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Questions tagged [einstein]

Albert Einstein (1879–1955) was one of the most important physicists of all time. His work touched many major areas of physics, although he is mostly known as the creator of the theory of relativity and the photoelectric effect. Use this tag for questions about Einstein's scientific life and his works.

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Why is Einstein summation named after Einstein?

Why is Einstein summation of tensors (summation of repeated indices) named after Einstein? "Einstein rule" in the Encyclopedia of Mathematics only says: This rule was proposed by A. ...
1 vote
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Interviews / Conversations with Einstein

I'm searching interviews and/or conversations (in English) with Einstein as text. Is there something available? In particular physics (e.g. theory of relativity) would be interesting but also other (e....
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Did Einstein really say: "If I were wrong, it would only take one."

The story is that Einstein was shown a German newspaper that claimed "One hundred German physicists claim Einsteins theory of relativity is wrong." Einsteins reply was supposedly, "If I were wrong, it ...
25 votes
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What did Einstein contribute to Special Relativity that hadn't already been done by Lorentz in 1904 and Poincaré in 1905?

What did Einstein contribute to what is now called Special Relativity theory that hadn't already been done by Lorentz in his 1904 "Electromagnetic Phenomena in a System Moving with any Velocity ...
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Origin of Einstein quote "Quantum mechanics: Real Black Magic Calculus"

The description of the 1993 English translation of The Quantum Dice, by Ponomarev and Kurchatov, as well as one of the quotes for chapter 2 of Quantum Computation and Quantum Information, by Nielsen ...
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What was the reason Einstein included reflection from a moving mirror in his relativity paper?

Einstein, in his 1905 relativity paper Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, allocates a section to the issue of reflection of light from a moving mirror and derives three formulas (angle, frequency, ...
1 vote
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Could Newton have come up with General Relativity? [closed]

I was reading this question. There I read somewhere that he would have discovered modern physics if he had studied electromagnetism and nuclear physics. It was most likely in jest. But I ask How much ...
23 votes
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What was the relationship between Einstein and Minkowski?

I read many Einstein's Biographies, but Minkowski was never mentioned, though his discovery of the union of space and time created the basis for GR. Minkowski was Einstein's teacher of mathematics ...
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Did Einstein really explain Relativity using the hot stove/pretty girl analogy and if so why?

I am pretty sure that Albert Einstein explained special relativity by saying in effect, sitting on a hot stove for a minute can seem like an hour; sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it might seem ...
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1 answer
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Is it true that Albert Einstein was kicked out of high school due to his "peacefulness"?

In an interview I recently saw with Joseph Agassi he said that: ...The teachers that kicked him out asked that it be written in his [Einstein's] report card that they have no complaint against him. ...
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Do gravitational waves hold the record of longest delay between prediction and confirmation under the same theory?

This question is similar to What was the longest delay between prediction and confirmation of a theory? but I want to frame it in a different way. I am looking for long delays between prediction and ...
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Was there any discourse between Dirac and Einstein that was recorded in print or noted?

I read in Wiki they were together at the Solvay Conderence. There is also a note from 1926 letter to Paul Ehrenfest, Albert Einstein wrote of a Dirac paper, "I am toiling over Dirac. This ...
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Why didn't Einstein propose any metric solution to his equations?

I've read about general relativity (GR) recently and something stroke me: Einstein came up with his equations in 1915, linking the metric of spacetime to the distribution of energy (more exactly, to ...
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1 answer
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The case of Felix Exner and Brownian motion

I'm reading some articles about the history of Brownian Motion, for example, that of Maiocchi (https://www.jstor.org/stable/4026755) or Genthon (https://arxiv.org/pdf/2006.05399.pdf), and they all ...
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On Einstein's argument at the beginning of his PhD thesis

In Investigations on the theory of Brownian movement, he says that osmosis holds for solute particles but not for Brownian ones, since they are too big to pass through a permeable membrane. So what? ...
2 votes
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How did they know that the space could expand?

