© 2016 by Charles D. Jones


December 2, 2015

Many thanks to the kind sender of “The Economist” magazine from my Amazon Wish List. I love the British un-politicized view of the US and eagerly read it each week here at Bastrop FSC, just like I did before I came. The most recent week was certainly no exception. There was a great article on Albert Einstein whose general theory of relativity was published on December 2, 1915, one hundred years ago today.


The general theory built on Einstein’s first theory of relativity, developed ten years earlier, which determined that time and space were not absolute. In short, someone measuring objects going different speeds would get different answers when measuring distance and time. To put it another way, the faster I travel, the slower my watch moves, compared to someone not going as fast. It’s E=mc2.


Noted physicist Max Planck wrote him in 1913 saying, “I must advise you against it, for in the first place you will not succeed, and even if you succeed, no one will believe you.” Nice advice Max.

The general theory of relativity was later used by physicist Stephen Hawking and mathematician Roger Primrose to formulate how black holes could be used to describe the Big Bang, giving us our first scientific description of creation itself. Even ideas like “wormholes” connecting distant parts of the galaxy and “closed time-like curves” that could make it possible to travel into the past, theories creatively used in the movie “Interstellar”, owed a huge debt to the general theory of relativity. Hawking wrote, “The Einstein equations of general relativity are his best epitaph and memorial. They should last as long as the universe.


My dream dinner, preferably not at the Chow Hall here, would include Einstein and his friend, psychiatrist Carl Jung. I would mostly listen, but would certainly thank Einstein for showing me that the faster I go here, the faster time goes on the outside. That’s knowledge I can use.

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