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Posts Tagged ‘Einstein’

A 65-year-old letter written by Albert Einstein found in Brazil school

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 2, 2015

The letter was reportedly discovered in a safe at a school in Porto Alegre in the south of the country.

CYPP7D Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Physicist, Portrait

CYPP7D Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Physicist, Portrait

Donna-Bowater_60_1932285jBy , Rio de Janeiro

A letter from Albert Einstein written almost 65 years ago has been discovered in a safe at a Brazilian school, according to reports.

A typed message, with the signature of the physicist and dated June 1951, was addressed to students at Colégio Anchieta in Porto Alegre in the south of the country.

Written in German, it read: “He who knows the happiness of understanding has gained an infallible friend for life. Thinking is to man what flying is to birds. Don’t follow the example of a chicken when you could be a lark.”

The note was authenticated by a legal expert and graphologist, who matched the signature against officially accepted examples of Einstein’s autograph, local media reported.

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‘Dear Einstein, Do Scientists Pray?’ Asks Sixth Grader

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 1, 2014

Einstein On The Porch

“Do scientists pray?”

That’s the question that occupied the thoughts of a sixth-grade Sunday school class at The Riverside Church, and who better to pose it to than one of the best scientific minds of our time, Albert Einstein?

A young girl named Phyllis penned a polite and inquisitive note to the great physicist, and she was probably surprised to receive a considerate reply. The exchange was published in the book “Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein’s Letters to and from Children,” edited by Alice Calaprice.

She wrote:

January 19, 1936 My dear Dr. Einstein,

We have brought up the question: Do scientists pray? in our Sunday school class. It began by asking whether we could believe in both science and religion. We are writing to scientists and other important men to try and have our own question answered.

We will feel greatly honored if you will answer our question: Do scientists pray, and what do they pray for?

We are in the sixth grade, Miss Ellis’s class.

Respectfully yours,

Phyllis Read the rest of this entry »

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Time to Get Real: The Riddle of Perception

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 3, 2013

By Deepak Chopra

Recent research has revealed that birds may migrate by translating the lines of the Earth’s magnetic field into visual information. Their retinas possess magnetic-sensitive cells (cryptochromes) that may do the trick. Bird migration has long been a mystery to science, and this theory can now be added to rival theories about navigation through smell, the sighting of landmarks or following food trails or the movement patterns of the stars, the sun and moon. In fact, it can be argued that bird migration is more closely tied to quantum phenomena than to everyday phenomena. All these theories depend on extrapolating from our sensory experience, yet there is no proof that the world that our brains bring us is the norm.

D ChopraWhen you give a red rose to your beloved on Valentine’s Day, you have every right to say, “I made this for you.” All the qualities that a rose possesses — its velvety texture, its lush red color, even its thorns — are real to us because our perception makes them real. Photons of light have no color, only frequencies and wavelengths. The point of a thorn has no sharpness. The scent of a rose isn’t sweet when seen merely as airborne molecules. The reality of these specific qualities is tied to us. The brain processes electrochemical signals sent from photoreceptors in the eye to “create” the color red. Skin-encapsulated mechanosensory receptors send electrochemical signals that reassure us of a solid “material” world, but the prick of a thorn is created by our brain. Indeed we now know that the brain takes into account a number of factors to choose how much pain to create; varying any one of these factors can affect how prickly the same thorn is.

There is no provable link between “this is what I see” and “this is real.” With a different brain comes a shift of perception, and everything about a rose would change. Roses exist in the world of snails that chew the leaves, aphids that suck the sap, moths that lay eggs in hidden crevices and cats that lurk underneath to wait for a bird to alight. But what these organisms experience is certainly not the rose for Valentine’s Day. As humans we have no conceivable way of entering the perceptual world of those creatures. We can only imagine a link, and then we take our imagined similarities for granted.

