Oil 11 – Portals ( of Einstein [1879-1955] )
2009 - ( 60 x 60 cm )
“- We live in a mysterious and fascinating Universe! - said Dr. Klein with depth, and he felt absorbed into the beauty of the night sky flooded with bright stars which assist and kept watching outside the window.
- While we remain here in this isolated corner of our humble planet, we surrender into the charms of the Universe and the wisdom of Nature. And as his faithful disciples that we are, we try at all costs monitor and understanding the intelligence of the Universe that involves us.
If we were to be observed by Nature with consciousness, what would she say about our progress? ... Are we learning well our lesson?
Indeed a complete theory of Nature requires a great effort on the part of humans ... but people infer and think that the events are not devoided of relation and explanation, so it seems that they are on the right track ...
This is the message that we would like Nature to send us!
And so they persist and go on, and still men continue in their incessant search, tireless in their research for a theory for the Cosmos!
The current purpose of science is to create a unity between all particles and forces, including and describing them in a common equation.
A Unified Theory would have the ability to give us a full understanding of the physical events that surround us in our Universe, and even of our own existence!
A formulation of a Grand Unified Theory lists various properties of reality and Nature, merging them into a single equation. Its fields of application would be universal and we will not have to change the theory or the equation to address different problems.
Such an elegant theory would be a genuine work of art!
Only a few great thinkers, guided by a very deep understanding, put the fundamental problem of the structure of the Universe in the center of their thought. And with that in mind, they want to know everything. Those are the real looters of knowledge.”.
- ‘The Travel in Time - 21 Solutions for 21 Questions of the XXI century Physics’ – Vol. I - C. P. Fournier.
Among these great thinkers there is, of course, a unique character that almost needs no introduction, and an exception in the History of Science...
Life is not always present in front of us with a smile. For the young Albert Einstein it was far from clear that this individual would be regarded as the greatest physicist of all time in human history since Isaac Newton. In fact, it can be said that Einstein's early development was relatively slow. He was slow to begin speaking, reading and learning. Nothing would predict that this young man was destined to mark the birth of a new era. He seemed to be destined to anything, less to greatness. His family considered him as an absent-minded, but not necessarily unwise. However, teachers saw him as an arrogant, disobedient, disrespectful and snobbish. He was therefore expelled from high school, considered by his tutors that: "his attitude in class is offensive of cohesion and affect the other students.".
What is fact is that Einstein did not show any respect or sympathy for authoritarian and intimidating system instilled in schools. He complained because he "had to cram the whole classes in mind, whether we like it or not.". Alternatively, he preferred to spend long hours reading books of his choice. Technical books related with his personal preferences, which covered the work of the greatest scientists of the time, such as, distinguished names as: Faraday, Maxwell, Clausius, Planck and Curie. On these subjects he was deeply fascinated because in this way he was allowed to focus his curious mind, leaving behind the tasks set by teachers, neglecting homework and constantly missing too many classes.
Although born in Ulm, southern Germany, the contingencies of life led their parents having to move to Milan. The engineering workshop of his father faced another bankruptcy. But Herman Einstein never lowered his arms, instead of that, he would always go pack up and go elsewhere to start over.
When some weeks later the young Albert came home with the letter of expulsion from school, his parents were shocked. Without the diploma, the son would have no chance of joining in the better paid jobs, whether in the military, the post office or the train railways. Even worse, his growing ambition to become a professor of physics in secondary education was in danger of not materialize, due to the fact that most of the top universities would never come to accept a high school dropout. The only exception might only be the famous Federal Institute of Technology (IFT), in a town near Zurich, Switzerland.
The institute's regulations allowed the enrollment of any student, the only condition was to conclude the very difficult admission exam. Einstein took the plunge, but he was the victim of his overconfidence. He obtained good results only in the components of physics and mathematics but had such poor results in Botany, Zoology and Modern Languages that he failed the exam. Later he would assume, "it was entirely my responsibility for not having prepared myself conveniently.".
Posteriorly he regained his strength and prepared himself for a second attempt for the admission exam and he succeed!
Einstein was pleasantly surprised with the Swiss educational system and absolutely delighted with the liberal system of education at the Polytechnic Institute. Far from the German intolerance, self-assured, he now moved in an almost frantic pace of an anxious rhythm and restless spirit that looked like he wanted to embrace the whole world and the universe. It was also at this time that he began to make the first questions about the speed of light...
