First page from the manuscript explaining the ...

First page from the manuscript explaining the general theory of relativity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Albert Einstein was Time magazine’s “Person of the 20th century”, certainly the best-known and most influential scientist, whose name is synonymous with genius. The most famous equation ever, E=MC2, was published in 1905. In 2005, the centenary of Einstein’s famous Theory of Relativity, which everyone has heard of and few understand, I organised the first session of Science Issues Cafe. Fittingly, the topic was “Einstein -100 years on – the state of modern physics”. Our inaugural speaker was Professor Geoff Taylor, head of the Physics Department and Melbourne University, who is a wonderful. generous and engaging speaker, who is able to communicate physics to a lay audience. He explained “the standard model” of physics and modern cosmology and then said a little bit about critiques of the standard model. According to Geoff, the Big Bang theory has its critics, but you can’t just reject a theory, you have to come up with something better, or at least something that explains the observations just as well. So far no-one has been able to do this. So for the time being, the Big Bang theory stands.

“Up here for thinking”

The latest observations showing how the universe is expanding (see below) have vindicated Einstein’s theories.

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