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General relativity: the comic

We are living through the year 2015 right now, and as you may know, 2015-100=1915. Exactly a century ago, Albert Einstein was completing his general theory of relativity.

Albert Einstein in Berlin, 1915

If you want a little bit more accurate timing, it was November 1915 when Einstein gave a PowerPoint-free presentation in front of the most important academy of sciences in the world – and the U.S. readers kindly forgive me that it wasn't the U.S. National Academy of Sciences but the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin.

He began to write systematic papers in 1916 which is why we sometimes quote 1916 as the year when GR was born.

Albert Einstein wrote three papers on GR in 1916 and the first one appeared in March,

Albert Einstein 1916a. “Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie.” [Basics of the general theory of relativity], Annalen der Physik 49: 769–822. (CPAE 6, Doc. 30). Reprinted in translation on pp. 111–164 of (Lorentz et al. 1952).
Now, 100 years later, things looks simple.

If you are waiting for a very short cartoon that "explains" GR in approximately 5 sentences and 10 semi-animated pictures, for a cartoon where Einstein looks like a brother of Superman who jumps from the skyscraper, open
Science Magazine: General Relativity, a Comic
The dramatic music (by the same Vietnamese author who also did the cartoons!) may be turned off in the right upper corner of that page. You navigate the page by the mouse wheel or the cursor up/down arrow keys – as if you assume that the document has lots of pages. Instead, it has lots of events on the time axis and you are moving forward and backward in time by the cursor up/down arrow keys. You got it, right? ;-)

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snail feedback (13) :

reader Tony said...

I liked the diagram with the time ticking slower closer to the ground, as Einstein falls from the roof. Very nice visualization of what appears to be an acceleration as a straight path in curved spacetime.

BTW, anyone knows of the English translation of all Einstein's articles available as free downloadable PDF(s)?

reader Eclectikus said...

Start here:

At least you get the 1905' papers translated and printables to PDF, and some links to other stuff in the web.

reader Tony said...

Thanks! Very useful references, especially at:

Normally, I would have upvoted, but in the typical tragedy of the commons, Lubos blocked guests from upvoting, probably because some goofs were logging in with different names and massively upvoting themselves and their crank buddies.

reader Eclectikus said...

You're welcome, I feel upvoted anyway ;-)

reader scooby said...

Here's for you Lubos: Bohemian Gravity 8).

reader Uncle Al said...

About that Science comic: Einstein is pictured writing his equations on a glass pane, for we face his face as he writes. Remarkably we see his writing properly, not as its mirror image. Given that he is not Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein must be seeing his writing properly as well. How is this possible? Historical precedent!

When the Ten Commandments were graven into stone, Moses cut the letters all the way through. The tablets read the same from either side. God is a geometer (or may a topologist). Or maybe it is a meta-material thin flat cylindrical lens explaining both, more or less.

reader davideisenstadt said...

I did it for tony.

reader Peter F. said...

Thanks for the link even though I'm not Lubos.
It was great singing and harmonizing (in tune), and his thesis smells healthy to me (who should not comment).

I wish we get to know Lumo's opinion about his thesis!

reader Tony said...

OFF topic, possibly raising Lubos blood pressure: new article in Nature Physics about the reality of wave function:

Will these people ever stop?

reader guest said...

Their title is misleading . conclusion of paper actually means reality of non.realistic nature of

quantum mechanic .

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Scooby, I've listened to it about 10 times and it was linked to on this blog many times, too, e.g. here

But thanks anyway.

reader Dilaton said...

NtThere have beeun incidences in the past where low-level trolling comments got highly upvoted but certainly not by the native TRF community.

So I guess Lumo fixed this by disallowing guest votes.

Maybe I should ask in an appropriate forum how one can trick Disqus and reintroduce downvotes, maybe on SE webmasters ...

reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, Tony, yes, it did raise my blood pressure significantly. It's almost back. I won't waste more time with that. They are just another bunch of cranks who are implicitly assuming classical physics all the time, so when they say that they exclude the "incomplete knowledge" interpretation of the wave function, they mean that they exclude the picture of "classical physics with incomplete knowledge".

But the thing that is different in the correct theory isn't that the knowledge isn't incomplete - the knowledge *is* incomplete. What's different about the real world is that it is not classical. They're just stupid monkeys, waste of time, garbage.