“You imagine that I look back on my life’s work with calm satisfaction. But from nearby it looks quite different. There is not a single concept of which I am convinced that it will stand firm, and I feel uncertain whether I am in general on the right track.” — Albert Einstein, on his 70th birthday, in a letter to Maurice Solovine, 28 March 1949 (in B. Hoffman Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel 1972, p.328)
Albert Einstein is regarded as the greatest and most influential physicists of the modern era of physics and one of the greatest physicists of all time. So, a lot has been said about his legacy for science.
But so far, all that has been said about Einstein’s legacy are as they should be presented in the modern era of physics but now physics has entered into the new era of post-modern physics.
So, as the new era of post-modern physics unfolds, what can we say about Albert Einstein who was undoubtedly the greatest giant of the modern era of physics which has just passed away?
It has become very important to know what the legacy of Albert Einstein will be in this post-modern era of physics.
In talking about Einstein’s legacy, I am referring to his scientific ideas that still stand in any way in post-modern physics. This is also important because Einstein at the latter end of his life became very sceptical if any of his scientific ideas will stand the test of time.
It is quite easy to see why Einstein would have been bothered about the tenability of his scientific concepts and ideas which he introduced into physics since he did not discover “the unified field theory” which he greatly sought till the end of his life in 1955.
But now, we have discovered the unified field theory which Einstein sought and the discovery of this all encompassing theory is what has ushered us into a new era of physics called post-modern physics.
So, a lot of questions become inevitably raised concerning Einstein’s scientific ideas and how they are either proven or invalidated by post-modern physics. This is why I have decided to write this article so that we can discuss Einstein’s legacy and to any extent possible, what remains of his scientific concepts.
Now, Albert Einstein was a German physicist born on March 14th, 1879 in Ulm. He became fascinated about the nature of light at the age of 18 and this fascination was what would become the driving force behind his discovery of great scientific theories and ideas.
Now, in 1905, he published five seminal papers that were to revolutionalize physics and that were to launched and set the character of the modern era of physics. And among these five seminal papers were his paper on special relativity and another on the photoelectric effect.
He later received a Nobel prize in physics in 1921 “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” So, he received the Nobel prize for his scientific paper on photoelectricity.
It is in these two papers, the special relativity paper which was titled “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” and the other paper on photoelectricity that we find some of the earliest, pivotal scientific ideas that Einstein presented to physics.
In his special relativity paper, we find that Einstein invalidated the aether. Einstein presented to us a paper on relativity that was devoid of the aether. This was unlike the earlier versions of relativity presented by Hendrik Lorentz and Henri Poincare.
So, in this post-modern era of physics, we have to ask if Einstein proposal of the non-existence of the aether still persists. While holding on to that thought, I want us to look at his paper on the photoelectric effect.
In this paper, Einstein borrowed some of Planck’s ideas to introduce us formally to the concept of the quantum of light.
Albert Einstein shaking hands with Judge Phillip Forman as he receives his certificate of American citizenship
In this his paper on photoelectricity, Einstein informed us that light consists of tiny, massless particles which he called photons and he used this concept to explain the phenomenon of quantization which has been observed in how light interacts with matter.
So, in post-modern physics, we have to look at Einstein’s legacy of the non-existence of the aether and of the light quanta. Is it actually true that the aether does not exist and also that the photon exists?
Remember that Einstein’s rejection of the aether came along with the proposition of the independent existence of light which was his first thesis in special relativity.
So, Einstein and many physicists would think that if we can prove the existence of the aether, then light cannot be an independent wave, but this is not actually true.
Post-modern physics is informing us that the aether exists but it does so in a way that does not refute Einstein’s concept of the independent existence of light. I have talked about this in some of my articles, so I will be quick about it in this article.
Post-modern physics accomplishes this by informing us that the aether exists but that it only applies to accelerated frames and remember that Einstein’s special relativity paper was based on uniform frames and not accelerated frames.
So, Einstein’s idea of the independent existence of light stands even in post-modern physics and its mathematical description of the relativity of uniform frames (even though the new post-modern theory of absolute relativity has greatly revolutionalized the interpretation of relativity by basing it on absolute space and time and not on relative space and time).
But when we proceed to the relativity of accelerated frames in post-modern physics, the aether becomes a significant concept. I want you to think about this because we will come back to it later in this article.