Recent research has revealed that birds may migrate by translating the lines of the Earth’s magnetic field into visual information. Their retinas possess magnetic-sensitive cells (cryptochromes) that may do the trick. Bird migration has long been a mystery to science, and this theory can now be added to rival theories about navigation through smell, the sighting of landmarks or following food trails or the movement patterns of the stars, the sun and moon. In fact, it can be argued that bird migration is more closely tied to quantum phenomena than to everyday phenomena. All these theories depend on extrapolating from our sensory experience, yet there is no proof that the world that our brains bring us is the norm. Read the rest of this entry »

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Philosophy v science: which can answer the big questions of life?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 10, 2012

Philosopher Julian Baggini fears that, as we learn more and more about the universe, scientists are becoming increasingly determined to stamp their mark on other disciplines. Here, he challenges theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss over ‘mission creep’ among his peers

By  and 

philosophy science

Does philosophy or science have all the big answers?

Julian Baggini No one who has understood even a fraction of what science has told us about the universe can fail to be in awe of both the cosmos and of science. When physics is compared with the humanities and social sciences, it is easy for the scientists to feel smug and the rest of us to feel somewhat envious. Philosophers in particular can suffer from lab-coat envy. If only our achievements were so clear and indisputable! How wonderful it would be to be free from the duty of constantly justifying the value of your discipline.

However – and I’m sure you could see a “but” coming – I do wonder whether science hasn’t suffered from a little mission creep of late. Not content with having achieved so much, some scientists want to take over the domain of other disciplines.

I don’t feel proprietorial about the problems of philosophy. History has taught us that many philosophical issues can grow up, leave home and live elsewhere. Science was once natural philosophy and psychology sat alongside metaphysics. But there are some issues of human existence that just aren’t scientific. I cannot see how mere facts could ever settle the issue of what is morally right or wrong, for example. Read the rest of this entry »

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Einstein on Science and Religion

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 25, 2012

[Einstein is not only the Greatest Scientist, but also Great saint. We should not hesitate to claim this from his writes up.]

The Meaning of Life

This excerpt is taken from Einstein’s book The World as I See It, p. 1. It is the first essay in the book, and the shortest as well


What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.

Further Words on the Meaning of Life

The following excerpt is taken from Hoffman and Dukas, pp. 26 – 27.


This excerpt is a letter written by Einstein in response to a 19-year-old Rutger’s University student, who had written to Einstein of his despair at seeing no visible purpose to life and no help from religion. In responding to this poignant cry for help, Einstein offered no easy solace, and this very fact must have heartened the student and lightened the lonely burden of his doubts.

Einstein at 1933 Pacifist ConferenceHere is Einstein’s response. It was written in English and sent from Princeton on 3 December 1950, within days of receiving the letter: Read the rest of this entry »

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Einstein was right, neutrino researchers admit

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 11, 2012

by Harumi Ozawa

Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity described the velocity of light as the maximum speed in the cosmos

Enlarge

Picture shows Albert Einstein at a press conference in 1950. A team of scientists who last year suggested neutrinos could travel faster than light conceded Friday that Einstein was right and the sub-atomic particles are — like everything else — bound by the universe’s speed limit.

Scientists on Friday said that an experiment which challenged Einstein’s theory on the speed of light had been flawed and that sub-atomic particles — like everything else — are indeed bound by the universe’s speed limit.

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Researchers working at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) caused a storm last year when they published experimental results showing that neutrinos could out-pace light by some six kilometres (3.7 miles) per second.

The findings threatened to upend modern physics and smash a hole in Albert Einstein’s 1905 theory of special relativity, which described the velocity of light as the maximum speed in the cosmos.

But CERN now says that the earlier results were wrong and faulty kit was to blame.

“Although this result isn’t as exciting as some would have liked, it is what we all expected deep down,” said the centre’s research director Sergio Bertolucci.

“The story captured the public imagination, and has given people the opportunity to see the scientific method in action.

