Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

No, says a physicist who won an award for pointing Einsteins mistake.

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Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#1  Postby cavarka9 » Jul 25, 2011 10:18 pm

Ok, I have been taught that relativity was Einsteins creation(he discovered it), It turns out that I was wrong, it isnt all that naive, the formulae, were supposed to have been done before Einsteins paper. So it seems he was credited for the physical intuition of it, as far as general relativity and minkowshi-space are concerned, once again, it isnt all that clear as to what was the weight of contributions Einstein has made over others that it is related to him. Also Hibert too was there.

But here is a physicist who has won an award by pointing out a mistake in Einstein's work,He claims that it was poincare who was the true originator of relativity and that Einstein took it to be his.There are a lot of other issues where this guy comes out to be nutty, but his arguments at times are critical.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO-AuJy5tF8[/youtube]


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpIW587FrPA[/youtube]


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93PVVX_TigU[/youtube]

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

He ends by claiming that he hence discovered the use of functional differential equations for relativity and not ode relativity as it comes about naturally, was stated by michael atiyah during a centennial lecture of Einsteins relativity without giving the credit and also published in American Mathematical Society, which after a concerted protest was eventually acknowledged although without apology.

http://www.ams.org/notices/200704/commentary-web.pdf (second page)
In simple, a genius with bitterness to the west. Not to mention, his thesis that calculus came to Europe from India was plaigarised before being established that is.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/11443656/Two- ... ansmission
All in all a bad experience by a bitter person with a certain eccentricity to say the least.



But he is right about the thing that Einstein never understood it. Because I remember reading from Feynman's book "surely you are joking Mr Feynman" that in chapter "monster minds", they do talk about advanced and delayed causation.Something feynman gives his seminar on, pauli disagrees and einstein claims he doesnt know how to incorporate it into his gravitational theory.
But poincare, as ck raju claims understood it.

http://bernard-bel.over-blog.com/articl ... 24091.html
watch till the end, there are bunch of ads between.

Your views skeptics?.

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/100 ... 3176v1.pdf -Michael Atiyah's another paper on the same topic and I am proud to see him quote the fifth reference of RP.Feymans thesis(I am proud to have recollected it and guessed it without understanding in detail what they are :grin: ).
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#2  Postby epepke » Jul 25, 2011 10:40 pm

We need a lolcat for "stupid, hackneyed drivel is stupid and hackneyed."
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#3  Postby cavarka9 » Jul 25, 2011 10:52 pm

epepke wrote:We need a lolcat for "stupid, hackneyed drivel is stupid and hackneyed."


sorry to inform you but this is for the people who can actually go and look, meaning: go find things for your self exercise!.

Einstein ofcourse was great but the idea of him being the biggest of 20th century physicists and that he alone figured out relativity from scratch is simply not true. Paul Dirac and Henry Poincare for example were mathematically beyond most humans and Einstein was human compared to them.
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#4  Postby cavarka9 » Jul 25, 2011 11:18 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheeler%E2 ... ber_theory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propagator ... propagator

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propagator ... propagator
I think it his(Feynman) doctoral thesis has to do with these. These are beyond me for a few years atleast(hopefully).
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#5  Postby epepke » Jul 25, 2011 11:25 pm

cavarka9 wrote:
epepke wrote:We need a lolcat for "stupid, hackneyed drivel is stupid and hackneyed."


sorry to inform you but this is for the people who can actually go and look, meaning: go find things for your self exercise!.


Wheee! It's not anybody's fault that your education was so poor that you think that Einstein discovered relativity and are therefore susceptible to all sorts of fashionable nonsense.

Einstein ofcourse was great but the idea of him being the biggest of 20th century physicists and that he alone figured out relativity from scratch is simply not true. Paul Dirac and Henry Poincare for example were mathematically beyond most humans and Einstein was human compared to them.


