Tag: Relativity

A Famous German Scientist and His British Fans

 

Albert Einstein was one of the twentieth century’s great men, vying with Winston Churchill for the title of “Man of the Century.” In addition to relativity, he was an accomplished musician and a noted pacifist. He was an Anglophile. He was also an assassin’s target in the 1930s.

“Einstein on the Run: How Britain Saved the World’s Greatest Scientist,” by Andrew Robinson tells two tales. It explores the admiration Einstein and Great Britain mutually shared. It shows how the British offered Einstein sanctuary at the scientist’s moment of greatest peril.

The book is also a biography of Einstein, but it is a focused biography. It recounts his life in the context of his relation with Britain. It shows how British physicists, most notably Sir Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell, shaped Einstein’s scientific studies, and fostered an admiration for British scientists.

The Emperor’s New Mind

 

Mathematical truth is not a horrendously complicated dogma whose validity is beyond our comprehension. -Sir Rodger Penrose

The Emperor’s New Mind is Sir Roger Penrose’s argument that you can’t get a true AI by merely piling silicon atop silicon. To explain why he needs a whole book in which he summarizes most math and all physics. Even for a geek like me, someone who’s got the time on his hands and a fascination with these things it gets a bit thick. While delving into the vagaries of light cones or the formalism of Hilbert space in quantum mechanics it’s easy to wonder “wait, what does this have to do with your main argument?” Penrose has to posit new physics in order to support his ideas, and he can’t explain those ideas unless you the reader have a sufficient grasp of how the old physics works. Makes for a frustrating read though.

My Interview With Einstein

 

I was working in my astrophysics lab at home yesterday, flipping the space-time continuum on its side and tying quarks and Higgs boson particles to it with the sub-atomic vibrating strings which some claim to be the building blocks of all matter. I cobbled together a miniature particle accelerator/collider out of an old bicycle tire and cap pistol in between episodes of Property Brothers on HGTV. It has since produced a steady stream of God particles, which I keep cool in an old Yeti ice chest out back. If you ever need any, just holler.

In an incredible coincidence, after I closed my lab for the night, I got a call from an old friend, Momo, with whom I had done a nickel in Alcatraz. He died unexpectedly last year from injuries received in a limbo challenge in St. Barts. He heard I had been trying to break into the posthumous interview racket. Turns out he’s been spending a lot of time lately with Albert Einstein. With little warning, Momo put the Mensa Mensch on the phone. I asked the late genius if I could record our conversation. He said “ja wohl,” and off we went. Here are excerpts.

Member Post

 

I and a close friend attended the Electric Universe Conference in Phoenix, Arizona last weekend. It was a 5 day conference and had 32 speakers, a documentary film and reports on the status of a Design of Experiments (DOE) approach to an electric sun model, reports on investigations and theories on all sorts of things. […]

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