This student was… How Einstein became the most popular scientists of the galaxy

At the end of 2017 at the auction in Jerusalem was exposed to a sentence of thirteen words, handwritten in German by albert Einstein. In the city archives of Einstein, which he bequeathed before his death in 1955 the Hebrew University. The institution he helped to establish in 1920-ies. In the archives of albert Einstein today is about 30 000 documents. They are several times more archives of Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton and can compete with the archives of Napoleon Bonaparte. However, the origin of the document, about which speech will go, has nothing to do with files, although the copy there is also stored. All the more interesting.

This paper was written and signed in Japan in Tokyo Imperial hotel and dated November 1922. This month, Einstein was awarded the Nobel prize in physics. He stayed in this hotel during their wildly popular tour of Japan, where he lectured. Then the scientist attracted more attention than the family of the Japanese Emperor. Apparently embarrassed by such publicity, Einstein decided to record some thoughts and experiences about the life of the note. Specifically, this sentence (and another short) he passed the Japanese courier, or because a courier did not take a tip, in accordance with local etiquette, or because Einstein was not petty cash.

“Maybe if you’re lucky, these records will be much more valuable than the usual tip,” said Einstein to a Japanese courier, according to the legend of the seller of the note passed to the nephew of the courier.

Jerusalem auction house appreciated the note in the 5-8 thousand dollars. The auction began with 2 thousand dollars. For twenty minutes, a flurry of proposals quickly pushed the price until the last two candidates did not grab for the phone. By the end of the auction the price rose to an incredible 1.56 million dollars.

Translated suggestion Einstein is: “a Quiet and modest life brings more happiness than the desire for success combined with a constant concern”.

Whether Einstein with us, he’d diva was given the absurdity of this auction. During the second half of his life, just after astronomical confirmation of General relativity in 1919, he continued to shrug off their celebrity and not interested in the accumulation of money for its own benefit. He was happiest when left alone, alone with his mathematical calculations, or with a few chosen colleagues among physicists and mathematicians in Zurich, Berlin, Oxford, Pasadena and Princeton. During the long sea voyages from Europe to Japan and back, he liked to hide in the booth, and solve a mathematical equation.

As recorded, the physicist Philipp Frank, Einstein said of his celebrity in the Preface to his own biography:

“I never understood why the theory of relativity with its concepts and problems so remote from practical life, for so long leads to a lively or even encouraged by the resonance among broad circles of the public … I’ve never heard a truly convincing answer to this question.”

And here is what he wrote about the meaning of life in Life magazine shortly before his death in 1955:

“Try not to become a successful person, and valuable. Nowadays, successful is the one who takes from life more than it puts into it. But valuable people will be to give more than it receives”.

Einstein’s death was covered in the entire Universe. The New York Times published tributes from the presidents of the United States and West Germany, Prime Ministers of Israel, France, India. Prominent intellectuals, who knew Einstein personally, was echoed by politicians. “For all scientists and most people, this day is mourning. Einstein was one of the greatest of all times,” says J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American physicist who led the creation of the atomic bomb during the Second world war. Danish physicist Niels Bohr, who argued with Einstein on the topic of quantum theory, wrote:

“The gifts of Einstein are in no way limited to the sphere of science. Indeed, his recognition of hitherto unrecognized assumptions in even our most elementary and familiar assumptions encourages all people to monitor and combat deep-rooted prejudice and complacency in every national culture.”

The English philosopher Bertrand Russell thought so:

“Einstein was not only a great scientist, he was a great man. He advocated peace when the world called for war. He remained reasonable in a crazy world and the liberal fanatics in the world”.

Today Einstein is the most cited scientist in the galaxy: he is ahead of Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking, judging by the number of citations of Einstein on Wikipedia, however, is ahead of his contemporaries in the 20th century — Winston Churchill, George Orwell and George Bernard Shaw. From the vast archives of Einstein removed an infinite number of precious quotes.

Not surprisingly, Einstein’s quote and how the authority of science. For example: “the Most incomprehensible in the Universe is that it is comprehensible”. But more often it is quoted in a wide range of non-scientific disciplines, including education, intelligence, politics, religion, marriage, money, and music.