The theory of general relativity was formulated around 1915 which could be summed up in words of John Wheeler, "Space-time tells matter how to move; matter tells space-time how to curve". At ...
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Historical origins of the idea that information cannot travel faster than light

Is there a good book or other reference that discusses the historical origins of the principle that not even information can travel faster than the speed of light? In my understanding the main reason ...
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Why did Einstein's teacher say that Einstein's presence alone undermined his authority?

Based on the excellent answer from @njuffa in the post Is it true that Albert Einstein was kicked out of high school due to his "peacefulness"? there is a quote from what the "home-room ...
4 votes
3 answers
296 views

Before Einstein did people realize about a falling man not feeling weight?

I understand that Einstein was able to draw remarkable conclusions and was set on the path of General relativity when he realized that a falling observer not feeling his own weight. But is it believed ...
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Einstein's "answers have changed"

I remember first seeing this anecdote a few years ago in a newspaper article, now I am seeing more frequently in motivational content over the internet, every time with very few additional details. ...
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Did Einstein believe the laws of physics would be replaced by mathematical identities?

I'm sure this wasn't his intention at the outset, but here's my understanding of the history of GR so you can see where I'm coming from: The Einstein-Grossmann "Entwurf" version of the ...
2 votes
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What did Einstein say about the Dirac equation?

The wiki article on Dirac quotes Einstein as saying of Dirac I have trouble with Dirac. This balancing on the dizzying path between genius and madness is awful. and I don't understand Dirac at all. ...
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Motivation to reformulate General Relativity in terms of connections?

My understanding that is Einstein and Schrodinger both were in correspondence (see here) and looking to reformulate General Relativity in terms of connections (which lead to this debacle). Now, from ...
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2 answers
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How Einstein got the first idea for special relativity?

I am reading Big Bang by Simon Singh. Here is the short story (as I understood it): Einstein gets a contradiction by assuming that 1- The speed of light $c$ is constant with respect the ether. 2- ...
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Hilbert's criticism on the first version of Einstein's field equations

Crossposted at Physics Stack Exchange I have read once that Hilbert had some reservations regarding the first form of the field equations $$ R_{\mu\nu} = k T_{\mu\nu} $$ because it was not possible ...
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Is Edmund Whittaker claim that Hilbert proved General Relativity days before Einstein valid?

Are the claims of Sir Edmund Whittaker regarding David Hilbert's derivation of the general relativity theory predated that of Einstein by five days? This Wikipedia article that I found contains the ...
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Einstein's confusion about Stern-Gerlach

In a historical description of the Stern-Gerlach experiment, [Friedrich 2003] says: Einstein and Paul Ehrenfest, among others, struggled to understand how the atomic magnets could take up definite, ...
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Einstein's overdetermination theory

In 1923 [1], Einstein proposed an idea for a classical theory that would explain some features of quantum mechanics, via the overdetermination of the EoM, so that only certain configurations would be ...
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Einstein's Objection to Drude Model

In Walter Isaacson's Biography of Einstein, it is stated that the young Einstein was developing his own ideas in Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics and he had found some error in Drude's model for ...
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What was Einstein's first publication of the final form of general relativity?

What was Einstein's first published exposition of his final form of general relativity, be it a scientific article or a book? I've been googling the answer for hours now, with no luck, really. The ...
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Why did Einstein oppose quantum uncertainity?

Einstein always believed that everything is certain, and we can calculate everything. That's why he rejected quantum mechanics, due to its factor of uncertainty. But still quantum physics was right. ...
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Why did Einstein get a better hearing in Göttingen than Berlin?

On page 326 of his 2008 book, Jeremy Gray writes matter-of-factly that Albert Einstein "found he got a better hearing from Hilbert and Klein in Göttingen than he did from his colleagues in Berlin&...
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Why did Einstein stop publishing so many papers in Annalen der Physik?

