Thursday, April 4, 2019

Bodziony on the genius of Einstein

Tomasz Bodziony has written a couple of essays on how Albert Einstein was the greatest genius who ever lived, focusing on 1905 special relativity and 1915 general relativity:
Einstein was lucky. As some may say: he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. However, Albert Einstein also heled his luck very skillfully. The rule of Adolf Hitler and his party brought despair to Europe and to Germans, as well as the death of millions of people, including Jews with them. Nevertheless, some people won, Jews among others. The USA as a country won. The victory was also achieved by some individuals. It has to be that way. One has to lose for the other to win. There is no misery that would not be an opportunity to some other person. Some gained profit even from mass murders and executions as well. Up to 1933, Albert Einstein worked as a German scholar. When Hitler started ruling the country, he became an American, anti-German scientist. The man had a lot of luck. Contrary to what some may think, the rule of Adolf Hitler was very beneficial for Einstein, even though the Nazis killed some of his relatives. Einstein was as huge an egocentric as Hilbert. Had he stayed in Germany, he would have been killed without a doubt. However, in the USA, in the country of the free, there was no one to discredit Einstein's genius and prove that he was not the creator of the General Theory of Relativity or Special Theory of Relativity. People who knew the truth went silent. The non-believers stopped asking. The rebellious ones started being called Nazis or antiSemites to stop them talking. Albert Einstein became the greatest scholar in history. The became an idol, the symbol of the 20th century. He was the protagonist of many films, cartoons, books, and comics. He was the pride of the USA. America won and once again showed that it was the best country of all. Also, it had the biggest genius of them all - Albert Einstein.
I am not sure how serious Bodziony. He seems to be sarcastic, as he says it was just Einstein's luck that Poincare and Hilbert got cheated out of credit for relativity.

It is true that Einstein is widely regarded as the world's greatest genius, and that this assessment is mainly based on his work on relativity.

However, as I have detailed on this blog and in my book, Einstein contributed nothing to special relativity, and his significant contributions to general relativity were done in collaboration with others.

What I say is not really new, as Whittaker pointed in the 1950s that Lorentz and Poincare had all of special relativity before Einstein in 1905. I go somewhat further, and argue:

Einstein's special relativity was essentially the same as that of Lorentz's. As Lorentz said, Einstein just postulated by he and Poincare proved.

Einstein's constancy of the speed of light, transformation of Maxwell's equations, and superfluous of the aether are all directly from Lorentz. Einstein's light synchronization, relativity principle, and interpretation of Lorentz's local time are all directly from Poincare. Deriving the Lorentz transformations from the relativity principle and the constancy of the speed of light was how FitzGerald did it in 1889. Einstein could never explain how his 1905 paper differed from previous work.

Poincare's 1905 work explains how it differs from Lorentz's. The Lorentz transformations form a group, making covariance the core of the theory. Poincare makes it a non-Eudlidean spacetime theory, and not merely an electromagnetic theory. He applies the theory to gravity, to explain gravitational causality. Einstein did not even understand these advances until many years later.

Minkowski's improvements to special relativity were based on the works of Lorentz and Poincare, not Einstein.

Public acceptance of special relativity followed the work of Minkowski, and had almost nothing to do with Einstein.

The modern geometrical views of relativity are not due to Einstein, and even years later he disagreed with those who attributed the geometrical views to him.

1 comment:

  1. But it was the grouping of geometry and not the geometrization of physics that was the real revolution and it began much before.