No, Einstein: Older people innovate, too
Albert Einstein did some of his greatest work at age 26.
November 7th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

No, Einstein: Older people innovate, too

Albert Einstein was a 26-year-old working in a patent office when he came up with the idea of special relativity in 1905, which would ultimately change the way we think about the world. Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli and Paul Dirac all made fundamental contributions to the sciences under 30, too.

But that doesn't mean all game-changing achievements in the sciences happen to the young. On the contrary: A new study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that, especially post-1905, great scientific works are produced by people who are older, even beyond age 40.

"We see that overall, the probability of doing Nobel-prize winning work before the age of 30 is ultimately declining in a lot of fields," said Benjamin Jones, lead study author and associate professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Jones and Weinberg researched the Nobel Prize winners in physics, chemistry, and medicine between the years 1875 and 2008, and determined when each of them had achieved the things that would ultimately earn them this honor. Back before 1905, 69% of chemists, 63% of medical scientists and 60% of physicists completed prize-winning work before age 40. By the year 2000, it became very rare to have such a breakthrough before age 30 or 40 in these fields.

Even more interesting, it seems that the achievers tend to be younger when there's less known about a particular field.

For example, physics had a revolution with the advent of quantum mechanics in 1925; Heisenberg, credited with creating this field, was only in his mid-20s at that time. Heisenberg won the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics, and put forth mind-bending ideas about how a particle can appear as a wave and vice versa. Regarding matter on the tiniest scales possible, much of classical physics was thrown out the window. And this was an exception in the trend toward older achievers in the sciences in the 20th century.

Jones and collaborator Bruce Weinberg looked at the citations of various scientific papers to corroborate the idea that as a field moves toward citing only recent studies, there's less foundational knowledge that one has to learn before having a true creative breakthrough in that field.

"You can be young in the sense of young in time, or you can be suddenly young again if there’s a tumult in the field, a revolution that’s happening," Jones said.

In medicine and chemistry, on the other hand, there was not such an obvious fundamental change in thinking that suddenly changed the basic assumptions about those sciences in the 20th century. Jones and Weinberg believe that's part of the reason why there's been a consistently steady decline in Nobel laureates in those fields coming up with their prize-winning works at very young ages. As the century went on, young scientists had to spend a lot of time learning about everything that had come before them, and building off of that knowledge.

There is also a distinction between conceptual and experimental work when it comes to the ages of these bright minds, the study authors said. Theoretical work seems to favor younger scholars, while experimental achievements are more common among older people. That's because a larger base of knowledge and experience is required to do this important inductive work, Jones and Weinberg say.

The study authors did not look at gender distinctions among the Nobel Laureates, partly because there are so few female Nobel winners in the sciences that it's hard to draw meaningful associations about age. But it could be a question for future study, Jones said.

Bottom line: Einstein once said, "A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of thirty will never do so." He may have changed the world at age 26, but plenty of others are doing it much later.

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Filed under: Discoveries • On Earth
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    May 7, 2013 at 3:21 am |
  2. RoxBlog

    Very nice post. You know Einstein's Special Relativity is safe. Measurements on the Speed of Neutrinos are Incorrect!

    Cheers

    March 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  3. Mahesh Khati

    Before 23 years, I had proved mathematically that relative velocity may be more than light velocity. CERN proved experimentally that velocity of Neutrinos may be more than light, if this news will be confirmed then that will be new beginning of physics.
    Please read paper "What is matter & dark matter is made up of?" on my web site http://www.maheshkhati.com. This paper may help to find solution to problems like what is dark matter? & about true relativity. I strongly oppose special theory of relativity

    November 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  4. pod

    it takes longer these days cuz everythings already invented! LOL

    November 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  5. James

    when is Weezy F Baby gonna receive his Noble Award

    November 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  6. Leaf on the Wind

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

    November 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • MindBender

      But there is no imagination without knowledge, cause life is knowledge.

      November 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  7. Nsiteful

    I'd say that young people innovate, old people refine. Not to say that either is less important than the other, but the younger generations do better outside the box while older focus on established methods and technology.

    November 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  8. MoBetsy

    Um, why isn't any of this correlated with life expectancies, circa 1905? Seems like an important piece o'data.

