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Einstein's Lost Model of the Universe Discovered 'Hiding In Plain Sight'

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the fluxity-should-be-a-word dept.

Space 118

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Dick Ahlstrom reports that Irish researchers have discovered a previously unknown model of the universe written in 1931 by physicist Albert Einstein that had been misfiled and effectively "lost" until its discovery last August while researchers been searching through a collection of Einstein's papers put online by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "I was looking through drafts, but then slowly realised it was a draft of something very different," says Dr O'Raifeartaigh. "I nearly fell off my chair. It was hidden in perfect plain sight. This particular manuscript was misfiled as a draft of something else." Read more, below."In his paper, radically different from his previously known models of the universe, Einstein speculated the expanding universe could remain unchanged and in a " steady state" because new matter was being continuously created from space. "It is what Einstein is attempting to do that would surprise most historians, because nobody had known this idea. It was later proposed by Fred Hoyle in 1948 and became controversial in the 1950s, the steady state model of the cosmos," says O'Raifeartaigh. Hoyle argued that space could be expanding eternally and keeping a roughly constant density. It could do this by continually adding new matter, with elementary particles spontaneously popping up from space. Particles would then coalesce to form galaxies and stars, and these would appear at just the right rate to take up the extra room created by the expansion of space. Hoyle's Universe was always infinite, so its size did not change as it expanded. It was in a 'steady state'. "This finding confirms that Hoyle was not a crank," says Simon Mitton. "If only Hoyle had known, he would certainly have used it to punch his opponents." Although Hoyle's model was eventually ruled out by astronomical observations, it was at least mathematically consistent, tweaking the equations of Einstein's general theory of relativity to provide a possible mechanism for the spontaneous generation of matter. Einstein's paper attracted no attention because Einstein abandoned it after he spotted a mistake and then didn't publish it but the fact that Einstein experimented with the steady-state concept demonstrates Einstein's continued resistance to the idea of a Big Bang, which he at first found "abominable", even though other theoreticians had shown it to be a natural consequence of his general theory of relativity."

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which he at first found "abominable", (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434099)

Einstein was not particularly good at embracing all of the consequences of his own work. He was firmly opposed to quantum theory, "Gott würfelt nicht!" (God does not throw dice) even though his Nobel prize for physics was actually for quantum theoretic work (figuring out the frequency of light quants I think) rather than his theories of relativity.

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (2)

bhagwad (1426855) | about 10 months ago | (#46434145)

Hoist by his own petard :p

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (2, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 10 months ago | (#46435725)

He also abhorred the violent creation of the Israeli nation, and was actively anti-Zionist.

Yet his work has been captured by the Hebrew University, and is used to glorify a nation who's creation he saw as tragic, and who's establishment he repudiated.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/01/einstein-on-palestine-and-zionism/ [dissidentvoice.org]
 

On the Fred Jerome book (1)

tinkerton (199273) | about 10 months ago | (#46436329)

I doubt if Einstein would have called himself anti-zionist because the meaning of zionism was a bit wider in those days. It's just that his strain of zionism has very little relation to Israel as we know it because he was not a nationalist and certainly not in favor of an ethnocracy.
But I think you could say he was a cultural zionist.

Re: On the Fred Jerome book (2)

Jeffrey Schall (3568831) | about 10 months ago | (#46436915)

Agreed. I've never heard that he was Anti-Israel. Source, please? He was offered the first presidency of Israel, but declined because he felt he would not make a good politician. Nothing about being opposed to Israel.

Re: On the Fred Jerome book (1)

tinkerton (199273) | about 10 months ago | (#46438617)

Nothing about being opposed to Israel.

Maybe you should read Jerome's book then.
http://www.amazon.com/Einstein... [amazon.com]

Re: which he at first found "abominable", (4, Insightful)

jovius (974690) | about 10 months ago | (#46434215)

Depends on dice. The universal constants are not randomly changing at least, so the outcome is based on certain rules.

Re: which he at first found "abominable", (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#46435681)

ugh. universal constants dependent on beta. what could go wrong?

Re: which he at first found "abominable", (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 10 months ago | (#46439143)

The universal constants are not randomly changing

or they all change uniformly, giving the impression, in our referential, that nothing changes.

He knew it had flaws (1)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 10 months ago | (#46434271)

From Wikipedia :

In cosmology, the Steady State theory is a now-obsolete theory and model alternative to the Big Bang theory of the universe's origin (the standard cosmological model).

