Science 2 – February Meeting

Our guest speaker was Prof Jim Turner from Beeston u3a. We had some initial Zoom problems, one of which was that Jim could not get vision which meant we could not see him but fortunately his sound and screen share facility were both working.

His talk was titled ‘What we owe to Einstein’
It was useful to have some prior knowledge to understand some of the talk but here is a short précis of Einstein’s breakthrough achievements.

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist, universally acknowledged to be one of the two greatest physicists of all time, the other being Isaac Newton. Einstein developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. His mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc² has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”, a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory. His intellectual achievements and originality resulted in “Einstein” becoming synonymous with “genius”.

In 1905, Albert Einstein published the theory of special relativity, which explains how to interpret motion between different inertial frames of reference — that is, places that are moving at constant speeds relative to each other.

The most famous work of Einstein’s life also dates from 1905 (a busy year for him), when he applied the ideas of his relativity paper to come up with the equation E = mc2 that represents the relationship between mass (m) and energy (E) with c being the symbol representing the speed of light.

He was born on the 14 March 1879 and died at the age of 76 on the 18 April 1955.

Next Meeting: Friday, March 19th, 2021 at 10.00 am

David Rose

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