Talk:Albert Einstein

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Former featured articleAlbert Einstein is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on February 12, 2005.
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Current status: Former featured article, current good article

Query about wording[edit]

@DVdm: "Reconciled Maxwell's equations for electricity and magnetism with the laws of mechanics by introducing major changes to mechanics close to the speed of light" (my italics). Are you sure Einstein expressed it such a restricted way—without a hint that it's more generally applicable over the range of speeds? Source? Tony (talk) 10:35, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

  • The problem lies in the wording, which is why I edited it. It says that Einstein reconciled blah blah by introducing major changes to mechanics close to the speed of light. That's not what is meant, surely. Tony (talk) 10:38, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
Hi Tony1, it depends on which changes one considers. The changes to the formulae of mechanics are of course neither major or minor. They are just changes. But the changes to the values are only major in the vicinity of the speed of light. For small speeds the changes are minor. That is what the original wording tries to convey, and your edit removed that. The original wording provided more information and was fine, so I undid the edit. - DVdm (talk) 11:23, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
The original and reinstated wording (which is displayed just above) is completely misleading. It says that the changes to mechanics he introduced were only "close to the speed of light". Are you sure you don't mean the changes he exemplified? Do you see the problem? Tony (talk) 14:34, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
It is not the changes that are close to the speed of light. It is the the part of mechanics that is close to the speed of light: "mechanics close to the speed of light". In that part of mechanics, the changes are major indeed. I don't see a problem. - DVdm (talk) 14:53, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
There is a big problem with the wording. It doesn't express what you express here, but something very different (and untenable). Have you read my post above carefully? Tony (talk) 02:47, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Outside opinion here: now that DVdm explains it, I can see that the intent expressed is that close to the speed of light, the changes that Einstein introduced are major. But I certainly was not able to grasp that on first reading, so I agree with Tony that it needs to be expressed better. I've only read this talk page, not the changes, so I don't know if the way he expressed it is great. DVdm, since you clearly know the intent, can you just find a more clear way to express it? Dicklyon (talk) 02:59, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

 OK, done: [1]. Thanks for your comment. - DVdm (talk) 06:56, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── The following can be misread:

It reconciles Maxwell's equations for electricity and magnetism with the laws of mechanics, by introducing changes to mechanics, resulting in small changes in the Newtonian limit and large changes in situations where objects are moving at speeds close to the speed of light. 

The above wording seems to be saying that the changes that Einstein introduced to mechanics resulted in changes in the definition of the "Newtonian limit". Prokaryotic Caspase Homolog (talk) 10:49, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Feel free to hone Face-smile.svg - DVdm (talk) 11:59, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Fine-tuning (honing) didn't work. What made the sentence hard to fix was the entire surrounding context. Prokaryotic Caspase Homolog (talk) 08:00, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
@Tony1 and Dicklyon: Does my rewording work? Prokaryotic Caspase Homolog (talk) 08:18, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
PCH, to me, your recent change is good. But I'm not in the field. Tony (talk) 09:51, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
That is precisely why your input is valuable! Face-smile.svg An encyclopedia is not supposed to be a forum when show-offs get to baffle the target audience with their supposedly deep knowledge of a technical subject. This is an Albert Einstein biography, not a technical article meant to go into detail about his theories. For example, a statement saying that Minkowski understood the principle of relativity "...to be a generalization of rotational invariance from space to space-time" not only snows the typical reader, it is also misleading. Prokaryotic Caspase Homolog (talk) 14:54, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. But let's be fair, "a generalization of rotational invariance from space to space-time", is a pretty spectacularly nifty thing to contemplate, isn't it? Face-smile.svg. - DVdm (talk) 14:59, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Sure! - DVdm (talk) 10:56, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
The text reads better, for sure. But it also attributed some interpretation of Einstein to his primary sources, which I'm not at all sure I agree with (that is, for example, I'm not at all sure his original papers argued that the ether theory was superfluous, even though that was an implication of it). I don't know if this came in with recent edits or was there before (the diffs are complicated!). It would be good to see secondary sources for the interpretive stuff, so I tagged for citation needed. Dicklyon (talk) 02:50, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
Some of the statements that you question were carried over from previous version. Also, I had also noticed the need for additional references, but you tagged before I could fill them in. Smiley green alien KO.svg Will take care of them as soon as I am able. Face-smile.svg Prokaryotic Caspase Homolog (talk) 03:09, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm surprised you did not tag It reconciled conflicts between Maxwell's equations (the laws of electricity and magnetism) and the laws of Newtonian mechanics by introducing changes to the laws of mechanics, but on the other hand did tag the statement about the aether being made superfluous. That was a plain, direct statement in Einstein's paper requiring no interpretation. Anyhow, I added a note with an interwiki link to Saha's translation. Prokaryotic Caspase Homolog (talk) 05:22, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

I have three suggestions for minor edits:

1. In the section labeled "1933: Immigration to the US," the last sentence reads as follows: "On september 9, they take the ferry to Dover, and arrive in the US on october 17." Perhaps it should be, "On September 9, 1933 Einstein and Elsa took a ferry to Dover and ultimately arrived in the United States on October 17, 1933."

2. I personally don't think the ferry needs to be mentioned. A citation here would also be nice because specific dates are used.

3. The dating system is not consistent (e.g., earlier in this section 28 March is used, whereas the sentence I discussed in #1 uses the American format). This inconsistency is visible throughout the article and often within the same sections.