Einstein probably knew it had flaws. The "steady state" model was later proposed ( 1960's) by Fred Hoyle, Jayant Narlikar and others .

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434283)

BS. When will this canard end? Einstein was absolutely in favor of QT - he just had misgivings with some of its aspects, such as the "spooky action at a distance".

Please stop perpetrating this misinformation. Besides, you yourself are really quite ignorant on both Einstein's contribution and QT.

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (5, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about 10 months ago | (#46436035)

You got something wrong. "Being in favor of QT" is something quite different than "contribution to QT". Albert Einstein always saw QT as some clumsy patch to explain some weird observations (e.g. the non-existance of the ultraviolett catastrophe). He was always believing that QT should and will be replaced with something much more deterministic, more in the lines of the Field Theory he was working on in his later years. Yes, Albert Einstein contributed some important details to QT (the external photoelectric effect, for which he got awarded the Nobel prize, the Bose-Einstein-statistics and even the prediction of the properties of supraconduction). But ironically, at least the last two were created by Albert Einstein partly to show the problems with QT, because it predicted some really counterintuitive results. Albert Einstein was convinced that both would not exist in reality, for him, for him, they were examples of how fundamentally wrong QT must be. The Bose-Einstein-condensate and supraconduction were proven to exist only after Albert Einstein's death. I wonder how he would have reacted if those "monstrosities of the brain" had been created during his lifetime.

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (1)

lazy genes (741633) | about 10 months ago | (#46436491)

The Higgs field would have put a smile on his face. It amazes me that his first wife never got any recognition. It is impossible to do what Einstein did alone. Wondering if Max Plank saw that.

superconductivity was discovered experimentally in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46439601)

And Einstein had nothing to do with it

Re: which he at first found "abominable", (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434291)

Just because it appeares he was incorrect dosent mean he was! Many people still believe that quantum mechanics is not correct, it's just the best we have so far. I wouldn't count ole Einstein out, he had plenty of ideas that later turned out to be correct even though no one thought so a the time, including him.

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434297)

Einstein's Nobel Prize was for his work on The Photo-Electric Effect.

Re: which he at first found "abominable", (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434369)

I think you might want to read the citation from the Nobel Committee. It wasn't just for the photoelectric effect.

Re: which he at first found "abominable", (1)

gmanterry (1141623) | about 10 months ago | (#46435143)

I think you might want to read the citation from the Nobel Committee. It wasn't just for the photoelectric effect.

True, but this is what the Nobel web site says:
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1921 was awarded to Albert Einstein "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect".

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobe... [nobelprize.org]

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434433)

Einstein was not particularly good at embracing all of the consequences of his own work. He was firmly opposed to quantum theory, "Gott würfelt nicht!" (God does not throw dice) even though his Nobel prize for physics was actually for quantum theoretic work (figuring out the frequency of light quants I think) rather than his theories of relativity.

At the time his theory of relativity was not scientifically accepted. Even with Eddington's proof of the bending of light rays caused by the Sun, the result had experimental errors too big to be accepted as a definitive proof of one of relativity's predictions.
It took well into the 1970's to start seeing experimental confirmations of general relativity.

Of course the press of the time had no such qualms (it hasn't changed a lot in almost a century).
After Eddington's expedition, Einstein was universally hailed by the press as the new Isaac Newton.

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (4, Insightful)

Mashdar (876825) | about 10 months ago | (#46434531)

"Stop trying to tell God what to do." -Bohr

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (5, Interesting)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 10 months ago | (#46434959)

"Stop trying to tell God what to do." -Bohr

"Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen." - Hawking

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46435159)

"Einstein would turn over in his grave. Not only does God play dice, the dice are loaded." -Chairman Sheng-ji Yang

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (1)

nikkipolya (718326) | about 10 months ago | (#46434949)

Explaining the Photoelectric effect using the particulate nature of light.

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46435493)

Einstein wasn't nearly the genius he's made out to be. Olinto de Pretto [wikipedia.org] should get some credit at least.

Maxwell did far more with what he had. But then, he wasn't Jewish so he doesn't have an endless media machine hyping his name.

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46437619)

Good lord. It is amazing how much a total global population of 14 million terrifies people so much. Boo!

