutoring in mathematics and physics.


June 16. The Swiss federal council appoints E. on a trial basis as technical expert third class at the patent office in Bern, at an annual salary of SF 3500. E. starts work there on June 23.


October 10. E.'s father dies in Milan.


1903 January 6. E. marries Mileva Marič. Conrad Habicht, Maurice Solovine, and E. found the 'Akademie Olympia.'


December 5. E. presents a paper, `Theory of Electromagnetic Waves,' before the Naturforschende Gesellschaft in Bern.


1904 May 14. Birth of E.'s first son, Hans Albert (d. 1973 in Berkeley, California).


September 16. The trial appointment at the patent office is changed to a permanent appointment.


1905 March 17. E. completes the paper on the light-quantum hypothesis.


April 30. E. completes his PhD thesis, `On a new determination of molecular dimensions.' The thesis, printed in Bern and submitted to the University of Zurich, is accepted in July. It is dedicated to 'meinem Freunde Herrn Dr M. Grossmann.'


May 11. The paper on Brownian motion is received.*


June 30. The first paper on special relativity is received.*

September 27. The second paper on special relativity theory is received.*

It contains the relation E = mc2.


December 19. A second paper on Brownian motion is received.*


1906 April 1. E. is promoted to technical expert second class. His salary is raised to SF 4500/annum.


November. E. completes a paper on the specific heats of solids, the first paper ever written on the quantum theory of the solid state.


1907 `The happiest thought of my life': E. discovers the principle of equivalence for uniformly accelerated mechanical systems. He extends the principle to electromagnetic phenomena, gives the correct expression for the red shift, and notes that this extension also leads to a bending of light which passes a massive body, but believes that this last effect is too small to be detectable.


June 17. E. applies for a position as Privatdozent at the University of Bern. The application is rejected since it is not accompanied by the obligatory Habilitationsschrift.


1908 February 28. Upon second application, E. is admitted at Bern as Privatdozent. His unpublished Habilitationsschrift is entitled `Consequences for the constitution of radiation following from the energy distribution law of black bodies.'



*By the Annalen der Physik.



Early in the year, J J. Laub becomes E.'s first scientific collaborator. They publish two joint papers.


December 21. Maja receives the PhD degree in Romance languages magna cum laude from the University of Bern.


1909 March and October. E. completes two papers, each of which contains a conjecture on the theory of blackbody radiation. In modern terms, these two conjectures are complementarity, and the correspondence principle. The October paper is presented at a conference in Salzburg, the first physics conference E. attended.


July 6. E. submits his resignation (effective October 15) to the patent office. He also resigns from his Privatdozent position.


July 8. E. receives his first doctorate honoris causa, at the University of



October 15. E. starts work as associate professor at the University of Zurich with a beginning salary of SF 4500/annum.


1910 March. Maja marries Paul Winteler, son of Jost Winteler.


July 28. Birth of E.'s second son, Eduard ('Tede' or 'Tedel,' d. 1965 in psychiatric hospital Burghölzli).


October. E. completes a paper on critical opalescence, his last major work in classical statistical physics.


1911 Emperor Franz Joseph signs a decree appointing E. full professor at the Karl-Ferdinand University in Prague, effective April 1.


March. E. moves to Prague.


June. E. recognizes that the bending of light should be experimentally detectable during a total solar eclipse. He predicts an effect of 0".83 for the deflection of a light ray passing the sun (half the correct answer).


October 30-November 3: the first Solvay Conference. E. gives the concluding address, `The Current Status of the Problem of Specific Heats.'


1912 Early February. E. is appointed professor at the ETH.


August. E. moves back to Zurich.


1912-13 E. collaborates with Grossmann (now professor of mathematics at the ETH) on the foundations of the general theory of relativity. Gravitation is described for the first time by the metric tensor. They believe that they have shown that the equations of the gravitational field cannot be generally covariant.

1913 Spring. Planck and Nernst visit E. in Zurich to sound him out about coming to Berlin. The offer consists of a research position under the aegis of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, a professorship without teaching obligations at the University of Berlin, and the directorship of the (yet to be established) Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics.


