A genius who has cast a very long shadow.

We dwell in this world that he imagined, but we cannot see that. We experience the world he formulated, but we cannot fully sense that; we understand that Einstein said, "Everything has changed; except the way we think." Is it not time to start thinking more accurately about the universe. Can we not learn from his findings that on this Earth island we must not merely cherish, but nourish this oasis in the void of spacetime where a creature dared to ask, 'Do pardon me but are we residents in the Milky Way galaxy of this expanding universe?'

Start | Contents | His contributions | What science is | The great quantum debate | What quantum science is not? | His legacy
What is here?  
Ten critical points
Influences on | Book contents | Speed of light | Terms


1, Newton and Maxwell; the irreconcilable reality of two fundamental forces.

2, Young Einstein's fascination with electromagnetic energy.

3, Special relativity and the miracle year of 1905.

4, General relativity, 1915 "the happiest thought;" accelerating your way to fame. See: Space.com

5, We have a new Copernicus, but he is a German atheist of Jewish ancestry.

6, The origins of our universe, and the mystery of unseen "black holes" as gravity's entrapment.

7, The quest for unified field theories and the puzzling quantum mechanics of fast moving, infinitely small things.

8, Wars, sitz-peace, and the greatest equation E = M C 2.

9, The legacy of genius in a world destroyed by religious piety, power, and prejudices.

10, Our world as the universe described by Einstein's vision is not a situation people widely accept nor even sense in their experience.

Einstein portrait painting

Einstein's influences

His contributions

Einstein on line from the Max Planck Institute
March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955
bookContents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | New science findings | Terms


An aerial view of Fermi lab in Batavia, Illinois.


The Lord of the Rings

Fermi Laboratory's accelerators; originally broke ground on December 1, 1968 in Batavia, Illinois.

"America's only national laboratory fully dedicated to particle physics research"

"Physicists at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced on March 2, 1995 the discovery of a subatomic particle called the top quark, the last undiscovered particle of the six-member quark family predicted by current scientific theory. Scientists worldwide had sought the top quark since the discovery of the bottom quark at Fermilab in 1977."

Much of this peering into the depths of physical structures underlying all of the material world began with a study of light.

Einstein the person.

Book contents | Who was he? | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Uncertainty Principle | Terms

Einstein biographical | His relativistic insights | On Albert Einstein | The famous equation's meaning


Who was he; how has his work persisted?



In 1911, "Einstein had already made mention of the strange paradoxes concerning the slowing down of time."

p. 79.

"Everyone who had real contact with Einstein came away with an overwhelming sense of the nobility of the man . . . . the simple, lovable quality of his character."

Jeremy Bernstein, quoted by Kaku about Einstein, p. 22.

"Even Einstein's 'mistakes' are being recognized as profound contributions to our knowledge of the universe."

p. 12.

For example, in 1924 Einstein predicted the Bose-Einstein condensates a fourth state of material existence

"extremely cold matter that hovers just above the temperature of absolute zero. Bose and Einstein found curious fact about the quantum world: all atoms are indistinguishable; that is, you cannot put a label on each atom. . . . Einstein found that if a collection of atoms were supercooled to near absolute zero, where all atomic movement almost ceases, all the atoms would fall down to the lowest energy state, creating a single 'super-atom.' "

"an entirely new state of matter."


p. 157.

" . . . this obscure state of matter could make up most of the universe."

p. 203.
"Einstein's enduring legacy continues to dominate the world of physics: the quantum theory, general relativity and cosmology, and the unified field theory."
p. 203.
Book contents | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Existence | Terms

Einstein's influences:

•     Age       sources                                    

  1. 12        Euclid's Geometry
  2. 15        High school difficulties and challenges; economic privation
  3. 16        day dreaming about light beams

"At the age of 12, I experienced a second wonder of a totally different nature: in a little book with Euclidean plane geometry."

p. 37.

". . . eventually he taught himself calculus, surprising his tutor."

p. 37.

atom"this trait, the ability to see everything in terms of physical pictures, would mark one of Einstein's great characteristics as a physicist."

A schematic of negatively charged electrons encircling positively charged protons in an atomic nucleus.
p. 38.

"At the age of fifteen, Einstein's education was disrupted by the family's periodic financial problems . . . . Hermann left Albert with relatives in Munich." He attended there, a boarding school in Munich until he ran away to be with his family (Pavia).

"His teachers disliked him and the feeling was mutual."

p. 39.

"he would attend the Zurich Polytechnic Institute in Switzerland . . . Unfortunately Einstein flunked the entrance exam. He failed the French, chemistry, and biology portions, but he did exceptionally well in math and physics sections . . . ."

p. 40.