Does God throw dice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46436231)

But "God does not throw dice", indeed. God (the universe) follows certain rules that allows us to assign probabilities to all possible outcomes of an event before it happens. But the outcome that actually happens is caused by God (the universe), which is infinitely complex. As we cannot account for all factors that influence the outcome at each given event, we resort to statistics.

However, even though Einstein is right, you can also prove him wrong: If God is the universe and we are part of the universe, we are part of God. As we can create and throw dice, it logically follows that God [i]does[/i] throw dice, in fact, as we are part of it. It's an obvious fact that comes from him being omnipotent.

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46436277)

He was firmly opposed to quantum theory, "Gott würfelt nicht!" (God does not throw dice)

That is not an opposing stance to quantum theory, it just disputes randomness as a final explanation of quantum mechanics.
Introducing randomness removes a part of determinism that could be considered fundamental for science as a whole. How can you repeat an experiment if the outcome is random? You may claim that it is only random on the quantum level and that it all becomes deterministic in a macroscopic level.
While Schrodingers cat example was more to indicate the problems introduced by accepting multiple states at once on quantum level it to some extent works on the randomness issue too.
If the state of the particles is non-deterministic, either through randomness or through duality, there are theoretical cases where the distinction of larger parts becomes fuzzy. In Schrodingers example the distinction between life and death is removed, the cat is both alive and dead at the same time. While the problem isn't as big with the introduction of randomness it is still there.
Science needs determinism, otherwise it becomes just another case of "God works in mysterious ways"

Re: which he at first found "abominable", (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 10 months ago | (#46437291)

Every experiment contains randomness, regardless of quantum theory. Engineers call it noise. Statisticians call it unexplained variance. That's why statistics is the language of science. You can still repeat experiments, including quantum experiments, by collecting a large enough sample size and computing the relavent statistics.

Einstein's opposition was against the interpretati (2)

tinkerton (199273) | about 10 months ago | (#46436369)

He was firmly opposed to quantum theory

He was firmly opposed to the non-deterministic interpretation of QM, in the sense that he believed a really fundamental theory should be deterministic. He didn't doubt the predictive power of the theory. I think it's worthwile to make that distinction.

Re:which he at first found "abominable", (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about 10 months ago | (#46438021)

No, it was for his explanation of photoelectric effect.

How big is it? (5, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 10 months ago | (#46434155)

Even a 1 to a million scale model of the universe would be pretty big...

Re:How big is it? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 10 months ago | (#46434163)

Infinity divided by one million is infinity.

Re: How big is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434341)

How much is infinity divided by infinity?

Costs me a calculator each time I try it (1)

Marrow (195242) | about 10 months ago | (#46434491)

:)

Re: How big is it? (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 10 months ago | (#46434993)

How much is infinity divided by infinity?

You know, that makes me wonder... once quantum computers are more common, will programmers have to deal with "divide by infinity error" messages?

Re: How big is it? (1)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | about 10 months ago | (#46435605)

We do it now. What is NaN/NaN? NaN.

Re: How big is it? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46435643)

Batman!

Re: How big is it? (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 10 months ago | (#46435265)

How much is infinity divided by infinity?

42, of course.

Re: How big is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46435511)

Undefined. It's whatever you want it to be in the context of the problem at hand.

Re: How big is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46437895)

You just divided by zero... you know what that means right?!

Re:How big is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434771)

Congratulations, you got the joke!

Re:How big is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434809)

That's why you shouldn't divide by a million, but multiply by the inverse. Duh!

Re:How big is it? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434181)

It got stored compressed and is freely available as 42.zip.

Re:How big is it? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 10 months ago | (#46434201)

Every damn cycle, those stupid Vogons are late.

Re:How big is it? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 10 months ago | (#46434229)

A Vogon is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.

Re:How big is it? (4, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#46434303)

I believe you're confusing Vogons with wizards. Too much pipeweed, Gandalf?

Re:How big is it? (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 10 months ago | (#46435021)

hahahah i know this is a troll...

God would use tar of course.

Re:How big is it? (1)

tusam (1851540) | about 10 months ago | (#46438389)

Given the context I doubt it, since tar itself doesn't do compression.

Re:How big is it? (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about 10 months ago | (#46434245)

Perhaps we are sitting in a scale model of the "real" Universe...

Re:How big is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46435791)

Note to engineers:
The model of the universe is not to scale.