Well,

1) The principle of relativity was discovered by Galileo. Heard of him? The guy with the telescope and the Catholics?
2) Relativity was implicit in Newtonian physics.
3) The wave theory of light, in conjunction with the supposed "luminiferous aether" put Galilean relativity into question.
4) Certain experiments, such as the Michelson-Morley experiments, gave the null hypothesis against an absolute universe and seemed to support relativity.
5) Lorentz came up with some math, which is simple high-school stuff, which made the Michelson-Morley experiment work with an absolute universe, based on the idea that matter was compressed by the aether when it traveled through it. So did Fitzgerald.
6) Lorentz later came up with some math, which is also simple high-school stuff, that incorporated time into his equations. These became the Lorentz transformations, though at this point they were purely ad hoc. Everybody, including Einstein, gives Lorentz credit. That is why they are called the "Lorentz transformations." Get it?
7) Poincaré made a much better statement of the principle of relativity than Galileo did. He is credited for this, too.
8) Einstein came up with a theory that showed how things would work without referring to the Luminiferous Aether at all. It's very simple high-school stuff, and you only need to understand what a right triangle is and the Pythagorean theorem to grasp it.

Apparently, your poor education did not include much of this.

That's not all that Einstein did. He also came up with General Relativity, which incorporates acceleration of all sorts of kinds and gravity into relativity. It is, on one side, an extremely simple theory. It's also very hard to solve and work out. He used the help of a lot of people, including Hilbert and Emmy Noether (who was probably not covered in your education either) on some of the details. That was truly amazing, especially as observations confirmed it's modeling of the precession of Mercury and gravitation lensing (which is off by a factor of 2 from Galilean/Newtonian concepts).

None of this is due to Einstein's math whiz skills. Unlike what you may have been taught, he was very good at math. Hilbert was better in some regards, though three of his conjectures were pretty easily dispatched by Gödel, Turing and Church.

What we respect Einstein for was not his math skills. It was his insights. Math skills are a dime a dozen. Penetrating insight is not, and that's what we remember him for.

I'm not going to go into other things your poor education hasn't prepared you for. There doesn't seem to be much point.
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#6  Postby Peter Brown » Jul 25, 2011 11:54 pm

I think the way science works, it’s the first to publish who gets the worlds credit, but usually it turns out others had the same thoughts but just get the research published first. That’s the way it goes, but respect I think should be given to every original thinker even if they were unlucky to get published second.

When I was young (aged 12), it wasn’t relativity that made Einstein great, but the fact he was working in a patent office when he started coming up with these ideas. It may be just part of the myth, but to me it said any anyone could be a genius, and have a truly original thought. That for me was the true legacy of Einstein: anyone could, not just me (Einstein), even you.
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#7  Postby klazmon » Jul 26, 2011 12:20 am

It's a good idea for the OP to read Einstein's paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" and compare how lucid Einstein's reasoning is. That's why a submission from an unknown patent clerk was accepted for publication in a prestigious physics journal. Here is an English translation:

http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/

Cranks need not apply.
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#8  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 26, 2011 12:34 am

We all stand on the shoulders of our predecessors. Mathematicians had been challenging the notion of Euclidean geometry as descriptive of space for some centuries.
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#9  Postby cavarka9 » Jul 26, 2011 12:36 am

epepke wrote:
cavarka9 wrote:
epepke wrote:We need a lolcat for "stupid, hackneyed drivel is stupid and hackneyed."


sorry to inform you but this is for the people who can actually go and look, meaning: go find things for your self exercise!.


Wheee! It's not anybody's fault that your education was so poor that you think that Einstein discovered relativity and are therefore susceptible to all sorts of fashionable nonsense.

Einstein ofcourse was great but the idea of him being the biggest of 20th century physicists and that he alone figured out relativity from scratch is simply not true. Paul Dirac and Henry Poincare for example were mathematically beyond most humans and Einstein was human compared to them.


