Einstein: From Patent Clerk to International Celebrity

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After two eclipse expeditions confirmed Einstein's theory of general relativity, the scientist became an international celebrity. (The New York Times Archives / Photo Illustration by Shaylyn Esposito)

One Hundred Years Ago, Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity Baffled the Press and the Public

by Dan Falk/Smithsonian.com

When the year 1919 began, Albert Einstein was virtually unknown beyond the world of professional physicists. By year’s end, however, he was a household name around the globe. November 1919 was the month that made Einstein into “Einstein,” the beginning of the former patent clerk’s transformation into an international celebrity.

On November 6, scientists at a joint meeting of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Astronomical Society announced that measurements taken during a total solar eclipse earlier that year supported Einstein’s bold new theory of gravity, known as general relativity. Newspapers enthusiastically picked up the story. “Revolution in Science,” blared the Times of London; “Newtonian Ideas Overthrown.” A few days later, the New York Times weighed in with a six-tiered headline—rare indeed for a science story. “Lights All Askew in the Heavens,” trumpeted the main headline. A bit further down: “Einstein’s Theory Triumphs” and “Stars Not Where They Seemed, or Were Calculated to Be, But Nobody Need Worry.”

The spotlight would remain on Einstein and his seemingly impenetrable theory for the rest of his life. As he remarked to a friend in 1920: “At present every coachman and every waiter argues about whether or not the relativity theory is correct.”

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17 COMMENTS

  1. “Galileo, in full Galileo Galilei, (born February 15, 1564, Pisa [Italy]—died January 8, 1642, Arcetri, near Florence), Italian natural philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who made fundamental contributions to the sciences of motion, astronomy, and strength of materials and to the development of the scientific method.”
    “Sir Isaac Newton PRS (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27 [a]) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author (described in his own day as a ” natural philosopher “) who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time, and a key figure in the scientific revolution.”
    “Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (/ɡaʊs/; German: Gauß [ˈkaʁl ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈɡaʊs] ( listen);[1][2] Latin: Carolus Fridericus Gauss; 30 April 1777 – 23 February 1855) was a German mathematician and physicist who made significant contributions to many fields in mathematics and sciences.[3] Sometimes referred to as the Princeps mathematicorum[4] (Latin for “the foremost of mathematicians”) and “the greatest mathematician since antiquity”, Gauss had an exceptional influence in many fields of mathematics and science, and is ranked among history’s most influential mathematicians.[5]”
    “James Clerk Maxwell FRS FRSE (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish[2][3] scientist in the field of mathematical physics.[4] His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity

    • “James Clerk Maxwell FRS FRSE (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish[2][3] scientist in the field of mathematical physics.[4] His most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon. Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetism have been called the “second great unification in physics” [5] after the first one realised by Isaac Newton.”
      “Albert Einstein (/ˈaɪnstaɪn/ EYEN-styne;[4] German: [ˈalbɛʁt ˈʔaɪnʃtaɪn] ( listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist[5] who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics).[3][6]:274 His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science.[7][8] He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula , which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”.[9] He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”,[10] a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.”

    • “Cavendish experiment, measurement of the force of gravitational attraction between pairs of lead spheres, which allows the calculation of the value of the gravitational constant, G. In Newton’s law of universal gravitation, the attractive force between two objects (F) is equal to G times the product of their masses (m1m2) divided by the square of the distance between them (r2); that is, F = Gm1m2/r2. The experiment was performed in 1797–98 by the English scientist Henry Cavendish. He followed a method prescribed, and used an apparatus built, by his countryman the geologist and astronomer John Michell, who had died in 1793.”
      This law is a classical law valid at relatively low speeds. Einstein sought to extend the law to speeds near the speed of light or about 186,000 miles/sec. The procedure he used to do this is called analytic continuation mathematics. It involves tensor calculus and other advanced mathematical concepts. The results reduce to the gravitational laws of Newton in the low speed limit. The laws still do not include quantization at all. Wouldn’t it be nice if physics today got as much publicity as Einstein got in the last century? Most people hate physics and mathematics and avoid them like the plague.

    • Most people hate physics and math ……most likely because the way in which it is taught, especially by math and science teachers, not by engineers and physicists. It is taught in schools as just another subject required to …ahem….graduate. Maybe one or two kids will do well enough to even apply it.
      However, most people do not have the kind of mental capacity or wired the right way to understand any of it, no matter how hard they try.
      I wanted to go on toward an engineering degree in electronics but realized I could not understand or do the required math for it. LaPlace Transforms do not sound like something I could grasp. To put it simply….I’m lousy at math. Hell, I couldn’t balance a check book.

