Archive | March, 2011

Marcel (The Mathematician) and Einstein (The Physicist)

26 Mar

So we know Einstein had a great friend and helper Marcel Grossmann.

Read more: http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Grossmann.html

In August 1912, Einstein arrived back at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zürich having been appointed to the chair of theoretical physics. He was struggling to extend his special theory of relativity to include gravitation and immediately began collaborating with his old friend Grossmann. It was Grossmann who pointed out to him the relevance to general relativity of the tensor calculus which had been proposed by Elwin Bruno Christoffel in 1864, and developed by Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro and Tullio Levi-Civita around 1901. Einstein, who previously had played down the importance of mathematics, was quickly convinced by Grossmann’s expert explanations. Einstein wrote to Arnold Sommerfeld on 29 October 1912:-

I am now working exclusively on the gravitation problem and believe that I can overcome all difficulties with the help of a mathematician friend of mine here [Marcel Grossmann]. But one thing is certain: never before in my life have I toiled any where near as much, and I have gained enormous respect for mathematics, whose more subtle parts I considered until now, in my ignorance, as pure luxury. Compared with this problem, the original theory of relativity is child’s play.

Special honour is Given to Marcel:

Finally we should mention the honour given to Marcel Grossmann by naming the series of conferences, the Marcel Grossmann Meetings (on Recent Developments in Theoretical and Experimental General Relativity, Gravitation, and Relativistic Field Theories). These conferences, begun in 1975, are international meetings held every three years, which provide opportunities for discussing recent advances in gravitation, general relativity and relativistic field theories. They emphasise mathematical foundations, physical predictions and experimental tests.

Here he acknowledged Grossman in his notebook:

http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teaching/GR&Grav_2007/Einstein’s_Zurich_Notebook.html

Maths Questions!!

25 Mar

Hi everyone!!
We have a new section dedicated for challenging maths and IQ questions. Solutions will be posted a few days after the questions is posted. Click on the “Maths Questions” link on top of the page to view the questions.

Have fun trying!!

Albert Einstein Needed Help In Math

24 Mar

history_einstein_for_end_of_nuclear_proliferation_speech_sf_still_624x352

Albert Einstein was a genius and an icon of science. Albert Einstein needed very complex mathematics to support his theories.

Here is a note on his early days which i took from here:

“According to the Walter Isaacson biography of ‘Einstein His Life and Universe’ (Pocket Books, 2007 ISBN 978-1-84739-054-7), he was not very good at mathematics at all! It seems that whilst he was an undergraduate at Zurich Polytechnic he skipped mathematics lectures and depended upon his friend Marcel Grossmann to take notes for him. It appears that in his intermediate exams in October 1898 he came first in his class with a score of 5.7 out of 6, with his friend scoring 5.6 to come second. However, in mathematics he scored average marks of around 4.25, especially for geometry. He was labelled a ‘lazy dog’ by his mathematics professor – Hermann Minkowski. In August 1900, Einstein only scored 4.9 out of 6 to graduate with his diploma, while his later wife and fellow student Mileva Maric scored only 4.0 and failed the course.”

Marcel Grossmann was indeed a good friend and helped Einstein in many ways. He helped Einstein to get a job and pointed out to Einstein what sort of Math he needed to support his first ground breaking work.

More Next time …

More Stuff on the Blog Coming Up!

24 Mar

Sorry it has been a while, since we updated. We seem to be caught up with work, training activities, preparation work…

I just did a team meeting and we agreed that we will have to update and freshen the blog. We think it is an important way to communicate with parents and students.

We do appreciate helpful comments from our readers along with questions about our centre. That interaction helps us to pay attention to this form of communication.

Persis