Well,

1) The principle of relativity was discovered by Galileo. Heard of him? The guy with the telescope and the Catholics?
2) Relativity was implicit in Newtonian physics.
3) The wave theory of light, in conjunction with the supposed "luminiferous aether" put Galilean relativity into question.
4) Certain experiments, such as the Michelson-Morley experiments, gave the null hypothesis against an absolute universe and seemed to support relativity.
5) Lorentz came up with some math, which is simple high-school stuff, which made the Michelson-Morley experiment work with an absolute universe, based on the idea that matter was compressed by the aether when it traveled through it. So did Fitzgerald.
6) Lorentz later came up with some math, which is also simple high-school stuff, that incorporated time into his equations. These became the Lorentz transformations, though at this point they were purely ad hoc. Everybody, including Einstein, gives Lorentz credit. That is why they are called the "Lorentz transformations." Get it?
7) Poincaré made a much better statement of the principle of relativity than Galileo did. He is credited for this, too.
8) Einstein came up with a theory that showed how things would work without referring to the Luminiferous Aether at all. It's very simple high-school stuff, and you only need to understand what a right triangle is and the Pythagorean theorem to grasp it.

Apparently, your poor education did not include much of this.

That's not all that Einstein did. He also came up with General Relativity, which incorporates acceleration of all sorts of kinds and gravity into relativity. It is, on one side, an extremely simple theory. It's also very hard to solve and work out. He used the help of a lot of people, including Hilbert and Emmy Noether (who was probably not covered in your education either) on some of the details. That was truly amazing, especially as observations confirmed it's modeling of the precession of Mercury and gravitation lensing (which is off by a factor of 2 from Galilean/Newtonian concepts).

None of this is due to Einstein's math whiz skills. Unlike what you may have been taught, he was very good at math. Hilbert was better in some regards, though three of his conjectures were pretty easily dispatched by Gödel, Turing and Church.

What we respect Einstein for was not his math skills. It was his insights. Math skills are a dime a dozen. Penetrating insight is not, and that's what we remember him for.

I'm not going to go into other things your poor education hasn't prepared you for. There doesn't seem to be much point.


My education as poor as it is, still enables me enough to see atleast certain "facts" better than those who have got a better education. Newtonian physics was based on absolute time and it is with respect to this that the issue of principle of relativity truly begins.(As far as Galileo goes, why just stop there, why not go further back and you will discover someone called aryabhatta discussing an example much the same as galileo- a person travelling in a boat in a river will observe as thought it is the world the moves).
Michealson morley experiment was done to check which theory of ether was true -fresnel or Stoke. It being about velocity of light is something which came much later. Infact it couldnt because there was no definition of newtonian clock by that time.
If you cannot see that, then it really isnt my worth. As far as Mr Einstein goes, to me, he was a great physicist from the few works I did read about him not merely related to relativity or general relativity in which his contributions were very important but also to statistical mechanics, origins of quantum mechanics, lasers, giving the idea of the origins of probability amplitude to max born and not least for his bose-einstein statistics and giving acknowledgement to a very strange idea of "matter waves".
But he did miss a few tricks, Mr CK Raju might have irritated you much, so dont go taking that on me, Mr CK Raju inspite of his assumptions did find something useful from his investigations from the other pioneer, Henri Poincare, which is functional differential equations. Something which feynman was alluding to in his doctoral thesis. As Michael atiyah gave a reference to such a work.
As far as the issue of priority of work is concerned, I desist for making it as Einstein himself has acknowledged lorentz and poincare which makes it a moot point to debate on because they didnt fight on it.Also, one must read Einsteins words addressed to Hilbert on this very issue. There is enough literature on it.
And before you go on about lorentz high school transformations, read poincare's correspondence with lorentz.
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#10  Postby cavarka9 » Jul 26, 2011 12:42 am

klazmon wrote:It's a good idea for the OP to read Einstein's paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" and compare how lucid Einstein's reasoning is. That's why a submission from an unknown patent clerk was accepted for publication in a prestigious physics journal. Here is an English translation:

http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/

Cranks need not apply.