    November 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  9. John Gabriel

    Funny how they say Einstein changed the world when in fact he changed absolutely nothing through his incorrect theories.

    November 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Billy Spudd

      With Einstein, it is all media propaganda. The first edition of his first paper on Special Relativity listed his first wife, Mileva Marić, as a co-author. Subsequent editions had her name removed. The only known existing copy (Russian) with her name on it is kept in Israel under lock and key. There are varying amounts of speculation as to her actual part in the production of the theory, of the two, she may have played the major part in coming up with the theory.

      November 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
      • NewsHound

        Thanks for this; I'll look it up. Reminds of me of Watson of Watson and Crick, who stole the DNA module he took credit for from a woman scientist, who later committed suicide. The sciences seem to be rather harsh to brilliant women.

        November 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
      • Paulie

        E=MC2 is the basis of the atom bomb and it changed our world forever.

        November 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • CW

      Explain how his theories are incorrect.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  10. The_Mick

    The difference now is that there is not the fundamental severe change in thinking that occurred in the later 1800's and 1900's where it was realized that sub-microscopic reality did not match what we normally see as reality. For example, we see particles and waves as being separate things in our macroscopic world, but the smaller you get, the more both become aspects of each other. Scientists who aged generally became set in the mind-set of their generation about how the physical universe is ordered and it used to change radically each generation. Not anymore. Today, each generation accepts the possibilities of quantum and string events, or that they are aspects that will lead us to the ultimate truth, and so older scientists remain along the leading edge even with the baggage of their generation's mind-set.

    November 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  11. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc,Int'l Intst'r

    should we suspect einstein because he was working in a patent office where he could swindle the true patent owners and therefore he never owned much of anything out of his own brains. they like to pretend that i am a very psychic spirit person and that i read their minds for ideas etc. they forget the part where the expert important spirit psychic is the one who knows how to find the treasure that isn't anybody's at all but of the earth and God etc. and given to her/me.no it isn't you who's me you belizabeth of british bum trash connections. In fact not many innovate, much consumerism (and its market or behavior response) isn't true innovation.stop sticking your glue fingers on my keys when i am not using my keyboard. are you looking for confict wars on all your faces. 23 71 25 04 15 you think as well ?
    it's 62 actuality
    So, if the cell phone is the emergency phone i invented and which you stole, only it was already somewhat invented but not in that compact multi faceted form in a more distant form which was also my invention. why does the battery need recharging every 2 to 3 days sometimes a little longer than that.. why so many battery units in the total pack if it won't even hold the charge, did you use recycled almost spent batteries to make those. they look familiar. why did you skin us with dead cells? in batteries that are new the charge lasts for months sometimes years. in car batteries if you sold me a car that needs recharging what would you be selling me for those electric cars. i mean if it needs recharging every 30 miles or so like you reported. the other aspect of that is – yes that's true – if you leave the car without being run by engine and the radio or lights are on the battery dies and needs a recharge boost but then it stays charged until that happens again or many many miles are put on the car. the big heavy lead involved battery shouldn't technically die if you leave stupid lights on or the radio on and the engine is off. no the engine doesn't die if you leave the battery still drawing power without gas support. doesn't that sound silly when examining those cases. and in fact you can recharge those other batteries that aren't labelled rechargeable that are used in radios and smoke detectors and toys and such. they just need a different recharging unit. study that group of matters because they are important.energy environment investigation inquisition matters.
    why don't you accept that it is me that is .... and stop trying to perverse sabotage so i don't get angry and retaliate in those comic manners sometimes and otherwise. even almost dead i work more and am more intelligent and effective than you or your chosen phoney pretenders. shut up you stupid fat mouth stop pretending you speak bilingual arabic(or you will more than just commit suicide – you go see a damn doctor of nutsos because it is you who needs treatment with your phoney sleaze gangsters egging you on to fuck my life up because you don't know anything and are just an ignoramous blonde nigger club dealer you shut your stupid mouth(he's using a word improperly that means in fact that i am jailing them)i almost had your grandchildren shot for what you were saying to my face as well as behind my back – baby bathwater and all,no i don't do raping kids stuffand the rest of you who stuck you fat asses into my circle to play gay clubbing routines on me while being also slut involved your dog days will come for your own grave soon. i will fix your wagons dealers too. your stupid ignorant jealous money grab sharing game plot killed your brother you aren't clear in conscience whatsoever.nigger jew natzi dog assholes.stop making fag assaults you crooked fungula waps too.nothing any good ever came out of your boot scum shit track country either.and i am not spanish either you slut kennedy high school quit your monkey business quit your lying history record keeping quit your jobs totally the bunch of you phonies and crime conspirators

    November 8, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • AbbieR

      uuuhhhh....WHAT?!