June 12. Planck, Nernst, Rubens, and Warburg formally propose E. for membership in the Prussian Academy in Berlin.



*In later years, Einstein also received honorary degrees from Zurich, Rostock, Madrid, Brussels, Buenos Aires, the Sorbonne, London, Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Harvard, Princeton, New York State at Albany, and Yeshiva. This list is most probably incomplete.



July 3. This proposal is accepted by a vote of twenty-one to one (and approved by Emperor Wilhelm II on November 12).


December 7. E. accepts the position in Berlin.


1914 April 6. E. moves to Berlin with wife and children. Soon after, the Einsteins separate. Mileva and the boys return to Zurich. Albert moves into a bachelor apartment at Wittelsbacherstrasse 13.


April 26. E.'s first newspaper article appears, in Die Vossische Zeitung, a Berlin daily. It deals with relativity theory.


July 2. E. gives his inaugural address at the Prussian Academy.


August 1. Outbreak of World War I.


1915 Early in the year. E. holds a visiting appointment at the Physikalisch Technische Reichsanstalt in Berlin, where he and de Haas perform gyromagnetic experiments.


E. cosigns a `Manifesto to Europeans' in which all those who cherish the culture of Europe are urged to join in a League of Europeans, probably the first political document to which he lends his name.


Late June-early July. E. gives six lectures in Goettingen on general relativity theory. `To my great joy, I completely succeeded in convincing Hilbert and [Felix] Klein.'


November 4. E. returns to the requirement of general covariance in general relativity, constrained, however, by the condition that only unimodular transformations are allowed.


November 11. E. replaces the unimodular constraint by the even stronger one that (-detg)Fv)1/2 = 1.


November 18. The first post-Newtonian results. E. obtains 43" per century for the precession of the perihelion of Mercury. He also finds that the bending of light is twice as large as he thought it was in 1911.


November 20. David Hilbert submits a paper to the Goettingen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften containing the final form of the gravitational field equations (along with an unnecessary assumption on the structure of the energy-momentum tensor).


November 25. Completion of the logical structure of general relativity. E. finds that he can and should dispense with the constraints introduced on November 4 and 11.


1916 March 20. `Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie,' the first systematic exposé of general relativity is received by the Annalen der Physik and later, in 1916, published as E.'s first book.


May 5. E. succeeds Planck as president of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


June. E.'s first paper on gravitational waves. He discovers that (in modern language) a graviton has only two states of polarization.


July. E. returns to the quantum theory. During the next eight months, he publishes three overlapping papers on the subject, containing the coefficients of spontaneous and induced emission and absorption, a new derivation of Planck's law, and the first statement in print by E. that a light-quantum with energy by carries a momentum hv/c. First discomfort about `chance' in quantum physics.


December. E. completes Über die Spezielle and die Allgemeine Relativitätstheorie, Gemeinverständlich, his most widely known book. It is later translated into many languages.


December. The emperor authorizes the appointment of E. to the board of governors of the Physikalisch Technische Reichsanstalt. E. holds this position from 1917 until 1933.


1917 February. E. writes his first paper on cosmology and introduces the cosmological term.


E. suffers successively from a liver ailment, a stomach ulcer, jaundice, and general weakness. His cousin Elsa takes care of him. He does not fully recover until 1920.


October 1. The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute begins its activities (both experimental and theoretical) under E.'s directorship.


1918 February. E.'s second paper on gravitational waves. It contains the quadrupole formula.


November. E. declines a joint offer from the University of Zurich and the ETH.


1919 January-June. E. spends most of this period in Zurich, where he gives a series of lectures at the university.


February 14. E. and Mileva are divorced.


May 29. A total solar eclipse affords opportunities for measuring the bending of light. This is done under Eddington on the island of Principe and under Crommelin in northern Brazil.


June 2. E. marries his divorced cousin Elsa Einstein Löwenthal* (b. 1874). Her two daughters, Ilse (b. 1897) and Margot (b. 1899), had earlier taken the name Einstein by legal decree. The family moves into an apartment on Haberlandstrasse 5.


