Friday, January 27, 2012

Einstein: The Life of A Genius

those documents look real...

          Written by Walter Isaacson and was published first in 2009, the biography book of ‘Einstein: The Life of A Genius’ caught my eyes glued to its contents, with rare documents and facsimile brought to public attention, although there’s a few grammatical mistakes and typing errors that makes me flabbergasted quite a while. And not to forget, all thanks to Imran Rasid who let me borrow his book.

          Most people recognized Einstein as the person who proposed the idea of E=mc^2 and its related science of universe, also, to my continued amazement, with the fact that he experienced dyslexia in his early childhood years. But, I shall not tell dear readers in what’s his personal life was like, because it’s aplenty on the net !

Of religious views

“God whose existence could be determined in the harmonious beauty of the natural laws He had established, but who did not intervene in the day-to-day affairs of mankind.”

          This is one of Einstein’s famous quotes. ‘Twas quite obvious that his principle regarding religion has some similarities in what has been described by Spinoza – a Dutch philosopher – and the founders of United States like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. He sometimes also quoted:

“All serious scientists eventually realize that there is a guiding hand in the laws of the Universe, one whose power is manifestly awesome as to leave us feeling humbled.”

Of unifying classical physics and quantum theory

          Bohr and Heisenberg believed that the sub-atomic particles’ activities are indeterminable, while Einstein and Schrödinger frequently rebutted this view and proposed that ‘there should be a rhythmic law of predicting subatomic activities’.

It is also quite interesting to note that Bohr maintained the notion that the abandonment of strict causality was so much supported by the evidence ‘that there really was no other option’. Einstein, on the other side, thinks that Bohr’s view is baseless. Thus he spent a lot of time in his golden age to unify classical and quantum physics, and we all knew that he failed in doing so.

Lord Kelvin (a British physicist) must be certainly wrong when he said that “there is nothing new to be discovered in physics now”, as we know now that more and more complex theory and supersymmetry is discovered after Einstein’s years. And perhaps, CERN is doing their job currently, kan?

Of Music

          Einstein played violin very well, and he’s been always inspired by Mozart’s music that he thought as a reflection of Universe’s inner beauty itself.

Of Nobel Prize

          The Swedish Academy had internal conflicts in giving the Nobel Prize to Einstein. Even though Einstein’s theory is proven true after the total eclipse experiment in 28-29 May 1919 (in rebutting German’s accusations), Einstein’s opponents argued that the relativity theory is purely philosophical and not a scientific discovery. Gullstrand’s report claimed that the results of the experiment (eclipse) is not valid.

          Ironically, and at last, Einstein received Nobel Prize only on his work for photoelectric effect (light quanta). takpe, yang ni pon bolehhh~

Of Quantum Physics

          The argument: whether the Universe’s course (eg-the start of the universe and its developments) is predetermined, or subjected to total randomness and chance. Einstein believed in the former notion, which he struggled to find the unifying formula to the end of his life. What about our PoV as Muslims, then?

‘And it is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days - and His Throne had been upon water - that He might test you as to which of you is best in deed. But if you say, "Indeed, you are resurrected after death," those who disbelieve will surely say, "This is not but obvious magic." (11:7)

Of Life Principles

          Einstein was once a Pacifist (not participating in countries’ dispute) because he regularly questioned authorities and provoking assumptions that scientists always made. However, to a certain extent, he moved along with the current situations, and eventually declared that radical pacifism is a dead end when Adolf Hitler took power (German rearmation).

          Continuously manifesting himself as a Democratic Socialist, Einstein adhered solidly to the freedom of speech and the freedom of thinking. Between the lines (of pure democracy and pure socialist) he devoted himself into, and resisted nationalism throughout his life.

Of Jewish State Israel

          In the later years of his life, he actively assisted the Jews’ migration into America (especially Jewish scientists in Europe) and Palestine, in terms of financial guarantee or getting visas.

          His support in migrating Jewish to Palestine did not make him in favour of building a Jewish nation state, nevertheless. Clearly, the creation of Israel countered his philosophy as a federalist.

Of ‘Red Scare’

          I don’t know much about history, so my statements gained from little readings might not be correct as well. Wikipedia had an article regarding this, and I believe that Einstein involved in the second red scare. Senator Joseph McCarthy assaulted Einstein pertaining loyalty investigation.

As expected, Einstein maintained his coolness and stubbornness and urged fellow people affected by the red scare to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s footsteps. I wondered a thing, does ‘red’ implies Jews, or of the Communist sorts? What is McCarthy’s then? The white group of KuKluxClan I might accuse? Haha!

Oh btw, I loved reading his letters. Those old German words and the beauty of the language made me in awe. 7 tahun belajar dan cakap bahasa Jerman, tak pernah2 aku baca text yang seindah ini. Sumpah.

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