tv Matthew Stanley Einsteins War CSPAN November 6, 2021 5:30pm-6:46pm EDT
be able to stand at the intersection of science and history and bring a great conversations like this one. it is my pleasure in my honor to introduce the president of the library lisa bauer. >> thank you lora. we are pleased to present tonight's program. for the past several years are two institutions that work together to present programs on a wide range of topics illustrating the role played by science in the first world war. tonight's event einstein's for how relativity triumphs in the nationalism of world war i discusses the effect of that war on the scientific community and obstacles that one member of that community albert einstein had to overcome. on behalf of everyone at the linda hall library thank you for joining us this evening and now i will turn it back to subtwenty
to introduce tonight's distinguished speaker. >> thank you very much. it is truly my honor to introduce dr. matthew stanley a professor of history and science at new york university. he obtained his ph.d. from harvard and he's the author of "einstein's war" how relatively tramped in the nationalism of world war i and the story of how pacifism and friendship led to a scientific revolution. he has also written mystic religion science and 8s eddington and huxley's -- which explores the complex relationship between science religion and history and potentially my favorite introductory remarks since my career here also a host of a
podcast you can sign on all of your stinging services that go to your streaming service. i think you might enjoy it but if you want to test it out before you start downloading that you've got an hour and we welcome your questions and even more so we welcome you dr. matthew stanley. >> thank you lora and thank you to the national war museum and the library for putting this together. i think i'm supposed to say that i would rather be there in person but i've been watching the questions of people are putting into the chat and it's very extraordinary that i get to talk to people from coast to coast and literally around the
world and that's better than if i would have been there in person. so i am supposed to talk about einstein. his name is synonymous with the icon of science in later with the image you think of when you think of science and scientists. but the story i want to tell us how that came to be and how extraordinary and unusual it was that in the space of just a few weeks einstein goes from being a corrected career academic to literally being recognized all around the world. the aspect of the story that's fascinating is he didn't have
much to do with the sudden change. he became famous because he was at a particular place at a particular time specifically during the middle of the great war. that might not sound like this would be conducive to the scientific revolution but it did make all the difference and a friend in the whole network of people he was working with. perhaps the old sagely einstein that they know well but rather the middle-aged einstein. he is held a couple of professorships and it's the summer of 1914 in switzerland.
he's moving back to germany for the first time was born there to a secular jewish family and he came to really dislike the forms of authority and classroom instruction. he became what he describes as a social international. moving back to germany as a matter of emotional -- and he remembered at difficult childhood there and some of the finest minds in chairman science to what will eventually become -- even though he's being recruited for this job he's not well-known and most people in physics would not have known his name either. most were working on specific
aspects. when he was recruited to work on the quantum theory what he wanted to spend his time working on was the theory of relativity. the theory relatively was one the special of -- the special theory of relatively that apply applied to special and restrictive situations and not the many circumstances that you might interested into what einstein wants to do by 1914 was. what he called the general theory of relativity from 1905 to the entire year under all conceivable situations in which one would be interested in the. he hopes moving to this new
position in berlin would bring few teaching responsibilities ended in the strait of responsibilities but it turns out they had been having an affair with a woman in berlin for some years. he wrote his family and said instead of tearing himself in the science he would have been extremely rocky relationship issue einstein was headed deep connection to his children. he has to find a place to sleep and he crushes on this friends couch for a while and he counsels whom through the emotional wreckage but eventually einstein is able to settle down and as i said
starting to work on his theory of relativity. it's a theory that the right way to understand the universe is not that it universe of space but it dimension with conglomeration of space and science in which three-dimensional creatures are displayed in the universe in the right way. it's warped by the presence of planets and the stars and we talked about space and strange things we associate with it things aging at different rates energy turning to matter and matter turning to energy and division that einstein hasn't the right way to approach the universe of science today.
unfortunate for einstein he discovers early on in the process of this. relatively -- the mathematics is extremely complicated. it turns out he had switched the mathematics classes that he needed so i rather extraordinary turn of events he took the notes that he had copied so they could pass that class. he learned the mathematics that he was supposed to have learned college.