Actually I do have that. The issue is not so much to me about Einstein as some have assumed it to be the case, I am humble enough to see a giant. The issue is about the other giant and what he had to say and it is here that mr Raju's work comes into play, he saw that poincare wasnt merely talking about ODE's. Now that is what I appreciate.
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#11  Postby Bribase » Jul 26, 2011 12:56 am

:popcorn:
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#12  Postby The Plc » Jul 26, 2011 12:58 am

He was an imaginative genius who mustered his deep knowledge of theoretical physics, work ethic, physical intuition, integrative vision, determination and courage to make several astounding insights and develop them into the remarkably brilliant and successful scientific theories that have gifted humanity. He never worked in a vacuum though, and this has never been a secret, even in his own time. Nor was he a god. The anecdote about him not understanding or having an answer to a particular problem in his day says little. Most Physics graduate students these days understand Relativity and Quantum theory far better than he ever did. Most Physics students studying Quantum theory would probably wipe the floor with even Dirac or Feynman.

Incidentally, some contemporary physicists even regard Einstein as something as a visionary when it came to his ambivalence towards the ultra-empiricist formulation of Quantum Mechanics; an attitude that is regarded, without reserve, as something of a tragedy or embarrassment. Physicists such as Leonard Susskind and Ed Witten, for example. While strict Newtonian determinism is probably (lol) gone forever, a more fundamental theory of Quantum Mechanics should be background-independent in the same way General Relativity is.
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#13  Postby cavarka9 » Jul 26, 2011 1:08 am

The Plc wrote:He was an imaginative genius who mustered his deep knowledge of theoretical physics, work ethic, physical intuition, integrative vision, determination and courage to make several astounding insights and develop them into the remarkably brilliant and successful scientific theories that have gifted humanity. He never worked in a vacuum though, and this has never been a secret, even in his own time. Nor was he a god. The anecdote about him not understanding or having an answer to a particular problem in his day says little. Most Physics graduate students these days understand Relativity and Quantum theory far better than he ever did. Most Physics students studying Quantum theory would probably wipe the floor with even Dirac or Feynman.

Incidentally, some contemporary physicists even regard Einstein as something as a visionary when it came to his ambivalence towards the ultra-empiricist formulation of Quantum Mechanics; an attitude that is regarded, without reserve, as something of a tragedy or embarrassment. Physicists such as Leonard Susskind and Ed Witten, for example. While strict Newtonian determinism is probably (lol) gone forever, a more fundamental theory of Quantum Mechanics should be background-independent in the same way General Relativity is.


True, true. What I am pointing to is functional differential equations which seem to be important as I hear and the fact that poincare is supposed to have guessed at that is brilliant. I am planning to learn that.
Also nothing makes people read like a controversial statement does isnt it?. :naughty2:
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#14  Postby rEvolutionist » Jul 26, 2011 2:07 am

epepke wrote:
cavarka9 wrote:
epepke wrote:We need a lolcat for "stupid, hackneyed drivel is stupid and hackneyed."


sorry to inform you but this is for the people who can actually go and look, meaning: go find things for your self exercise!.


Wheee! It's not anybody's fault that your education was so poor that you think that Einstein discovered relativity and are therefore susceptible to all sorts of fashionable nonsense.


:this:
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#15  Postby cavarka9 » Jul 26, 2011 2:29 am

rEvolutionist wrote:
epepke wrote:
cavarka9 wrote:

sorry to inform you but this is for the people who can actually go and look, meaning: go find things for your self exercise!.


Wheee! It's not anybody's fault that your education was so poor that you think that Einstein discovered relativity and are therefore susceptible to all sorts of fashionable nonsense.


:this:

It seems that people here cannot read, nor can they go down to see what the conclusion was about.


Ok, I have been taught that relativity was Einsteins creation(he discovered it), It turns out that I was wrong, it isnt all that naive, the formulae, were supposed to have been done before Einsteins paper. So it seems he was credited for the physical intuition of it, as far as general relativity and minkowshi-space are concerned, once again, it isnt all that clear as to what was the weight of contributions Einstein has made over others that it is related to him. Also Hibert too was there.


