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Quaintly Ignorant
74415.  Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:03 am Reply with quote

Einstein invented the atomic bomb.

Obviously, it is well known that he did not play much of a part in the evolution of atomic weaponry except a note to Roosevelt during the war with Germany expressing how it would be disastrous to the free world if Hitler were allowed to realise this new destructive force before the allies did. Beyond that, and the development of the underlying theory of energy and mass equivalency (E=MC2) he played very little part, perhaps becasue of his German heritage or his philosophical disposition.

Einstein invented the Automatic Door.

Not so. In 1905 his work on the photoelectric effect was published which eventually earned him the nobel prize (1921 I think). To surmise the photoelctric effect I can simply say that light falling on a metal can cause electrons to be emitted from the metal. Expanding on Planck's quantum idea, Einstein proposed that the energy in the light was not spread uniformly throughout the beam of light. Rather, the energy of the light is contained in "packets" or quanta (the plural of quantum, a single "packet"). The term photon that we use today is used to describe this phenomena. Like the atomic bomb, he was responisible for the underlying theory but had little to do with the actual development. It is interesting though that he contributed so much to the ealry days of Quantum theory and then later he would become so disaffected by it.

It was Einstein who, in 1906, described why the sky was blue in his paper on the phenomenon of critical opalescence.

Einstein was perhaps not the first to refer to time as the fourth dimension, H.G Wells had already done so in his aptly named novel, The Time Machine.

Einstein and student Leó Szilárd co-invented a unique type of refrigerator (usually called the Einstein refrigerator) in 1926.[15] On November 11, 1930, U.S. Patent 1,781,541 was awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd. The patent covered a thermodynamic refrigeration cycle providing cooling with no moving parts, at a constant pressure, with only heat as an input. The refrigeration cycle used ammonia, butane, and water. It was Szilárd's encouragement which prompted Einstein to send the letter about what would later become known as the Manhatten project.

In 1952, the Israeli government proposed to Einstein that he take the post of second president. He declined the offer, and is believed to be the only United States citizen ever to have been offered a position as a foreign head of state.

He developed the special and general theories of relativity and made significant contributions to quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and cosmology.

His dream of unifying his famous relativity theories and quantum mechanics remain unfulfilled to this day

I have no sources to cite as I am at work and am writing this from memory, but it is a fascinating subject with much to talk about.

 
grizzly
74427.  Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:42 am Reply with quote

Here's a QI point about Einstein. He may well have been autistic (as well as Newton) and it could have given rise to his theories on relativity:

Quote:
The monotropic theory suggests why the autistic brain organisation may have allowed various scientific greats - Newton and Einstein are regularly mentioned - to make their imaginative leaps. 'Instead of building up a network of huge numbers of links between shallow points of interest,' says Mike, 'the monotropic brain has fewer links between much deeper interests. That's what makes intellectual breakthroughs possible.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,,1641133,00.html

Quote:
A few years ago, one of Britain's best-known autism specialists, Cambridge University's Simon Baron-Cohen, along with the mathematician Ioan M James, of Oxford University, made scientific headlines by arguing that at least three of the well-known personality traits of Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton - fanatical personal interests, difficulty in social relationships, and profound communication problems - suggested that these men were autistic. Elsewhere, Baron-Cohen has made much of academia, with its emphasis on narrow, even obsessional fixations, providing a natural resting place for other "high-functioning" individuals with the condition's traits.


The specific form of autism is believed to be aspergers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2988647.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3766697.stm

 
suze
74432.  Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:01 am Reply with quote

Totally by-the-by, that expert on autism whom you mention. Isn't he Ali G's uncle?

 
Flash
74433.  Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:02 am Reply with quote

This seems to verge on the autistic: I was playing a game called Taboo with Mrs Flash and others. The idea is to get your team-mates to guess the word on your card, without using various taboo words. In this case the word the ladies' team had to convey was "Einstein", and they weren't allowed to say "E=mc2", "relativity", etc. So one of the ladies said "invented the lightbulb" and the other ladies all said, as one lady, "Einstein".

We had to give them the point, but it didn't seem proper, somehow.

 
samivel
74449.  Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:49 am Reply with quote

lol

 
samivel
74451.  Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:55 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Totally by-the-by, that expert on autism whom you mention. Isn't he Ali G's uncle?



According to Wikipedia, Simon and Sacha Baron-Cohen are cousins.

 
suze
74452.  Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:58 am Reply with quote

Thanks samivel.

I'll let you guys get back to the German/Swiss/American/Citizen of the World/whatever he was guy.