by 1914 he helped einstein figure out the mathematical superstructure. einstein had to work on the scientific and physical theory. he published very little on the theory by this point that what he calls his raft version seemed pretty good and in particular by the summer of 1914 he had achieved a very important milestone. it's not just that he had formerly put the equations out there but rather he had gotten the theory to a point where it could be tested and this is an extremely important thing for any scientific theory but particularly for einstein's theory because relatively is so alien to our ordinary experience that he knew that he needed some kind of them kirkhope test that he could point to and say this is why we should believe that my theory is right in a particular
task that we are talking about here and this is the one that is at hand 1914 as some called sometimes called the gravitational reflection of light so einstein's theory predicts that gravity should hold not just on heavy objects like tables and professors but also the most ephemeral so the path of light should be banned by grabbing the same way of a path as well but the effect is very tiny and you need an extremely strong gravitational source. the way einstein figured out to see this was a few waited for the star that was supposed to be near the edge of the sun and the gravity of the sun as the light reflected from matt star would be bent by the sun's gravity and from our point of view on earth we see that ending of light and
what it looks like is the star appears to be displaced from where it should be in the effect is very small. you need very sophisticated and skilled observers to see it and you have to wait for solar clips. fortunately for einstein soon after he arrives in berlin there's a solar clips predicted essentially in crimea which at the time was part of russia and one of einstein's accolades a fan as it were with a trained astronomer who agrees to go to russia with the crew and all the equipment and try to take a photograph to prove that einstein is right. at this time this is a normal thing for scientists to do and that is to cross the borders in the scientific projects and in fact there was half a dozen crews of astronomers in crimea
to observe the solar clips and not necessary to test the theory. einstein is biting his nails in berlin waiting to hear the results from this expedition and the rest of the world doesn't care even slightly. einstein's theory is of no interest. what everyone else is paying attention to in august of 1914 is the culmination of the geopolitical conflicts the arms race the political tension and the spark was shooting that austrian protesting -- bosnia to slovenia and declarations that initiate the beginnings of world war i. scientists watch this happen as the rest of the world does and
many of the scientists hope they can hold themselves above the fray. science is supposed to be an international enterprise disconnected from human things like politics and the conquest and in particular as the war began the british association for the advancement of science is holding its annual meeting an international meeting as it turned out that many of the scientists there that is the british scientist and chairman scientist declared science should be above all politics and this seemed like a great moment for showing how scientist could rise above this. one of the scientists in attendance there adding tennis and a strum and our and physicist and the professor at cambridge and also a quaker which meant he was a pacifist. he was very pleased to see at the meeting these
international -- but was immediately bash. the moment when he was toasted observe the solar clips he was arrested by russian police as a chairman spy and was locked up in a prison. scientists on both sides -- chairman intellectuals that have the famous declaration declaring their solidarity with the army as many of einstein's friends and mentors whose couch as he slept on. british scientists say germans could no longer be trusted to do science and this is a particularly famous h. h. turner one of the great astronomers. it's not a fact that the lusitania was sunk but the cold-blooded mrs. pirates. chairman ideals are infinitely
far removed from the inception of the true man of science. scientists began attacking each other in. the chairman prizewinner will home scene in the chairman scientist could no longer cite papers or use terms. he said he can't use the word ' party him -- and they accused him of taking credit for british work in copies of the telegraph lines that scientists use to communicate data back and forth. scientific journals are withdrawn and british scientists in germany and austria are arrested. einstein finds himself horrified in particular he discovers he is essentially the only pacifists among the science community. he joins these organizations and
is largely ignored because he is a person of no consequence at this time. he writes to a friend of his at this time sang of love science but there are times when i feel so painful for people about their emotional judgments and consequences. scientists in particular must foster international relations all the more i must distance ourselves from the emotions of the war but unfortunately we have had to suffer serious disappointments even among scientists. einstein felt these issues essentially immediately. as the war ends the royal navy blockades germany falls short on food within a week at the beginning of the war and hundreds of thousands of germans die of starvation. einstein is one of them produce starving and he's very sick and he was getting lewd packages
sent by his friends in switzerland. he loses 50 pounds in two months and complains that his hands are always cold and for much of the time these bed ridden. he much of the time works in his pajamas and writes on cosmology while under the blankets. he's isolated politically and intellectually in berlin so one of the places he looks for intellectual and social companionship is in the netherlands. the netherlands are mutual during the war so he can go and visit her and their in a particular the three gentlemen on the right side of this photograph are his physics friends and he enjoys being around other nationalists and people of left-wing politics so those are the people he discusses with. these are essentially the only people in the world who know
about general relativity and this is because the blockade as i've suggested stop scientific papers just as it does scientific armaments and who would want to hear were to chairman scientist had to say in any case? the tall gentleman in the back who is an astronomer decides that the world should hear about einstein and it so happens he speaks english so he sends a letter to the society and landed describing einstein's work. it so happens the secretary of the ecumenical society is arthur stanley and i can't over resize how lucky i said was that eddington was the one. this is because few scientists were willing to even think about
it but eddington was a pacifist and internationals and thought international relations and science were absolute critical and he understood the complicated mathematics. so happens he and adjusted the one correspondent in britain that was willing and able to think about einstein and grapple with relativity. eddington was excited about the science in a recognized the signs that he'd like einstein is feeling isolated. there are very few people who he can talk to in england within the scientific community who share his views. eddington is very worried about the future of international science. he knew he wasn't naïve. he knew there would be wartime disruptions but suggesting that germans as a people could no longer be trusted with science seemed to him absurd. he'd been working very hard to
get his colleagues to think in that fashion -- international ways. he does this through practical terms points out the problems of astronomy are walled -- worldwide. he also appeals to philosophical idealistic and perhaps spiritual concerns saying there's conviction of the pursuit of truth whether the ad them at the vast system of the stars but there are differences between use it as the degradation of science. it's interesting to note what eddington is doing is taking the pacifist technique used by his fellow quakers and applying them these strategies include things like humanizing the enemy making
contacts and showing that the world is a better place united than it is divided. he invites his colleagues not as a symbolic chairman but as a friend. call him a pirate baby killer and try to work up a go. attempt breaks down ludicrously the worship of force love of empire and narrow patriotism and the perversion of science have brought the world to disaster. einstein is a symbol of science reaching above the chasms showing that world changing science depended on international corp.. einstein was perfect for this not just because he was -- but also sends einstein was a pacifist he was opposed to his
own nations ideas so as to peaceful chairman einstein could be just what a quaker scientist needed to convince his colleagues that relativity could show was lost on science consumed by this hatred. remember at this point no one knew who einstein was. eddington has dedicated the next couple of years to his life to learning relativity popularizing it and getting people excited about it and he has to do this without any direct indication by einstein. he cannot send letters and telegrams back and forth and they can even send letters back and forth to the mutual netherlands because that would look like espionage and that's many scientist to get arrested. eddington is essentially managing to teach himself
relativity but like einstein he realizes persuading people of the importance of the theory would require a test this physical assertion that it's true. he wants to do that same thing that have been attempted in 1914 and eclipse was coming up in 1919 across the southern hemisphere but it was not at all clear that it would the war be over? we'd be able to travel? good to get his colleagues to support a complicated and expensive expedition to test the theory? in 1916 he first begins the project are bracing relativity does have some success in just as he was making progress convincing his colleagues to support the expedition edington found himself being pulled from the observatory. the war breakfast point had killed so many men that -- and
it's a quaker he would refuse. he would be a conscientious air and conscientious objection wasn't allowed status but there was little guidance on what should happen to someone who does claim pacifist objection to the war and among the scientific community to he was essentially the only one. the vast majority of scientists has simply volunteered to go fight so it was essentially unprecedented and if this was going to happen to eddington that meant he would be sent to a prison camp. these were terrible terrible places a conscientious objectors were spies and many of them died in the camps so what eddington did not want to go to the camp in to him more portly to be able to continue work on einstein's
relativity and the court order to explain his conscientious objection and explain why he'll should be able able to continue with science and one of his major difficulties is getting people to understand that he was a both a scientist and a person of religious faith. seem like a contradiction so many of the members of the tribunal rejected him those grounds. he ends up getting saved at the last second because he was friends with frank tyson essentially the top scientist at the time and he argued it was important for british scientific prestige to do that test. if they were about to do the test of relativity. he eddington is allowed to do his pacifist exhibition on the grounds it would be good for the
british empire. eddington was freed to do it but with the war allow it? as i showed the clips 1919 that they were hoping to see the clips to africa. not many astronomers are likely to try to run the blockade so they had to hope the circumstances of the war went. throughout 1915 they are hoping things are going to go better than they have been as it happens in 1918 the chairman offensive runs out of steam ended overextends itself and neither the armies could not hold. eventually it became clear that wilhelm the second -- and on