He renounced German citizenship while studying in Switzerland and waited five years for his new Swiss civil status.

p. 40.

"Years earlier, [Michael] Talmud [his tutor] had introduced Einstein to Aaron Bernstein's Popular Books on Natural Science. Einstein would write that it was " a work which I read with breathless attention."

". . . included a section on the mysteries  of electricity."

"Bernstein asked the reader to take a fanciful ride inside a telegraph wire, racing alongside an electrical signal at fantastic speeds."

"At the age of sixteen Einstein had a day dream . . . . Einstein imagined himself running alongside a light beam and asked himself a fateful question: What would the light beam look like?"

p. 43.

Michelson-Morley Experiment:

An experiment with light & it's anomalous behavior.


If light is a wave, then how can we detect the medium in which light waves are dispersed at 300,000 meters per second?

"Much to their astonishment . . .they  . . . found that the speed of light was identical for all light beams, no matter in which direction the apparatus pointed."

pp. 55-56.


Water waves are not at all like electromagnetic waves, despite Einstein's analogy.




Newton determined light was a composite, but what light's constituent elements were remained a mystery.

Next. book

Book contents | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Existence | Terms



Michio Kaku, Einstein's Cosmos. New York: W. W. Norton, 2004.

Michio Kaku was a child eight years old when Einstein passed away. See more here.

Preface: A New Look at the Legacy of Albert Einstein, pp. 11-15.

One: Physics Before Einstein, pp. 21-31.

Two: The Early Years, pp. 33-57.

Three: Special Relativity and the Miracle Year, pp. 59-87.

Four: General Relativity, pp.91-111.

Five: The New Copernicus, pp. 113-129.

Six: The Big Bang and Black Holes, pp. 131-144.

Seven: Unification and the Quantum Challenge, pp. 147-176.

Eight: War, Peace and E = M C 2 , pp. 177-199.

Nine: Einstein's Prophetic Legacy, pp. 201-233.


Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004.

Book Part 1 | Book Part 2 | Book Part 3 | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Existence | New findings | Termsbook

bookPart One

FIRST PICTURE: Racing a Light Beam

flow of electronsflow of electrons

"what a light beam would look like if he could race alongside it."

One | Two | Three

One : Physics before Einstein

Simultaneity, instantaneous and absolute qualities of time and space were Newton's legacy.

"Newton could compute the trajectory of everything from falling leaves, soaring rockets, cannonballs, and clouds by adding up the forces acting on them. . . . it helped lay the foundation for the Industrial Revolution, where the power of steam engines driving huge locomotives and ships created new empires."

p. 24.

"This was the first explanation of the motion of the solar system."

"According to Newton, these forces act instantaneously."

p. 25.

"The completeness of Lord Kelvin's physics was based on the twin giants of physical thought Sir Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell on the attraction of bodies to one another and over vast or proximate distances.

Electricity creates fields as well.

p. 27.

"If a changing magnetic field can create an electrical field and vice versa, then perhaps both of them can form a cyclical motion, with electrical fields and magnetic fields continually feeding off each other and turning into each other."

p. 28.
    1. Newton's gravity
    2. four of Maxwell's eight equations for electromagnetism

      four equations

    "Maxwell's work was codified in eight differential equations (known as 'Maxwell's equations'), which every electrical engineer physicist has had to memorize. . . . "

    p. 29.


    "These fields can be visualized by sprinkling iron filings on a sheet of paper. Place a magnet beneath the sheet of paper and the filings will magically rearrange themselves. . . . "

    "Surrounding any magnet, therefore is a magnetic field, and invisible array of line of force penetrating all of space."

    p. 27.


lines of force "Electricity creates fields as well."

"These fields, however, are quite different from the forces introduced by Newton. Forces, said Newton, act instantly all over space, so that a disturbance in one part of the universe would be felt instantly throughout all the universe."

"Maxwell's brilliant observation was that magnetic and electric effects do not travel instantaneously, like Newtonian forces, but take time and move at a definite velocity."

p. 27.

By 1900, the deficiencies of Newtonian mechanics were becoming harder and harder to explain. . . . That Newton's forces and and Maxwell's fields were incompatible. One of the two pillars of science must fall."

"Maxwell knew from the earlier work of Michael Faraday and others that a moving magnetic field can create and electric field and vice versa."

p. 28.

"these two great pillars of science had answered all the basic questions of the universe."

"There was nothing really new to be discovered . . . "

"Discoveries like Marie Curie's isolation of radium and radioactivity were rocking the world of science and catching the public imagination."

