Einstein had an unhappy love to mathematics which came to dominate his work as a physicist
with a very unhappy influence on modern physics. Einstein’ university math teacher Minkowski
characterized him as a “lazy dog”.
If you have difficulties with mathematics, then there is a risk that you cannot separate trivialities from essentials and inflate trivialities into godlike insights.
Einstein became obsessed with coordinate systems or “reference frames” and a principle that “physical laws” must take the same form in all reference frames, based on the idea that no reference frame is better than the other as an expression of relativity.
In the special theory of relativity observers using different “inertial frames” would agree on the same mathematical expression of a “physical law” as a canonical law invariant under coordinate transformations.
In general relativity this strict form invariance was replaced by “general covariance”, which is so general that the physics has evaporated.
A mathematician understands that physical laws in general take different mathematical forms in different coordinate systems, and that searching for physics in coordinate transformations is pointless.
Unfortunately, this was not properly understood by Einstein, or maybe he understood but did not tell because he had a good deal of humor. Anyway, the result is an obsession of modern physicists to insist that the basis of physics is general relativity and quantum mechanics, while admitting that they are incompatible.
Stephen Hawking describes the trauma as follows:
- The general theory of relativity describes the force of gravity and the large-scale structure of the universe.
- Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, deals with phenomena on extremely small scales.
- Unfortunately, however, these two theories are known to be inconsistent with each other—they cannot both be correct.
OK, so both cannot be correct, and the question is which one is incorrect, general relativity or quantum mechanics (or both)? The overwhelming vote here goes in favor of quantum mechanics, since it has massive experimental support. The conclusion is that general relativity is an illusion, in Einstein’s words:
The question is when physicists will recover from their obsession to search for physics inside coordinate transformations as followers of Einstein?
Einstein influence on quantum mechanics was reduced to zero already in the 1920s and it is a mystery that Einstein has been able to keep physics in a state of contradiction and paralysis until our days.