“An unexpected result was put up for scrutiny, thoroughly investigated and resolved in part thanks to collaboration between normally competing experiments. That’s how science moves forward.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Who or What Is God?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 26, 2012

By Peter Baksa, Investigative Journalist/Entreprenuer/Author of ‘The Point of Power’

“The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion, as well as, all serious endeavour. He who never had this experience, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced, there is a something that the mind cannot grasp; whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly; this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious.” — Albert Einstein

The laws of physics have conspired to make collisions of atoms produce plants, trees, animals and humans. In fact, these laws produced collections of atoms that don’t just obey Newton’s laws in a passive way. Some jump, mate, run and think. The laws of physics, working through Darwin’s natural selection, have produced these gigantic collections of apparently purposeful beings who look as though they have been designed. Once Darwin determined how to get complicated, designed beings from the simplest of forms, he gave us an intellectual foothold to begin to see a process that we refer to as evolution. We know since 1859 how this all happens.

Math and science use principle-centered, complex frameworks to describe and understand phenomena on all scales of time and space. Reality, on the other hand, operates at all intervals simultaneously. Our existence, as we see it, is an illusion.

“We are spirit having human experiences not the other way around.”

A starving child, longing for food, has no clock to measure the movement of the sun and the earth around their shared center of mass. Looking down from my high-rise in Chicago I often look over the hundreds of people mulling about on the beach, each existing from a particular point, their own universe if you will. A fly’s eyes have hundreds of different facets. It is able to detect the briefest flickers of movement, perceiving reality under a completely different guise than we humans.The mind of an Alzheimer’s patient cannot use the human construct of time. For such a person, the chronology of existence is broken, living without the element of time or memory to assist in formulating their reality. Time is an illusion, as is space. Read the rest of this entry »

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Einstein Was Right All Along: ‘Faster-Than-Light’ Neutrino Was Product of Error

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 28, 2012

A discovery that could have upended a century of physics research was caused by a loose cable. Phew.
Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
A woman passes behind layers of the world’s largest superconducting solenoid magnet (CMS), at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland on March 22, 2007.

The universe as we know it was saved today. The instrument of its salvation, and that of the very edifice of physics itself? A fiber-optic cable in a GPS receiver at the European Center for Particle Physics (CERN) near Geneva.

The universe was first endangered back in September, when a group of CERN physicists fired a swarm of neutrinos — ghostly particles that don’t give a fig about objects in their path—through a mountain to a receiver beneath Italy’s Apennine Mountains, located 450 miles (724 km) away. Since the mountain might as well not have been there, the neutrinos should have moved at the speed of light the entire way — no slower, and definitely no faster, since, as Albert Einstein pointed out, nothing in the universe can do that.

(MORE: Was Einstein Wrong? A Faster-Than-Light Neutrino May Be Saying Yes)

But according to the Apennine receivers, the neutrinos did go faster — not by much, just by 60 nanoseconds, or .0025% of the time it would have taken a light beam to make the trip. But being a little faster than light is like being a little dead; even a tiny bit changes everything. In this case, what the experiment would have changed is the very foundation of Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which is itself the foundation of more than a century of physics, and fundamental to our entire understanding of the universe. So people were concerned. Read the rest of this entry »

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Einstein Was Right All Along: ‘Faster-Than-Light’ Neutrino Was Product of Error

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 22, 2012

A discovery that could have upended a century of physics research was caused by a loose cable. Phew.
Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images

FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
A woman passes behind layers of the world’s largest superconducting solenoid magnet (CMS), at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland on March 22, 2007.

The universe as we know it was saved today. The instrument of its salvation, and that of the very edifice of physics itself? A fiber-optic cable in a GPS receiver at the European Center for Particle Physics (CERN) near Geneva.

The universe was first endangered back in September, when a group of CERN physicists fired a swarm of neutrinos — ghostly particles that don’t give a fig about objects in their path—through a mountain to a receiver beneath Italy’s Apennine Mountains, located 450 miles (724 km) away. Since the mountain might as well not have been there, the neutrinos should have moved at the speed of light the entire way — no slower, and definitely no faster, since, as Albert Einstein pointed out, nothing in the universe can do that. Read the rest of this entry »

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This video explains the end of the wolrd in 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 13, 2012

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Einstein on God

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 22, 2012

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The Greatest Speech Ever Made

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 5, 2011

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Studies of Universe’s Expansion Win Physics Nobel

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 5, 2011

By 

Three astronomers won the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for discovering that the universe is apparently being blown apart by a mysterious force that cosmologists now call dark energy, a finding that has thrown the fate of the universe and indeed the nature of physics into doubt.