      November 8, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • dont ask

      I hope that you get the help that you need.

      November 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Kira

      Someone needs to go back on their meds. Go see that nice nurse over there with the paper cup of water and pills please.

      November 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • southside mike

      FTI: generic prozac on sale at Walgreens 2 for 1

      November 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • NewsHound

      CNN – you need to report this guy to the authorities. Seriously.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • TonyInNYC

      I was with you till you called me a fat mouth. At that point I stopped reading. No way am I going to sit here and let you call me a fat mouth.

      November 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Darkguardian1314

      I actual tried to read and assimilate what you wrote and came to the this conclusion:
      You are totally lost and beyond hope of making a meaningful contribution to society. (-_-)

      November 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jorge

      SOMEBODY PLEASE, help this guy find his marbles...

      November 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  12. bcat

    Actually most of those ideas come from Boscovich and he published his main theory at age 47. All other theories borrowed heavily from Boscovich, and this is often ignored. Boscovich was Croatian, much like Mileva, Mileva had the math skills that Einstein needed, yet after these papers he could never publish anything significant. Further, the math skills needed to prove relativity, the formulation, etc. are also likewise attributed to Boscovich. Without Boscovich's techniques you would not end up at relativity and most of modern scientific theories. This is why Croatian science is outstanding even today, some of which remains to be translated. This is why Lancelot Law Whyte who worked on the Unified Field Theory with Einstein credited both relativity and field theories to Boscovich's 1763 work. THis is why Grossman and Katz used these techniques, see "Boscovich's mathematics" an article by J.F. Scott in the book Roger Boscovich (1961) edited by Lancelot Law Whyte. Without math you can prove nothing!

    November 8, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • bcat

      This is found in The First Nonlinear System of Differential and Integral Calculus By Michael Grossman, thereby explaining a first look at someone looking into non-Newtonian Calculus at this earlier time and being able to derive and arrive at the same conclusions.
      ( http://sites.google.com/site/nonnewtoniancalculus/ )

      November 8, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  13. Lauren

    Also, Nobel Prizes are bias towards younger researchers because the prizes are only awarded to living scientists. These prizes are sometimes awarded for papers 20+ years after the fact. (For example, George Akerlof and the Market for Lemons.) Researcher may have to live for decades after their discovery in order to be eligible for the Nobel Prize, so this clearly favors younger and healthier scientists.

    November 8, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • macbaldy

      Bingo! Research can take years, compilation can take years, publication and peer review can take years. Acceptance and evaluation can take years. The fruition track for prestigious awards takes years. That's the traditional systematic lag time. It is what it is.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  14. Do The Math

    Life expectency 1905: 47
    Life expectency today: 77
    Simple stats.

    November 8, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Imperabo

      Not so simple. If you made it to age 20 back then you would probably live into your 60's.

      November 8, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  15. Dr.K.

    I suspect people may be making significant contributions later in life because there is more fundamental information to be mastered up front. Science is cumulative and one must climb higher and higher with every generation before being able to reach the shoulders of their giants. Just as length of childhood increases in cultures that require a lot of learning, length of apprenticeship in the sciences may increase along with increases in the amount of material that must be mastered.

    November 8, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  16. Jorge

    Two bulls on the top of a hill, one young the other old. Young bull looks down into the valley and sees a herd of sleek, healthy milk cows. -"Hey old man,"- he says, -"Let's run down that valley and do us one of them there cows."- The older bull takes a sidelong glance at his friend, smiles and says... -"No, let's walk down that valley, and do all of 'em."

    November 8, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  17. Pete

    Isn't applying statistics of averages to extreme statistical outliers like Nobel Prize winners and people who were the ones to produce game-changing theories like Einstein, which changes are not at all a common occurrence, countereffective?

    November 8, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  18. david

    Einstein and his BS. He made couple of good explorations, but other than that..