"She also showed that seemingly unlimited quantities of energy could come from an unknown source deep inside the atom, in defiance of the law of the conservation of energy, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed."

p. 29.

electromagnetic waveVisualization of electromagnetic waves.

"Maxwell's theory confirmed that light was a wave, but that left open the question, what is waving?"

"Newtonian physics tried to answer this question by proposing that light consisted of waves vibrating in an invisible ‘aether’ a stationary gas that filled up the universe. The aether was supposed to be the absolute reference frame upon which one could measure all velocities."

" . . . the aether began to assume more and more magical and bizarre properties."

". . .  sound waves travel faster in a denser medium."

". . . since light traveled at a fantastic velocity (186,000 miles per second), it meant that the aether  must be incredibly dense to transmit light. But how could this be since aether was supposed to be lighter than air?"

Kaku, p. 30.

"Newton's forces and Maxwell's fields were incompatible. One of the two pillars of science must fall."

p. 31.
Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | New science findings | Terms | Next

Two : The Early Years

diagramofEM". . . the small city of Ulm, Germany."

"The inventions of Faraday, Maxwell, and Thomas Edison, all of which harnessed the power of electricity, were now lighting up cities around the world, and Hermann saw a future building dynamos and electric lighting."

pp. 33-34.

"Contrary to myth, Einstein was a good student in school, but he was only good in the areas he cared about, such as mathematics and science."

Magnets "something deeply hidden had to be behind things."

p. 35.

At 11 years old Einstein became devoutly religious  . . .– "almost fanatical way;" only to recognize the implausibility of the biblical text.

pp. 35-36.

"Through the reading of popular books I soon reached the conviction that much of the stories of the Bible could not be true."
                                                  Albert Einstein

Kaku: "represented his first rejection of unthinking authority."

p. 36.

". . . one might abandon the aether theory and Newtonian mechanics along with it."

p. 56.

Like Copernicus, Einstein would use Occam's Razor to slice away the many pretensions of the aether theory."

p. 57.
Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Terms | Next


Three : Special Relativity and the Miracle Year

". . . in Maxwell's theory the speed of light was the same, no matter how you measured it."

p. 59.

paradox of time | impossibility of simultaneity | inertia | light's velocity | Einstein's realization

" . . . had haunted him since he was sixteen, running alongside a light beam"

p. 59.

"How was it possible for two people to see the same event in such totally different ways?"

p. 60.
" . . . the Newtonian picture" differential refraction of red & blue light
in a prism
  two "were in total contradiction"
". . .the Maxwellian picture" Electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light;
300,000 m/s
p. 60.

" . . . the two pillars of physics were incompatible. One or the other was wrong."

"The germ of the special relativity theory was already present in that paradox [of the racing light beam]."

p. 61.

"A storm broke loose in my mind."

"The answer was simple and elegant: time can beat at different rates throughout the universe, depending on how fast you moved."

p. 61.

alarm"One second on Earth was not the same length as one second on the moon, or one second on Jupiter.

"In fact the faster you moved, the more time slowed down."

p. 61.

"By a revision of the concept of simultaneity into a more malleable form, I thus arrived at the theory of relativity."

"it was space itself that was contracted, not the atoms. . . "

p. 62.

"I owe more to Maxwell than to anyone else."

" . . .for the next six weeks . . . .every mathematical detail"

"giving the paper to Mileva to check for any mathematical errors."

"On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies." September 1905.

p. 63.

1. The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames.

2. The speed of light is constant in all inertial frames.

"These two deceptively simple principles mark the most profound insights into the nature of the universe since Newton's work. From them one can derive an entirely new picture of space and time."

p. 64.

The speed of light is the same for all observers.

"Light velocity was the ultimate speed limit in the universe."

We never see the bizarre distortions in our experience because we never travel near the speed of light. For everyday velocities, Newton's laws are perfectly fine."

". . . since the concept of length has no absolute meaning."

p. 65.

"Thus, matter and energy are interchangeable."

p. 66

"every clod of earth every speck of dust becoming a prodigious reservoir of untapped energy."

Banesh Hoffman

"Now physicists considered the total combined amount of matter and energy as being conserved."

p. 67.

"the photoelectric effect . . . . that if a light beam struck a metal, under certain circumstances a small electric current could be created."

"Einstein sought to explain the photoelectric effect by using the new 'quantum theory' recently discovered by Max Planck in Berlin in 1900."

p. 68.