  • Education: “Einstein — that’s what remains when you forget everything learned in school.”
  • Intelligence: “the Difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”
  • Policy: “It is madness to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
  • Religion: “God does not play dice.”
  • Marriage: “Men marry women in the hope that they will never change. Women go for men in the hope that they will change. Invariably both are disappointed”.
  • Money: “Not everything that can be assessed, valued, and not all of that value can be assessed”.
  • Music: “Death means that you can no longer listen to Mozart.”
  • About life: “Everything should be done as simply as possible, but not simplified.”

And here comes a curious question. Whether Einstein said or wrote all of the above? Plagued by vague doubts.

Just one quote above clearly belongs to Einstein, “God does not play dice”. And she became a condensed excerpt from a valuable review of Einstein on quantum theory. In 1926 he wrote in a letter to the physicist max born (German language): “the Theory says a lot but does not bring one iota to the secrets of the “old”. I, at least, am convinced that He does not play dice”.

Another statement: “If the facts do not match the theory, change the facts.” This quote is widely attributed to Einstein, because it seems obvious that he would have loved sounding in her idea. In a conversation with the student, who in 1919, immediately after the confirmation of General relativity, asked the question: what if the astronomical facts are in contradiction with the theory? Einstein replied, “then I feel sorry for God, because the theory is correct”. Again, there is no record that Einstein made such a categorical statement, orally or on paper. Similar comments about the facts and theories date back to the 19th century; specifically Einstein this quote began to ascribe in 1991. Without any sources.

Now consider the statement which is widely attributed to Einstein in the exhibits of the British Museum on the topic of religion, “Life with the gods”: “the Most beautiful and profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science”. Quote, apparently, was drawn after ten years after Einstein’s death from the following comment which gave Einstein in 1932. Translated from his native German, it reads: “the Most beautiful and profound experience is the sensation of mystery. It is the basis of religion, and the basis of a deep inspiration in art and science.” Please note: the “mystery” in 1932 was the “mystical” in 2018.

In short, the Einstein quotes are very different from the originals. Many can be traced to his works; some of them are based on the memories of those who knew him well; others have mutated over time; some were similar to his thoughts or seem to fit his behavior, however, are not. Filename Einstein speculating pundits to give confidence to the business or idea. As he said himself Einstein: never trust quotes on the Internet. If you know what I mean.

Why do we still admire Einstein, trying to quote and even to come up with his quotes? The answer is as versatile, complex and as unique as this man, like his life, but he will undoubtedly be linked with the scientific genius of Einstein. There is a funny anecdote about Einstein, whom he found at the end of the 1930-ies during the act of comprehension, told by one of his assistants in physics, Banished Hoffmann:

“When it became obvious, as it often happened, that even the transition to the German language does not solve the problem, we all froze, and Einstein quietly stood up and spoke in his strange English: “My a little bit to think.” Having said that, he started to walk in a circle, spinning a lock of his long, gray hair around her finger. A minute passed, then another, and Infeld (another assistant) and I silently looked at each other, while Einstein continued to walk, twisting a curl around his finger. His face said he was somewhere far away. There was no sign of intense concentration. A minute passed, then another, and suddenly, Einstein was noticeably relaxed, and a faint smile lit up his face. He would not go, do not tighten the curl. He returned to us, noticed us, then told the solution to the problem, and almost always it worked”.

Easy to see why Einstein is considered an icon in the world of scientists. Scientific American estimates that two-thirds of the “illuminations” sent by scientists and science magazines involve Einstein’s theories. Either the writer claims to have found a unified theory of gravitation and electromagnetism, what could not do Einstein, or Einstein was wrong, especially in terms of General relativity. (Another third “illuminations” for the eternal engine and eternal sources of energy).

However, in the way Einstein must be something else beyond the world of science. In 2005 Arthur C. Clarke — whose own work and personality went beyond the circle of readers and fans of the movie have spread out the incredible fame of Einstein’s “unique combination of genius, humanist, pacifist and eccentric”. While Newton, for example, are known to everyone, how many advertisers will use his image as much as Einstein to advertise any products to the General public? What politician will mention the name of Newton in his speech? Who will sign the quote with his name? Of course, the biography of Newton written, but his name looms in plain sight, he becomes a hero of the cartoons and the subject of discussion. About him except that invent jokes.

