A Heretic in the Temple of Saint Albert

I admit it. I’m a huge fan of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (the parts that I can understand). These ideas from the beginning of the 20th century are so beautiful! Mass-energy equivalence, the speed of light, reference frames, length contraction, time dilation, gravitational space-time curvature, relativity of simultaneity, the Twin Paradox etc. How can you not fall in love with Albert’s mind-blowing elegant ideas?

- Heretic: "But for the last decades we keep on failing merging The Theory of Relativity with Quantum Physics to one unified set of equations. The physicists’ Holy Grail, ‘Quantum Gravity’, ‘The Grand Unified Theory’, ‘The Theory of Everything’ still eludes us."

- Priest: "Damn! Umm… ok, got an idea! Let’s just use one set of equations to describe the very large like cars, planes, stars, galaxies, and a different set to describe the very small like sub-atomic particles. Don’t give me that look, I know what you’re thinking, but surely Einstein can’t possibly be wrong, right?"

- Heretic: "But the mass of the observable matter in the universe is too small to explain its structure and behavior."

- Priest: "Damn! Umm… ok, got an idea! Let’s just invent something with some mysterious name like… umm… dark matter or something, a hypothetical matter of unknown composition that does not emit or reflect enough electromagnetic radiation to be observed directly. Don’t give me that look again, you know Einstein can’t be wrong."

- Heretic: "But the universe is accelerating outwards instead of slowing down like you would expect because of the 'gravity pull' between the galaxies."

- Priest: "Damn! Umm… ok, got an idea! Let’s just invent another something with some another mysterious name like… umm… dark energy or something, a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe. Enough with the look already! I’m telling you, Einstein can’t be wrong!"

- Heretic: "Should we stop searching for awkward workarounds for all the things that don’t conform to The Theory of Relativity, just because we don’t want to believe Saint Albert could have been wrong? Should we start questioning Einstein? Should we admit we still don’t understand simple gravity?"

- Priest: "Pray 'E=MC2' three times a day and you'll be forgiven for your heresy."

p.s. Violins have 4 strings, guitars have 6. Damn! Could have been a musician if I didn’t have 5 fingers.


voodooKobra said...

That's an interesting take.

I always criticized his model of gravity of the large ball pulling the sheet closer to the ground further than the small one.

That's demonstrating that gravity pulls things down, not inward.

A better explanation: Assume the universe was caused by a freak accident and matter is unstable. Because it's unstable, it is constantly pulling in and destroying spacetime (but there's unlimited spacetime so it's okay) at a fixed rate.

Tatiana said...

Einstein might have been wrong, or not totally correct, so there is nothing wrong with questioning him and his theories. Admitting that we don't understand gravity will bring us steps ahead in the search for different answers. After all -Questioning is what makes us go forward in every direction we chose to take. And maybe he was light years ahead of us and this is why we are not able to comprehend everything he was trying to convey. Here, maybe 10 - 20 years from now we will finally comprehend the simplicity of gravity according to him :)

Oh, on an other note, I cannot leave my usual signature on Blogger blogs no more, and have to leave comments while logged with my google or blogger ID, which totally sucks as I do not use any of these. Can you change that Uri, so that I can leave comments with Tatiana ?

Uri Kalish said...

Hmmm… that is an interesting theory.

True, let’s agree to wait for a decade or two.

BTW, regarding the comment signing issue: It was changed automatically a few days ago for all Blogger (blogspot) based blogs, in order to minimize spamming. It has it’s pro and cons, but since there’s nothing I can do about it anyway, we’ll just have to wait and see how the blogosphere reacts to this change.

Ric Vil Hori said...

Grins (widely) :)

Homar Murillo said...

Well, according to Deep Thought (Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy), the ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. But the ultimate question was lost in the 7 million years of calculations. Unfortunately, the Vogons has demolished the one computer that could calculate the ultimate question.

Bob Johnson said...

So true, we are definitely missing something. I love this stuff, looking for the missing link is exciting, the math we know of to date seems to works for Einstein's stuff so that is where the mainstream is now, wouldn't surprise me at all if there is stuff going on behind the scenes funded by heretical special interest groups that are looking for new and different ways to explain why things behave the way they do, ie QMs, that stuff is just freaky.

Notebook of Rudimentary Cryptology said...

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Anonymous said...

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FriedClyde said...

awesome stuff on your blog, a lovely family as well, god bless!

Sherril said...

I've tagged you for the 7 Random Things Meme... http://theiciexperience.blogspot.com/2007/12/chronic-monday-seven-random-things-meme.html

Anonymous said...

HA! I think you're right. It has become more of a religion then a science. Blindly following the sacred scriptures of long ago, of the holy man who would deliver us from ignorance. To speak against him is blasphemy and to preach against his teachings is to remove your rights to wear his T-Shirt.
Possibly the worst possible end to any scientific theory would be to elevate it to such grandiose status and allow it to cloud the purity of vision required for meaningful science.

Tomas Karkalas said...

I must admit it too. I know very little about "Mass-energy equivalence, the speed of light, relativity of simultaneity, the Twin Paradox etc", but I’m a huge fan of yours. The way you are writing as informs as refreshes and thus the viewing of your blog just captures me. Thank you.

BillyWarhol said...

well said*

I understand String Theory now!



Uri Kalish said...


Ellis Nadler said...

well,you left out string theories and multiverses as attempts to make things fit!

Uri Kalish said...

String theory has been struggling for many years, and is still incomplete and has yet made a single experimentally verified prediction that differs from those made by other theories. I believe most physicists are beginning to think this theory is a failure.

Multiverse is valid when seeking a solution to a problem in a plot of a sci-fi movie, but cannot be classified as a serious scientific theory.

M. Imbelecio Delatorre said...

hehe, "pijama!!" . i love your blog. ops, i steal your einstein saint picture...

greetings from Spain.


Falls-Down-Laughing said...

I am so happy to have fallen on this blog! Finally, some intelligent writing! Saint Albert hehehe yeah, he was quite an inspiring fellow. Slightly quasi-off topic, I remember a cartoon rendition of him being asked if the universe was infinite - the cartoon Einstein answered, "It is infinite, and it is outfinite.... THAT, is definite".

P.S. - 24 beers in a case.... 24 hours in a day.... coincidence?? I think not ^_~

- Falls-Down-Laughing ^_^

gfish said...

You have a point here. That point is that the reverence given to The Theory of Relativity is excessive and it's being stretched to do too much. After all, it was never designed to explain the expansion of the cosmos, simply how energy and matter interact and what effect they have on the space around them. Expansions, contractions and so on just aren't things that are included in the theory.

Personally, I've always been a fan of the theory that holds Big Bang to be a sort of hyper-nova like event which happens throughout the infinite cosmos. That tends to remove inflation, monopoles and all the other weird stuff we want to find but can't.

Falls-Down-Laughing said...

It seems to me that you would make for a marvelous alchemist - that is to say, the type with a firm eye towards the scientific... though perhaps a spiritual person, not allowing such to cloud your logic.

By the way, that's an awesome picture of Einstein! ahahahaha ^_~

Alex said...

Can Albert's theory be wrong yes by definition a theory is allowed to be wrong, even an incorrect theory can be more useful and accurate than a more incorrect theory,if we can't think of something better , more accurate, more all encompassing I think einstein would be pissed. We should definitely question his theories and other prominent theories but only if we have something better to offer.

Kuday said...

The better we understand the universe the better models we need. Someday later, we may not need to modify Einstein's field equations again. But that doesn't mean he was wrong.

By the way, Grand Saso neutrino observation was problematic due to their gprs systems. There is no faster-than-light particle yet again.