" . . .one of the most radical departures from classical physics by assuming that energy was not a smooth quantity, like a liquid, but occurred in definite, discrete packets, called quanta. The energy of each quantum was proportional to its frequency."

pp. 68-69.

In Einstein's "miracle year"from March to September he wrote four published papers; one of the four papers in 1905 was.

June 9, 1905 "On a Heuristic Point of View Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light."

"With it, the photon was born, as well as the quantum theory of light."

p. 69.

"This simple paper, in effect, gave the first experimental proof of the existence of atoms."

The suicide of Ludwig Boltzmann [believer in atomic theory]

"Einstein had finished the year 1905 laying down the photon theory, providing evidence for the existence of atoms, and toppling the framework of Newtonian physics, each of them worthy of . . . acclaim."

"the deafening silence that ensued."

p. 71.

paradox of time | impossibility of simultaneity | inertia | light's velocity | Einstein's realization | Next


What were the pieces (illustrated) that made the year a miracle?

Some videos on relativity to assist you in recalling key concepts

Brian Greene on Special Relativity: "A completely new understanding" & "time is relative, . . . space is relative:" 2 minutes.

How magnetism works due to special relativity by Derek & Veritasium due to length-contraction: 5 minutes.

Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity script & cartoon by Eugene Khutoryansky; Kira Vincent narrates: Cartoon 16+ minutes.

Einstein for the Masses: Lecture Prof. Ramamurti Shankar, May 29, 2010; trains & acceleration, constant velocity: 1 hour (on Earth).


Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Terms | Next


bookPart Two

Second picture: Warped Space-Time


solar systemearthspace-time

"Einstein imagined planets as marbles rolling around a curved surface centered at the sun, as an illustration of the idea that gravity originates from the bending of space and time."

p. 13.

Four | Five | Six

Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Terms | Next


bookFour : General Relativity and "the Happiest Thought of My life"


"He realized that there were at least two glaring holes in his theory of relativity."

curved space Proof?

"First, it was based entirely on inertial motions. . . . everything [though] was in a state of constant acceleration: . . . . Second, the theory said nothing about gravity."

"Since the speed of light was the ultimate speed of the universe, relativity theory said that it would take eight minutes for any disturbance on the sun to reach the earth."

Kaku. p. 91.

"Both the rocket and the astronaut are falling in unison even as they orbit . . . appearing to float"

"The equivalence principle"

Kaku. p. 93.

falling bodies prompted him to ask: "What was gravity?"

Other than differential masses falling @ the same rate of 32 feet per second squared.

"precisely because he had the math to prove it."

Panek, p. 95.

Three tests of general relativity:

    1. The red shift
    2. The perihelion of Mercury {43 seconds of arc per century} (Kaku, 104-106)
    3. A total solar eclipse and the bending of starlight (Kaku, p. 95)

A curved field pushes a body around the warped space caused by a more massive object.

Kaku, p. 97.

Four | Five | Six

Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Terms | Next


bookFive : The New Copernicus


A galaxy is a signature of this new Copernicus: "Arthur Eddington was keenly interested in performing the decisive experiment to test Einstein's theory."

Kaku, p. 113.

Confirming the General Theory of Relativity: "On September 22, 1919, Einstein finally received a cable from Hendrik Lorentz, informing him of the fantastic news."

p. 114.

J. J. Thomson (President of the Royal Society) said of Einstein's general relativity theory "one of the greatest achievements in the history of human thought."

p. 115.

Sir Arthur Eddington filled a similar role for Einstein that Thomas Henry Huxley did for Darwin; his supporter and champion.

p. 116

"I feel something like a whore. Everybody wants to know what I am doing." AE

"A new scientific truth does not as a rule prevail because its opponents declare themselves persuaded or convinced, but because the opponents gradually die out and the younger generation is made familiar with the truth from the start."

Max Planck
p. 117.

1923 Nobel prize in Physics. The Photoelectric effect though he gave the speech to describe general relativity!

p. 125.

In 1930 Einstein met Edwin Hubble when visiting the Mount Wilson Observatory and Cal Tech in Pasadena, California. [Hubble discovered the "red shift" from incoming light frequencies, thus confirming the retreat of the galaxies from one another causing an expansion of the universe.]

p. 127.

"The world, considered from the physical aspect, does exist independently of human consciousness."

AE, 1930; p.128.

Einstein possessed and expressed an "unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as science can perceive it."


"We see a universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations." AE, 1929.

E= Mc2 "And what intrigued Einstein during this period was the ability of his equations to solve the structure of the universe itself."

p. 129.

geometryMiracle Year 1905spacetime

"And what intrigued Einstein during this period was the ability of his equations to solve the structure of the universe itself."

p. 129.