Panspermia (5, Interesting)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 10 months ago | (#46434157)

Another Hoyle cause, panspermia, which urges that the origin of life is so unlikely that a larger event space is needed, so life spreads through the galaxy as microbes once started somewhere, is getting somewhat of a second look. The idea that life may be hoping between planets in the solar system, hitchhiking on meteorites, is gaining adherents. While still a long way from a microbe populated interstellar cloud, or the solution to the statistical problem Hoyle was addressing, this is another echo of the importance of his thinking. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Panspermia (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 10 months ago | (#46434769)

... this is another echo of the importance of [Hoyle's] thinking.

Of course a bad idea doesn't cancel out a good one... But Fred Hoyle was also known for his spectacular misunderstanding [wikipedia.org] of evolution.

Re:Panspermia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46436683)

Let's not forget his vendetta against archeopteryx. His arguments that it was a forgery displayed a deep misunderstanding of how fossils and sedimentary rock work.

Turtles all the way down (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 10 months ago | (#46438425)

That's really what Einstein's paper was about.

It made me think.. (1)

js3 (319268) | about 10 months ago | (#46434191)

could a really smart ant model the entire earth?

Re:It made me think.. (2)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 10 months ago | (#46434205)

Consider a spherical dirtball.

Re:It made me think.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434415)

Send us you photo... it'll be close enough.

Re:It made me think.. (1)

gtall (79522) | about 10 months ago | (#46434275)

Sure, Atom Ant would have no problem doing it.

Re:It made me think.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434281)

could a really smart ant model the entire earth?

Without extensions, no. With certain extensions, ANT may become turing complete, then yes.

Re:It made me think.. (2)

werepants (1912634) | about 10 months ago | (#46434913)

If ants had human intelligence, I don't think coming up with the "spherical ball in space" model of Earth would be that much harder than it was for humans... both of our scales are "ant-like" compared to the size of our planet. The only real challenge I would anticipate is that ants have much less sophisticated vision, and being able to directly witness astronomical bodies was what really allowed us to begin understanding the solar system and our part in it.

A Natural Consequence (2)

earls (1367951) | about 10 months ago | (#46434249)

"a natural consequence of his general theory of relativity"

Is this to say the general theory of relativity produces a Big Bang? As in, because GR is true, BB is? What's the short explanation for that?

Re:A Natural Consequence (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 10 months ago | (#46434301)

Wiki [wikipedia.org] : "Theoretical calculations showed that a static universe was impossible under general relativity". So I'm not so sure about that remark either.

Later on that same wiki page: "Problems with the steady-state theory began to emerge in the late 1960s, when observations apparently supported the idea that the universe was in fact changing: quasars and radio galaxies were found only at large distances (therefore could have existed only in the distant past), not in closer galaxies. Whereas the Big Bang theory predicted as much, the Steady State theory predicted that such objects would be found throughout the universe, including close to our own galaxy."

Replying to self (1)

justthinkit (954982) | about 10 months ago | (#46434313)

Replying to self: Okay, didn't read too well on just waking up.

"Theoretical calculations showed that a static universe was im [wikipedia.org] possible under general relativity" ...emphasis added.

No beginning (3, Interesting)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 10 months ago | (#46434273)

One of the really attractive things about a Steady State Universe is that it does not require a beginning. It can be infinite in both space and time. This leaves time for the nearly impossible to occur without resort to special circumstances. It is fine for a monkey to hand us the works of Shakespeare now, if there has been infinite time already for him and his friends to bang on typewriters, but if they've only had 14 billion years so far, we might have to suppose they at least read the Cliff Notes. Being able to avoid those special circumstances means that the origin of life is to be expected as a mere accident. However, there is a problem with this solution to the very complex existing in less than infinite time: the monkey should be handing us a large number of copies of the the works of Shakespeare, not just one. So, the Fermi Paradox would seem to indicate that the Steady State Universe is not occurring, independent of all the observational evidence confirming the big bang. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

Re:No beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434479)

Thought Experiment -

You are a native amazonian in a tribe that has been isolated from the rest of the world so that your culture is not polluted.

Since no one comes to talk to you, you are the last people on earth.

Is this true or not true?

The problem with the femi Paradox is that it leaves out the possibility of action by other intelligent agents.

Re:No beginning (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 10 months ago | (#46434755)

However, there is a problem with this solution to the very complex existing in less than infinite time: the monkey should be handing us a large number of copies of the the works of Shakespeare, not just one

That presupposes something about how many copies the monkeys are apt to produce. I could sign on to them handing us zero or infinity copies under an infinite time scenario, whereas any "large number" would be arbitrary. The "infinite copies" outcome is not a problem because the mean time between deliveries is sufficient for us to burn them.