november 11 the next day we have einstein's journal for that day and it's a very short entry. he says class was canceled because of -- and einstein gleefully watches the collapse of the military state in the social's politics that could cause so much trouble during the war was suddenly noticed under this new republic red super and i'm enjoying the reputation of an approachable socialist and as a consequence yesterday's heroes are of the opinion that i could break their fall. funny world. in fact berlin is something of a scary place. immediately after the end of the war einstein finds himself climbing barricades and he has to negotiate for the release of
dean's being held hostage by revolutionaries and the new regime for a academic freedom. it's important to emphasize at this point even though there's a premise there is no peace treaty. einstein is still targeting at this point and he still can indicating with this scientific allies. the blockade would have explicit intent of making it as difficult as possible for germany so they could get the best conditions they can. eddington finds himself working frantically. suddenly it's the end of 1918 it's going to take months to get to the hemisphere and they
couldn't do any of the preparations during the war because of materials and labor and because of wartime restrictions. he manages to get a pass for this which is extraordinary at the time and decision is made to send two expeditions to. one team would be sent to prison on the other team that the eddington sent to the island coast of africa. each team would take with them special cameras to take photographs hopefully if the stars during the eclipse and telescope and master graphic for
capturing -- and the way you do an observation of this sort which is well established by this point is you get to the path of totality and you essentially build an emergency observatory wherever that happens to be where you play the telescopes horizontally. in the front there's a round mirror in his job was to reflect the image of the sun or the stars and that's driven by clockwork so to stay the image without any motion. the hope at the end of this was that they would get a series of photographs that they could -- of the of the stars on the sun that they could then compare to what stars were supposed to look like and then they could measure
how much the sun's gravity had distorted the position of the stars and they predicted this placement and how much the stars move on the photographic plate is one 60th of a millimeter. a millimeter is very tiny if you are not used to metric measurements prince about 25 millimeters an inch so it's less than 1/1000th of an inch so that the small amount. many critics of the expedition at the time said that's too small to measure and he says no astronomers measure sizes like that all the time. it's not easy but it's a perfectly normal thing for us to do. so eddington works up the mathematics as what we should expect to see in the way he eddington presents it is this. he says einstein's theory predicts the amount that the stars move in stars move in the
skies 1.75 per second and a small amount and for comparison and eddington says rudin -- nunes the theory of gravity to the flea is his theory of gravity it should be half of what einstein predicts. and the third possibility if there's no deflection at all at some point during the preparation of the expedition he's explaining these three possibilities to a guy named cottingham who's going to be that technician keeping the machines running in cottingham got it into his head the bigger the deflection the better so he asks if we get double the einstein to function that would be better to which dyson replies than eddington will go mad and you'll have to go home alone. even as eddington and dyson are
looking about the logistical logistical aspects of the expedition they are working with reporters in london about the expeditions and their significance so when they came back months later with the results there would be a public eager and ready to hear about this titanic battle between a einstein and -- and that's what it's framed that way to make at this intellectual battle. what they had everything ready eddington hops on won when the first passenger ships headed south and denotes how strange it is to be outside the rationing that have been normal in the uk by this point with full bowls of sugar and large portions of me. he arrives on april 26. he had never been to principe. this is a long time before travel web sites. príncipe is a speck of an island
in the ocean with amount in the middle. it's part of the portuguese empire and what was known for at the time as it was covered in cocoa plantations that sold cocoa to the quaker chocolate factories in britain. the plantation workers at those plantations were the ones that carry the equipment by hand through to the jungle and set it up. everything was set up by may 16 not quite two weeks before this would happen and astronomers have been practicing with these very complicated systems that they have to be able to operate essentially in the dark during the eclipse and there would be no room for error. there is no do over so you have to make sure you carry out the experiment perfectly. i try to over emphasize how nerve-racking the last few days
before the eclipse were prettier supplanting and months of journeying weeks is physically and mentally grueling preparation and this is all about knowing whether the sky would be clear. one cloud could ruin everything and in fact on the day of the eclipse the day started off cloudy and in principe that day started with a gigantic rainstorm and dignitaries watched looking for a break in the clouds and the rain ends a couple of hours before the eclipse. at 2:13 p.m. local time the astronomers carried out the process without noel weighing whether the clouds had cleared or not. eddington was so focused on the
