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Whats the big deal about Einstien?

  1. Apr 9, 2007 #1
    Einstien was a brilliant scientist and he made great advances in our understanding of the world around us. His theories are works of beauty (what I understand of them anyway), but other than that, what really is the big deal?

    There are documentaries on his life. He had the kind of celebrity status most celebs themselves dont have. People dissect his life and discuss the way he farted and tell eachother how brilliant it was. Is it just me or is the Einstien brand name just blown out of proportion?
     
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  3. Apr 9, 2007 #2

    radou

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    This is the funniest question I've ever heard.
     
  4. Apr 9, 2007 #3

    arildno

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    What other names should Einstein's be proportional to? :smile:
     
  5. Apr 9, 2007 #4
    It's all in the hair.
     
  6. Apr 9, 2007 #5

    radou

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    And the moustache.
     
  7. Apr 9, 2007 #6
    dont forget the pipe.

    all these are the properties of a great man
     
  8. Apr 9, 2007 #7

    russ_watters

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    Yes, he was a little of a cult-of-personality, but then he did publish three papers in one year, all of which could have won him a Nobel Prize.
     
  9. Apr 9, 2007 #8

    arildno

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    However, his production in 1904 wasn't that impressive. :smile:
     
  10. Apr 9, 2007 #9
    Indeed, i guess that pretty much says it all.

    marlon
     
  11. Apr 9, 2007 #10
    Why would you ask such a question? Go complain about Madonna or Tom Cruise or somebody. Einstein revolutionized our understanding of time, space, gravity and helped invent quantum mechanics. Isn't that enough? Good grief!
     
  12. Apr 9, 2007 #11

    arildno

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    More people have had the hots for Madonna or Tom Cruise, though.
     
  13. Apr 9, 2007 #12
    There is no way to predict who will capture the public imagination. Einstein's name was not that well known outside of the scientific community until 1919 when a photograph was taken of the sun during an eclipse. This photograph was taken at his suggestion and provided strong evidence for his theory of gravitation. Public reaction to an article by Eddington made Einstein into a celebrity. It has no meaning in the world of physics. Einstein is honored in the scientific community for his tremendous contributions, not for his personality. For himself, he was not entirely pleased with his status as celebrity.
     
  14. Apr 9, 2007 #13
    The OP is entitled to ask any question he wants without having to explain him/herself. You do not need to be getting this emotional.

    This is a typical answer. Ohh, go complain about Tom Cruise etc etc... Well, what you say here is rubbish. The people you just named bring a lot of joy to the worlds of their fans. Some people, when feeling bad or down, rely on listening to music, watching movies etc to feel better. They are NOT going to study general relativity. People do NOT care and it is a fact that Einstein's work has not such a clear link to everyday life !

    I am not trying to diminish Einstein or "upgrade" any celebrity to the Einstein intellectual level, but you are comparing thwo very different things here.

    Personally, i love listening to the music of Mozart. He is, at least for me, a far more useful genius than Einstein will EVER be. You DO need to realise that NOT everybody likes science (in fact that majority of people dislike it) and most people just do not give a damn. That is their right and you have no justified angry reaction for that. Sorry...

    marlon
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  15. Apr 9, 2007 #14

    arildno

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    However, marlon, it SHOULD be more generally appreciated how powerfully, in mostly a BENIGN way, that science&rationality has shaped our lives.

    I won't start a long, bothersome list, but:

    1. It cannot be doubted that the most powerful impetus to organized thinking over SOCIAL affairs in the Enlightenment was by way of analogy to the stunning achievements of rational thinking in the sciences:
    Newton's work had an immense psychological effect in that if he were able to predict the motion of the heavens just by reflecting rationally upon it, how much could be gained by starting to think rationally over societal affairs?
    In particular, since no truly rational argument has ever been launched as to why one particular group of humans are entitled to more rights than any others, why should we accept any society built upon such a division?

    2. The industrial yield of our present day world are unimaginably larger than that of previous societies. We are all wallowing in luxury, and have therefore the..luxury..to let our thoughts dwell on what we would like to have in our life, rather than develop a cunning for getting by day by day.
    This yield increase is totally dependent on the scientific&engineering communities from the 19th centuries onwards.


    What IS bothersome, is that many people believe do not think science affect their tiny lives, that it is something they might live equally well without.
    Whereas I agree with you that there are no reasons why everyone should study the sciences personally, we are certainly on firm ground when critisizing others for belittling science, and not showing it the respect it deserves.
     
  16. Apr 9, 2007 #15
    Einstein may be a well-known name, and some people might even know what he looked like, or maybe his equation E=mc^2...but how many people have actually read any of his works, or studied any of his ideas, beyond maybe a high school physics class? Not very many. We all know the name of Thomas Edison as well, but no one knows about Tesla...just because "Einstein" is a known famous guy, doesn't mean that he's any big deal to most people in the world, much less our country.
     
  17. Apr 9, 2007 #16
    I compared the achievements of one famous person with those of two famous people of today. Fair comparison I think- in examining what makes people famous and how they earned that fame.

    You claim that the OP is entitled to ask any question he wants and yet my reaction is not justified and what I say is rubbish? Double standard.

    There is a useful argument to be had about the nature of fame, and whether Einstein's image has become misappropriated and commercialized and iconified. However, anyone who suggests that Einstein wasn't one of the most important physicists in history is either ignorant or malicious.

