Einstein’s Legacy

Albert Einstein’s legacy was the topic of discussion, Friday, at the Arizona State University’s Gammage Memorial Auditorium, where a panel celebrated 100 years of general relativity.

Three of the world’s top experts spoke on behalf of the culmination of a year long centenary celebration of Albert Einstein’s developments of the theory of general relativity, sponsored by The Origins Project, The School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Department of Physics at Arizona State University.

Through his life, Einstein wrote many papers, of which, 14 volumes have been collected thus far, culminating 10 million words, according to Diana Kormos-Buchwald, professor of history at the California Institute of Technology.

“It takes anywhere from two-three years of hunting to produce and publish one volume of Einstein’s Paper Project,” Kormos-Buchwald said.

Beginning at age 46, Einstein had 470 writings as well as 7,000 letters. The Einstein Archives have chronologically published 1,500 original writings on the internet, in both English and German, Kormos-Buchwald said

The Einstein Papers Project is a highly ambitious scholarly publishing venture commenced in the history of science. The project’s researchers collect, transcribes, annotate, and publish The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein.

As a Nobel Laureate, Einstein published three papers on what he called “general theory of relativity” in November of 1915. General relativity later became known as the theory of gravity, a remarkable breakthrough offering a much deeper understanding of gravity than provided by his predecessor, Sir Isaac Newton.

“Einstein has an incredible legacy…most of you relied on general relativity to get here tonight,” Origins Project Director Lawrence Krauss said.

Co-author of the treatment for the film Interstellar, Kip Thorne delved into the science behind the creation the movie.

“While in a black hole, like Gargantua, there is an enormous difference in time flow, everything slows down,” Thorne said. “Years can go by outside and it will seem like a few minutes within.”

Theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek had an opportunity no one else has ever experienced; Wilczek had the opportunity to be the first person to live in Einstein’s house after he passed.

In the view of the universe, Wilczek said “God’s-eye or Ant’s-eye.” The perspective of a “God’s-eye” view of reality can be comprehended as a whole,

whereas an “ant’s-eye” view is of human consciousness. Things are the way they are because we see them in that light.

Einstein forever changed the view of space, time and the cosmos, Einstein, however, is the origin of where it all started — even with the blunders, Krauss said.

“Gravity, planet’s, new physics…everywhere we look is Einstein’s legacy,” Krauss, said.

As the developments in physics continually advance what is expected in the future is unknown. Space and time will never cease to exist.

“The universe is the way is it; whether we like it or not, Einstein’s blunders are equally as important as what he got right,” Krauss said.

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