Questioning Relativity 8: Hype

· theory of relativity
Authors

Einstein’s theory of relativity is prized as the pinnacle of human intelligence and creativity all times:

R. Feynman in Feynman Lectures on Gravitation:

  • Einstein’s gravitational theory is said to be the greatest single achievement of theoretical physics.

A. Eddington in Space-Time and Gravitation:

  • By his theory of relativity, Einstein has provoked a revolution of thought in physical science.

S. Hawking:

  • Today scientists describe the universe in terms of two basic partial theories—the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. They are the great intellectual achievements of the first half of this century. The general theory of relativity describes the force of gravity and the large-scale structure of the universe, that is, the structure on scales from only a few miles to as large as a million million million million (1 with twenty-four zeros after it) miles, the size of the observable universe. 
  • Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, deals with phenomena on extremely small scales, such as a millionth of a millionth of an inch. Unfortunately, however, these two theories are known to be inconsistent with each other—they cannot both be correct. 

J. Wheeler:

  • There is nothing in the world except empty curved space. Matter, charge, electromagnetism, and other fields are only manifestations of the curvature of space. 
  • In any field find the strangest thing and then explore it. 
  • The universe does not exist ‘out there,’ independent of us. We are inescapably involved in bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators. In some strange sense, this is a participatory universe. Physics is no longer satisfied with insights only into particles, fields of force, into geometry, or even into time and space. Today we demand of physics some understanding of existence itself. 
  • There is no law except the law that there is no law. 

Freeman Dyson:

  • Wheeler rejuvenated general relativity; he made it an experimental subject and took it away from the mathematicians.

Max Tegmark:

  • For me, Wheeler was the last Titan, the only physics superhero still standing.

Wikipedia:

  • For this achievement (relativity), Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history.
  • His great intelligence and originality have made the word “Einstein” synonymous with genius.

Nobel Committee Presentation of 2011 Prize in Physics:

  • In November 1915, Albert Einstein (Nobel Prize in Physics 1921) presented his theory of gravity, which he nicknamed General Relativity (GR), an extension of his theory of special relativity. This was one of the greatest achievements in the history of science, a modern milestone.

Brian Greene:

  • No matter how hard you try to teach your cat general relativity, you’re going to fail.

 

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