Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Einstein's conversion from a belief in a static to an expanding universe

Date:
February 17, 2014
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Albert Einstein accepted the modern cosmological view that the universe is expanding long after many of his contemporaries. Until 1931, physicist Albert Einstein believed that the universe was static. An urban legend attributes this change of perspective to when American astronomer Edwin Hubble showed Einstein his observations of redshift in the light emitted by far away nebulae -- today known as galaxies. But the reality is more complex. The change in Einstein’s viewpoint, in fact, resulted from a tortuous thought process. Now researchers explain how Einstein changed his mind following many encounters with some of the most influential astrophysicists of his generation.

Albert Einstein accepted the modern cosmological view that the universe is expanding long after his contemporaries Until 1931, physicist Albert Einstein believed that the universe was static.. An urban legend attributes this change of perspective to when American astronomer Edwin Hubble showed Einstein his observations of redshift in the light emitted by far away nebulae -- today known as galaxies. But the reality is more complex. The change in Einstein's viewpoint, in fact, resulted from a tortuous thought process. Now, in an article published in EPJ H, Harry Nussbaumer from the Institute of Astronomy at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, explains how Einstein changed his mind following many encounters with some of the most influential astrophysicists of his generation.

In 1917 Einstein applied his theory of general relativity in the universe, and suggested a model of a homogenous, static, spatially curved universe. However, this interpretation has one major problem: If gravitation was the only active force, his universe would collapse -- an issue Einstein addressed by introducing the cosmological constant.

He then fiercely resisted the view that the universe was expanding, despite his contemporaries' suggestions that this was the case. For example, in 1922, Russian physicist Alexander Friedman showed that Einstein's equations were viable for dynamical worlds. And, in 1927, Georges Lemaξtre, a Belgian astrophysicist from the Catholic University of Louvain, concluded that the universe was expanding by combining general relativity with astronomical observations. Yet, Einstein still refused to abandon his static universe.

However, in an April 1931 report to the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Einstein finally adopted a model of an expanding universe. In 1932 he teamed up with the Dutch theoretical physicist and astronomer, Willem de Sitter, to propose an eternally expanding universe which became the cosmological model generally accepted until the middle of the 1990s. To Einstein's relief these two models no longer needed the cosmological constant.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Harry Nussbaumer. Einstein’s conversion from his static to an expanding universe. The European Physical Journal H, 2014; DOI: 10.1140/epjh/e2013-40037-6

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Einstein's conversion from a belief in a static to an expanding universe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140217102545.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2014, February 17). Einstein's conversion from a belief in a static to an expanding universe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140217102545.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Einstein's conversion from a belief in a static to an expanding universe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140217102545.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) — Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins