Friday, 20 November 2015

barefoot in the sand or casimir effect

For this centenary year of the publication of the General Theory of Relativity, Dangerous Minds has nice remembrance of the visit, decades later, by the preeminent scientist, Albert Einstein, and how he came to acquire those sandals in the iconic, candid photographs.
Be sure to visit the link for the full account, but his hosts believed Einstein was inquiring after a pair of “sundials”—which has suggests some impenetrable, secret insight into time-dilation to me. It’s interesting that Einstein, after cementing his ideas, rejected (initially at least for some of the projected outcomes but was never a convert for others) the chief cosmological consequences of his model: Einstein rejected the notion of the Big Bang (der Urknall) and the expanding Universe, the figment of Black Holes (Schwarze Löcher) and Wormholes (Wurmlöcher—also known as an Einstein-Rosen Bridge) whose dynamics suggest the possibility of time-travel. We are reasonably sure that the former two phenomena exist—and have good reason to suspect, given the sceptic’s track-record, that the latter might be possible as well. Photographs themselves are like little fossilised increments of spacetime, allowing one to reach into the past. Given that cinema was emerging around the same time, I wonder if Einstein and other theatre audiences knew intuitively to apply their sense of flashback and foreshadowing to cutting to different scenes on the movie screen.