Tag Archives | Einstein

Zero Hour’s Fake Disinfo Page

We just watched the third and as it turns out final (the show has been canceled ALREADY!) episode of Zero Hour where one of Hank’s sidekicks says that “Disinfo is like porn to me.” I took a screenshot when the camera closes in on his computer displaying our website, only to find a story that we never published, entitled “What Was Einstein’s Final Project?” It could be an interesting article – any volunteers to write it for real?

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Einstein: ‘God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses’

Source: Gazin Auctions

Einstein’s “God Letter” is up for sale at auction. Any bidders? Jessica Ravitz reports for CNN:

Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a “delusion,” one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. “No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

Dubbed Einstein’s “God Letter” by the Los Angeles-based auction agency that’s posting it online, the original document will be up for grabs starting Monday. The opening bid: $3 million.

The letter provides a window into the famed genius’s religious beliefs. Einstein wrote it to Jewish philosopher Eric Gutkind, one year before Einstein died, in reaction to Gutkind’s book, “Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt.”…

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CERN’s Neutrinos Travel Faster Than Speed Of Light

EinsteinScientists making discoveries that defy the laws of physics seems to be something of a theme this month. Now the eggheads at CERN say they’ve observed subatomic particles moving faster than the speed of light, which might theoretically allow us to travel back in time. Eryn Brown and Amina Khan report for the LA Times:

Albert Einstein had the idea. A century of observations have backed it up. It’s one of the cornerstones of physics: Nothing travels faster than the speed of light.

But now a team of experimental physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, says that one exotic particle possibly can.

The scientists reached their conclusion after sending streams of tiny, subatomic particles called neutrinos hurtling from an accelerator at CERN outside Geneva to a detector at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, about 450 miles away.

The neutrinos seemed to get there too soon — 60 nanoseconds too soon, give or take — than they should if they’d been traveling at the speed of light.

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Time Travel Proved Impossible

timetravel2Major disappointment, from some jerk scientists who don’t seem to know when to keep their results to themselves. Via Discovery:

Hong Kong physicists say they have proved that a single photon obeys Einstein’s theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light — demonstrating that outside science fiction, time travel is impossible.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology research team led by Du Shengwang said they had proved that a single photon, or unit of light, “obeys the traffic law of the universe.”

The possibility of time travel was raised 10 years ago when scientists discovered superluminal — or faster-than-light — propagation of optical pulses in some specific medium, the team said. It was later found to be a visual effect, but researchers thought it might still be possible for a single photon to exceed light speed.

Du, however, believed Einstein was right and determined to end the debate by measuring the ultimate speed of a single photon, which had not been done before.

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NASA: There Is A Space-Time Vortex Around Earth

Doctor Who VortexAh, now we know why the Doctor visits our planet so often. Via NASA’s website:

Einstein was right again. There is a space-time vortex around Earth, and its shape precisely matches the predictions of Einstein’s theory of gravity.

Researchers confirmed these points at a press conference today at NASA headquarters where they announced the long-awaited results of Gravity Probe B (GP-B).

“The space-time around Earth appears to be distorted just as general relativity predicts,” says Stanford University physicist Francis Everitt, principal investigator of the Gravity Probe B mission.

“This is an epic result,” adds Clifford Will of Washington University in St. Louis. An expert in Einstein’s theories, Will chairs an independent panel of the National Research Council set up by NASA in 1998 to monitor and review the results of Gravity Probe B. “One day,” he predicts, “this will be written up in textbooks as one of the classic experiments in the history of physics.”

Time and space, according to Einstein’s theories of relativity, are woven together, forming a four-dimensional fabric called “space-time.” The mass of Earth dimples this fabric, much like a heavy person sitting in the middle of a trampoline.

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The World’s First ‘Quantum Device’

Albert_EinsteinThanks to Greg F. for sending along this story from the Belfast Telegraph:

A device that exists in two different states at the same time, and coincidentally proves that Albert Einstein was right when he thought he was wrong, has been named as the scientific breakthrough of the year.

The machine, consisting of a sliver of wafer-thin metal, is the first man-made device to be governed by the mysterious quantum forces that operate at the level of atoms and sub-atomic particles.

Normal, everyday objects obey the laws of conventional Newtonian physics, named after Sir Isaac Newton, but these rules break down on the sub-atomic scale and a whole new branch of theoretical physics had to be invented to explain what happens on this sub-microscopic level.

Einstein was the first to embrace quantum physics but later rejected it on the grounds that it made everything unpredictable – “God does not play dice with the universe,” he famously stated.

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Einstein’s Brain Unlocks Some Mysteries Of The Mind

Albert_EinsteinBy Jon Hamilton for NPR:

In the 55 years since Albert Einstein’s death, many scientists have tried to figure out what made him so smart.

But no one tried harder than a pathologist named Thomas Harvey, who lost his job and his reputation in a quest to unlock the secrets of Einstein’s genius. Harvey never found the answer. But through an unlikely sequence of events, his search helped transform our understanding of how the brain works.

In The Name Of Science

How that happened is a bizarre story that involves a dead genius, a stolen brain, a rogue scientist and a crazy idea that turned out not to be so crazy.

The genius, Einstein, died April 18, 1955, at Princeton Hospital in Princeton, N.J. Within hours, the quiet town was swarming with reporters and scientific luminaries, and people who simply wanted to be near the great man one last time, says Michael Paterniti, a writer who did a lot of research on the events of that day.

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Laser War In Space To Prove Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity

This is pretty cool science! From PopSci:

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is currently the biggest science experiment in operation, but it may have to pass that mantle on soon enough. A collaboration between NASA and the ESA plans to launch three spacecraft into orbit around the sun 3 million miles apart, then have them shoot lasers at each other, all in the name of proving the existence of gravitational waves, the last piece of Einstein’s relativity theory that is as yet unproved.

LISA

Einstein’s general relativity predicts several things, such as gravity’s ability to bend time light and the constant speed at which gravity travels. But a means to prove the existence of gravitational waves — huge ripples in time and space that flow outwards from the collision of huge celestial bodies like black holes — has eluded scientists for years.

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA, aims to do just that.

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Celebrate Pi Day

Sunday March 14th is Pi Day, as well as Albert Einstein’s birthday.

Animation of the act of unrolling a circle's circumference, illustrating the ratio π. Author: John Reid (GNU)

Animation of the act of unrolling a circle's circumference, illustrating the ratio π. Author: John Reid (GNU)

Self-confessed geek Elizabeth Landau reports for CNN on how nerds everywhere plan to celebrate:

The sound of meditation for some people is full of deep breaths or gentle humming. For Marc Umile, it’s “3.14159265358979…”

Whether in the shower, driving to work, or walking down the street, he’ll mentally rattle off digits of pi to pass the time. Holding 10th place in the world for pi memorization — he typed out 15,314 digits from memory in 2007 — Umile meditates through one of the most beloved and mysterious numbers in all of mathematics.

Pi, the ratio of circumference to diameter of a circle, has captivated imaginations for thousands of years — perhaps even since the first person tried to draw a perfect circle on the ground or wondered how to construct something round like a wheel.

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