photography wasn't able to watch the event. it was a marvelous spectacle as the photographs revealed flames 100,000 miles above the fort -- surface of the sun. by the end of the eclipse 16 photographic plates sat covered in a box in the secrets of the stars. indeed great efforts would be required to tour they were used in scientific data and eddington says to him through clouds, hopeful. they developed the photographic plates and it turns out that most of them are cloudy and six of the 16 showed the stars on one of the original plates and the impression was where those
plates enough so eddington spends each day hunched over the photographs with a special tool making these fine measurements and in fact what he was looking for was as we said large by astronomers standards and then they had to be reduced that is mathematically scrutinized for optical effects. eddington was legendary for how fast to calculate things but it's still an enormous amount of time put in and he writes home to his mother the one good late today measured i think that got a little confirmation. so at some point in the first week of june of 1919 eddington put down the pen he'd been using and he rested his head in his hands and this is three years after he received the first
letter a year after he'd been freed from the tribunal and eddington finally had his answer. i knew that einstein's theory had stood the test and the a new outlook of scientific thought must prevail. despite that he could not let the opportunity slip a two-day cottingham with a warning quipping you won't have to go home alone. this was just a matter of persuading him. he wanted to know the answer but persuading -- the world would be harder. he faced months of tedious calculation and the results in principe worked calculated to be comfortably close to einstein's prediction. once the results were in hand eddington and dyson did some test runs presenting the data with audiences and in fact dyson
schedules a joint meeting with the royal astronomical society to present the results. eddington sends word of the results to their mutual friends in the netherlands. the dutch friends telegraph einstein with the news and einstein is delighted and einstein chose this telegram with the results to anyone who walks into his apartment for the next four months even when he is bed ridden and their various versions of the story. one of the students who einstein shows a telegram to full of enthusiasm i explain how wonderful. this is almost the value you calculated. quite unperturbed he remarked i knew that the theory is correct. did you doubt it? i answered no, of course not. but what would you have said if there had been no confirmation like this? he replied it would have to.
our dear god. he's a little more home full and grateful -- humble and grateful and this is am writing to his mentors at the time had deeply and how heartily pleased i was about the news contained in lawrence's telegram does the intimate union between the beautiful but true in the real has once again proved operative. you have already said many times that he personally never doubted the results that is beneficial nonetheless it's now this fact is indubitably established for others as well. in the presentation of results in london held at the royal society where the people presentations was a mathematician whitehead who describes it in this way but the whole atmosphere of tense interest was exactly like that of the greek drama. there is a dramatic quality in the very staging of the traditional ceremonial and in the background picture and her mind is that the greatest of
scientific generations was now after more than two centuries to receive its first modification. nor was the personal interest wanting a great adventure and thought had at length. he went to the podium and announced after study at the plate number. to say they can be no doubt i can confirm einstein's perfection. the results have been obtained that light was reflected in accordance with einstein's law. the observation teams including eddington described the expedition and explain the data and the president of the royal society who i should say was not a fan of einstein announces this is the most important result obtained in connection with the theory of gravitation since newton's day and it is fitting that it should be announced at a meeting of the society so closely connected with him. if it is sustained with einstein's reasoning holds good and it has survived to very severe test in connection with
the -- of mercury and present eclipse then it is the result of one of the highest achievements in human thought. he presented one person of rosen pointed to news photograph over eddington said carefully modifying the theory. the next day the times of london presented the revolution in science and shares the page with reminder of the upcoming observation of the first -- and the follow-up article was entitled einstein versus newton. remember this was the first time almost anyone in written had heard of einstein and he was presented as eddington wanted as a peaceful genius who repeat 88 it -- repeated all the work is a signatory to the protest against
the chairman manifesto up the men of science to declare themselves in favor of germany's part in the war. soon the new york times picked up on these articles and blared lights all askew in the heavens and we know this quite clear this is only the second time einstein had been mentioned. he comes out of nowhere to the front pages and eddington begins his tireless tour and he gives public lectures and interviews and write magazine articles also making the scientific revolution possible. everyone wanted to talk about einstein. indeed it became possible for them to communicate directly and eddington says it's the best possible thing that could happen. do not anticipate a reunion but
there's a more reasonable frame of mind and that is even more important than the renewal of formal negotiations but one feels that things have turned out very fortunately and giving a lesson solidarity of chairman and british science even in a time of worry. but it wasn't just fortune it was eddington and einstein worked hard to portray this event as a repair from the terrible years of the war. einstein himself praises the wonderful tradition of science that they should devote their time and energy to a theory. this is the moment when einstein becomes famous literally around the world. on ending photographs mail piles up at his home literally by the basketball wanted to know more