After completing his studies, he had obtained a good average in the IST, as such, he would have every right to expect a place of teaching in this institute. However, the invitation never happened. Only later came to find out why. Unfortunately, some teachers have ensured that Einstein would never have any chance of employment, those teachers wrote letters of recommendation rather unpleasant, concerning Einstein's behavior, attitude and intellectual qualities.
To make things worse, Einstein fell in love during his training in the IST by a young Serbian – Miss Mileva - whose relationship parents strongly disapproved. For this apprentice scientist, the entrance at the new century has shown to be difficult and hopeless. In his own words: "I was suddenly abandoned by everyone, considered an outcast, overlooked and unloved.". We were in 1902, and this year represented the lowest point of his life. A student preparing his doctor degree who was rejected by every university to which he had applied as a professor. Alone and unemployed, he also had heard the news that the young Mileva was pregnant. Without an alternative, he accepted temporary jobs, considering the possibility of becoming a salesman for a living.
When his father died, Einstein expressed in depressed letters that he felt ashamed that he died thinking that his son was a loser. However, towards the end of the year, the fortune of this 'failed' young man would begin to change.
A friend got him a job in the Office of Patent Registration in Switzerland. This new job allowed Einstein to analyze the content of all these new patents, new ideas and recent discoveries. Then, in his own desk, he used to spend hours on end thinking and reflecting about problems in physics that always intrigued him. He liked the work, and remained there for seven years. It was under this background that he built his most fundamental ideas.
Having become a naturalized Swiss citizen and early renouncing German nationalization in order to avoid military service, interestingly, the key event occurs in 1905 when a German physics journal, entitled Annals of Physics (Annalen der Physik) leads to some articles written by a young Swiss bureaucrat without university affiliations or access to any laboratory, whose source of bibliographical references was limited to one register of patents, and where there are presented and developed some trials that would be considered, at least, among the major advances of the entire history of physics.
The contribution of these articles for the magazine began as early as 1900, soon after his formation at the IST, but their three 'thesis' of 1905 revealed an astonishing explosion of creativity and would become an unprecedented revelation!
The discoveries he had presented were outlined and written during a very short time. A frenzy of four months, a constant unfolding of new ideas now clearly consolidated, which he had to confide it in a letter to his personal friend and fellow philosopher, Conrad Habicht, in a historic letter:
The first article referred to the Photoelectric Effect, based on Planck's quantum theory, analyzing and associating the behavior of light with the electrons, and this discovery allowed clarifying the nature of light;
The second article studied the behavior of small particles floating in a liquid, a behavior that became known as Brownian Motion and an experimental proof that atoms really exist;
The third article outlined a specific theory of Restrict Relativity...
If for its first article Einstein was awarded with the Nobel Prize, by the second article was established a revolution in the mentality and concept of the atomic structure of matter. For its third article, let's say, this simply changed the world and the way we view the Universe! The article was entitled "On the Electrodynamics of the Moving Bodies" and was one of the most extraordinary scientific papers ever published, both in the way of what was presented as for what it contained. It did not include footnotes or citations, the mathematical content was virtually nonexistent, made no reference to any work that could have influenced or that had preceded it, and mentioned only a thank note for just a single person, a colleague of the patenting office. According to these descriptions it seems that Einstein had reached his conclusions by pure logical reasoning, without any help of any kind and without any opinions of others. And the amazing thing is, that was exactly what happened. Einstein has always worked alone!
What was the secret of this genius? Perhaps a simple explanation consists in his ability to think in terms of physical images. Einstein not only thought in terms of Physics but fit these concepts and processes in the form of images. Once again, his initial theory did not include any mathematical concepts. Even his famous formula E = m.c2 would only be presented in a later article. In the opinion of this scientist, a physical theory that could not be explained to a child, would probably be useless. The essence of a theory must necessarily be captured by a physical image. Thus, he was against pure mathematical concepts, expressing his opinion that many physicists were lost in a mathematical tangle that leads nowhere. Sometime later, Einstein would comment that: "Since the mathematicians have grabbed my theory of Relativity that even I no longer understand it.". The importance of mathematics to Einstein would only come much later.
