Einstein's theory of relativity on display for first time

March 7, 2010 by Gavin Rabinowitz
Employees prepare an exhibition showcasing the original manuscript of Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity at the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Jerusalem. In a darkened room in Jerusalem, the world was given a rare glimpse Sunday into the mind of Albert Einstein as he worked to unlock the secrets of the universe.

In a darkened room in Jerusalem, the world was given a rare glimpse Sunday into the mind of Albert Einstein as he worked to unlock the secrets of the universe.

The display of 46 pages, each handwritten by the famed scientist, marks the first time the complete, original manuscript of his landmark "General Theory of Relativity" has been presented in public.

The exhibit, which opened on Sunday night, forms part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities and coincides with Einstein's birthday on March 14.

Like a shrine to science, the pages form a rectangle in the centre of an otherwise barren room, each one encapsulated in its own pine casing and illuminated by the faintest of light, to preserve the fragile paper.

"It speaks for itself and it is exhibited like a work of art," said curator Hanoch Gutfreund, struggling to contain the emotion evoked by the work.

Page after page is filled with Einstein's spidery handwriting and the mathematical formulas. Parts are underlined, others crossed out and rewritten as he strove to perfect what Gutfreund called his "most important intellectual achievement."

"One can almost look over Einstein's shoulder while he was at work," he said. "The comments that are added to numerous pages shed light on Einstein's basic ideas, the challenges he faced and the difficulties he encountered."

Written in Einstein's home in Berlin in 1916 and donated to Jerusalem's Hebrew University during its inauguration in 1925, the document redefined mankind's understanding of the fabric of our existence -- space, time and gravity.

"It is the basis of our understanding of the universe, it is the basis of modern research in cosmology, the structure of the universe and the expansion of the universe," Gutfreund told AFP.

To preserve the document and prevent the paper and ink from decaying, the pages have been displayed in a specially darkened room, with carefully controlled humidity and temperature, said Timna Elper, head of the laboratory for preserving and restoring documents at the National Library of Israel.

"This is the first time we are displaying the whole thing. Some pages have been displayed in the past but not the whole document," she said as she monitored the exhibit on a computer screen, the picture filmed with special night-vision cameras.

Curators would only agree to a three-week display of the priceless document, which was transported to the academy in an armoured truck from its repository at the national library.

The work revolutionised scientists' understanding of the universe and underpinned a century of major discoveries by theorising, among other things, that the flow of time was affected by the force of gravity.

Clocks will run faster the further they are from a large gravitational source and run slower when closer.

This has practical applications that allowed the development of space-age technologies, including the ability to track the exact paths of satellites and determine our own locations through Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

Gutfreund said the display also served to highlight "the connection between Albert Einstein and the Hebrew University and the Jewish people."

Einstein, who was born in 1879 and won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921 before fleeing Nazi Germany for the US in the 1930s, helped to establish the university during the early days of the British-ruled Palestine mandate.

He later declined an offer to become Israel's president in 1952 but willed all of his papers to the Hebrew University, before his death in 1955 in the United States.

The exhibition runs until March 25.

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3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 07, 2010
"This document is the most important intellectual achievement of Albert Einstein, and it describes our understanding of space, time and gravity," the exhibition's curator Hanoch Gutfreund told AFP"

Bit much there! Certainly these papers are of some historical importance - but physics has gone far beyond Mr. Einstein's beginnings.

Newtons paper were not completely investigated until the 1930s, and somehow we managed to progress without them.

Methinks that Mr. Einstein would have been the last one to want to be deified or even Sainted.
3 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
Einstein would have been the last one to want to be deified or even Sainted
You should learn a bit about his race competition with Hilbert to understand true Einstein's nature. He was surprisingly ambitious.

1 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2010
D. Hilbert had more difficulties due to K. Goedel than due to A. Einstein.
5 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
Einstein did not die in 1976, he died in 1955. Where the heck did 1976 come from?
5 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
Einstein did not die in 1976, he died in 1955. Where the heck did 1976 come from?

