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Friday, December 16, 2005

Albert Einstein Quotes Quotations

Interestingly designed pages devoted to Einstein's quotations on Philosophy, Physics, Religion, Science, Metaphysics Humanity, War, Peace, Education, Knowledge, Morality & Freedom are found at Albert Einstein Quotes, part of a website on Truth and Reality by Geoff Haselhurst.

The site also has numerous photographs of Einstein.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Google as Turing's Cathedral and the Virus Principle

Turing's Cathedral at Edge by George Dyson is an article (October 24, 2005) which resulted from Dyson's visit to Google on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of John von Neumann's pioneer proposal for making a digital computer.

In that article Dyson writes:

"In a digital computer, the instructions are in the form of COMMAND (ADDRESS) where the address is an exact (either absolute or relative) memory location, a process that translates informally into "DO THIS with what you find HERE and go THERE with the result." Everything depends not only on precise instructions, but on HERE, THERE, and WHEN being exactly defined. It is almost incomprehensible that programs amounting to millions of lines of code, written by teams of hundreds of people, are able to go out into the computational universe and function as well as they do given that one bit in the wrong place (or the wrong time) can bring the process to a halt.

Biology has taken a completely different approach. There is no von Neumann address matrix, just a molecular soup, and the instructions say simply "DO THIS with the next copy of THAT which comes along." The results are far more robust. There is no unforgiving central address authority, and no unforgiving central clock. This ability to take general, organized advantage of local, haphazard processes is exactly the ability that (so far) has distinguished information processing in living organisms from information processing by digital computers
."

What struck me here about the description of the difference in information processing between digital computers and living organisms is that the process of information processing in living organisms resembles more that of computer virus programs than that of computer applications such as "pickyourprogram.exe". That fictitious program is only an example, as no such program was found through Google search on December 3, 2005.

As the nature of computers moves closer to biological information processing, my question in this regard is whether the "virus principle" can be made to work for beneficial programming, operating under the instruction principle: "Do THIS with the next copy of THAT which comes along"?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Einstein was a Dyslexic Genius

Via Sassy Lawyer and bits of chocolate we find that Einstein was dyslexic, as was also Leonardo da Vinci.

For more information on Dyslexia, see LexiLine.org.

A historical view of the Pharaohs as Dyslexics, based on their hieroglyphic script, is found here.

Einstein is in good company.
.

Friday, October 21, 2005

NASA Gravity Probe-B and Einstein's General Theory of Relativity

Via the Stanford Newsletter, we are directed to Bog Kahn's article
"Gravity Probe-B data collection ends: Was Einstein correct?" about a currently ongoing experimental test of Einstein's postulated general theory of relativity, which Kahn calls "our current theory of gravity".

As Kahn writes:

"For the past 17 months, NASA's Gravity Probe-B (GP-B) satellite has been orbiting the Earth using four ultra-precise gyroscopes, about a million times better than the finest navigational gyroscopes, to generate the data required for this unprecedented test....

This year, physicists celebrate the 100th anniversary of Einstein's "miraculous year," in which he received his doctorate in physics from the University of Zurich and published four seminal papers, including the special theory of relativity and a paper on light that garnered him the Nobel Prize in 1921. But Einstein's crowning achievement came in 1916, with his publication of the general theory of relativity, in which he expanded the special theory of relativity to include the elusive concept of gravity. With general relativity, Einstein forever changed our Newtonian view of gravity as a force, postulating rather that space and time are inextricably woven into a four-dimensional fabric called spacetime, and that gravity is simply the warping and twisting of the fabric of spacetime by massive celestial bodies. Even though it has become one of the cornerstones of modern physics, general relativity has remained the least tested of Einstein's theories. The reason is, as Caltech physicist Kip Thorne once put it: "In the realm of black holes and the universe, the language of general relativity is spoken, and it is spoken loudly. But in our tiny solar system, the effects of general relativity are but whispers." And so, any measurements of the relativistic effects of gravity around Earth must be carried out with utmost precision. Over the past 90 years, various tests of the theory suggest that Einstein was on the right track. But, in most previous tests, the relativity signals had to be extracted from a significant level of background noise. The purpose of GP-B is to test Einstein's theory by carrying out the experiment in a pristine orbiting laboratory, thereby reducing background noise to insignificant levels and enabling the probe to examine general relativity in new ways."

Read Kahn's article for the full scoop.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Einstein on Edge

The Reality Club at Edge (Edge 170) has a special article on Einstein.

It is the story of E = mc².
by Brian Greene, which first appeared as a NY Times Op-Ed on September 30, 2005.

Greene titles it That Famous Equation and You. It is a great read.

E=energy
m=mass
c²=velocity of light squared

Here is a short excerpt from Greene to give you a taste for the entire article:

"Mass and energy are not distinct. They are the same basic stuff packaged in forms that make them appear different. Just as solid ice can melt into liquid water, Einstein showed, mass is a frozen form of energy that can be converted into the more familiar energy of motion. The amount of energy (E) produced by the conversion is given by his formula: multiply the amount of mass converted (m) by the speed of light squared (c²). Since the speed of light is a few hundred million meters per second (fast enough to travel around the earth seven times in a single second), c² , in these familiar units, is a huge number, about 100,000,000,000,000,000.

A little bit of mass can thus yield enormous energy. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fueled by converting less than an ounce of matter into energy; the energy consumed by New York City in a month is less than that contained in the newspaper you're holding."


Think about it. It is astounding.
.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Original Albert Einstein Manuscript Found

[Einstein Manuscript]


An August 21, 2005 article by Toby Sterling of the Associated Press in Science & Space at USA Today reports that an original manuscript of a paper by Albert Einstein, Quantum Theory of the Monatomic Ideal Gas, published in the Proceedings of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin in January 1925, has been found by a researching student, Rowdy Boeyink, in the archives of the Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Albert Einstein Major Special Exhibition in Bern, Switzerland

From June 16, 2005 to April 17, 2006 (daily 10 to 19 o'clock) there is a major special exhibition on Albert Einstein at the Historical Museum in Bern, Switzerland (Historisches Museum Bern, Musée Historique de Berne).

Einstein Special Exhibition Poster


As written at the Bern Historical Museum website:

"Albert Einstein was living in Bern a century ago, when he created the famous formula E=mc2 and revolutionized our ideas about space and time with his Theory of Relativity. His commitment to peace and social justice also made him a role model for man throughout the world.

Einstein’s pioneering theories, the story of his life and the history of his time will be presented in an exhibition covering 2500 sq m. Unique original pieces, written documents and newsreel film clips will provide an unforgettable experience in a lavish staging on which no expense has been spared. Over 30 animated short films have turned Einstein’s physics into a fun experience for all ages. (All exhibition texts are in German, French and English)."

.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Monday, May 30, 2005

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
,
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    ,
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.

    -----

    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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