Forever fascinated by his theories of field, it was this new concept that allowed him to broaden his horizons and stimulate his mind. He wrote then: "We have a new concept in Physics, probably the most important since the time of Newton: the 'field'. It required great scientific imagination to realize that what is essential for the description of physical phenomena are not the electric charges or particles, but the field located in the space between the particles and those charges.".
This new concept was a conceptual leap for the epoch and marked a break rupture with the theories of traditional thinkers. A visual imagination that allowed him to challenge conventional knowledge and support his own theory. With this new vision, Physics would be destined to get through a new era and a new revolution.
He had completed and published his work, and he now waited for reactions, opinions and criticisms ... but nothing ... nothing at all. No reference or comment to his work has appeared! Just a cold and unforgivable silence.
Usually, physicists do not pay much attention to unknown scientists, much less the discoveries made by employees of Swiss Patents. Despite their important content and useful information, the Einstein's papers have not caused great interest. Well, actually, this aspiring scientist had been limited to trying to solve just a few of the deepest problems of physics and the greatest mysteries of the Universe considered until then!!
But apparently, it seems that scientists do not feel particularly attracted to new ideas when they prove to be too much unique and original.
We are not sure what would have gone through his thought but he was far from giving up. He returned to its patent office and continued to think.
Einstein hoped that this series of essays published in a reputable magazine get him out of obscurity. Being a single patent examiner of third category, Einstein longed for some academic recognition. A qualified dissertation which at his own eyes would be considered as his own doctoral thesis, and so he dreamed that this effort could be rewarded and that any opportunity for an academic post at a university should arise.
Although he had never lost faith in his work, he wasn't counting on this public reaction. It seemed that no one had read or given any importance to his articles. These remained in complete darkness! That was what it looked like ... but, in fact, it was not quite so. The Einstein's papers have not gone completely unnoticed. The truth is that a small but respectable group of physicists immediately leaned on their articles. Among them was one person that would become his most important admirer. So, a few months later, the first contact finally came, and arrived from Max Planck, the greatest theoretical physicist of the time and perhaps the only person who could have understood the importance of that content and achieved the full size and dimension of such a theory.
It must be remembered that with the discoveries made in the XVIII century by Isaac Newton, it was thought that the main foundations of classical physics had already been established. And that all developments elapsed in the XIX century would be only continuous development of those same principles. Then an English experimentalist Michael Faraday, would discover alone the properties of electric and magnetic fields. In addition to the great importance of mechanics in physics, it was then associated another major concept: the (s) Field (s). At the beginning of the XX century it would be said once again that there would be nothing much to be discovered in physics. In the words of Lord Kelvin: "Currently, there is nothing new to be discovered in physics. (...) What is left is a more accurate measurement.". Given these conditions, constraints and thought of the time, Max Planck would have been for some time undecided whether he would engage in physics or in mathematics. However, he opted for Physics.
After examining in detail the articles of Einstein, relativity was what caught his attention more. So, after it was published, Planck would give his first class on relativity at the University of Berlin. Having been, therefore, the first physicist to expand and divulge the Einstein’s Theory. In 1906, Planck had even written an article that presented arguments in favor of this theory, in particular, because it was based on the principle of minimum action. Planck's articles not only helped to develop the theory of relativity, but also helped to legitimize it among theoretical physicists.
The now proud patent examiner would soon exchange letters with the eminent professor. In these letters, Planck had mentioned that he hoped to go to Bern the following year to personally meet Professor Einstein. Planck ended up not being able to go to Bern but sent his chief assistant, Max Laue. When Laue was preparing to visit Einstein in the summer of 1907, he was doubly surprised to find that Einstein did not work at the University of Bern, but instead, 'professor' Einstein was working at a patent office in the third floor of Posts and Telegraphs building. When he reached the building, crossed by chance with Einstein, but ignored him.
He never expected that that simple boy would be the father of the Theory of Relativity. After some time, Einstein would go again to the reception and seemed to be looking for someone. But there was no one else in the hall, only then they realized who was who. In fact, Laue would be so unexpectedly impressed with the expanded domain knowledge that Einstein had, but would be even more surprised to know that Einstein spent eight hours a day, six days a week, sitting at a desk of the patent office, to meet his schedule work.