Four | Five | Six

Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Terms | Next


bookSix : The Big Bang {it was an immediate expansion of space} as an insult to an infinitesimally small singularity and the necessity of dark stars (whose light cannot escape).

Black Holes

black hole "a cataclysmic origin"

"13.7 billion years old"

"Not only did Einstein's theory of general relativity introduce entirely unexpected concepts such as the expanding universe and the big bang, but also . . . black holes . . . . gravity was so intense that even light itself could not escape, so the star became invisible!"

pp. 138-139.

"Olber's paradox" If Newton is correct, then how is it the night sky is so dark?

"cosmological constant"

p. 132.

1922-1927 "radical steps"

". . . showed that an expanding universe emerges naturally form Einstein's equations."

p. 134.


1929 astronomy – "demolished the one-galaxy universe"

Edwin Hubble,also discovered that the Andromeda galaxy was two-million light years from earth!

In Holland, de Sitter insisted to Hubble that Einstein's equations required an "expanding universe" based on a "simple relationship between red-shift and distance"

p. 135.

"... the universe was expanding at a fantastic rate."

Hubble's law and Hubble's constant (for the rate of expansion of the universe)

p. 136.

". . . one might state that the universe is infinite in three dimensions."

"if the universe is expanding at a certain rate, then one can reverse the expansion and calculate the rough time at which the expansion originated. . . . not only did the universe have a beginning, but one could calculate its age."

1931 Lemaitre "postulated" . . ."a super-hot genesis."

1949, Fred Hoyle, a cosmologist gave the enduring name to this universal beginning

"the name is a complete misnomer."

tongue-in-cheek designation, of the "big bang"

p. 138.

'"These stars, in fact, were so fantastic that most physicists thought they could never be found in the universe."

" . . . created by the crushing effect of gravitational force overwhelming all the nuclear forces in matter."

". . . massive gravity could overwhelm the quantum forces inside the star."

p. 141.

"Einstein wondered if his equations allowed for gravity waves."

p. 142.

"Once again, Einstein was so far ahead of his time that it would take another sixty years before Einstein (gravity) lenses and rings would be found and eventually become indispensable tools by which astronomers probe the cosmos."

"As successful and far-reaching as general relativity was, it did not prepare Einstein in the mid-1920s for the fight of his life, to devise a unified field theory to unite the laws of physics while simultaneously doing battle with the 'demon' the quantum theory."


p. 144.
Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Terms | Next


book Part Three: The Unfinished Picture

Milky Way

The rotation of the Earth on its axis causes the Milky Way galaxy of stars to appear to move across the night sky.


Seven | Eight | Nine


Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Terms | Next

bookSeven : Unification and the Quantum Challenge

the picture never came



Experimental evidence from quantum mechanics does not agree with experimental findings of general relativity.


"the unified field theory" was Einstein's quest until the end of his life.

p. 147.

Faraday insisted "the existence of a relation between gravity and electricity, though they [my experiments] give no proof that such a relation exists."

Einstein's marble and wood analogies meaning the predictive and unpredictable qualities of different substances the universe versus matter.




universal geometry of space-time chaotic world of matter \ mass
beautiful ugly
stars and galaxies atoms and sub-atomic particle zoo


"Einstein saw the defect in his equations. The fatal flaw was that wood determined the structure of the marble. The amount of bending of space-time was determined by the amount of wood at any point."

p. 148.

"From the picture [the warping of space and time], he extracted a principle, the equivalence principle, that accelerating and gravitating frames obeyed the same laws of physics.

p. 149.

"The problem facing Einstein now was truly daunting, because he was working at least fifty years ahead of his time."

"The nucleus of the atom had only been discovered in 1911."

p. 150.

1921 paper of Theodor Kaluza "Kaluza showed that if the fifth dimension is separated from the other four, Einstein's equations emerged, along with Maxwell's equations! In other words, Maxwell's equations, the horrible set of eight partial differential equations . . . , can be reduced to waves traveling on the fifth dimension."

p. 151-152.

four dimensional cube"To them, electromagnetism was nothing but vibrations rippling along the surface of a small fifth dimension."

"Similarly, in this picture, we are the fish."

p. 152.

"If these higher dimensions exist, then they must be extremely small, much smaller than an atom. . . . too small to be experimentally observed."

p. 153.

Yang-Mills fields "now form the foundation of the current theory of the nuclear force."

p. 154.

The quantum theory

"The quantum theory stands as one of the most successful physical theories of all time. It has had unparalleled success explaining the mysterious world of the atom, and by doing so has unleashed the power of lasers, modern electronics, computers, and nanotechnology."


