Was Einstein Always Right? | Tech-x-planations | Singularity Hub


(music) – More than any name in history, Einstein is synonymous with genius. The Nobel Prize winner changed
our understanding of nature more than anyone since
Newton, developing his theory of relativity, pioneering quantum physics, and proving the existence of molecules. Of Einstein’s many great
quotes, my favorite is, “The difference between
genius and stupidity is that genius has limits.” But did Einstein himself have limits? Like anyone else, he did make mistakes and some were pretty big. Let’s review two of
the times that Einstein wasn’t exactly an Einstein. As one of the originators
of the Quantum Theory, Einstein endlessly debated the meaning of the strange behavior
that particles exhibit at small distances. The aspect that most disturbed him was that nothing is completely
predictable, only probable. Einstein felt very strongly
that these probabilities must reflect our ignorance
of the situation, not the fundamental behavior. Unfortunately, everything
that we have ever learned about physics for over 100 years, indicates that probability
is the fundamental behavior. Einstein’s most famous mistake was his prediction of the
cosmological constant. In the general theory of relativity, the Universe could be
expanding or contracting, but not remaining the same size. This ran afoul of his intuition that it should be eternally static, and so he looked for a
mathematical loophole. He discovered that his equations allowed for a type of antigravity
force, allowing disequilibrium. Soon after this, astronomer Edwin Hubble simply measured whether
the Universe was expanding and discovered that it was. This obviated the need for
a cosmological constant, and Einstein referred to its introduction as his greatest blunder. But the story doesn’t end there. In 1997, astronomers performed
very sensitive measurements of Super Nova and
discovered that the Universe was not just expanding, but accelerating. The reason we hadn’t detected it before is because the rate is so small that it only becomes
apparent on vast scales. This means there actually
is a cosmological constant. It was just so incredibly tiny
that we couldn’t detect it. So even Einstein’s greatest
blunder was correct.

4 Comments

  1. Could it not be accelerating and just simply seems that way because time is observed through a scalably warped precept/percept?

  2. Einstein was correct about quantum mechanics. The Grand Unified Theory of Classical Physics correctly models all known physical phenomenon in the universe: http://brilliantlightpower.wikia.com/wiki/GUTCP_Fact_Sheet

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