Perhaps people need to realize that relativity is introduced in high school to begin with down here with einsteins postulates, I have well past that, along the way I did hear about lorentz,poincare and others. So do not in your tiny little mind assume that I did not know of the origins of relativity and that it is this video which dawned light on me as some would assume(considering that we already had a thread on ether displacement where I pointed out about michleson-morlay expt not being abt light, implying Lorentz. Not to mention enough physik discussions which most kids do engage in. And as far as I remember they still call it lorentz equations and not Einsteins equations.
http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post9 ... on#p921191
), but thats what attention span problem is about, I however do agree that I might have made it tough to get through to the end.
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#16  Postby cavarka9 » Jul 26, 2011 3:03 am

Before we go further on this as I am sure that many would go on, here is the bloody issue before some random guy or girl jumps down and blurts as they please. what the f+=*& is functional differential equations which mr ck raju is alluding to, and so he claims of also Poincare with regard to the same relativity, not to mention michael atiyah. How does that connect to Feynmans thesis. Is it possible that such a view could be true, if so what are their implications.
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/100 ... 3176v1.pdf
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#17  Postby twistor59 » Jul 26, 2011 7:17 am

cavarka9 wrote:Before we go further on this as I am sure that many would go on, here is the bloody issue before some random guy or girl jumps down and blurts as they please. what the f+=*& is functional differential equations which mr ck raju is alluding to, and so he claims of also Poincare with regard to the same relativity, not to mention michael atiyah. How does that connect to Feynmans thesis. Is it possible that such a view could be true, if so what are their implications.
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/100 ... 3176v1.pdf


It looks like the authors are just asking a speculative question - "can we get any mileage out of playing with retarded differential equations?", like their example where the time derivative of a physical quantitiy at time t doesn't depend on the value of some function at time t, as it would in most differential equations used in physics, but rather on the value of that function evaluated a bit earlier - i.e at t-r. He brings in the name "functional differential equations" for these, but for me, this term brings to mind something different - i.e. differential equations with functional derivatives in them like the Wheeler de Witt equation, so this is a bit confusing.

I don't see any really strong physical motivation described in the paper. Michael Atiyah is one of the best mathematicians of our age (I was lucky enough to sit in many of his seminars at the Mathematical Institute), but he's not and doesn't claim to be a physicist, although many of his ideas have been crucial in modern mathematical physics (the index theorem, instantons).

On the Einstein question, yes, the Lorentz transformations were around before him, but his genius was to tie it all together with a coherent physical explanation in special relativity. In contrast to Atiyah, Einstein's genius was in physics, not mathematics. He picked up and learned the mathematics as and when he needed it.
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#18  Postby cavarka9 » Jul 26, 2011 1:13 pm

twistor59 wrote:
cavarka9 wrote:Before we go further on this as I am sure that many would go on, here is the bloody issue before some random guy or girl jumps down and blurts as they please. what the f+=*& is functional differential equations which mr ck raju is alluding to, and so he claims of also Poincare with regard to the same relativity, not to mention michael atiyah. How does that connect to Feynmans thesis. Is it possible that such a view could be true, if so what are their implications.
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/100 ... 3176v1.pdf


It looks like the authors are just asking a speculative question - "can we get any mileage out of playing with retarded differential equations?", like their example where the time derivative of a physical quantitiy at time t doesn't depend on the value of some function at time t, as it would in most differential equations used in physics, but rather on the value of that function evaluated a bit earlier - i.e at t-r. He brings in the name "functional differential equations" for these, but for me, this term brings to mind something different - i.e. differential equations with functional derivatives in them like the Wheeler de Witt equation, so this is a bit confusing.

I don't see any really strong physical motivation described in the paper. Michael Atiyah is one of the best mathematicians of our age (I was lucky enough to sit in many of his seminars at the Mathematical Institute), but he's not and doesn't claim to be a physicist, although many of his ideas have been crucial in modern mathematical physics (the index theorem, instantons).

