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Einstein and Pi (π)

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It came to my attention the fascinating fact of Albert Einstein’s birthday and its coincidentally celebration with Pi (π) day this year.

Albert Einstein is known as one of the greatest minds of all time. German-born theoretical physicist. He was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany. His life in science started early, with special interest in mathematics and physics.

Among his 300 scientific papers, there were two very important ones. The general theory of relativity and the photoelectric effect. Both of them had a deep effect in the quantum field. He began to think in depth at the age of 16. He asked himself questions like: How would a beam of light appear if you could chase it at high velocity? And he concluded that the speed of the light beam should appear to be exactly the same whether an observer is traveling toward or away from it.

The general theory of relativity , written in 1905, was his work resulting from trying to reconcile Newton’s classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. One of its conclusions is that nothing with mass can ever reach the speed of light, and that matter and energy can be transformed, one into the other (E=MC2). For him time and motion were entirely relative. He showed that massive objects create warps in the space-time. This paper has an effect in quantum mechanics.

His other paper written the same year 1905, the photoelectric effect was the one by which he was given the Nobel Prize in Physics. It provided a foundation for quantum theory.

In 1916 he developed his theory of gravitation (theory of general relativity). He then kept working with particle theory and motion of molecules, and developed the theory of the photon of light. He predicted the gravity of galaxies can bend light in a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.

Einstein’s ideas were so advanced that in some cases it took decades for technology to prove his theories.

It is fascinating the fact he share his birthday today with the great Pi (π) number. This day is celebrated around the world on March 14 or 3.14 and starts at 1:59 pm. When combined the date and time results in 3.14159, the approximate numerical value of Pi (π).

 

Ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 B.C) was one of the first scholars to calculate Pi (π).

Many of history’s greatest minds have been fascinated by Pi (π). They included Leonardo da Vinci, who attempted to approximate Pi (π), and Isaac Newton, who calculated Pi (π) to at least 16 decimal places.

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Some of Einstein’s inspirational quotes:

– Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
– The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
– We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
– Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
– A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
– It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.
– The only source of knowledge is experience.pi
– Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
– Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former.
– The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of people who do not do anything about it.
– The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
– The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
– Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
– Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.
– As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
– Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
– If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
– Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.
– All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
– Intellectual solve problems, geniuses prevent them.

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Thanks to Time magazine and Biography.com for being a rich source of information.

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