Re:No beginning (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 10 months ago | (#46435051)

i think it far far FAR more unlikely that even one monkey exists then Shakespeare's complete works do.

Re:No beginning (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 10 months ago | (#46435129)

Here.... I've got evidence [youtu.be] for you.

Re:No beginning (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 10 months ago | (#46435039)

14 billion years is basically infinity, at least to our puny-yet-rather-clever brains.

Re:No beginning (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 10 months ago | (#46435255)

Not only that, we've produced the works of Shakespeare.

Re:No beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46436007)

Well, there are some like "Pericles, Prince of [whatever]" where it would be a good idea to send the monkeys back to the typewriter. I was going to mention "Titus Andronicus" too, but on second thought, it's so outstandingly bad, crude and appalling that it's an actual milestone of literature. In Elizabethan times, it was probably put on schedule whenever lifestock epidemics caused an overavailability of pigs' blood.

Re:No beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46435599)

14 billion years is a quite measurable number. It's as different from infinity as 14 billion dollars is different from infinite dollars.

Re:No beginning (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46435105)

Conformal Cyclic Cosmology doesn't require a beginning either, and it can be experimentally tested by finding specific patterns in the cosmic microwave background. So it's not exactly a pie in the sky argument like String/M/Brane theories are.

Creativity vs. Being a Crank (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 10 months ago | (#46434363)

Both creative people and cranks have lots of wild ideas. The difference is that a crank reflexively defends his ideas with irrational vehemence. A creative person usually discard his ideas, because he knows there's always more where that comes from.

Re:Creativity vs. Being a Crank (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434435)

Both creative people and cranks have lots of wild ideas. The difference is that a crank reflexively defends his ideas with irrational vehemence. A creative person usually discard his ideas, because he knows there's always more where that comes from.

You seem awfully defensive regarding this idea of yours.

Re:Creativity vs. Being a Crank (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 10 months ago | (#46435251)

Yes. This is an important distinction. "They also laughed at Bozo the Clown." [c2.com]

Hoyle wasn't purely a crank, of course. He was a very good scientist, who had made major contributions to his field, but who just couldn't accept new ideas past a certain point, and thereby became a crank. This phenomenon isn't universal by any means, but it's sadly common.

Re:Creativity vs. Being a Crank (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46436067)

Ah, the old joke about the physicist approaching the dean for accelerator funding. "Why can't you be like the mathematicians? We provide them with pencils, paper, and a wastebasket, and they are busy for years! Or the philosophers. They don't even need a wastebasket."

Re:Creativity vs. Being a Crank (3, Insightful)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 10 months ago | (#46436473)

Both creative people and cranks have lots of wild ideas. The difference is that a crank reflexively defends his ideas with irrational vehemence.

I've known cranks who were just obsessed with one thing and could never see beyond it, but I've also known many cranks who were very creative. I don't think the sets are as mutually exclusive as you claim.

A creative person usually discard his ideas, because he knows there's always more where that comes from.

I think this has more to do with ego than whether someone is creative or not. People hold fast to their ideas for all sorts of irrational reasons -- career, other people's praise of them, general acceptance within a peer group, politics, etc. Being a crank is more about personality type, in my view, than whether or not someone is "creative." The most effective cranks I have known are generally quite creative (and adaptive), enough so that it sometimes takes a long time for other people to realize they are simply wackos -- and they even attract followers to their irrational cause. (The shared characteristic in the crank and his audience in this case being a lack of specific knowledge or perspective to recognize how ludicrous the claims are.)

Einstein is not god (5, Insightful)

iris-n (1276146) | about 10 months ago | (#46434385)

This kind of article bothers me immensely. It treats Einstein as the God of Science, and uses the fact the he worked on something as evidence that this idea is no crackpottery. Well, guess what, Einstein also shat, farted, pissed, had bad ideas, and even commited mathematical mistakes.

And one should never evaluate a scientific idea based on who's working on it. The Steady-State model of the universe is not a crackpot idea, simply because it is consistent with the laws of GR and (superficially) consistent with observational evidence. Philosophically, thought, it does seem quite silly, and I myself would never have regarded it as more than a mathematical curiosity, had it not been already falsified when I was born.

