Saturday, January 08, 2005

Einstein's Cosmos

George Will sometimes roams into the esoteric, getting away from politics or perhaps baseball long enough to poke into something that most of us don't think about a lot. He did so in a column on January 6, referring to a book, "Einstein's Cosmos," by Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York.

Will writes about the way Einstein's mind worked and how he was somehow able to visualize and understand the most complex concepts. Will says, referring to Einstein's initial visualization of the relationship between space and time:

"A storm broke loose in my mind," Albert Einstein later remembered. He produced five papers in 1905 and for physicists, the world has never been the same. For lay people, it has never felt the same.

Will continues:

Three years ago we learned that the Milky Way galaxy, in which we reside, contains a black hole weighing as much as 2 million suns. "Thus," says Kaku, "our moon revolves around the earth, the earth revolves around the sun, and the sun revolves around a black hole." Can this story have a happy ending?

And quoting Einstein regarding his belief in God:

I'm not an atheist.... We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is.

Kaku's book on Einstein sounds fascinating. I'm looking for it.


Blogger Gindy said...

"A storm broke loose in my mind,"

A great quote.

1:38 PM, January 09, 2005  

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