Einstein Refused To Accept The Disordered Universe | David Bodanis

source: Big Think     2016年12月7日
Einstein believed his greatest blunder to have been the retraction of one of his equations but, as writer David Bodanis tells, the great scientist's misstep actually happened immediately after. Bodanis' latest book is "Einstein's Greatest Mistake: A Biography" (https://goo.gl/vGbnSk).
Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/david-boda...

Transcript - What Einstein did in 1905 his first theory of relativity that would be enough for most people. But he had another idea, a more powerful idea which came together in 1915 when he was in his mid-30s the middle of World War I and it's called General Relativity. And it's a magnificent idea, if he hadn't come up with it I doubt if anybody else would have in the more than century since then. And it's a notion of explaining how all of space and time and all of matter and everything is organized and what's amazing is instead of being a long complicated thing he got it down to two little symbols and this was extraordinary. He thought who had created a universe where all the complexity we see, the spinning of the earth around the sun, how the galaxy moves, if it moves at all, that all this could be explained in terms of two simple symbols. And he thought this was fabulous and then he looked at his symbols and he realized they predicted that the universe was expanding.
He asked his astronomer friends in 1917/1918 is the universe in fact expanding? And they said no its static. They thought at that time the universe was just the Milky Way Galaxy a whole bunch of stars floating there in space and beyond there there was just an empty void. It was sort of like Donald Trump's brain there was just angry magnetic fields full of nothing.
And Einstein thought are you sure? And they said well that's kind of what the universe is like. So he had to change that beautiful simple equation and had to put in an extra term, which is symbolized by the lambda. And instead of thinking God or the old one or whatever force there is behind the universe had made something very simple for us to discover, there's this ugly equation, this additional term that sort of canceled the expansion. Anyways, about ten years later in 1929 Edwin Hubble in California and other people said oy were we wrong. They probably didn't say the word oy, were we wrong they said. The universe is expanding after all. And Einstein thought the good news is I get to take away the lambda, that extra term. I can go back to that beautiful simple clear thing I discovered back in 1915 in general relativity. And that's okay. That's an allowable mistake. I don't think that's his greatest mistake. The great mistake came after that. Read Full Transcript Here: https://goo.gl/bGdTvE.