Q: This month marks the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity known as general relativity. Can you briefly explain what Einstein proposed in this theory? A: Einstein generalized his special theory of relativity to include accelerated frames of reference. This led him through the Equivalence Principle to formulate a theory of gravity, in which gravity is described by…

Q: You’re a Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University and the recipient of the 2013 Einstein Prize from the American Physical Society. How has Albert Einstein influenced your work in gravitational physics? A: Einstein created the general theory of relativity, which I thought to test. Clearly, his influence was fundamental to my studies. Q: In 1966, you conducted your Fourth Test…

Q: You’re principally known for your work in the area of general relativity. Can you begin by telling us what general relativity is? A: There is both a short, correct and easy answer, which leaves out the essence of a good answer, and a longer, more difficult answer that does get to the core of what the theory is about….

Q: Generally speaking, 1905 is considered as Albert Einstein’s “annis mirabilis,” the miracle year during which he published five groundbreaking papers exploring some monumental ideas about time and space. Was his work during that year really of such colossal importance? A: Einstein’s greatest work was over well before he was 40. He was an amazing young scientist whose achievements have…

Q: What were Einstein’s major contributions to physics besides the theory of relativity? A: In 1905, in addition to publishing relativity theory, Einstein made several other worthy breakthroughs. First, he experimentally proved the existence of atoms. We forget that in 1905, there were still scientists who scoffed at the theory of atoms. (In fact, the great physicist Ludwig Boltzmann was,…

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