Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"I Am No Einstein"

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

Albert Einstein 1921 by F Schmutzer
Ferdinand Schmutzer via Wikimedia Commons

In a previous post I noted that 2015 marks the anniversary of Einstein's theory of general relativity.  The September issue of Scientific American celebrates that achievement.

"Will there be another Einstein?"
A recurring question is whether there will ever be another Einstein. The title of this post is something that Einstein once said about himself. He was self-effacing, to be sure.  The quote that always comes to mind is "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." This combined with being smart about physics and persistent led to groundbreaking (perhaps cosmos breaking) contributions to physics.

For the September issue John Horgan "dusted off an essay" he had written for the New York Times a decade ago.  It is titled "Why there Will Never Be Another Einstein." His answer in short is "no" and he discusses why he thinks so.

Horgan adds an addendum to his essay in which physicist (string theorist) Brian Greene, in the same issue, offers his take on whether there could be another Einstein.  His answer is "yes" but it has a provocative twist.  An audio interview with Brian Greene on this question may be found on The Take Away with John Hockenberry.

No comments:

Post a Comment