The astronomers are Saul Perlmutter, 52, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley; Brian P. Schmidt, 44, of the Australian National University in Canberra; and Adam G. Riess, 41, of the Space Telescope Science Institute and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“I’m stunned,” Dr. Riess said by e-mail, after learning of his prize by reading about it on The New York Times’s Web site.

The three men led two competing teams of astronomers who were trying to use the exploding stars known as Type 1a supernovae as cosmic lighthouses to limn the expansion of the universe. The goal of both groups was to measure how fast the cosmos, which has been expanding since its fiery birth in the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, was slowing down, and thus to find out if its ultimate fate was to fall back together in what is called a Big Crunch or to drift apart into the darkness.

Instead, the two groups found in 1998 that the expansion of the universe was actually speeding up, a conclusion that nobody would have believed if not for the fact that both sets of scientists wound up with the same answer. It was as if, when you tossed your car keys in the air, instead of coming down, they flew faster and faster to the ceiling. Read the rest of this entry »

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Do neutrinos move faster than the speed of light?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 25, 2011

Has OPERA found superluminal particles?

Can particles travel faster than the speed of light? Most physicists would say an emphatic “no”, invoking Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which forbids superluminal travel. But now physicists working on the OPERA experiment in Italy may have found tantalizing evidence that neutrinos can exceed the speed of light.

The OPERA team fires muon neutrinos from the Super Proton Synchrotron at CERN in Geneva a distance of 730 km under the Alps to a detector in Gran Sasso, Italy. The team studied more than 15,000 neutrino events and found that they indicate that the neutrinos travel at a velocity 20 parts per million above the speed of light.

Simple measurement

The principle of the measurement is simple – the physicists know the distance travelled and the time it takes, which gives the velocity. These parameters were measured using GPS, atomic clocks and other instruments, which gave the distance between source and detector to within 20 cm and the time to within 10 ns.

This is not the first time that a neutrino experiment has glimpsed superluminal speeds. In 2007 the MINOS experiment in the US looked at 473 neutrons that travelled from Fermilab near Chicago to a detector in northern Minnesota. MINOS physicists reported speeds similar to that seen by OPERA, but their experimental uncertainties were much larger. According to the OPERA researchers, their measurement of the neutrino velocity is 10 times better than previous neutrino accelerator experiments. Read the rest of this entry »

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Opinion: Einstein the realist

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 19, 2011

Einstein’s ‘biggest blunder’, his proposal that the universe is not static, was a step towards discovering dark matter.
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It was recently discovered that the universe’s expansion is accelerating, not slowing, as was previously thought. Light from distant exploding stars revealed that an unknown force (dubbed “dark energy”) more than outweighs gravity on cosmological scales.Unexpected by researchers, such a force had nevertheless been predicted in 1915 by a modification that Albert Einstein proposed to his own theory of gravity, the general theory of relativity. But he later dropped the modification, known as the “cosmological term”, calling it the “biggest blunder” of his life.

So the headlines proclaim: “Einstein was right after all”, as though scientists should be compared as one would clairvoyants: Who is distinguished from the common herd by knowing the unknowable – such as the outcome of experiments that have yet to be conceived, let alone conducted? Who, with hindsight, has prophesied correctly?

But science is not a competition between scientists; it is a contest of ideas – namely, explanations of what is out there in reality, how it behaves, and why. These explanations are initially tested not by experiment but by criteria of reason, logic, applicability, and uniqueness at solving the mysteries of nature that they address. Predictions are used to test only the tiny minority of explanations that survive these criteria.

The story of why Einstein proposed the cosmological term, why he dropped it, and why cosmologists today have reintroduced it illustrates this process. Einstein sought to avoid the implication of unmodified general relativity that the universe cannot be static – that it can expand (slowing down, against its own gravity), collapse, or be instantaneously at rest, but that it cannot hang unsupported. Read the rest of this entry »

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