Buzz Blog

Podcast: Does Einstein Deserve More Credit?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Albert Einstein is hands-down the most famous scientist who ever lived, and one of the most famous people in history. His contributions to physics sparked one of history's greatest scientific revolutions, and fundamentally changed the way we look at the world. He has set the bar for what we consider a "genius."

That said, "under appreciated" seems like the last thing that would describe Einstein; and yet, it seems that most people, including most physics, aren't quite aware of just how great Einstein was. A new book by Douglas Stone, a professor of physics at Yale University, shows that Einstein made even more contributions to science than we give him credit for, particularly to the field of quantum mechanics. Stone, a quantum physicist himself, argues that many of those contributions are Nobel Prize worthy.

Perhaps the strangest part of this tale is that it was Einstein himself who wanted to downplay his work.

Listen to the podcast to hear my interview with Stone about his book Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian

Correction: The podcast states that Einstein's theory of relativity was tested during an eclipse. It is the Sun's gravity, not the Earth's, that is responsible for bending the light. In addition, the photoelectric effect involves an atom's absorption of light and emittance of an electron—not more light. 
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1 Comment:

Rodney Bartlett said...

I've written an article called "Albert Einstein deserves Nobel Prize in Physics 2013“ ( It shows how many ideas about the universe and the quantum world, including the origin of mass, would simply be impossible without Einstein. Here's the abstract -

François Englert and Peter W. Higgs are jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 for the theory of how particles acquire mass. In 1964, they proposed the theory independently of each other (Englert together with his now deceased colleague Robert Brout). In 2012, their ideas were confirmed by the discovery of a so called Higgs particle at the CERN laboratory outside Geneva in Switzerland.” – email from “Elsevier Physics received on October 11, 2013”

François Englert and Peter W. Higgs deserve recognition for their work on the Higgs field and Higgs particle. In my opinion however, CERN has only confirmed the particle’s existence, not that it plays a role in the acquiring of mass. Albert Einstein deserves the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 for the theory of how particles acquire mass. Of course, this is impossible for two reasons - 1) the Prize is only awarded to living people, and 2) just as scientists regarded him as "out of touch with science" in the last 30 years of his life, modern scientists still regard him as out of touch when they (unknowingly) fail to understand him. The following article of mine being considered by the journal “Nature” gives the reasons I believe he deserves the Nobel.

The inspiration for this article was an article called “Starting Point” by Steve Nadis – Discover Magazine, September 2013. “Starting Point” is about the life and theories of Ukrainian cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin. He’s responsible for introducing the ideas of eternal inflation and quantum creation of the universe from a quantum vacuum, and is currently Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University near Boston in the U.S. My article concedes that the idea of quantum fluctuation in a vacuum is valid because those fluctuations can be defined as “the temporary change in the amount of energy at a point in space”. This temporary change can be enabled by the binary digits of 1 and 0 fluctuating between states and thus serving as Virtual Particles. This causes the universe to have its creation not in a quantum vacuum as an exclusively linear concept of time would require, but in a nonlinear aspect of time with the binary digits originating in human computer technology. Ensuing solutions of cosmological puzzles from this proposal refer to the subheadings

“Digital” String Theory;
Poincare + Cosmic Strings, Wormholes And Hologram;
Steady State Universe, Big Bang Subuniverses And DNA’s Double Helix;
Newtonian / Einsteinian Space-Time Warping;
Cosmic Rays, Ultra-High-Energy Cosmic Rays & Today’s Speed Of Light;
Electronic Infinity;
Interstellar And Intergalactic Travel;
c2 And The Atomic Nucleus;
Dark Energy And Fractal Geometry;
Dark Matter.

Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 8:28 AM