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100 Years of the General Theory of Relativity

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It was 100 years ago this month that Einstein delivered four lectures to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin, which culminated in his discovery of the general theory of relativity. (If that theory rings a bell but you’re not entirely sure what it means, watch this.)

Einstein’s determined pursuit of mathematical equations that describe how the force of gravity works remains one of the most influential scientific discoveries of all time.

If you’re planning a party — a general relativity rave, maybe — November 25th is the day it all came together. That’s a Wednesday. But a Thanksgiving toast at dinner the next day works well, too.

To celebrate, physicist Brian Greene looks back on the intellectual and emotional journey Einstein took to arrive at the general theory of relativity in an article in Smithsonian Magazine. In March, Greene joined neurologist Frederick Lepore and filmmaker Thomas Levenson during the 92Y’s 7 Days of Genius Festival for a conversation about what made Einstein such a talented scientist. The conversation is moderated by Cynthia McFadden of NBC News.

This interactive timeline traces Einstein’s progress from his early days as a rebellious schoolboy to his first job as a patent clerk and finally to Berlin, where Einstein presented his groundbreaking theory in late November.

If you still have room for more Einstein, the 2015 World Science Festival brought together Gabriela González, Samir Mathur, Andrew Strominger, Cumrun Vafa, Steven Weinberg and Brian Greene to discuss Reality Since Einstein.


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