Yale scientist sheds fresh light on Einstein

Oct 02, 2013 by Eric Gershon
Yale scientist sheds fresh light on Einstein

Albert Einstein's celebrated genius may be underappreciated, according to a new book by Yale physicist A. Douglas Stone: The father of relativity theory deserves far more credit than he gets for his insights into quantum theory.

"I estimate that his contributions to quantum theory would have been worthy of four Nobel Prizes if different scientists had done them, compared to the one that he received," says Stone, author of "Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian" (Princeton University Press).

Einstein ultimately rejected quantum theory's inherent randomness and uncertainty. Yet, asserts Stone, "A careful examination of the historical record shows that Einstein was responsible for more of the fundamental new concepts of (quantum theory) than any other single scientist. This is arguably his greatest scientific legacy, despite his fame for Relativity Theory."

A professor of and physics at Yale and an expert in , Stone wrote "Einstein and the Quantum" after realizing that a relatively obscure 1917 paper by Einstein offered powerful insights into Stone's own 21st-century research in quantum systems.

"The joke was on us," Stone gamely admits in the introduction.

"For the first time in a long while, I found myself thinking, 'Wow, this man really was a genius,'" he writes. "…This experience piqued my interest in the actual history of Einstein and , and as I delved into the subject I came to a stunning realization. It was Einstein who had introduced almost all the revolutionary ideas…"

Intended for general readers, "Einstein and the Quantum" blends physics, biography, and history of science to tell a story that upends the conventional view of one of humankind's most celebrated intellects.

A. Douglas Stone is chair of Yale's Department of Applied Physics and the Carl A. Morse Professor of Applied Physics and Physics.

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John1948
1 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2013
I must confess to being pig ignorant on quantum physics, but the prof. seems to be saying that Einstein virtually invented it, and later concluded that the whole thing had to be fatally flawed (though he never managed to prove it). Certainly makes you wonder whether the physics community is barking up a gum tree.

On the other hand, there are things it manages to predict (so I'm told) ...
vacuum-mechanics
1.3 / 5 (14) Oct 02, 2013
Einstein ultimately rejected quantum theory's inherent randomness and uncertainty. Yet, asserts Stone, "A careful examination of the historical record shows that Einstein was responsible for more of the fundamental new concepts of (quantum theory) than any other single scientist. This is arguably his greatest scientific legacy, despite his fame for Relativity Theory."


Even in quantum entanglement case, it seems that Einstein hidden variable concept look more reasonable ….
http://www.vacuum...19〈=en

no fate
4.6 / 5 (10) Oct 02, 2013
Einstein's insights and intuition were unparalleled. His understanding of the field/energy relationship, actually pretty much everything was so far ahead of his time. He would be a scary man with what he could gleen from the information we'd have the abilty to supply him with today.

@Vacuum - Do you ever just post because an article intrigues you or is every article an opportunity to link to your TOE?

Perhaps you should check out Einstein's definition of insanity.
jsdarkdestruction
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 02, 2013
seems more like a rah rah pep rally for the new book than an article here. I was hoping for at least a tiny bit of insight into it than 'I was reading a paper and realized Einstein was a genius again". the book sounds interesting but no sale here. you missed your chance to get me hooked and buying the book. badly.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 03, 2013
but the prof. seems to be saying that Einstein virtually invented it, and later concluded that the whole thing had to be fatally flawed (though he never managed to prove it).

Not quite as strong. He didn't invent it, but took the few things known at the time and ran with them - producing new results an gaining new insights. However, at one point those insights ran up against a fundamental belief of his: The belief that the world is, at its core, is cause-and-effect governed - i.e. fully deterministic. In this Einstein is a product of his time.

He was a scientist in order to understand the universe, totally. And then this work led him to the conclusion that he (and nobody) can't do so.
Doug_Huffman
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 03, 2013
Perhaps you should check out Einstein's definition of insanity.
Variously misattributed to figures also including Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain. The earliest known occurrence, and probable origin, is from a 1981 text from Narcotics Anonymous.
JohnGee
1 / 5 (5) Oct 04, 2013
Narcotics Anonymous.
Aha, that explains your incoherent ramblings.
frank_shore_9
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2013
Einstein won his Nobel Prize not for his discovery of the theory of relativity but his discovery of Quantum Mechanics. Einstein used quantum mechanics to explain the photoelectric effect.

Einstein was right about quantum mechanics not being truely random. Most cosmologists today including Stephen Hawking accept Hugh Everett's Many Worlds version of QM.

Einstein never said quantum mechanics was wrong. He simply did not accept the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.

But Einstein's greatest contribution to physics has yet to be recognized. Einstein and Minkowski were right with their belief that time is a fourth spatial dimension. They proposed the universe is an eternal, unchanging block. They were not aware of inflation. In actuality the universe is a hypersphere or a hypertorus that with a very wide side and a very narrow side. Human consciousness creates the illusion of motion. We are all time travelers. We all travel into the "future" at a constant rate.
frank_shore_9
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2013
Hugh Everett's Many Worlds version of QM is 100% deterministic. The wave function "psi" never collapses.

When we take measurements we create a frustum of the universe. All measurements are lies. Measurements create a single movie frame. Point particles are really segments (world-lines) in time.

According to Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking particles in some real sense are spread-out in space-time. Particles are never completely inside a black hole.