  2. Einstein was smart, intelligent . . . and combed the catacombs of the patents, and pulled ones that he could . . . well, let’s just say, re-invent upon expiry. They ALL do it. But, dude was thinking ahead with his theoretical observation:

    “At present every coachman and every waiter argues about whether or not the relativity theory is correct.”

    So to the 100th year anniversary of . . . whatever . . . cheers to Einstain?!? Befitting for the occasion, here’s another 20th Century marvel theory, which historians seem to be overlooking. He used his previous theory of insanity AND formulated the : “How Red Herrings Are Manufactured Out of Thin Media Hype: Insanity Relativity Theory 100 Years Hence.”

    With 100 years of testing . . . The coachman and waiter are still talking about his “theory”

    It’s ALL RELATIVE . . .

    Exactly. His. Point.

    This article has proven his theory correct! Alert the media . . . yawn.

  3. Einstein was way over rated. Tesla was even critical of him. For someone who plagiarized other people’s work and got away with it, he did quite well otherwise.
    Sometime ago I read where other physicists went through the equations left on a blackboard in his office and declared them to be rubbish.

    • I totally support you valid and fact comments above. He stole France’s Raymond Poincare works and many others. In addition to Nikola Tesla, you can watch the interview between Mr Keshe and Ms Kerry Cassidy-Project Camelot. At some point in their talks, he called the so-called genius an idiot. Jonas Alexis, VT editor has written a fact checked article I recommend, about how Einstein wanted Germany to be annihilated. Pretty discussing from a so called high scientific figure. But that can be explained that most German scientists such as Walter Gerloch and Ronald Richter, Walter Doneberger, Werhner Von Braun to cite a few were much advanced in their field than he was, especially, Dr Gerloch and Richter. No match, none whatsoever. Tesla dismissed his theory calling it in simple terms: mathematical masturbation with non sense in practice (my words). Tesla and all the Germans were field scientists and hands on testing and creative. Einstein was no such thing. Tesla and the Germans built systems which we still use today. With Einstein’s relativity theory, it is in the non observable science, it is imaginary and above all, no coherent system application had been built upon it. For people in the know, if his work was valid, he would have been classified like many great mind. He and Stephen Hawking works are not classified. So, that should be telling!

  4. “Mysterious Dr X says, Universe is NOT Expanding” > CanadaFreePress(.)com

    As fellow Princeton professor Kurt Godel proved, if the Universe is not expanding, but instead rotating, then there is NO dark energy, NO dark matter and time travel is axiomatic.

    “Federally Funded Frankenscience” > CanadaFreePress(.)com

    • No dark matter!? The I’ve been listening to Art Bell’s “Dark Matter” for nothing.
      “Extra terrestrial radio actually”……..

    • Dark energy, dark matter, anti-matter and all that crap… These are words to foul People like us trying to understand the Universe with our own experience, on the field and looking at the sky and observe phenomenas. These scientists will stick to their model as long as necessary and will not deviate, no matter what until it is time to change it. Any inconsistencies is always explained away with such words, which are not testable, not observable. The same goes on in many fields, including archeology, evolutionism (darwinism) and the climate science….With the latest one, the scam and the scare had been on going to force the people of this planet with a fraud: Carbon tax/trading, nothing else! Climate science is complex as it has many variables. For the MSM scientists under their puppet masters, only CO2-food plant and carbon-basic element of life as we know it is responsible. They explain this away with fraudulent computer simulations for most part, not observable science which can tested and verified. So, reasonable persons like us call this a fraud.

  5. The equation E=mc2 was first published by Olinto De Pretto in 1903, Einstein published this same equation in 1905 with no reference to De Pretto.
    The theory of relativity was published by Hendrik Lorentz and Henri Poincare in 1904 and Einstein published his in 1905 with no reference to Lorentz or Poincare. Most of his previous works were originated by his first wife Maric Mileva and her sources were questionable. Einstein was basically a plagiarist and being in the patent office gave him first contact to any works. This informatin can be found on the net including the timing.

    • Obviously Einstein was a fraudster and could have been legally charged with plagiarism. The years he spent at Princeton produced very little.
      He was also an ardent zionist.
      Quite frankly, I believe he took everybody for a ride.

    • Thanks gents, well said. Not only, he was a zionist but at the end of December 1948, he wrote an open letter in the NYT against the Irgun of Menachem Begin (future Israeli PM) and Stern/Lehi group of Abraham Zetler. That was a few months after the “creation” of that cancer still eating us all: the Zionist entity of Israel. After that letter, he had it coming and he died (?) in strange circumstances. In the meantime, he was a known globalist and his interference in Senator McCarthy’s to rout out the real communist threat in the US (1950-54) was noted by serious researchers. The only thing good with him is his passion and interest in Deism, something I am interested in and feel comfortable with some aspects of it.