    November 8, 2011 at 7:07 am |
    • Blaise

      What qualifies you to comment on Einstein's contributions? Do you even know what they were? Or are you just another untutored smart alec who uses the internet for his graffiti?

      November 8, 2011 at 8:21 am |
  19. Nitrogen

    I have two years left to beat Einstein. I'd better get crackin'.

    November 8, 2011 at 3:52 am |
  20. helenecha

    Yeah, whatever, I lead an eyes-opened life every day anyway. By the way, I’m very curious about Einstein’s General Relativity an amazing imaginative conception.

    November 8, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • Lars

      Another psuedo-intellectual who can't even construct a coherent sentence. How do you expect anyone to take you seriously when junior high level grammar eludes you? "Open your eyes" and read your 8th grade English book.

      November 8, 2011 at 12:38 am |
      • SFC Mike

        More "pseudo-philosophical," I'd say. What exactly is an "eyes-opened life?" Maybe it's a name for how someone justifies her existence while flipping burgers.

        November 8, 2011 at 2:05 am |
      • TMMcD

        Pseudo-intellectual: Someone who knows what pseudo means.

        November 8, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Will S

      So learn tensor calculus and read his paper. All it takes is *effort*.

      November 8, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  21. Om

    Whole notion of science is that modern man and hence modern science is just 2011 years old. People / especially people of science need to look at various older civilizations such as east Indian which is claimed to be more than 10,000 years old. According to ancient scriptures, there were not only air travel, but tele-portation and possibly FTL travel. What is described as gods becoming "antardhan" or disappearing in thin air at one place and becoming "prakat" or appearing out of thin air at a distant place.
    Modern science is not even ready to acknowledge that FTL / telportation is possible using not Einstein's or Newtonian physics but a totally different science. The science we dont know of or not yet ready to look at.
    While scientific community denies particle teleportation stating we need to follow E=MC^2 and it would need almost impossible amount of energy, they fail to look that if we move the space itself, we do not need to adhere to contemporary physics.
    The situation is similar to scientific community deeming travel greater than speed of sound impossible.
    Some food for thought.

    November 8, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Nitrogen

      No. No. Aaaaand no. Ok, I realize listening to Art Bell is fun sometimes, but please don't sully science with pseudo scientific fantasy. There are definitely things about the universe we have yet to discover, but aliens did not visit this planet in ancient times and breed with monkeys to create us as slaves to work in in gold mines that they use to power their FTL drives. It's not necessary and it doesn't fit with evidence. Why believe it?

      November 8, 2011 at 3:29 am |
    • Hexdragon

      It sounds like you believe in Arthur C. Clarke "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"
      However I doubt we were visited by aliens long ago. Why would they bother????

      November 8, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • JasonLinMT

      What would lead you to believe that "modern man" and "modern science" are both only, and exactly 2011 years old? I don't believe that the birth of Jesus has anything to do with the birth of modern science, or in any way differentiates modern man from ancient man. Though considered "ancient" philosophy, Aristotle was the first to approach human understanding of the world from a method that incorporated a more scientific understanding of the world than his predecessors. Francis Bacon is most responsible, IMO, for the development of the modern scientific method. The middle ages established a basis for modern science, and science the way we do it now came fully into being with the scientific revolution a mere 400+/- years ago.

      So, "modern science" is a concept whose evolution started approximately 2380 years, and took roughly 1900 years to mature. The grandfathers of modern science having sparked its development more than 350 years before Christ, but the crux of modern science occurring less than 500 years ago.

      Also, you really do need to lay off the Art Bell, and maybe get an education.

      November 8, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • rhobere

      first of all, scientists don't deny the possibility of "teleporting" particles. its actually been accomplished using single particles, but the idea of replicating it trillions upon trillions of times and then rebuilding those trillions and trillions of particles with the exact same structure as before. it would take a ridiculous level of computation far beyond anything we could even imagine and instruments/detectors that are impossibly accurate and precise.

      on top of that, where did you get your notion that any credible scholar thinks history is only 2011 years old? young earth kooks or something? Its pretty common knowledge that ancient history as we know it began ~11000 BCE. Now whether or not they believed in aliens, I don't know. Why is it though, that they're recollections of ridiculous things should be considered credible? These are a people that thought lightening was punishment from some sort of sky god and that they could keep volcanoes from erupting by sacrificing people. Clearly their interpretation of things they don't understand can't be trusted.