In his early years (actually, straight through the early 1910s), Albert Einstein published a lot of papers in Annalen der Phyisk, a very old and prominent German scientific journal. However, this ...
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What was the poetic duel Einstein had with Lilly Rona about?

Felix Ehrenhaft was married to Lilly Rona. Einstein and Ehrenhaft regularly met and discussed about magnetic poles or fractional charges. Einstein didn't agree and used his authority to keep Ehrenhaft ...
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Where there scientists before Einstein who viewed space(time) as being elastic?

Einstein was the first who saw spacetime as a mallable substance to be malled with mass. As far as I know there were no people who suggested such a view of spacetime before him. But I could be wrong. ...
3 votes
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Why did the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics got the upperhand?

The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is nowadays the interpretation that prevails over other interpretations (or theories). Basically, it states that all processes in Nature are ...
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Is there any literature or articles which expand more on Einstein's thoughts about Dostoyevsky's novels?

It is a well known fact that he admired Dostoyevsky even more than scientists. I'm looking for things like, Einstein's opinions about his religious discourse? What did he think of his bold statements ...
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How did Mach's view on spacetime differ from Einstein's?

We can read in Wikipedia: Mach's principle, in cosmology, hypothesis that the inertial forces experienced by a body in nonuniform motion are determined by the quantity and distribution of matter in ...
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Was Einstein motivated by Riemannian geometry, or did he merely use it?

Einstein made intensive use of non-Eucliden geometry already developed by mathematicians. The difference being that the real manifolds (well, one of them) as imagined by the mathematicians were ...
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Is there any evidence that Einstein knew of Cliffords speculation on the nature of gravity and electromagnetism?

Around 1870, William Clifford published a short note in The Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society describing all forces as an aspect of the curvature of space. This is the basis of ...
4 votes
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Did Einstein know about Laplace's query into whether gravity is instantaneous?

Here it states, In 1776, Laplace published a memoir in which he first explored the possible influences of a purported luminiferous ether or of a law of gravitation that did not act instantaneously. ...
4 votes
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Einstein visited former teacher/professor who thought he wanted to borrow money: who might that have been?

I am not sure in what bio I read this but it was not a new bio -- not Isaacson, for example. The anecdote was simply that he wanted to see an old professor/teacher (as many of us I think might do if ...
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First paper introducing the concept of four-vectors

I'm trying to find the first paper in which the concept of four-vectors was introduced. I read "Principle of Relativity" by H. Minkowski but he only presents the notion of metric and invariant space-...
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What is the source of Einstein's quote "spooky action at a distance"? [duplicate]

Einstein's attribution of 'spooky action at a distance' to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is obviously in wide use as a quote. However, I've been googling the issue for a while and ...
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Does "Einstein's Light clock" really belong to Einstein?

Although I cannot find the related Q/A, I remember that someone here notified me that the so-called Einstein's light clock was first introduced by Max von Laue or someone but Einstein. Does anybody ...
2 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between Einstein's and Boltzmann's definitions of probability?

In the Einstein's 1905 paper on light quanta, he wrote the following about Boltzmann's notion of probability: The word probability is used in a sense that does not confirm to its definition as it ...
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Why did no one else, except Einstein, work on developing General Relativity between 1905-1915?

Einstein dedicated his time between 1905-1915 to develop general relativity (GR). It seems strange to me that no other physicists attempted to tackle this problem in this ten-year period. After all, ...
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When were white holes theorised?

It seems to me that once black holes were theorised then the obvious singularity at its centre - though only ratified after Hawking and Penrose's singularity theorems - one would have to ask where the ...
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Einstein's handwritten manuscript on General Relativity

The book "The Road to Relativity" by Gutfreund and Renn annotates Einstein's original handwritten manuscript from 1916 - "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity." I can ...
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How did the "Wheel of Theodorus" become known as the "Wheel of Einstein"?

I've desperately searched the Internet, to no avail, to find a citation of how the "Wheel of Theodorus" became known as the "Wheel of Einstein" as claimed by Wikipedia and Wolfram.