Visiting professor asks the question, was Einstein right?

The celebration of Albert Einstein’s annis mirabilis (miracle year) continues Monday at 2:30pm in N940 Ross Building, with the second of four lectures being held at York this year by the Science & Society Program of the Faculty of Arts and Bethune College.

willClifford M. Will, left, professor of physics with the Washington University Gravity Group, will take up the question, "Was Einstein right?: Relativity on the Firing Line" and look at recent efforts to prove Einstein’s theory of general relativity. This topic is of particular interest to Norbert Bartel and his team in York’s Department of Physics & Astronomy, who are involved in the Gravity Probe-B experiment currently in orbit around earth. The series is co-sponsored by the Division of Humanities, Faculty of Arts, and Bethune College in co-operation with the CBC Radio program "Quirks and Quarks".

Will, who was born in Hamilton, Ont. is currently president of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation and Chair of the Science Advisory Committee for Gravity Probe-B.

einsteinBernard Lightman, co-organizer and humanities professor in the Science & Society Program, said the series is a chance for the York community to hear what other scholars are saying about Einstein’s theories, which are still being tested 100 years after they were first published.

Right: Einstein in his youth, 1912

Scientists the world over are staging centenary events to mark the publishing, in 1905, of the four papers that represent Einstein’s most significant and lasting contribution to our understanding of the universe, said Lightman. During just one year, Einstein wrote his doctoral thesis, his Special Theory of Relativity and his Nobel Prize-winning paper, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", and applied his theory to mass and energy to formulate his most famous equation, E=mc2.

For more information on the Century of Einstein lecture series you can visit its Web site and look at the Oct. 12 issue of Y-File.