On Monday, November 23rd, the Aspen Institute, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and the PBS series NOVA celebrated the centennial of Albert Einstein's discovery of the Theory of General Relativity, the most beautiful theory in the history of science. General Relativity was Einstein's great breakthrough, in which he reframed gravity as the curvature of time and space, rather than an invisible force acting between two objects as Newton had described. This deceptively simple revelation, breathtakingly complex in its origin, precipitated a myriad of practical and theoretical implications from the Big Bang to the atomic bomb, and from GPS to string theory. The night began with a sneak peek screening of NOVA's new film, "Inside Einstein's Mind", followed by a panel discussion with Walter Isaacson, President & CEO of The Aspen Institute and author of Einstein: His Life and Universe, Paula S. Apsell, Senior Executive Producer, NOVA, Dr. Margaret Moerchen, Science Deputy, Carnegie Institution for Science, and Dr. Sylvester James Gates, Professor of Physics, The University of Maryland. Cake, fun, and surprises followed the discussion as scientists, students, and Washingtonians celebrated this grand anniversary.
ONE OF WASHINGTON’S TEMPLES OF SCIENCE IS THE CARNEGIE INSTITUTION, ON 16TH STREET, AND IT WAS THE APPROPRIATE SPOT MONDAY FOR AN EVENING OF EINSTEIN WORSHIP.
Want more Einstein? Watch "Inside Einstein's Mind" on PBS NOVA and view full video of the panel above. You can also watch the Aspen Institute's Walter Isaacson discuss Einstein's achievements in the context of contemporary scientific discovery on PBS NewsHour, and read Isaacson's recent op-ed on Einstein in The New York Times, "The Light-Beam Rider".