1912, Einstein on quantum theory

"The more success the quantum theory has, the sillier it looks."

p. 156.

"With enough time, the wave function eventually dissipates over the entire universe. But this violated everything that physicists knew about electrons."

p. 162.

Erwin Schrödinger "the equation of these matter waves"

p. 158.

"The dance of electrons as they moved between orbits [shells], releasing pulses of light [photons] or binding molecules together, suddenly became calculable, a matter of solving standard partial differential equations."

"For the first time, physicists had a detailed picture of the interior of the atom, by which one could, in principle, calculate the properties of more complex atoms, even molecules."

p. 159.

"The breakthroughs in quantum physics now accelerated enormously."

p. 160.

The brilliance of Paul Dirac

E = mc2 is not correct!

"a mirror universe"

"particles could exist with a new form of 'antimatter'."

1932 the "anti-electron" or positron was discovered!

pp. 160-161.

"Once again, the theory of relativity yielded unexpected riches, this time giving us an entirely new universe made of antimatter."

p. 161.

"Something was terribly wrong."


"[Max] Born decisive step, claiming that the Schrödinger wave did not describe the electron at all, but only the probability of finding the electron. He declared that 'the motion of particles follows probability laws, but probability itself propagates in conformity with the laws of causality.' In this new picture, mater indeed consisted of particles, not waves."

"But the chance of finding the particle at any given point was given by a wave."

pp. 162 - 163.

"the puzzles of probability infesting this new theory"

p. 163.

Werner Heisenberg

"Everything became clear. In order to know where an electron was, you had to look at it. This meant shining a light beam at it. But the photons in the light beam would collide with the electron, making its position uncertain. In other words, the act of observation necessarily introduced uncertainty."

p. 163.

"Uncertainty Principle"

"one cannot determine both the location and the velocity of a particle at the same time."atom

"Einstein was horrified."

determinism and clock-work certainty of universal patterns was being abandoned for statistical indeterminacy; infinite precision was undermined by quantum behavior

p. 164.

"Given a uranium atom, for example, one could never calculate when it will decay, only the likelihood of its doing so." (referred to as the half-life of radioactive matter)


". . . the quantum revolution he helped to initiate would introduce chance into physics."

p. 165.

spectrum "The other, much larger camp was led by Niels Bohr, who believed in uncertainty and championed a new version of causality, based on averages and probabilities."

p. 165.

"What was at stake was nothing less than the nature of reality itself."

Sixth Solvay Conference or 1930 – Bohr & Einstein debates.

p. 166.

"Bohr finally found the defect in Einstein's argument, and he used Einstein's own theory of relativity to defeat him."

p. 167.

"..understanding this strange world of ours." [John Wheeler quoted]

p. 168.

"The final answer is, we don't really know." (Schrödinger's {satirical} cat that is alive and dead simultaneously)

p. 169.

a definitive state (of observation) is called "the collapse of the wave function."

p. 169.

"In other words, the process of observation determines the final state of an object."

EPR thought experiment and the "non-local" universe of entanglement "spooky-action-at-a-distance."

pp. 170-173.
See: Bryan Greene video The Fabric of the Universe: The World of Quantum, May 25, 2014.

"The Copenhagen school withstood the challenge, but at a price . . . the quantum universe was indeed non-local."

p. 172.

"By the 1920s there were now two towering branches of physics: relativity and quantum theory [mechanics]."

"One theory, relativity, gave us a theory of the very large, a theory of the big bang and black holes. The other theory gave us a theory of the very small, the bizarre world of the atom."

"Although the quantum theory was based on counterintuitive ideas, no one could dispute its stunning experimental successes."

"Quantum mechanics was the 'most successful physical theory of our period,' he (Einstein) would admit."

p. 173.

"Einstein's strategy was to use general relativity and his unified field theory to explain the origin of matter itself, to construct matter out of geometry."

p. 174.

"Einstein was working decades before data from powerful atom smashers would clarify the nature of subatomic matter. As a result, the picture never came."

p. 176.
The hidden dimensions of quantum order: Layers of physical existence. terminology
  "Quantum foam"
Leptons & Quarks
Molecular organization
Plane of existence

What is an effective and understandable story to explain quantum mechanics?

See: Brian Greene on Einstein: Unified Field Theory

"Einstein's relationship with the 'unruly child' of quantum mechanics, and how the famed physicist came up with the photoelectric effect, mass & energy equivalency, the General and Special Theory of Relativity."