    In this regard, it's worth noting that almost all attacks on Einstein's legacy have come from people who have some kind of religious grudge against a Jew overturning Christian doctrine that teaches we are at the center of the universe and reality. In short- anti-semitic attacks.

    It seems that the OP is probably ignorant rather than malicious. In that case I suggest she/he at least read the Wikipedia entry on Einstein before coming to PF to start a thread about whether he's overrated or not.
     
  18. Apr 9, 2007 #17
    Not at all. THAT is my point. You are comparing two different fields here. Again, to the many Tom Cruise fans (which easily outnumber the many Einstein fans) this guy has quite some positive influence onto their life. That is quite an achievement if you would ask me. No one on this forum will EVER achieve that. Don't belittle those people just because what they do is not "intellectual".

    Saying that your reaction is rubbish IMO is not the same as saying "you are not allowed to say that". I explained why i thought that way, this is NOT something you did. Why can't i react to your words the way i want to ?

    Double standard.

    The OP did not say that Einstein was unimportant to physics. Read the post man, you are blinded by emotions of insult.

    :rofl:
    Are you accusing the OP of anti-semitism ?

    No no, that argument is way too easy. People have a right to question EVERYTHING. I would say YOU are the one following the "church doctrine" here.
    Double standard.

    No, the OP can ask ANY question he wants that respects PF Guidelines. There is no violation against the rules of this forum so, YOU need to back off.

    It is a simple as that. Sorry...

    marlon
     
  19. Apr 9, 2007 #18
    Absolutely. I don't think i said anything that contradicts to your words.

    Well, people thinkinh that are just plain wrong. But, who cares ? I mean, 99.9 % of the people in Newton's days did not care as well. It does not make any difference, IMO. Science is not candy, it is not easily accessible. One needs to study it and that takes time. I would say it is quite normal that most people feel that way about science. it has always been like that and it will remain to be so. Why should we worry over that ?

    I fear the moment where the majority of the people wants "to do science". That is absolute horror. All those "aspiring geniuses" wanting their opinions implemented in science ? C'mon, that is NOT what science needs. It needs 1 genius like Newton and not 1000.000 mediocre scientists like most of us (with college degrees).

    marlon
     
  20. Apr 9, 2007 #19

    arildno

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    Well, I certainly would think it ghastly if everyone tried to get a job as a scientist.

    I think, and I also believe you would agree that it would have been nice if more people became sufficiently interested in science so they studied it in their spare time, as any other cultural pursuit. To indulge in a number theory theorem isn't after all that more reprehensible than listening to an opera by Mozart. I don't think that is going to happen in a while, though.


    However, in contrast to the people at Newton's time who had no reasons whatsoever to be grateful to a Cambridge man's esoteric speculations, EVERY SINGLE ONE individual in today's West are deeply indebted to the achievements of science. His present day life is totally depending upon it, rather than on his own "natural" cleverness.
    Now, to develop a culture where such a justified respect for the sciences would come out gradually isn't too dogmatic a wish, is it?
     
  21. Apr 9, 2007 #20
    Why are there only two ways about it? Ignorant or malicious? There have been several scientists before Einstien whose works were just as important to the advancement of our understanding of the world that we live in, however, they are not household names.

    Why should their contributions be less important than his? Most people who know of Nicolas Tesla, do so through popular video games like Red Alert (tesla coils), and even then they dont connect that name to a scientist.

    Hold on there tiger, you need to get your head on straight. Just because we question Einstien's celebrity status doesnt make us anti-semitic. And how the hell are they related anyway? I thought science crossed all national and cultural boundaries, where the color of your skin or your religion doesnt matter. You countering that?

    No. Definately not. Im an aspiring engeneering student living in this century. Its kinda hard NOT to hear about relativity.
     
  22. Apr 9, 2007 #21

    Chi Meson

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    Guys. Click http://www.fireextinguisher.com/intro.html" [Broken].

    In MANy cases, where people have "dissed" Einstein, it has been crackpottery, and anti-semitism, and sometimes a strange strain of Teslamania. It gets irritating to feel required to defend Einstein, especially after doing some serious studying of his works. Questioning Einstein itself does not idicate any of these elements, but to the defenders of Einstein a lot af past baggage is immediately dredged up.

    The OP, by the nature the question, has indicated that he has not yet studied SR and GR. If you were to study them, you would begin (just begin) to understand how amazing Einstein had to be to come up with it. It is difficult. So difficult that it can NOT be explained to the general public; this is why so many people spend too muchtime talking about the simpler peripherals. Perhaps ignorance is too strong word for being unaware of the significance.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  23. Apr 9, 2007 #22
    To the above.

    The observation that attacks on Einstein have been generally the result of anti-semitism is a historical fact as far as I'm aware. The trend continues to this day.

    If you want to criticize an aspect of Einstein's theories then go ahead, but general carping about Einstein being overrated is pretty pointless and shows quite some ignorance.

    It has been my experience that the better people understand Einstein's work, the more in awe they are. Find me one serious professor who teaches general relativity who doesn't appreciate Einstein's genius.

    And let's be clear. People on this board who belittle Einstein as overrated are more likely to be ignorant than anti-semites. As I said, that's easily corrected. Head on over to Wikipedia and educate yourselves.
     
  24. Apr 9, 2007 #23
    Thanks. You put it well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  25. Apr 9, 2007 #24

    Evo

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    I think Chi's post sums things up nicely and is a good place to end the thread.
     
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