Monday, September 23, 2013

Einstein's miraculous year

The paper Einstein's Miraculous Year, recently put online, has glowing praise for Albert Einstein and adds:
Many scientists attempted to reconcile Newtonian mechanics with the Maxwell theory, the most prominent being Lorentz, Fitzgerald and Poincare. But their efforts were unconvincing, and ultimately unsuccessful. The definitive answer came with Einstein’s work in 1905, where he re-analyzed the nature of space and time. They are not individually absolute and the same for everybody, as Newton had visualized; rather, it is only the combined space-time continuum which is common to all, but each inertial observer divides it up into a space and a time in her own way.
This is nonsense. That understanding of space-time comes almost entirely from Lorentz, Fitzgerald, and Poincare, and not Einstein. The paper is not able to give a single example of any aspect of relativity where Einstein's work was superior.

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