Professor Terry Rudolph: Physics Lecture


Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | New science findings | Terms | Next

bookEight : War, Peace, and E = mc2

Atoms, neutrons, anti-matter, and neutrinos discovered & upset the "simple nuclear picture"

1930s were a time of economic collapse, international instability, & Asian war between Japan & China.


The period was also one of anti-Einstein rhetoric and the discovery of the neutron by Enrico Fermi.

In fact atomic science forms two bookends of this crucial decade:

1932 neutrons as the third constituent subatomic particle of atoms { protons; + , & electrons; – ]

1938 the fission experiment by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann interpreted by Lise Meitner

Scientific exodus from Nazi Germany

March 31, 1933

Having objected to storm trooper (Brown Shirt's) brutality Erwin Schrödinger was badly beaten before being rescued by a Nazi physicist who had recognized him.

"Badly shaken, Schrödinger would leave Germany for England and Ireland."

Einstein left Germany permanently for Princeton having been a visiting Professor at CalTech earlier in 1931-33. "Einstein moved to Princeton in 1933, where he lived until his death in 1955." Princeton University

p. 180.

Elsa died in 1936

pp. 182-183.

" . . . the quest to build an atomic bomb."

" . . . the amount of energy stored in the nucleus could be a hundred million times greater than that stored in a chemical weapon."

p. 183.

"The nucleus of an atom is positively charged and hence repels other positive charges."

p. 185.

"in 1932 when James Chadwick discovered a new particle, the neutron . . . that is neutral in charge."

p. 185.

The precision of Einstein's equation in explaining Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann's 1938 shattering of the U235 nuclei into barium and krypton.

Lise Meitner & Otto Frisch, 1939; worked out the physics of what Hahn and Strassmann had done using Bohr's atom model. Meitner called it "fission" like what bacteria do to reproduce!

"Meitner realized that Einstein's equation E = m c2 held the key to this puzzle. If you took the missing mass and multiplied it times c2, then one found 200 million electron volts, precisely according to Einstein's theory."

See web page history

Enrico Fermi at Columbia University realized that "a single atomic bomb could destroy all that he could see of New York City."

p. 186.

secret establishment of the Manhattan Engineering Project on December 6, 1941.

p. 186.

J. Edgar Hoover had targeted Einstein as a probable "communist spy or a dupe at best."

p. 189.

See film: "The Day that Shook the World", PATHE films.


Oh my God!

p. 191.

In 1946 "Einstein became chairman of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, perhaps the first major anti-nuclear organization, and use it as a platform to argue against the continued building of nuclear weapons and to advocate one of his cherished causes, world government."


"I must seem like an ostrich who forever buries its head in the relativistic sand in order not to face the evil quanta." AE

p. 193.

In pursuit of the elusive unified field theory Einstein appeared to be isolated from mainstream quantum mechanics in physics

pp. 191-195.

"Subtle is the Lord . . . . Maybe God is malicious."

p. 195.

"The 'color of creation' is microwave radiation."

p. 198.

"this separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however tenacious." AE to Besso's son upon learning of Michele Besso's death.

"Einstein died. . . April 18, 1955." On his desk was the manuscript of "the unified field theory."

p. 199.
Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | Terms | Next


bookNine : Einstein's Prophetic Legacy

"In other words there is a wall separating the observer from the observed."

On the Copenhagen interpretation of Niels Bohr, p. 204.

"Einstein's concept of unification of all forces, once the subject of derision and derogatory comments, is now assuming center stage in the world of theoretical physics."

pp. 201-202.

"Three areas where Einstein's enduring legacy continues to dominate the world of physics: the quantum theory, general relativity, and cosmology, and the unified field theory."

p. 202.

Eugene Wigner:
"the very study of the external world led to the conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate reality."

"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of Nature. And it is because in the last analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve."
Max Planck, 1905

p. 205.

"Most physicists today believe that the Copenhagen school is woefully incomplete."

pp. 206-207.


"Decoherence starts  with the fact that the wave function of a cat is quite complicated. . . "

"something on the order of 1025 atoms" in any  housecat;   "the two wave functions can coexist" "simply separate and, for all intents and purposes, never interact again."

p. 207

"implies a 'many worlds' interpretation."

". . . but within this room there exist other 'radio stations' where insane, bizarre world's  coexist with ours. . . .we have  . . .  decohered from them."

Kaku quotes Richard Feynman's acerbic remark: "nobody understands quantum mechanics."

p. 208.

Einstein "vindicated elsewhere . . .spectacularly in general relativity."

p. 208.

