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physicsmatt

Two Geniuses

27 Jan 2017, 02:07 UTC
Two Geniuses
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January 16 was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The next day was the first week of classes for Rutgers, so I spent the day working through my notes for my graduate course in General Relativity. As a result, I was spending the day thinking about both Dr. King and Albert Einstein at various moments. With both of these great people bouncing through my brain, I ended up with some confused thoughts, which I felt like I had to share and maybe clarify. It might be a strange combination, but these are strange times. In the end, I wanted to write about why Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement matters for physics, why we scientists must care about these issues, engage with these issues, and support the struggle that is still not at an end. Einstein holds a special place in the hearts and minds of theoretical physicists. For me, Einstein was always the great ideal: someone who, through sheer force of thought, determined how the Universe Must Be. In the popular telling (“popular” here being the sort of pop-science that adolescent wanna-be scientists like myself absorbed), Einstein didn’t need experimental results to figure out Special and General Relativity. He ...

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