about this mysterious sage that turned the theory of relativity. in england i'm represented as a swish as they represent -- and i shall become a swiss for the germans and a chairman man of science for the english. it's worth noting that it true the attention of political right to attack him as a jewish internationalist and this leads to his fleeing the country under the in coming to the u.s. as a refugee. his sudden ascension as a scientific celebrity was squarely due for the timing of the context of the war but it described by one of the great british scientist at the time the war had just ended the
complacency of the victorian and edwardian times had been shattered. suddenly a chairman scientist had been confirmed by expedition sent by british astronomer's greatest astronomical discovery transcending worldly life. einstein becomes the new scientific state -- saint during the world starring work. the image of einstein is a genius comes out and telling contrast that einstein's triumph was so striking a victory for scientific duty and world peace at a time when civilization itself seemed to be in peril. in terms of weren't pacifists like einstein's reaction to them they forged these intricate fragile networks. without this network the relatively revolution would never have happened. the theory they didn't have
enough applications and without the war relativity would have been one more scientific theory and without the were einstein would be one more name for bored schoolchildren to memories but instead his name is now an idea of an iconic personification of everything he wants kids to do in the queue that was not einstein's genius but einstein and his friends. thank you very much and it's been a real pleasure. you can reach out to me and take questions now but feel free to e-mail me or go to my podcast web site. >> spectacular. matt, thank you so much. i know i was laughing out loud at some of the comments so i fully anticipate that those across the nation and from around the world were doing the same so thank you all again for joining us and if you are
joining us in zoom do please add your questions and they are a r. already summing it coming into the q&a section but if you're joining us on the linda hall library facebook page or the national world war i museum and memorial facebook page please feel free to add your questions into that chat. we have educators in both organizations who are there to moderate. the first question actually came from tim's a coin and he asked the question how did aecom that einstein had no talent in mathematics? >> this is einstein being self-deprecating and you can find a quote saying he wasn't very good at math but einstein does fine in mathematics at school.
it wasn't that he was bad at math but he just hated going to classes and when the describes himself as a not good mathematician is comparing himself to literally the greatest mathematicians in the world at the time so when he's explaining what he has to talk to them he's explaining i don't understand mathematics and i need help is actually very good at math but just in comparison to them. b from tom winter and pr science last friday they reported the "science magazine" that has a historical study about a barber who brings to einstein the idea that gravitation could affect will light in curve. i do love we have the opportunity to balance out and be a sounding board for the truth of the media. science history and maybe it's all coming in on one day.
>> that's great. i did not hear that episodes i don't know the specific reference but that said they are sort of a cottage industry of finding the earlier version of einstein's projections and in fact there was the case back in the 18th century he proposed that newton's theory and if you accept that idea -- there are a handful of people who make similar predictions to the general idea that gravity can bend light and i should say there's an important warning i want to put here that there's a group of far right anti-semitic critics of einstein in the 1920s and 30s who use this plane to make the case that einstein plagiarized and that's not true at all.
>> from benjamin davis he wanted to know what was the results of the solar eclipse study that was done in brazil? >> that's a related question and i passed over that for time purposes. the story in brazil they have two telescopes there in africa and the big telescope like the really good one has the technical problem at the last second. it produces photographs that at first glimpse are really bad hand by first glance i mean the scientists look at them and they say these are not good. they'd been -- you can subtract the problem in figure out what the results would have been without the problem and this is what they end up doing but if you do that then you get a
result to einstein's prediction and the telescope they brought as a backup at the last second captures the absolute best pictures of the eclipse and those are >> on with einstein's prediction. >> i feel like the history of science is probably full of these near disastrous moments. one of our participants wants to know, was einstein himself qualified to carry out this type of test? >> this is a really good question and the answer is an affirmative know. this is the distinction we lose when we are outside of science but einstein was a theorist good at it equations and figuring out what's going on and making predictions by these not her a
good at going and doing the observation. that's a completely different skill set than einstein realizes immediately. this is when the things he realizes he has to do is to find someone qualified to do the tests. he has this acolyte whose interested in the theory of relativity but his boss won't let them leave to test so einstein is tearing his hair out trying to find someone who's qualified to do the test. it's important that einstein is not involved with the expedition. >> a very specific question coming to us from gaia greater spoke about a mayor that attracts the stars clockwork mechanism during these expeditions.