Walking like a lonely genius, far from the influences of academic colleagues and their theories, in a glorious isolation, which may have had a few disadvantages but certainly had bring its advantages for his own investigations. Just maybe under these circumstances could have emerged the most revolutionary theory of all time.
However, all the interest shown to the public by Laue and Planck about Einstein's papers - regarding them as important discoveries and relevant developments of the XX century - had not brought him the immediately due recognition and those much-desired job vacancy in the university. Even though, history is replete with stories. And everything will come… in time.
The world would only come to know and rediscover this scientist in 1919. It immediately came the idea that his theories of relativity might be too abstract and impossible to be understood by ordinary mortals. Nevertheless, the ‘New York Times’ decided to publish an article on the subject, but casualty or fate, coincidence or not, a sports journalist was sent to formalize the interview. Needless to say that this interviewer was completely out of his domain, and therefore could not understand almost nothing of the information that was pointed in his report. He quoted unreal sentences and added extra information, for example, that Einstein would have found a publisher decided to invest in the publication of a book that only a dozen men in the world could understand.
There was no such book, nor this editor. But the idea remained and Einstein became the most popular and famous physicist in history.
With his charismatic pipe, and a look of a modest genius with hair in the air, Einstein would refer a few years later, in 1922, after winning the Nobel Prize for the photoelectric effect, that this discovery would have been: "My only revolutionary contribution!". Unfortunately, even after being presented experimental evidence - what is now known as one of the greatest geniuses in human history, internationally recognized and associated to the Theory of Relativity -, the truth is that Einstein would never be presented with the Nobel Prize of Physics for his formulation of the General Theory of Relativity!
Often we read that Einstein wasted the second half of his life, that he did not produce anything interesting or original. Once revealed a theory as important as the theory of relativity, anything that might succeed it could not be of a smaller feature or lower quality.
There is no greater desire for a genius than to finish his work. But we can imagine the great pressure that he was subject, by failing to finish on time the details of his Final Theory. But maybe we had not understood the message that he intended to convey to us ... and still did not know how to do it: “We can look at the matter as the regions of space where the field is extremely strong (...) the field is the only reality.” – Albert Einstein – 1938.
The concept of Relativity has brought us a new designation for a time that does not have an immutable and absolute standard, and a unique description for a four-dimensional space-time field defined by purely abstract terms. This field contains all the possible perspectives of all observers as aspects of truth, and in this, the different individual perspectives contributes to a description of the whole abstract and complex vision of everything. Only in a privileged perspective it is possible to have a divine vision of this set.
“I have no special talent.
I'm just extremely curious.”
‘There are no brilliant minds.
There are only dedicated and passionate minds.’
C. P. FOURNIER
"Imagination is more important than knowledge (...)
Knowledge will come, but wisdom will delay to arrive.”
“I do not know why everyone loves me
if no one understands my ideas.”
“The painting is made with the brain and not with the hands.”
“Talent is a title of responsibility.”
CHARLES DE GAULLE
“I think ninety-nine times and find out nothing.
I stop thinking, dive in deep silence ...
and it is then when the truth reveals itself.”
“I hear and forget;
I see and remember;
I do and I understand.”
“When the soul is ready, the teacher appears.”
“You cannot achieve it by the use of thought.
You cannot seek it by the non-use of thought.”
“Never walk on the path which is already marked, because it only leads you where others have went.”
“The true sign of intelligence does come from knowledge;
The true source is imagination.”
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
This is the source of all art and true science.”
“The mind that opens to a new idea
will never return to its original size.”
“The creative personality should think and judge for itself.”
“The secret to creativity consists on knowing how to hide your sources.”
“God does not play dice with the Universe.”
“Sad epoch! It is easier to disintegrate an atom than a prejudice.”
“It's a miracle that curiosity has survived formal education.”
“Two things are infinite:
The universe and human stupidity.
But with regard to the Universe I do not have absolute certainty.”
“The only source of knowledge is experience.”
“The first duty of intelligence is to suspect herself.”
“It is the theory which decides what we can observe.”
“Focus on knowing and not on believing.”
“Imagination is more important than science. Because science is limited,
whereas imagination involves the entire Universe.”
“There are two ways to live our life:
One is believing that there are no miracles;
The other one is believing that everything is a miracle.”