The Road to General Relativity Nov. 18th, 1915 | Summary and Q&A

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November 18, 2015
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World Science Festival
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The Road to General Relativity Nov. 18th, 1915

TL;DR

Albert Einstein receives a paper from David Hilbert that challenges his work on general relativity, igniting a race to complete the equations.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does Albert Einstein react to David Hilbert's paper?

Einstein is initially rattled and his triumphant mood is shattered. He dismisses Hilbert's work as unoriginal but realizes the competition and urgency to complete his own work on general relativity.

Q: What was the personal turmoil Einstein was facing during this time?

Einstein's personal life is in chaos with his estranged wife leaving him and taking their children. He is also pressured by his new love interest, Elsa, to finalize his divorce.

Q: What motivated Einstein to push through the challenges and complete the equations?

Despite the chaos in his personal life, Einstein is driven by the competition with Hilbert and the desire to solidify his reputation as the leading figure in the field of general relativity.

Q: How did Einstein's success in explaining the motion of Mercury impact his pursuit of general relativity?

The successful explanation of Mercury's orbit shift gave Einstein confidence in his understanding of gravitation and pushed him to further refine and complete the equations of general relativity.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Albert Einstein successfully explains the mystery of Mercury's orbit shift using his equations for general relativity.

  • David Hilbert sends a paper to Einstein, claiming to have solved the same problem, threatening Einstein's triumph.

  • Einstein dismisses Hilbert's paper, but realizes the competition and begins a final push to complete the equations of general relativity.

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