      I don't deny that flying and teleportation were commonly found in ancient writings, but they weren't all meant to be taken literally. I mean, in two thousand years, if someone finds a copy of star wars and figures out how to watch it, they'll definitely think we were way more advanced than we really are.

      November 8, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  22. Bazoing

    I am not certain this is true. Although I am an older productive PhD I cannot say I am more (or even less) creative. However, a lot more Nobel prizes every year go to principal investigators, wheeler-dealer types riding in on the backs of a team they control because of their ability to get and dominate funding. This is a special ability, combining political acumen and spin, not creativity.

    November 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Nitrogen

      Must the dark side of capitalism ruin science too? Isn't that what the business department is for?

      November 8, 2011 at 3:31 am |
    • Somebody

      Very true Sir! But there are 24 hours in a day for you to work on something your passionate about outside of work. Excuses will always remain what they are, excuses!

      November 8, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • polymersci

      Bazoing, I agree with you; most modern Nobel winners use their groups and ride on the backs of the younger Ph.D's. It is possible that these Nobel worthy discoveries are made by the postdocs in their mid-20's, but the older faculty take credit for their hard work. I've seen this, especially in ACS conventions, regarding journal article submittals where the corresponding author did not do the experimental procedure, it turns out it was the grad student.

      November 8, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  23. Mike B.

    It does seem that the essential aspect of relativity is that the speed of propagation of INFORMATION is a critical factor, as the entangled particle phenomena shows that some sort of instantaneous communication exists...This to me is more than passing strange, why should the universe CARE? Yet it seems that any trick we poor humans try to exploit this or other methods to develop trans light speed communication is defeated by the infamous "cosmic censor"...I guess there must be a God....

    November 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Nitrogen

      First, please take a physics course. Second, leave quantum tunneling alone. Its not it's fault that it can only violate conservation of energy for a little while. Third, nope, there is probably no god. I'm not saying there isn't one, just that there is no reason for there to be one.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:50 am |
      • Mike B.

        Nitrogen, perhaps YOU should take a physics course, then you would be able to discern the difference between "quantum tunneling" , and the "entangled particle" phenomena...the transmission of data to which I referred has nothing to do with conservation of energy being violated for short periods or ten thousand centuries...

        November 8, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • ChaoticDreams

      It isn't truly communication as we as humans would describe it, i.e. the exchange of information. It is exactly what its name implies, entanglement. The cause could be anything from there actually isn't two particles but only one and some quantum interference that we don't know of could be giving the illusion of two particle to string theory's explanation. In other words we have no idea, and no way can it prove the existence of any divinity.
      I myself like to think the universe has no meaning, chaos seems like so much fun.

      November 10, 2011 at 12:45 am |
  24. Vomit

    Older people are always innovating traffic patterns, like driving 40 mph in the passing lane, driving into crowded sidewalks, and so forth.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Bazoing

      Old age and automobiles mix almost as badly as alcohol and driving. Parts wear out such as eyes, ears, and even brains. We live in an insane society in which it is essential to drive. The alternative in most places is confinement. I do not intend to drive again unless I get my cataracts fixed, and then I will still avoid the passing lane. I would prefer never to drive again. Public transportation seems expensive unless you subtract the reduced need for and thus cost of fuel imports, road building, and road maintenance.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Jorge

      That depends on how much you take care of your game. I'm 53 and I'm constantly befuddled by the wealth of spastic, clueless, multitasking twenty-somethings with the attention span of a gerbil who putter, hesitate, and encumber our roads, as I poetically weave my 1979 Mercedes 6.9 through traffic...

      November 8, 2011 at 8:25 am |
  25. us1776

    Ok Einstein, if you're such a genius, how'd that Cosmological Constant thing work out for you? LOL

    .

    November 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Bazoing

      You had better check it out again. Some scientists have recently found a justification and explanation for the 'Cosmological Constant thing'.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Mark C

      Actually quite well, half-wit. It's now called Dark Energy though.

