Monday, November 16, 2015

Joyous Excitement

Did you know that this week is the 100th anniversary of Einstein's completion of General Relativity? Specifically it was November 18, 1915 when Einstein drafted a paper that realized the final fix to his theories that would account for the previously unexplainable advance of the perihelion of Mercury. The next week he submitted this paper, "The field equations of gravitation", to the Prussian Academy of Sciences, which included what we now refer to simply as "Einstein's equations".

Einstein later recalled of this seminal moment:
For a few days I was beside myself with joyous excitement.

And further:
 ... in all my life I have not laboured nearly so hard, and I have become imbued with great respect for mathematics, the subtler part of which I had in my simple-mindedness regarded as pure luxury until now.  

(Quotes from "General Relativity" by J.J. O'Connor and E.F. Robertson at the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland).

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