September 22. E. receives a telegram from Lorentz informing him that preliminary analysis of the May eclipse data indicates that the bending of light lies between the `Newton' value (0".86) and the `Einstein' value (1 ".73).


November 6. At a joint meeting of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society in London, it is announced that the May observations confirm Einstein's predictions.


November 7. Headlines in the London Times; `Revolution in science/ New theory of the Universe/Newtonian ideas overthrown'.


November 10. Headlines in The New York Times: `Lights all askew in the heavens/Einstein theory triumphs.' Press announcements such as these mark the beginning of the perception by the general public of Einstein as a world figure.


December. Einstein receives his only German honorary degree: doctor of medicine at the University of Rostock. Discussions about Zionism with Kurt Blumenfeld.



*Elsa's father was Rudolf E., a cousin of E.'s father, Hermann. Her mother was née Fanny Koch, a sister of E.'s mother, Pauline, so that Elsa was a cousin of E. from both his parents' sides.



1920 February 12. Disturbances occur during a lecture given by E. at the University of Berlin. E. states in the press that expressions of anti-Semitism as such did not occur although the disturbances could be so interpreted.


March. E.'s mother dies in E.'s home.


June. E. lectures in Norway and Denmark.


E. and Bohr meet for the first time, in Berlin.


August 24. Mass meeting against general relativity theory in Berlin. E. attends the meeting.


August 27. E. publishes a bitter retort in the Berliner Tageblatt. German newspapers report that E. plans to leave Germany. Laue, Nernst, and Rubens, as well as the minister of culture Konrad Haenisch, express their solidarity with E. in statements to the press.


September 8. In a letter to Haenisch, E. states that Berlin is the place with which he feels most closely connected by human and scientific relations. He adds that he would only respond to a call from abroad if external circumstances forced him to do so.


September 23. Confrontation with Philipp Lenard at the Bad Nauheim meeting.


October 27. E. gives an inaugural address in Leiden as a special visiting professor. This position will bring him there a few weeks per year.*


From 1920 on, E. begins to publish nonscientific articles.


December 31. E. is elected to the Ordre pour le Mérite.


1921 April 2-May 30. First visit to the United States, with Chaim Weizmann, for the purpose of raising funds for the planned Hebrew University in Jerusalem. At Columbia University, E. receives the Barnard medal. He is received at the White House by President Harding. Visits to Chicago, Boston, and Princeton, where he gives four lectures on relativity theory.


On his return trip, E. stops in London, where he visits Newton's tomb.


1922 January. E. completes his first paper on unified field theory.


March-April. E.'s visit to Paris contributes to the normalization of Franco-German relations.


E. accepts an invitation to membership of the League of Nations' Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (CIC), four years before Germany's admission to the League.


June 24. Assassination of Walther Rathenau, German Foreign Minister, an acquaintance of E.'s.


October 8. E. and Elsa board the S.S. Kitano Maru in Marseille, bound for Japan. On the way, they visit Colombo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.


November 9. The Nobel prize for physics for 1921 is awarded to E. while he is en route to Japan.


November 17-December 29. E. visits Japan.


December 10. At the Nobel prize festivities E. is represented by the German envoy, Rudolf Nadolny.* His citation reads, `To A. E. for his services to theoretical physics and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.'



*Einstein again visited Leiden in November 1921, May 1922, May 1923, October 1924, February 1925, and April 1930. His visiting professorship was officially terminated on September 23, 1952.



1923 February 2. On his way back from Japan, E. arrives in Palestine for a twelve-day visit. On February 8 he is named the first honorary citizen of Tel Aviv. On his way from Palestine to Germany, he visits Spain.


March. Disillusioned with the effectiveness but not with the purposes of the League of Nations, E. resigns from the CIC.


June-July. E. helps found the Association of Friends of the New Russia and becomes a member of its executive committee.**


July. E. gives a lecture on relativity in Göteborg in acknowledgment of his Nobel prize.


The discovery of the Compton effect ends the long-standing resistance to the photon concept.