      November 8, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • Nitrogen

      I dare you to read a physics text. I promise you will be a little smarter.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:32 am |
  26. JLS639

    I did not read the paper, but I would point out a large change in the scientific fields since the early 20th century: postdoctoral training. In previous times, a person went to graduate school, got a PhD and began their independent research career. Today, a person who wants to do research does a postdoc. The researcher is rarely allowed to work independently or on his/her own ideas and is not the corresponding author on the papers produced. How much of this is due to people being unable to produce Nobel-prize winning work before 40 even if they have great ideas?

    November 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • researcher

      well said

      November 8, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  27. FifthGeneration

    SImply put, the Sciences are so diverse, but narrowly defined, it takes a lot longer than it used to, to become competent in any given sliver of Science. So, a man or woman might be already thirty before he or she reaches that point. THEN, he or she must take a walk along a path not-yet followed, or along a path not-well understood, to find that 'something new' that the Nobel Committee is looking for.

    November 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  28. Mike

    The reason the age of Nobel prize winners has increased significantly is due to the fact there are several billion more people competing with various ideas now. To distinguish winners, it takes more testing, and time to gather proof, and to satisfy a much larger established bureaucracy.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  29. JeffinIL

    I can't prove it but I'm pretty sure it was an old person who first yelled, "Hey! You kids get off my lawn!"

    November 7, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  30. Hashim

    Still one can learn alot from the international best-selling novel – king of Bat'ha

    November 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  31. bryan cappelletti

    What mankind takes as truth ... is often found to be disproved by yet another source. Take
    Einstein's special relativity for example. Most of the math is correct (
    actually he has ignored some 'imaginary' results ) but to be as blunt as
    possible ... the ASSUMPTIONS ARE FALSE. For starters ... You don't need the
    speed of light being fixed to a given velocity to deduce some of his math
    results ... but that's really not the problem.

    The problem is the topology of space(time) chosen by Einstein. Simply put, Euclidean space
    is fine for describing stationary objects ... but for moving objects ...
    especially those objects approaching the rate of the speed of 'propagation of
    information' ... Euclidean space falls flat on its 'face.'

    Why so?

    Because of the following situation: Suppose Einstein has a really big head. And his
    eyeballs are 3 light years apart ... like I said ... a big head. Now consider a
    stationary object blinking on/off ten times a second. Provided the object isn't
    on the perpendicular line bisecting the line between the two eyeballs ... one
    eyeball will receive the information before the other eyeball. If the object is
    4 light years away from one eye, but say 5 light years away from the other eye
    ... one eyeball will get the information long before the other eye. For a
    stationary object ... it doesn't matter which eyeball recieves the infomation
    first. But for moving objects ... it matters a great deal ... and simply asserts
    that Euclidean space is nothing but the 'parallax method' of two independent
    observes ... who use 'angle information' and a known distance seperating each
    other ... to compute the concept of distance. Since Einstein's theory of
    relativity ( both special and general ) are based upon Euclidean space
    measurements ... the computations are complete 'junk' because the space chosen
    to describe moving objects ... is 'junk.'

    And yes, I'm very well aware that in general relativity ... the space(time) of Einstein is
    'non Euclidean' ... however ... locally the space is a psuedoRiemann manifold
    ... which is Euclidean like ... and these Euclidean like spaces are being
    'glued together' using the techniques of differential geometry to create
    Einstein's generally 'special non Euclidean' space(time).

    Actually there's nothing new in the 'big head' paragraph ... the above argument can be
    attributed to Tesla ... and had Einstein bothered to read Newton's principia
    carefully ... he would have gathered the notion of 'action at a distance' ...
    and the arguments describing the 'notion of action at a distance' ... was
    Newton's way of admitting ... his calculations were only valid for objects
    moving much less than the speed of light. That's also why Newton went to great
    lengths to attempt to 'compute the speed of light' using the equipment
    available to him at the time ( a hill, some mirrors, and a mechanical clock )
    ... and after doing so ... assured himself the speed of light ( or information
    propagation ) was much, much greater than compared to the speed of moving
    planets.