On the Einstein question, yes, the Lorentz transformations were around before him, but his genius was to tie it all together with a coherent physical explanation in special relativity. In contrast to Atiyah, Einstein's genius was in physics, not mathematics. He picked up and learned the mathematics as and when he needed it.


Thanks twistor (and I agree that Einstein brought them with a greater coherence than others,Poincare on the other hand was perhaps a bit too sophisticated to miss out on physics but not by much and it is here that I wish to draw peoples attention to, did he have something more to say?). So, here are some of his arguments and I reject his metaphysics and his command over history and his priority in this dispute and his assumptions of motive, I am on the other hand not sure of physics.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xb39eq ... story_tech
start at 33:35 to escape many other assumptions of the author

His points are

* That ether has 2 ideas attached to it, one has to do with providing an absolute frame of reference and the other has to do with

* Providing a means for contact between separated bodies. (fields are an example he gives).

He claims ascribing it to poincare that "an idea of ether had come about to explain for example, the light when it comes from the stars might have left them years ago and has yet to reach our eye, where was light in between?, where was it located?, hence it had to be supported and ether was meant to give the material agency so to speak hence ether was the explanation given).
This implies that we are making a statement of physics, we are making a statement of mathematics of physics, that we must do physics on the bsis of ODE's, where we are determining the state of system in future by its state in the present. i.e. we are doing it based on the immediate instantaneous preceding state and NOT ON THE STATE MILLION YEARS AGO.This being the critical point, for if we reject ether then we must claim that light stated a million years ago, for how do we say that light was present just ahead of our eye a hundredth of a second ago".
It is here that ck raju claims that "poincare understood what einstein supposedly did not. That were we to reject ether in this sense, then we cannot go by ODE, that is the state in the preceding state but also on much older states;the systems would satisfy the equations of finite difference.The aether was invented to escape the breaking down of laws of general mechanics. Or functional differential equations as the author claims or state depended delay equations as some others call them."


Also, to a lot of others out here, presentation of others arguments is not advocating for their points of view. It is about discussing the merits and de-merits of those points and where do they lead them for me atleast as I find no pleasure in criticizing if I learn nothing more than there is. As I have very well pointed out in the OP itself that the said person is bitter and nutty; nonetheless some of his arguments are critical.( most do not have the time to go through it all without reading, but it was a big post with a controversial heading and some wished to get down to it).
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#19  Postby twistor59 » Jul 26, 2011 1:49 pm

cavarka9 wrote:
This implies that we are making a statement of physics, we are making a statement of mathematics of physics, that we must do physics on the bsis of ODE's, where we are determining the state of system in future by its state in the present. i.e. we are doing it based on the immediate instantaneous preceding state and NOT ON THE STATE MILLION YEARS AGO.This being the critical point, for if we reject ether then we must claim that light stated a million years ago, for how do we say that light was present just ahead of our eye a hundredth of a second ago".
It is here that ck raju claims that "poincare understood what einstein supposedly did not. That were we to reject ether in this sense, then we cannot go by ODE, that is the state in the preceding state but also on much older states;the systems would satisfy the equations of finite difference.The aether was invented to escape the breaking down of laws of general mechanics. Or functional differential equations as the author claims or state depended delay equations as some others call them."


What's wrong with Maxwell's equations to describe the propagation of light ? No need to mention an ether...
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Re: Relativity: Was Einstein all that great?.

#20  Postby ramseyoptom » Jul 26, 2011 2:43 pm

And just before we all forget, Einstein's Noble prize was for his papaer on the photoelectric effect which gave a theoretical foundation to Max Plank's ideas on quanta of light. His paper on Brownian Motion confirmed the existance of atoms. With those papers on special relativity and mass-energy equivalance all published in one year.

So i think four ground breaking papers in one year are enough to label anyone a genius, especially when they cover diverse subjects!

He is best remembered for relativity, but that is'nt all he did but it is in the public imagination.
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