The New Universe of the Twentieth Century

"One aim of the physical sciences has been to give an exact picture of the material world. One achievements of physics in the twentieth century has been to prove that that aim is unattainable."

Jacob Bronowski, Ascent, p. 267.


The use of X-rays reveal the unseen but existent presence.

"I define science as the organization of our knowledge in such a way that it commands more of the hidden potential of nature."

Jacob Bronowski, Science & Human Values, p.7.

"In X-Rays, for instance, the universe changed overnight, literally"

"The universe , apparently was not what it seemed. If X-rays mean a lot of energy and a lot of sources of X-rays means a lot of sources of energy, then a lot of sources of energy permeating the heavens means . . . what? . . . . the answer was already there embedded in Einstein's relativity, beggaring belief."

Panek, The Invisible Century, pp. 195-196.

"Einstein had overthrown two of the absolutes of nineteenth-century science: absolute rest as represented by the ether, and absolute or universal time that all clocks would measure. Many people found this an unsettling concept."


 The Fermi gamma ray satellite-telescope has observed recorded a gamma ray burst which produced both high energy and low energy photons that traveled over 7 billion years. Could Einstein have been wrong about light particles travelling seven billion years from a supernova? .Watch this and discover . . . that spacetime, or space and time are smooth and continuous, as Einstein's general relativity theory had predicted! "Science is a process of elimination." says NASA astrophysicist.

"Einstein's general theory of relativity transformed space and time from a passive background in which events take place to active participants in the dynamics of the universe."

Stephen Hawking, Universe. pp. 33-35.

"more baffling: the presence of a specific individual X-ray source radiating with an intensity 100 million times greater than anyone had expected; or the presence of a non-specific, or diffuse, background that apparently was lighting up the sky with X–rays as brilliantly as visible light irradiates the day sky one minute before noon."

Panek, The invisible Century, p.196.


"In 1939, Hans Bethe, working at Cornell University, for the first time explained in very precise terms the transformation of hydrogen into helium in the sun, by which a loss of mass streams out to us as this proud gift of energy."

". . . . in all stars there are going on processes which build up the atoms one by one into more complex structures. Matter itself evolves. The word comes from Darwin in biology, but it is the word that has changed physics in my lifetime."

Bronowski, Ascent. p. 259.

"So in a lifetime Einstein joined light to time, and time to space; energy to matter, matter to space, and space to gravitation.


"Einstein was the creator of a philosophical more than a mathematical system. He had a genius for finding philosophical ideas that gave a new view of practical experience."

Bronowski, Ascent. pp. 194-195.


Einstein's Princeton office in 1955

Einstein's office desk: 1955 at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
“Our situation is the following. We are standing in front of a closed box which we cannot open, and we try hard to discover about what is and is not in it.” 
Einstein letter to John Moffat, 1953.

This universe, of course!

Einstein " was attempting to unite the force of gravity — which he had successfully described in his general theory of relativity — with the force of electromagnetism, and the two forces are similar in many ways. The strength of both, for instance, is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between two bodies, and both have an infinite range. 

Four Fundamental Universal forces

“The intellect seeking after an integrated theory cannot rest content with the assumption that there exist two distinct fields totally independent of each other by their nature,”

Einstein, Nobel lecture: 1923.
power extent carriers

In the 1930s, when Einstein began his work on a unified field theory, physicists believed that there were only two universal forces that the theory would have to unite: gravity and electromagnetism. They have since learned that there are two other fundamental forces as well, a strong force that binds together atomic nuclei and a weak force that governs radioactive decay. “Einstein defined what later became a fundamental problem in physics,” says Carlo Rovelli, a theoretical physicist at the University of the Mediterranean in Marseille, France. “But he was missing an ingredient.”

"Einstein's Grand Quest for a Unified Theory: He failed, of course, but he didn't exactly waste his time."
Tim Folger, Discover Magazine. Thursday, September 30, 2004.


At this same period, 1920s, "the electron and the proton were the only discovered subatomic particles."

American Physical Society

In 1983 the unification of the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces was achieved.

Unification Georgia State University

In research it is important not to have conclusions chase the facts; facts should be used to generate sound conclusions.

Of Einstein the Nobel Prize biographer notes,

"He regarded his major achievements as mere stepping-stones for the next advance."


Einstein mentored Amolie, or Emmy Noether [1882-1935] made perhaps the most significant discovery of the 20th century. A female Jewish intellectual in Nazi Germany (you can do that math), Emmy's was a special approach to life. Noether's Theorem ties the laws of nature -- from Newton's laws to thermodynamics to charge conservation -- directly to the geometry of space and time, the very fabric of reality. It is the basis for the standard model of particle physics, quantum electrodynamics, and grand unified theories including supersymmetry and superstrings. As usual in physics, it gets really interesting when the theorem is violated: answers to the origin of mass and the matter-antimatter asymmetry problems emerge when Noether's theorem is violated.
Two things should bother you about Noether's Theorem:
(1) how come so few people have heard of Emmy Noether? and
(2) why isn't her theorem well known to lovers of science?

Amolie Noether tied the laws of nature to the geometry of spacetime and she mathematically resolved fundamental relationships between momentum and position in addition to energy & time.

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