Now, concerning Einstein’s concept of the photon, post-modern physics completely refutes it. Post-modern physics describes quantization without the photon. Post-modern physics gives us a revolutionary new way of understanding quantization that is beyond what quantum mechanics could have made possible.
So, Einstein’s concept of the photon does not stand in post-modern physics. This is one of his scientific legacies that has failed the test of time and this is only so that we can come to a better understanding of light which Einstein was quoted to have said that:
“All the fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no closer to answer the question, “What are light quanta?” Of course today every rascal thinks he knows the answer, but he is deluding himself.”
From the quote above, it appears that Einstein knew we had to somehow go beyond quantum mechanics to really understand the nature of light and this must have been one of his motivations for the unified field theory.
Also, as post-modern physics has disproved the existence of the photon, it becomes obvious that it has invalidated modern quantum mechanics which was built on it.
What then remains as the true theory of the universe is the new version of relativity that is referred to as Absolute Relativity. However, this new theory of relativity has been deployed in post-modern physics to revolutionalize quantum mechanics leading to what I call post-modern quantum mechanics.
Post-modern quantum mechanics is not founded on the light quanta but on the principle of non-inertia which is the true cause of the observed phenomenon of quantization. I will suggest that you get the Treatise so that you will understand this. Also, read my other scientific articles in this blog.
Now, after Einstein published his paper on special relativity, he proceeded to publish 10 years later, in 1915, another scientific paper on general relativity which would be a generalization of the principles of relativity to accelerated frames.
In this paper, Einstein presented to us a new principle which he called the principle of strong equivalence. Einstein stated that according to the principle of strong equivalence, gravitation and acceleration are indistinguishable.
It was with this very insightful principle which excited Einstein himself that he was able to present the general theory of relativity. Now, in post-modern physics, this principle of strong equivalence still stands but with a little but nevertheless revolutionary modification.
In post-modern physics, the strong equivalence principle states that rest gravity and acceleration are indistinguishable. This is the modification of Einstein’s strong equivalence principle and any further elucidation of it is beyond the scope of this article but you can learn more about it in this my scientific post and also in this post.
What really stands in post-modern physics is the distinction Einstein made between the weak equivalence principle and the strong equivalence principle. Einstein was the first to realize that there are two equivalence principles in the universe and this realization is what really stands in post-modern physics. But the form in which Einstein presented the strong equivalence principle has been modified.
Now, it happened that shortly after Einstein published his theory of general relativity, he introduced the aether again which he rejected 10 years before in his theory of special relativity. But Einstein presented what he called “the aether of general theory of relativity”.
In an address presented on 5 May 1920 at the University of Leiden which he titled “Ether and the Theory of Relativity”, Einstein discussed his view about the nature of the aether. I must tell you it was a very interesting read especially with the knowledge of post-modern physics.
You will find out how Einstein was inversely right about the nature of the aether even though he could not lay his hands on its true nature throughout the lecture and throughout his entire scientific career.
Einstein in that address gave the aether a geometrical or qualitative meaning and this was only as it manifested in the distortions of space or “the continuum of space-time” by matter. This is basically Einstein’s description of the aether.
To Einstein, the aether had no mechanical or motional properties and in that address, Einstein had this to say about the aether:
“According to this theory [general relativity], the metrical qualities of the continuum of space-time differ in the environment of different points of space-time, and are partly conditioned by the matter existing outside of the territory under consideration.
This space-time variability of the reciprocal relations of the standards of space and time, or, perhaps, the recognition of the fact that “empty space” in its physical relation is neither homogeneous nor isotropic, compelling us to describe its state by ten functions (the gravitation potentials), has, I think, finally disposed of the view that space is physically empty.
But therewith the conception of the ether has again acquired an intelligible content although this content differs widely from that of the ether of the mechanical undulatory theory of light.”
From the above quote, it becomes clear that Einstein’s aether was a topological aether that only manifested itself in the distortions of “the continuum of space-time” in the vicinity of matter. He felt that this description of the aether satisfies Mach’s principle.
Also, in the same article, he suggested that this topological aether reduces to the Lorentz aether “through relativation”. This is as he made the distinction between them by making it clear that the topological aether had connections with matter by which it is distorted or not the same from point to point but that the Lorentz aether always remains the same everywhere and was fundamentally independent.