could you share more about the relationship between astronomers physicist and clock makers? is that a diagram? >> that's a great question. it so happens astronomers and physicists rely on clock makers well into the 20 centuries because clock makers can make precise judgments and particularly robust in stem is second survived being carried from england to brazil. what typically happens and this is an example of that is astronomers and physicists have advanced degrees along the lines of thought vote we are talking about and don't necessarily have the skills to operate the machinery so there are fully paid employees at the observatory who operate the quit meant in a way that people with fancy degrees can't.
there's an interesting intersection of that because he is trained as a physicist as an astronomer and his first job out of college is as an assistant at the royal observatory so he does learn to operate these machines that dyson are einstein never attempted. firm robinson joost after the 1919 eclipse expedition what were the divisions in the international physics community with respect to accepting einstein's general relativity versus the skepticism? >> this is an interesting question. in a sense because i feel like there's a real tension. i'm dying to bury of relativity is generally accepted. there are holdouts but for the most part everyone who looks at the photographs agrees there's a deflection of light and it
matches einstein's picture and then there are people who say maybe there's an explanation that's not such a theory so there's some of that but they are interesting things that happen. astronomers continue to test einstein's theory even though it's generally accepted so for example american astronomers test this in the 1920s in a much better position than eddington. what i find interesting is when they do the test even though they know what the answer is going to be no one expects it and throughout the 20th century and continuing to today we continue to test einstein's theory even though no one doubts it. it's amazing we spend billions of dollars in scientific project to test relatively -- relativity i don't know why the scientific committee is obsessed with trying to test roll activities
activities -- relativity but they are. >> we have a lot of really good questions. i want to be sure to honor everyone's time. i'm going to ask one more but before you do that would you be willing to stay on a little bit longer so we can explore some more of these because i personally would like to hear some of the answers. >> i would be delighted. >> the last official question comes to us from stacy. i know your next book is a history of scientific predictions at the end of the world. can you say a little bit more about this new project of yours? it sounds very exciting. >> i certainly could. i wish i knew more about it. it's a new project so the question that struck me about this was once upon a time predictions about the end of the world where something that you asked profits and priests about and this is a religious kind of
prediction. the book of revelations and so on but nowadays we ask scientists instead and they have a lot of them to ascribe to. i'm interested in how that ship to came to be and that is how the scientists take on the duty of having to predict the end of the world. i have one particular prediction to the end of the world and that's the idea that an asteroid will hit the earth. .. doctor matthew stanley on behalf and the linda hall library with which we have been so pleased to partner on this and many lectures.
thank you so very much. if you are interested in the future is doctor staley was just talking about, do pay attention to the website you see right there. start listening to his podcasts. what the f.com. if you like history and science, do take a look. we have got a sale on our website, the world war.orgy if you have not picked up the book yet. and learn more by reading the book einstein's war always support your local library that is another great way to do it. if you want to stay on please do and for those of you who need to leave, thank you so much for your time. it is one of your most valuable commodities. we truly appreciate learning with you. all right, that. there are so many other really great questions located here.
>> go for it. >> charles kelly i've a question about einstein's relationship with other socialists in particular hg wells. helped einstein escape germany. i do not know specifically if wealth was involved or not. they're traveling abroad when the nazis come to power. so einstein never goes back. then einstein moves run into end up in new jersey of all places. it is quite extraordinary the networks like socialism helps get people out and einstein spends the first few years of his time in the united states trying to do the same kind of
thing. letters of recommendation and making phone calls trying to get as many people of jewish heritage and politics and such out. then i should say there are those refugees that come to the united states and those of people to build the atomic bomb. with an amazing kind of thing the persecution of the nazis gives rise to what eventually become what makes america win the war and a superpower. >> becomes a little full circle. folks in the audience are unaware hg wells is one who coined the phrase the war to end all wars. you can find out more on our
youtube channel and was a lecture that he has done there. again, this intersection of history, literature and science. it is a wonderful place to be. nancy i hope asks what happened to the astronomers have been to russia? >> this is interesting. they are arrested as spies. you cannot blame the russians for this because they set up their equipment right over the russian naval base which made sense when there wasn't a war going on, but once the war begins we are obviously spies. it might have released a trade the first german prisoners to come back.