A more modern example would be 't Hooft's work on superdeterminisc models for quantum theory. The guy is obviously a genius, but this idea is pure insanity, and it saddens me to see people taking it seriously just because a Nobel prize is working on it.

Re:Einstein is not god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434471)

You claim that Einstein's contributions to science are inflated out of perspective.

There is an alternative way to look at Einstein - that he was an excellent scientist, whereas 95% of other scientists past and present were painfully mediocre.

Re:Einstein is not god (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434635)

Considering scientists, Einstein was a snail among fleas. It took him years to move a few miles. At the same time the fleas had covered thousands of miles without getting more than a few hundred yards of where they started from.

Re:Einstein is not god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46435149)

You claim that Einstein's contributions to science are inflated out of perspective.

There is an alternative way to look at Einstein - that he was an excellent scientist, whereas 95% of other scientists past and present were painfully mediocre.

Einstein's contributions after General Relativity and some work on what is now called Quantum Statistics were of the "crackpot" type. Unification theories based on gravity and electromagnetism completely oblivious to quantum mechanics. That work was just utter failure and it occupied him until the last days of his life. And even with this, this previous scientific achivements are enough to put him in right next to Newton and co. He managed in just one year (the 1905 miraculous year) to produce more scientific discoveries and insights than most scientists manage in their entire lives. So let's cut the man some slack.

Re:Einstein is not god (1)

Livius (318358) | about 10 months ago | (#46435195)

Einstein was an excellent scientist, but in pop culture he's known for being a celebrity, not for what he actually did. Most pictures of Einstein were taken decades after he did his best work.

Re:Einstein is not god (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46436453)

Einstein was an excellent scientist, but in pop culture he's known for being a celebrity, not for what he actually did. Most pictures of Einstein were taken decades after he did his best work.

More people interested in the history of science should read :

- Subtle is the Lord, The science and life of Albert Einstein by Abraham Pais. The best scientific biography of Einstein.
- Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity: Emergence (1905) and Early Interpretation (1905-1911) by Arthur Miller. The best historical end epistemological account of some of Einstein's best scientific works.

Re:Einstein is not god (2)

werepants (1912634) | about 10 months ago | (#46434957)

Philosophically, thought, it does seem quite silly, and I myself would never have regarded it as more than a mathematical curiosity, had it not been already falsified when I was born.

That's really easy to say in hindsight, when we have the benefit of being able to calculate the scale of the near universe and measure the velocities of stars. Sounds like you would've intuitively figured out gravitation if you lived before Newton, too.

The solid state model was really, really entrenched in Einstein's time. The Big Bang was mocked by Einstein and many others on the grounds of being too religious, appealing to the idea of a single moment of creation. Prior thinkers seem very naive from our enlightened positions, but we wouldn't be in the position we are without their work debating and working through theories that are now "obvious" to us.

Re:Einstein is not god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46435957)

A more modern example would be 't Hooft's work on superdeterminisc[sic] models for quantum theory. The guy is obviously a genius, but this idea is pure insanity, and it saddens me to see people taking it seriously just because a Nobel prize is working on it.

It saddens you? What a pretentious little prick you are.
I'd think a Nobel prize is a pretty good reason to at least hear the man out and not to label him as "insane but brilliant", that's just a cop-out that comes down to "I don't follow and I don't really want to either."

Re:Einstein is not god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46436387)

"This finding confirms that Hoyle was not a crank," says Simon Mitton. ....only if Einstein is not a crank.

Re:Einstein is not god (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 10 months ago | (#46436505)

Philosophically, thought, it does seem quite silly, and I myself would never have regarded it as more than a mathematical curiosity,

Why? We currently accept a model where the universe spontaneously came into existence at one time with any explanation (at least none that we know of now). The steady state hypothesis postulates a continuous universe with spontaneous creation of stuff at a regular rate to remain a stable state. Exactly why is the latter more "philosophically" more problematic than the former? Both postulate events of creation out of nothingness.

Re:Einstein is not god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46437037)

Jesus, yes, this so much.
People putting Einstein on a pedestal.

The damn equations and theories don't even work right! We have to add in things like Dark Matter and Energy to even make sense of the universe, and we still haven't found those yet.
GPS requires CONSTANT resync. If the equations worked, it'd never ever need to be resynced because you could calculate the time exactly!
So many other areas where they completely fall apart due to missing information.