December. For the first time in a scientific article, E. presents his conjecture that quantum effects may arise from overconstrained general relativistic field equations.


1924 As an act of solidarity, E. joins the Berlin Jewish community as a duespaying member.


E. edits the first collection of scientific papers of the Physics Department of the Hebrew University.


The 'Einstein- Institute' in Potsdam, housed in the 'Einstein-Tower,' starts its activities. Its main instrument is the 'Einstein-Telescope.'


Ilse E. marries Rudolf Kayser.


June. E. reconsiders and rejoins the CIC.


June 7. E. states that he does not object to the opinion of the German Ministry of Culture that his appointment to the Prussian Academy implies that he has acquired Prussian citizenship. (He retains his Swiss citizenship.)


December. E.'s last major discovery: from the analysis of statistical fluctuations he arrives at an independent argument for the association of waves with matter. Bose-E. condensation is also discovered by him at that time.


1925 May-June. Journey to South America. Visits to Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and Montevideo.


E. signs (with Gandhi and others) a manifesto against obligatory military service.


E. receives the Copley medal.


E. serves on the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University (until June 1928).


1926 E. receives the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society 1927 May 7. Hans Albert E. marries Frida Knecht in Dortmund.


October. The fifth Solvay Conference. Beginning of the dialogue between

E. and Bohr on the foundations of quantum mechanics.



*The prize was brought to E.'s home by the Swedish Ambassador after E. returned from Japan. **E. never visited the Soviet Union. The association was disbanded in 1933.



1928 February or March. E. suffers a temporary physical collapse brought about by physical overexertion. An enlargement of the heart is diagnosed. He has to stay in bed for four months and must keep a salt-free diet. He fully recuperates but remains weak for almost a year.


Friday, the thirteenth of April. Helen Dukas starts to work for E.


1929 First visit with the Belgian royal family. Friendship with Queen Elizabeth, with whom he corresponds until the end of his life.


June 28. Planck receives the first, E. the second Planck medal. On this occasion E. declares that he is `ashamed' to receive such a high honor since all he has contributed to quantum physics are `occasional insights' which arose in the course of `fruitless struggles with the main problem.'


1930 Birth of Bernhard Caesar ('Hardi'), son of Hans Albert and Frida E., E.'s first grandchild.*


May. E. signs the manifesto for world disarmament of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.


November 29. Margot E. marries Dimitri Marianoff. (This marriage ended in divorce.)


December 11-March 4, 1931. E.'s second stay in the United States, mainly at CalTech.


December 13. Mayor Jimmy Walker presents the key to the city of New York to E.


December 19-20. E. visits Cuba.


1931 April. E. rejects the cosmological term as unnecessary and unjustified.


December 30-March 4, 1932. E.'s third stay in the United States, again

mainly at CalTech.


1932 February. From Pasadena E. protests against the conviction for treason of the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky.


April. E. resigns for good from the CIC.


October. E. is appointed to a professorship at The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. The original intent is that he divide his time about evenly between Princeton and Berlin.


December 10. E. and his wife depart from Germany for the United States. This stay was again planned to be a visit. However, they never set foot in Germany again.


1933 January 30. The Nazis come to power.


March 20. In his absence, Nazis raid E.'s summer home in Caputh to look for weapons allegedly hidden there by the Communist party.


March 28. On his return to Europe, E. sends his resignation to the Prussian Academy. He and his wife settle temporarily in the villa Savoyarde in Le Coq sur Mer, on the Belgian coast, where two Belgian security guards are assigned to them for protection. They are joined by Ilse, Margot, Helen Dukas, and Walther Mayer, E.'s assistant. During the next few months, E. makes brief trips to England and also to Switzerland, where he sees his son Eduard for the last time. Rudolf Kayser sees to it that E.'s papers in Berlin are saved and are sent to the Quai d'Orsay by French diplomatic pouch.



*A second grandson died at age six. By adoption, E. also had a granddaughter named Evelyn.



April 21. E. resigns from the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.


An exchange of letters between E. and Freud is published as a slim volume entitled Why War?