but their equipment stays in russia for almost 100 years after. it does not come back until after the collapse of the soviet union. the germans could not have read on the chest even if they had wanted too. very specific question on how one draws the diagram. this is actually an important question. another example for presentation purposes. after goes past them before. it's sort of the diagram. they're completely right about being correct. they are not used to thinking about image formation in that way. they're not used to think about foreign images and that
is confusing. but you are quite right and have to be corrected on that. now who else do we have? >> this is a fabulous match think about the anti- german anti-semitic rhetoric. could you speak more about the scientists at this time? they would have to capitulate to popular discourse. scientists have too. [laughter] do you notice any similarities of the pandemic the public and their relationship to science is a fabulous question. again i'm hoping saying her name correctly. >> that is a terrific question. reports of these quotes appear really almost famous saying about german say french scientists the only way to read those awful statement is
they did not really believe that. but the need to say things like that because they were under public pressure. we do have private letters about many of these astronomers as well. so we may have some better sense of what's going on in their heads. i know that would've been the german or french cases they are not feeling like they needed to change what they had to say in terms of political or social pressure and for instance they laid plans for after the war setting up new international plans of the organization where they would not have to deal with the austrians they be not able to
join in. there's a particularly interesting case he actually anti- german statements during the war. but his personal correspondence shows he was quite anti- german. he was upset his son is not old enough to go fight. he really hopes the germans lose the war and are punished. and then he goes along on this interesting plan which could have been a total disaster along the way. it's interesting to see how scientists navigate the sort of treacherous, political and social waters and hold to the proper way they see science. in terms of the comparison to the modern today and the struggle scientists have had talking to the general public during the pandemic, one of
the lessons we should take away from the story is that it's not so much people trusted science more. i think that's probably true. but rather scientists were more concerned with talking to the public and making legible their ideas in a way people could understand. so it takes years off to help people understand it better. but as a set of skills i think scientists today have. the reason for that is we train people to publish papers, run experience and get tenure. we don't teach them how to communicate. i think one of the lessons of the last year end a half it would be nice if we could take some time out from training our scientists in teaching
them to actually talk to non- scientists out there. >> i already know what of the soundbites it's going to be coming from the talk right here, there are two more questions the first is about a specific state if you might know it. >> let me google that. the nice thing google exists for things. [inaudible] >> august 21. all right there is your answer. [laughter] and then bethel brings us back to questions about media and reporting. >> i should say the media, the story of the 1919 is it media event. it was sort of the first big
media event of the postwar period, radio international telegraph line. it quickly spread around the world nobody more so than einstein. he hears about this when reporters show up at his door. he is like why do you people care about what i have to say? [laughter] much less following him around asking questions. for the accuracy of the reporting this is interesting that as the original story in the times which an important sense is supplanted they recruit them to come to the announcement of the results for that is pretty accurate. but then the "new york times" hits the times of london article and then writes their own article based on the
article. they are not talking to him. so then it begins to creep in. i'm still showing my screen here, i will go back to the times article. there is this but the famous line books that follows wise men in this it no more than 12 people could understand it that is totally fabricated by the times. that is not true at all. lots of people understood relativity by the point. explained here that sometimes there is variation of it even today. people will undersigned einstein siri. and then the times article gets picked up by other newspapers so he can track the accuracy is creeping in.
some things like einstein's nationality isn't interesting : the fact that he is jewish kind of drops off the map fairly quickly as well. to the two expeditions, one to africa and went to brazil is stated the actual predictions disappear almost instantly. goodness only knows what would've happened to the blogosphere. [laughter] >> a doctor matthew stanley thank you so very much. it has been a true delight to be in conversation with you this evening. it is a delight at the national museum and at the library to stand in that space of trying to keep inaccuracies
away from both history and science and to be bringing conversations like this to you in your homes, right now if you are watching live and in the future, if you've enjoyed this much to share you can certainly find it on our youtube page the easiest way to get there is good to the world world thought oh rg in the upper right hand side to see the youtube channel site and you can share from there it later on. if you want to find out more of course you should pick up the book. or it be following along with doctor stanley at any of his other places where he is teaching. again, doctor stanley thank you so very much for being in conversation request thank you so much for having me as very delightful. >> and thank you all for being here. ♪ ♪ >> weekend on cspan2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday americans tv
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