I'm new to editing Wikipedia articles. I hope this is the correct way to suggest edits; please let me know if I'm in the wrong place. ScienceJohn99 (talk) 21:51, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

@ScienceJohn99: Welcome, and thank you! I edited the page. If you look at the top of this top page, it clearly says this page is originally written in American English and should remain as such unless there is broad consensus to change. In American English, months come before dates, so changing all the dates to this format is justified. Nerd271 (talk) 06:05, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

@Nerd271 thank you for the welcome. I did see the note about using the American dating system in this article. I don’t know how many instances exist where the dates are incorrectly formatted, but I’m betting there are more than what I found on a cursory search through two subsections. My eyes automatically look for these things because I had a German advisor in graduate school. ;-) I’m happy to start correcting or you can ask someone who isn’t a newbie; just pointing it out in case it’s of interest. ScienceJohn99 (talk) 14:56, 21 July 2019 (UTC)

After graduating in 1900, Einstein spent almost two frustrating years searching for a teaching post.[edit]

Wasn't he spending this time working on his PhD?
According to another page:
Alfred_Kleiner "Einstein's controversy with Paul Drude took place in the middle of 1901. It was at this time that Einstein transitioned from Weber to Kleiner ... At that time, most dissertations in physics by ETH students were carried out under the supervision of H.F. Weber, Einstein's former teacher at the Polytechnikum, as it was then called. ... Einstein also showed Kleiner his first PhD thesis dissertation in November 1901 "
Can't find anything about this "controversy".
p.s. are all these the same place, can't it be simplified:-
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
, Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zürich
, Zürich Polytechnic
, Polytechnikum
, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule
, ETH

Yes, they are all (sort of) the same. The institute had different names at different times as it underwent restructuring. Prokaryotic Caspase Homolog (talk) 15:00, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

There is evidence that A.E. did in fact find a job! In Schaffhausen. I discovered the following on an obscure website, but it is only in German (Google Translated) Albert Einstein in Schaffhausen 1901/02 in September 1901 came A. Einstein to Schaffhausen , for a job as a tutor at the private teaching and educational institution of Dr. Jakob Nüesch to take over. From December 1901 to the end of January 1902, he was staying in the Restaurant "Cardinal". Albert Einstein took effect on 15 September 1901 his job as a tutor in the "Teaching and Education Institute" Dr. Jakob Nüesch in Schaffhausen on. Although he was not entirely comfortable in this position already in advance, so he was glad to escape at least for some time his material needs, especially as he Dr. von Nüesch had received an annual contract. To his friend Marcel Grossmann, Einstein writes: "But now I'm in the fortunate position to be at least for one year the eternal food concern going. Because I'm ... made on 15 September at a mathematics teacher in Schaffhausen as a private teacher, where I prepare a young Englishman for the baccalaureate. You can imagine how happy I am about it, even if such a place for self-nature is not just an ideal. But I believe that this, after all, still a little time for my favorite studies remains, so I do not have to get rusty at least ... " 194.207.86.26 (talk) 10:58, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Managing to land temporary jobs as a teacher in Winterthur and later, for a private school in Schaffhausen wasn't his notion of what he wanted to do with his life. Perhaps "...After graduating in 1900, Einstein spent almost two frustrating years searching for a teaching post..." should be more accurately worded. I'm separated from my reference materials at the moment, so I can't make any corrections. Thanks for pointing out the ambiguity in wording! Prokaryotic Caspase Homolog (talk) 15:00, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Jancsi von Neumann?[edit]

I think someone hacked the John von Neumann link, "Jancsi" means "Johnny" in Hungarian. 80.99.216.133 (talk) 10:19, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Sorry, it was a mistake, I see it's a genuine quote. 80.99.216.133 (talk) 10:30, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

The ChildHood of Einstein[edit]

What was it like growing up for him? What encouraged him to do devote his life to science and math?

P.S any information will be very helpful as i am doing a school project on Albert Einstein Ivan Gill (talk) 09:57, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

@Ivan Gill: See if you can find Einstein: A Life in Science by Michael White and John Gribbin and Subtle Is the Lord by Abraham Pais in your school library. I have read them both and think they are rather good biographies. (Note that the second one is more technical.) Good luck! Nerd271 (talk) 02:04, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Category suggestion[edit]

I was wondering if it would be appropiate to add this article to Category:Thermodynamicists (EDIT: I tried to link to that category, but noted in the preview that doing so lists this talk page to said category. Oops). Prior to quantum theory and relativity, Einstein researched statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, which led to his mathematical explanation of the Brownian motion, as well as the specific heats of solids at low temperatures. --2601:701:300:4BC0:2546:B1F4:FF75:1DEF (talk) 13:48, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 14 October 2019[edit]

Albert Einstein brain vs human brain 2409:4043:2019:8D0E:B1DF:61D7:B2EF:35F2 (talk) 07:34, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

That somewhat sketchy article says this: "In 1999 Sir Einstein's brain was compared with those of 35 normal brains of roughly matched age . brain height, length, weight, sizes of the corpus callosum and measurement of the frontal and temporal lobes revealed that Einstein's brain was not statistically different from the control brains. Even the brain weight (1230 gm) was not much different from that of the controls ,"clearly indicating that a large brain is not a necessary condition for exceptional intellect." Not sure we'd call him Sir Einstein? Martinevans123 (talk) 07:39, 14 October 2019 (UTC)
 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. NiciVampireHeart
Agree with Nici. And I'm unsure this article should be entering very uncertain waters—possibly even trivial territory. Also, the cited excerpt above mentions "SIR Einstein". Really? Tony (talk) 05:58, 15 October 2019 (UTC)