Einstenian Physics is just Yet Another step-up from a Newtonian world. It is FAR from being correct, but it works well enough that we can use it for most things we have any care for. We still even use Netwonian math in the macroscale world since it still works for those scales pretty damn well.
Both world have their correct usage scopes. Outside of them and it is just going to fall apart.
Einstein wasn't perfect. And he even admitted that. He, like every other scientist, has thrown loads of ideas on the wall to see what sounds most plausible based on what they know at the time.
We know considerably more now, but for some reason, people still cling to it for dear life and will even ATTACK you personally for questioning it.
Sad state of affairs all over the science world, in fact, where people will attack and gang up on others for questioning ideas, people think the science world is all nice, but is it hell, their is backstabbing all over the place. I remember the CERN crap with the FTL neutrinos and the leaders team ganging up on them and getting them kicked out for "mismanagement". Damn shame man, damn shame. Competition is fierce in the science world.

Re:Einstein is not god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46437463)

"GPS requires CONSTANT resync. If the equations worked, it'd never ever need to be resynced because you could calculate the time exactly!"

What are you rambling on about?

"I remember the CERN crap with the FTL neutrinos and the leaders team ganging up on them and getting them kicked out for 'mismanagement'."

So you're upset because scientists got flak for not re-evaluating a result which showed FTL travel? And when the result was re-evaluated, it turned out that they were wrong? Really?

Academics don't throw ideas at a wall to see what sticks. At least, not the good ones. They generate hypotheses all day long, but if they know their subject matter they can very quickly winnow them out by mentally taking them to their logical conclusion and seeing how absurd they are. FTL travel is pretty absurd; and absurdity requires exceptional proof. And it's unethical not to provide it before publishing.

Also, as far as we know Newton's laws of motion are inexact or incomplete, not invalid. Likewise for relativity. The distinction matters in science, because if something where straight-up false, then you move on without looking back. If something is inexact or incomplete, you know that it's likely (though not necessarily) to be well grounded in a fundamental truth to the degree that it provides predictive power.

Just because the media have hyped Newton and Einstein to no end does not mean that their contributions weren't exceptional and transformative.

Re:Einstein is not god (1)

mattr (78516) | about 10 months ago | (#46438097)

He has had successes where others could not supply the necessary creativity, so I think you owe him an apology. IANAP but assume you find superdeterminism insane because it would need to account for preselecting the myriad of fluctuations that would affect a RNG, and not due to religious reaction to the loss of destiny in which the
Universe is set in steel.
It seems to this non-physicist that if the Universe is a simulation (another insane idea) it would be possible to choose solely the desiref outcome and trace back upstream to automatically select the required fluctuations.
Repugnant perhaps, but two insanities just might provide a soution.
  http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki... [wikipedia.org]

"physicist" Albert Einstein? (0, Flamebait)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 10 months ago | (#46434447)

If you are going to add a qualifier to Albert Einstein, please at least capitalize it, as in Physicist Albert Einstein like Lord Vishnu or something.

Information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46434453)

Physicist Sofia Koutsouveli from Moscow explored a very similar idea before Einstein.

Hoyle was right (3, Interesting)

Livius (318358) | about 10 months ago | (#46435179)

Physicists actually do believe in version of the Steady State theory, except instead of "new matter is continuously created as the universe expands", new space and new dark energy are continuously created. There's no contradiction with the Inflationary Big Bang theory at all.

Was this 'lost' like Anne Frank's 'diary'? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46435861)

Jews.
LOL

this is a game... (1)

jatallusad (988599) | about 10 months ago | (#46436053)

this is a game, and he knew it. is not the constant expansion of a platform on which to produce the fundamental requirement of all simulation? when Einstein saw the probabilistic world, he regressed into denial. when he came to grips with the implications, he understood that life is merely the greatest RPG ever created... simply because there was no goal.

Black Holes (1)

steeleyeball (1890884) | about 10 months ago | (#46436715)

If a black hole forms in one part of the universe and another evaporates in another you may get an apparent constant density. There are likely colder regions of the universe further than we can see where black holes are evaporating.

Was it next to the atom bomb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46436769)

The Wochit video [youtube.com] is hilarious. It doesn't show the manuscript but Einstein is presented (in an old news clip) as the "world famous physicist who helped discover the atom bomb". I wonder where he discovered it. Did someone kick it into a tree or did it roll under a sofa?

Space Makes H (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | about 10 months ago | (#46437097)

H as in Hydrogen.
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