Newton was famous for his scientific achievements, for which he was esteemed by all subsequent physicists, including Einstein. But after Newton left Cambridge and moved to London in 1696, he did not have a single friend in the place where he spent 35 years and did his revolutionary work; there is not one surviving letter, which he sent to his friends in Cambridge from 1696 in 1727. His successor, William Winston, wrote about Newton in his memoirs (long before the death of the holder): “He possessed one of the most fearful, cautious and suspicious manners from all that I knew.”

Einstein and Newton had a lot in common on a scientific path, but very few people. With all the skepticism about Einstein’s personal relationships and the institution of marriage, two failed marriages and family tragedies (his second son Eduard spent the last thirty years of his life in Swiss psychiatric hospital), he was a very sociable person. He always acted in public, corresponded with friends, colleagues and strangers, made constant efforts to help the scientific “rivals” and new recruits — for example, the then unknown Indian mathematics Satyendra NAT Bosa, with whom he made many developments.

Unlike Newton’s, Einstein’s disagreement about the science and other issues — in addition to anti-Semitism and Nazism — was shown without controversy and without malice. It was not anger, even in his long and inconclusive battle with Bohr in the field of quantum theory. Einstein was beating strongly, but not to hurt. Arguing with his close friend born on the same topic in 40-ies and 50-ies, the most humiliating thing that dared to go Einstein, this sardonic comment: “it’s a Shame, Bourne, shame on you!”.

Moreover, almost all the public beginning who supported Einstein, was a distinguished and far-sighted. Many needed moral courage. He spoke out against anti-Semitism, segregation and lynchings of black people in the United States, against the witch hunts of McCarthyism, the construction of the military-industrial complex, against nuclear war. Instead of basking in glory enjoying the physics, music and sailing, Einstein struggled whenever his name could at least be something to affect. The fact that J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI Director, identified Einstein as sympathetic to Communists in the years 1950-55, shows just how serious activism Einstein accepted the reactionary forces.

It is worth noting that Einstein himself was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and shared Gandhi’s indifference to material success, though rejecting the view of Gandhi that civil disobedience can serve as a weapon against the Nazis. In 1952 Einstein called Gandhi “the greatest political genius of our time.” Gandhi showed, “the able to sacrifice people, when you find the right path. His work for the liberation of India is a living manifest of the will of man, supported by the indomitable conviction that is stronger than material forces that seem insurmountable”.

The opinion of Einstein regarding religion taken seriously and religious representatives. In 2004 the biologist and militant atheist Richard Dawkins wrote:

“Einstein was deeply spiritual, but abandoned the supernatural and denied all personal gods. I’m happy to share his great godless spirituality. No theist would dare to give Einstein lessons in spirituality”.

Physicist Stephen Hawking (recently deceased, but keep his black holes) shared a similar view of Einstein, when he wrote in 1984:

“If we say that there is an Entity that is responsible for the laws of physics, it is perfectly consistent with everything we know. However, I think it would be a misrepresentation to call such an Entity “God” because usually the term has personal connotations that are not in the laws of physics.”

Pope John Paul II, speaking in 1979 at a meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences dedicated to the centenary of the birth of Einstein, said:

“Filled with admiration for the genius of the great scientist, which reveals the imprint of the creative spirit, in no way judgmental of the doctrine on the great systems of this Universe, and it is not in her power, the Church, however, recommends that these doctrines for consideration by theologians, that they could find the harmony between scientific truth and truth of revelation.”

The phenomenon of misquoting Einstein is largely due to the deeply human desire for mystification authority figures, which can be dubbed “icons,” and “genius”. When relativity theory became popular in the 1920’s, many people assumed that Einstein can be quoted left and right and that everything is relative, including the truth; all observation is subjective; all the impossible possible. People love to quote Einstein, because it is difficult to disagree. And in the words of Einstein himself:

“To punish me for my contempt of authority, fate made me an authority”.

According to the materials of AEON

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