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Author Topic: Would someone else have reached Einstein's conclusions?  (Read 1212 times)

Offline thedoc

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Paul Young asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dear Naked Scientists

Just wondering if Einstein had never been born, would some other genius have come up with the theories that Einstein is famous for?

Would that have happened quite quickly or would science still be waiting for that 1 in 100 year genius to come up with his theories ie how far back would science have been pushed without Einstein

Thanks for a great show

Paul Young
Woldingham Surrey
UK

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 14/07/2012 03:30:01 by _system »


 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Would someone else have reached Einstein's conclusions?
« Reply #1 on: 14/07/2012 19:22:52 »
The advancement of science is not just the work of one genius but the accumalated knowlege of many, occasionaly one thinker will pull together the work of many others but very few theories are ever completely origonal.
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Would someone else have reached Einstein's conclusions?
« Reply #2 on: 15/07/2012 12:54:00 »
I don't know. His ideas leads to very strange conclusions, and I think most of us find them as hard to digest today as they were when he first presented them :) As Syhprum points out no ideas exist without something to eh, 'stand on' but the conclusions you get from relativity?

They are hard to digest, maybe even harder than QM. QM builds on us expecting a logic to reality, like some 'chain' of action and reaction, in where 'probability' becomes the definition of the logic. On a theoretical plane, mathematically, that makes sense and somehow becomes comforting but with relativity you get almost all of the reality we think us perceive questioned. He made some incredible logical 'jumps' and changed the way we see the world.

But probably we might have gone there, maybe :) But not the way he did.
=

You can also express it so that what he did question time and 'distance' and so our senses direct definitions of reality, whereas QM treats a plane not directly discernible to us, well, generally seen, although you can argue that point if you like.
« Last Edit: 15/07/2012 13:00:04 by yor_on »
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Would someone else have reached Einstein's conclusions?
« Reply #3 on: 15/07/2012 13:21:27 »
The really important point Einsteins Relativity makes is that we might be wrong in expecting action and reaction, and causality chains, to be what defines reality. A causality chain is a construct of the arrow of time we perceive. We built our logic from that one, expecting a arrow. Without a arrow giving us a past, present and a future, logical chains of 'happenings', whether defined by probability, or as we normally do, from the older Newtonian point of view only must be limited truths.

And that's what I personally expect to be true. The blueprints are there, but they describe only those parts of the design that we can discern.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Would someone else have reached Einstein's conclusions?
« Reply #4 on: 15/07/2012 15:31:40 »
I think Einstein's claims to genius lays in his explanation of the photoelectric effect, there is little original in Special relativity which is only the drawing together of well understood effects.
General relativity is another matter it seems to create more problems than it solves despite being a colossal intellectual achievement
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Would someone else have reached Einstein's conclusions?
« Reply #5 on: 15/07/2012 16:55:26 »
Syhprum, I doubt Einstein ever saw himself as a genius :)
He most probably just loved physics, and wanted to understand as much about the world as he could. We can all do remarkable feats if sufficiently motivated, and I guess that's what he thought too. He was no recluse, isolated from the rest of the world, although I presume he found it nice to be able to think in peace.
 

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Re: Would someone else have reached Einstein's conclusions?
« Reply #5 on: 15/07/2012 16:55:26 »

 

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