 
Me
76148.  Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:04 am Reply with quote

Another prominent and important Einstein invention:

Quote:
Einstein had 'big-hair' long before Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin did.

--------------------------------------------------------Me

 
Twopints
76953.  Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:34 pm Reply with quote

Einstein once declared that his second greatest idea after the theory of relativity was to add an egg while cooking soup in order to produce a soft-boiled egg without having an extra pot to wash.

 
Feroluce
77069.  Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:52 am Reply with quote

Didn't Einstein have an eccentric wardrobe?

He had ten identical sets of clothes so that he wouldn't have to think about what to wear.

 
Morkris
78054.  Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:07 pm Reply with quote

Einstien also invented the gas powered fridge. Using a flame to make things colder, make relativity look everyday

 
djgordy
78060.  Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:34 pm Reply with quote

Feroluce wrote:
Didn't Einstein have an eccentric wardrobe?

He had ten identical sets of clothes so that he wouldn't have to think about what to wear.


Ludwig Wittgenstein apparantly had the same meals everyday so that he wouldn't have to spend time writing a shopping list. (I mention this now in case QI doesn't get to the 'W" series.)

 
Jenny
79995.  Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:15 pm Reply with quote

I came across some wonderful quotes from Albert Einstein today:

Quote:
"A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe'; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."


Quote:
The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.




Quote:
There exists a passion for comprehension, just as there exists a passion for music. That passion is rather common in children, but gets lost in most people later on. Without this passion, there would be neither mathematics nor natural science. Time and again the passion for understanding has led to the illusion that man is able to comprehend the objective world rationally, by pure thought, without any empirical foundations—in short, by metaphysics. I believe that every true theorist is a kind of tamed metaphysicist, no matter how pure a `positivist' he may fancy himself. The metaphysicist believes that the logically simple is also the real. The tamed metaphysicist believes that not all that is logically simple is embodied in experienced reality, but that the totality of all sensory experience can be `comprehended' on the basis of a conceptual system built on premises of great simplicity. The skeptic will say that this is a `miracle creed.' Admittedly so, but it is a miracle creed which has been borne out to an amazing extent by the development of science.



Quote:
Something general will have to be said... about the points of view from which physical theories may be analyzed critically... The first point of view is obvious: the theory must not contradict empirical facts... The second point of view is not concerned with the relationship to the observations but with the premises of the theory itself, with what may briefly but vaguely be characterized as the `naturalness' or `logical simplicity' of the premises (the basic concepts and the relations between these)... We prize a theory more highly if, from the logical standpoint, it does not involve an arbitrary choice among theories that are equivalent and possess analogous structures... I must confess herewith that I cannot at this point, and perhaps not at all, replace these hints by more precise definitions. I believe, however, that a sharper formulation would be possible."



Quote:

Physics constitutes a logical system of thought which is in a state of evolution, whose basis cannot be distilled, as it were, from experience by an inductive method, but can only be arrived at by free invention... Evolution is proceeding in the direction of increased simplicity of the logical basis. In order further to approach this goal, we must resign to the fact that the logical basis departs more and more from the facts of experience, and that the path of our thought from the fundamental basis to those derived propositions, which correlate with sense experiences, becomes continually harder and longer.




Quote:
The aim of science is, on the one hand, a comprehension, as complete as possible, of the connection between the sense experiences in their totality, and, on the other hand, the accomplishment of this aim by the use of a minimum of primary concepts and relations. (Seeking as far as possible, logical unity in the world picture, i.e., paucity in logical elements.)



Quote:

"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both natural and spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual and a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism."


Quote:


"The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe."



Quote:

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."



Quote:


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."


And this is my favourite:

Quote:

A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

 
Quaintly Ignorant
80012.  Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:22 am Reply with quote

Einstein way with words is what lead a lot of people to fall in love with him and his theories, leaving aside their astounding genius, of course. Gems like:

Quote:
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe


Quote:
Logics will get you from A to B, Imagination will take you everywhere.


Quote:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.


Quote:
My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.


Quote:
It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.


Quote:
Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.


Quote:
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.




He said loads


Quote:
God does not play dice with the universe - Albert Einstein

Stop telling God what to do - Niels Bohr

 
swot
80068.  Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:59 am Reply with quote

I saw a documentary about Mozart a while ago and it suggested that he might have had Asperger's, as well as OCD and Tourettes.

Quote:
On a lighter note, fictional characters said to display characteristics of those with Asperger's include Mr Spock, Lisa Simpson, Mr Bean and Cliff from Cheers.


What's the opinion on House then? Autistic or just an arse? And I reckon Roy Cropper's due an interesting storyline.

 

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