June 10. E. gives the Herbert Spencer lecture in Oxford.


September 9. E. leaves the European continent for good and goes to England.


October 17. Carrying visitors visas, E., his wife, Helen Dukas, and Mayer arrive in the United States and proceed to Princeton that same day. A few days later the first three move to 2 Library Place.


Ilse and Margot stay in Europe.


1934 Death of Ilse Kayser-Einstein in Paris. Soon thereafter, Margot and her husband join the family in Princeton.


1935 May. E. makes a brief trip to Bermuda. From there he makes formal application for permanent residency in the United States. It is the last time that he leaves the United States.


Autumn. The family and Helen Dukas move to 112 Mercer Street in Princeton.


E. receives the Franklin medal.


1936 September 7. Death of Marcel Grossmann.


December 20. Death of Elsa E.


Hans Albert E. receives a Ph.D in Technical Sciences from the ETH.


1939 Maja joins her brother at Mercer Street, which remains her home for the

rest of her life.


August 2. E. sends a letter to F. D. Roosevelt in which he draws the Tatter's attention to the military implications of atomic energy.


1940 October 1. In Trenton, Judge Phillip Forman inducts Margot, Helen Dukas, and E. as citizens of the United States. E. also retains his Swiss citizenship.


1943 May 31. E. signs a consultant's contract (eventually extended until June 30, 1946) with the Research and Development Division of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance, section Ammunition and Explosives, subsection `High Explosives and Propellants.' His consultant's fee is $25 per day.


1944 A copy of E.'s 1905 paper on special relativity, handwritten by him for this purpose, is auctioned for six million dollars in Kansas City, as a contribution to the war effort (manuscript now in Library of Congress).


1945 December 10. E. delivers an address in New York, `The War is Won but Peace is Not.'


1946 Maja has a stroke and remains bedridden.


E. agrees to serve as chairman of the Emergency Committee for Atomic Scientists.


October. E. writes an open letter to the general assembly of the United Nations, urging the formation of a world government.


1947 Hans Albert E. is appointed professor of engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.


1948 August 4. Death of Mileva in Zurich.


December. An exploratory laparotomy on E. discloses a large intact aneurysm of the abdominal aorta.


1949 January 13. E. leaves the hospital.


Publication of the `necrology,' written by E., a largely scientific review entitled Autobiographisches.


1950 March 18. E. signs and seals his last will and testament. Dr Otto Nathan is named as sole executor. Dr Nathan and Helen Dukas are named jointly as trustees of his estate. The Hebrew University is named as the ultimate repository of his letters and manuscripts. Among other stipulations, his violin is bequeathed to his grandson Bernhard Caesar.


1951 June. Death of Maja in Princeton.


1952 July. Death of Paul Winteler at the home of his brother-in-law, Besso, in Geneva.


November. E. is offered and declines the presidency of Israel.


1954 April 14. The press carries a statement of support by E. for J. R. Oppenheimer on the occasion of allegations brought against the latter by the U.S. Government.


Last meeting of E. and Bohr (in Princeton). E. develops hemolytic anaemia. 1955 March 15. Death of Besso.


April 11. E.'s last signed letter (to Bertrand Russell), in which he agrees to sign a manifesto urging all nations to renounce nuclear weapons. That same week, E. writes his final phrase, in an unfinished manuscript: `Political passions, aroused everywhere, demand their victims.'


April 13. Rupture of the aortic aneurysm.


April 15. E. enters Princeton Hospital.


April 16. Hans Albert E. arrives in Princeton from Berkeley.


April 17. E. telephones Helen Dukas: he wants writing material and the sheets with his most recent calculations.


April 18, 1:15 a.m. E. dies. The body is cremated in Trenton at 4 p.m. that same day. The ashes are scattered* at an undisclosed place.


November 21. Thomas Martin, son of Bernhard Caesar, son of Hans Albert, is born in Bern, the first of the great-grandchildren of Albert Einstein.



*By Otto Nathan and Paul Oppenheim.




Last but not least: There is a crater on the Moon named after Albert Einstein.



Roland Michel Tremblay


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