1959 laboratory confirmation of Albert Eintein's hypothesis of a red shift

1977 -- the duration of time in a dozen white dwarf stars
"time slowed down in a large gravitational field."

1971 – atomic clocks ticked more slowly in jet aircraft

p. 209.

"Without fail, they found starlight from halfway across the sky was bent by the sun."

"Einstein predicted gravity wave in 1916 . . . .
1993, Hulse & Taylor .  .  ."verifying the existence of gravity waves."  two dead stars, 16,000 light years away "orbiting every seven hours and forty-five minutes, releasing copious  quantities of gravity waves in their wake."

p. 210.

What science is not?

Richard Feynman on the method of science regarding questions on quantum qualities and continuous spacetime.


Superstrings & string theory as a means of unification Edward Witten at Princeton
Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | New science findings | Terms
Start | Contents | His contributions | His legacy

A new universe


            speed is velocity;          or         tempo, thrust,   motion, momentum, or propulsion.

            anomaly a deviation from the expected, the norm or the standard;

                 in this test case Michelson and Morley discovered that light waves do not behave like water waves.

Quarks these are very minute subatomic particles dwelling within neutrons and protons that impart charge to these more massive sub-atomic particles. Six "flavors" of quarks exist in matter: Up, Down, Strange, Charm, Top and Bottom. Think of them as the six dwarves or gnomes inherent in material existence of fermions. Fermions include include electrons, protons, neutrons.


See: The Particle Adventure

EPR is the initials standing for Einstein – Podolsky-Rosen thought experiment of two hypothetical electrons emitted from an atom traveling at the speed of light (where time stops). Where one electron spins in opposite angular momentum to its paired electron; such that the measure of one electron's spin reveals the other electron's spin even if is at the farthest reaches of the universe from where the measurement in taken.

pp. 169-174.

Universe in a Nutshell, pp. 123-124.


Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | New science findings | Terms
Start | Contents | His contributions | His legacy



Fermi Lab's discoveries.

The essential paradox

Michio Kaku, Einstein's Cosmos. New York: W. W. Norton, 2004.

Start | Contents | His contributions | What science is | The great quantum debate | What quantum science is not? | His legacy


Einstein's 1905 papers:

"On a heuristic viewpoint concerning the production and transformation of light." (light quantum/photoelectric effect paper) (17 March 1905) Annalen der Physik, 17 (1905), pp. 132-148.


"On the motion of small particles suspended in liquids at rest required by the molecular-kinetic theory of heat." (Brownian motion paper) (May 1905; received 11 May 1905) Annalen der Physik, 17 (1905), pp. 549-560.
Einstein's paper examined the kinetic theory of heat and predicted that small particles suspended in water must execute a random motion visible under the microscope. He suspects this motion is Brownian motion but has insufficient data to affirm it. The prediction is a powerful test of the truth of the kinetic theory of heat, and "in effect . . . the existence of atoms" [Kaku, E's Cosmos. p. 71] . A failure to observe the effect would refute the theory. If it is seen and measured, it provides a way to estimate Avogadro's number. The domain in which the effect is observed is one in which the second law of thermodynamics no longer holds, a disturbing result for the energeticists of the time.


"On the electrodynamics of moving bodies" (special relativity) (June 1905; received 30 June 1905) Annalen der Physik, 17 (1905), pp. 891-921.
Einstein explained the special theory of relativity in this paper. His concern, as he makes clear in the introduction, is that then current electrodynamics harbors a state of rest, the aether state of rest, and the theory gives very different accounts of electrodynamic processes at rest or moving in the ether. But experiments in electrodynamics and optic have provided no way to determine which is the ether state of rest of all inertial state of motion. Einstein shows that Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics has in fact always obeyed a principle of relativity of inertial motion. We just failed to notice it since we tacitly thought that space and time had Newtonian properties, not those of special relativity, thus dispensing with the idea of the aether.


"Does the inertia of a body depend on its energy content?" (E=mc2) (September 1905; received 27 September 1905) Annalen der Physik, 18 (1905), pp. 639-41.
Written as a brief follow-up to the special relativity paper, this short note derives the inertial of energy: all energy E also has an inertia E/c2; energy over or divided by the square of the speed of light.

Dr. John D. Norton; University of Pittsburg

Contents | Book Part One | Book Part Two | Book Part Three | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Speed of light | New science findings | Terms


Einstein the man | His relativistic insights | On Albert Einstein | The famous equation's meaning

Book contents | Who was he? | Influences on Einstein's formative years | Existence | Speed of light | Terms | Start
Start | Contents | His contributions | His legacy

What is here?

links home