    And finally, those that claim that the Mic-Morley experiment supports the notions of special
    relativity ... I claim otherwise. The Mic-Morley experiment supports nothing
    more ... than the failure to measure any of the 'mysterious ether wind'
    believed to exist. In fact, the experiment might have to be conducted on the
    scale of 50 light years ( and not fifty meters ) to detect any notion of 'such
    a wind' and to give an analogy ... just because no current is detected in a
    river ... doesn't mean your measuring device is not hidden behind a 'rock in
    the Everglades stream.' Those that believe in the isotrophy of space are sadly
    mistaken ... as are those who believe Maxwell's equations are correct ... as
    these calculations are based upon 'flawed' Euclidean space. So yes, objects can
    move faster than the speed of light ... and yet mankind doubts as such ... for
    the very same reason that airflight faster than the speed of sound was deemed
    unlikely.

    November 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Richard

      Duh. You trying to show you are smarter than everyone else?
      There's one solid proof that old Einstein knew what he spoke of. The Bomb GOES BOOM!
      Everything else is commentary.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
      • BD

        A rambling scientific essay on CNN comments aside, a lot of his comments are right. However, the suggestion that Newton's models or really that anything pre-Einstein represented a more accurate view of space/time is preposterous. Its only the most recent research that has begun to explain why we were as wrong until now as we have been. Modern science has only just realized that we know virtually nothing about what constitutes the bulk of the existing matter and energy in the universe or how it interacts, came to be, or how the forces, that seem to exist either in spite or as a result of what we now know, interact.

        Proverb: Insanity is when a someone speaks with utter certainty about the uncertain.

        November 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • duckdodgers

      shaddup Sheldon Cooper

      November 7, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • KeithTexas

      So, do you hate Einstein? Or, is there some cute Doctorate student you are trying to get into her pants? Or, are you just one of those people that have a need to try to prove that you are the smartest guy in the room?

      One of the three is true and either choice of the three make you "Not" the smartest guy in the room

      November 7, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Nitrogen

      Sounds like you've had a little physics and nice job if it's self-taught, but head over to the writing department before submitting next time, they have excellent tutors. Scientists need to be able to communicate their ideas well. Oh, and try submitting to a scholarship instead of CNN forums. They're much more productive.

      November 8, 2011 at 3:43 am |
    • Somebody

      Nice analysis, but I am afraid a bit flawed. I agree that Euclidean space assumptions are a weakness for many theories and this is known. However Einstein's assumption that distance measured is a function of the speed at which the observer is traveling does seem very plausible. The notion of having reference frames in which quantities are measured also resolves the "big head" problem you state. More recent developments like string theory allows us to have a more flexible way of describing spatial dimensions and may therefore also address your concerns about "space". However, not being a physicist, I may very well be wrong.

      November 8, 2011 at 8:27 am |
      • bryan cappelletti

        Yes, that's correct ... you know nothing of physics. Distance = time*velocity might work at 20 miles per hour ... and can be extended to 200 miles per hour ... but utterly fails at 90% the speed of light ... for the very reason I provided you. Fundamentally, Euclidean space is the concept of two independent observers of a 'known seperation' attempting to gather distance of other objects in relation to this 'known seperation.' That concept doesn't work for objects moving close to the speed of light. It's also why an 'Einstein moving train experiment' conducted at 90% the speed of light will yield a different result as compared to 'throwing a ball up in the air on a moving train at 20 mph.'

        Once again, Einstein's relativity assumptions are false ... and yet I don't dispute some of his results. If you know anything of logic ... you would agree ... sometimes false assumptions ... and resulting calculations ... can lead to 'somewhat correct' results. However, don't be surprised ... with more powerful atomic accelators ... as what the Europeans have recently constructed ... confirm that it is very possible for particles to travel faster than the speed of light ... even though the notion of speed is flawed for the very reason I provided previously. You can't use Euclidean space to describe moving particles.

        November 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Einstein

      You can always detect the loons by their writing. Either there is a Lot of Mixed case Going on, or excessive punctuation...I don't know...why this is the case...

      November 8, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  32. Butthead

    There is a lot of age discrimination in our society. Probably more than any other type of discrimination.

    November 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • CNNReviewer

      Very true. Most people in the USA have not the slightest appreciation for our level of discrimination.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
      • Liese

        So true, but their time will come.

        November 7, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
      • Brian

        This would be the society in the USA that you have spent more time influencing than the people you complain about, correct?

        November 8, 2011 at 9:44 am |
      • Elaine Connelly

        Go suck an egg you intellectual dessert!

        November 8, 2011 at 11:35 am |

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