So, Einstein was making us understand that the topological aether is what is important for the relativistic description of accelerated frames. But this his topological aether is rejected by post-modern physics.
Post-modern physics rejects every proposition of the aether which Einstein mentioned in his address and it introduces us to the undulatory aether.
Post-modern physics is letting us know that there are two non-mechanical waves in the universe and that the second non-mechanical wave is the aether necessary for accelerated frames.
Einstein’s concept of a topological aether does not stand in post-modern physics, what stands is the undulatory aether. This aether as a non-mechanical wave exhibits the same behaviours as light but it is only a different kind of non-mechanical wave from light being a gravi-electromagnetic wave.
For while light is an electromagnetic non-mechanical wave, the aether is a gravi-electromagnetic non-mechanical wave. The latter is the true long missing nature of the aether and it further makes the undulatory aether important in that it is what naturally brings “the gravitational field and the electromagnetic field together as one unified conformation”, which Einstein opined will be “a great advance”.
In addition, post-modern physics completely invalidates general relativity and its proposal of a non-Euclidean description of accelerated frames. Einstein general relativity does not stand in post-modern physics, and even the original form of his theory of special relativity has been discarded for a better theory.
This better theory is absolute relativity and it is the theory that gives us a unified description of uniform and accelerated frames based only on Euclidean geometry. Einstein’s legacy of a non-unified geometrical description of the universe has been abolished by post-modern physics.
And if you have been following me on this blog, then you must know how I seriously criticize Einstein’s general theory of relativity for breaking the geometrical harmony of the universe which is a sacred phenomenon in post-modern physics.
Consequently, Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity no longer stand in post-modern physics, what stands as the universal theory even against quantum mechanics is absolute relativity.Einstein's theories of special and general relativity no longer stand in post-modern physics, what stands as the universal theory even against quantum mechanics is absolute relativity.Click To Tweet
This article is giving you a post-modern assessment of Einstein’s concepts and it is making clear which of his important concepts still stand in post-modern physics. This is important as the truth and the great age of science which Einstein himself wished for have come!
In this article, I have touched a number of Einstein’s concepts and ideas like that of the aether, the independence of light, the photon, the strong equivalence principle, etc. These concepts are the cornerstone concepts behind his theories and other scientific ideas.
Obviously, of all of Einstein’s ideas, only the independent existence of light which is necessary for the relativistic description of uniform frames still stand in post-modern physics.
The rest are either modified or disproved. But there is still a sympathy one has to show to this great scientist who himself rejected some of his ideas in search of the truth.
Before Einstein passed away, he chose to endure the dissatisfaction of not having found the unified field theory than to bask in his already established scientific ideas which he felt the unified field theory, if discovered, may prove wrong.
He rejected quantum mechanics which he helped establish and even engaged in intellectual arguments with Niels Bohr against quantum mechanics. So, in a sense, he rejected the light quanta even before post-modern physics did.
He is even quoted to have said that “Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that this is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not bring us any closer to the secrets of the “Old One.” I, at any rate, am convinced that He is not playing at dice.”
Einstein rejected quantum mechanics as the final say concerning the atomic world and this was because of his belief in the unified field theory which he felt would give us a better and more realist description of the atomic world.
He believed strongly that the weirdness of quantum mechanics can be explained by a better theory and he was not afraid to stand alone in this his opinion which he definitely did because the rest of his contemporaries were carried away by quantum mechanics and many of them felt that the unified field theory was unattainable.
But now, the legacy of Einstein’s pursuit of the unified field theory has found its fulfilment in post-modern physics and it addresses anew the concepts Einstein introduced into physics.
And if not for any of his concepts, Einstein remains to us a shining beacon of hope in the power of the intellect and in the clarity of physics that only a “unified conformation” can produce.
Until next time,
I will be here.
– M. V. Echa
Addendum: I couldn’t publish this article without making something clear to you about Einstein and his scientific ideas which is a view only I hold in the scientific community for now.
Einstein was inversely right about most of his concepts in physics. The only real mistake Einstein ever made was in adopting a physical view of the universe. This was the only stumbling block against his discovery of the unified field theory which is a metaphysical theory.
If the universe was a physical place, then I am certain that Einstein’s theory and ideas would have satisfied as the fitting descriptions of the universe. He was only inversely right about the universe.