Thats what they want you to believe
5 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2010
Einstein did not die in 1976, he died in 1955. Where the heck did 1976 come from?

Good catch, Spinoza ... all those years grinding lenses have been put good utility. -:)
5 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2010
You see, he warped the very fabric of reality, extending his life to a whopping 97!
5 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2010
It's worth to mention that before Einstein there was introduced in 1893 by Oliver Heaviside simpler way to make gravity Lorentz invariant - by using second set of Maxwell equations
which is now used as approximation of GR, but some people argument that in fact it should be the other way (like http://www.mrelat...tdm5.pdf ).
It also naturally unifies with electromagnetism while considering dynamics of local rotations in 4D (5th section of http://arxiv.org/...0.2724v1 )
3 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2010
Einstein did not die in 1976, he died in 1955. Where the heck did 1976 come from?
Google says "..Einstein died on April 18, 1955. It took until 1976 to choose an editor for his papers..."
Mar 08, 2010
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Mar 08, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
5 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2010
"Clocks will run faster the further they are from a large gravitational source and run slower when closer."

Obviously, the difference between time of death reported (1955 and 1976) remains one of proximity to gravitational source.
3 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2010
We can propose many evidences of Aether model, for example:

1) Light energy is spreading in waves through vacuum in the same way, like energy waves through elastic particle environments. It would mean, vacuum is formed by elastic particle environment, too.

2) Helium atoms never freeze at the normal pressure, they're in the eternal movement like pollen grain suspended in particle environment (a "Brownian noise"). It would mean, vacuum is formed by particle environment, too.

3) Short energy waves are dispersing by particle environment under formation of vortex pairs. Whereas short light waves interact with vacuum under formation of particle-antiparticle pairs.

4) Short wavelength light is dispersed by fluctuations of particle environment. Short wavelength gamma radiation is dispersed by CMB noise, which manifest itself as so-called GZK limit...

With such robust evidence string theorists would be happy, while explaining the motivations of their theory.
3 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2010
After all, Aether concept explains existence of strings and branes of string theory itself by model of density fluctuations in hot quivering air: such analogy is literally straightforward here. Why/how such thingies should exist in vacuum without Aether? One could expect, string theorists should be most enthusiastic supporters of Aether model in this connection...
5 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2010
Seneca -

yet again, you strike with nonsensical blather. It's SOOOOO easy to disprove aether wave theory. I went to Zephir's website...your units don't even match up!!!! I found like 3 errors within the first page! Just read up on GR and SR and you'll understand it all - without the silliness of Aether!!! Just STOP your nonsense please!!!!
1 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2010
The whole point is, energy is spreading through particle environment in two dual ways: relativists prefer to consider transversal waves, whereas quantum mechanist's prefer these longitudinal ones.

You're apparently relativist, that's all. I admit, dense aether theory is incredibly silly - but why the hell it was never considered seriously by generations of clever scientists, after then? This is, what makes aether theory tricky - the professional blindness of so many people involved. Now we should reconsider mankind intelligence seriously.

Anyway, can you explain

A) how to disprove luminiferous aether model, if it's so easy for you (frankly I dunno, how to do that - despite I'm thinking about it during last five years).

B) how to explain the fact, massive object is curving space-time around it by gravity?

Please avoid common blurbs about equivalence of gravity field and space-time curvature - we all know about it. My question is, why such thing just happens there.
not rated yet Mar 10, 2010
We should realize, even the general relativity is still Newton gravity dependend - the derivation of metric tensor in Einstein's field equation is using the dependence of potential energy of gravity field to distance from gravity source, which cannot be estimated in other way, then just by using of Newton's gravitational law.

In this way, despite the official postulates used, general relativity is still borrowing gravitational constant and inverse square law from four hundred years old Newton law.
Mar 17, 2010
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