|Airdate||September 27, 2005|
Albert Einstein is a BrainPOP video in Science/Social Studies launched on September 27, 2005.
The episode opens with Moby wearing a white Einstein wig, and Tim arrives wearing the same wig, asking where the letter is.
After Tim finishes his presentation, Moby has added a fake tongue sticking out of his mouth, creeping Tim out.
Transcript and Quiz Edit
Here are some sayings from the man, the myth, the legend: Albert Einstein!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity."
"I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive."
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
"The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible."
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
Did You Know Edit
Did you know that Albert Einstein played a key role in the development of the atomic bomb? Although he didn’t personally help build it, the idea underlying the bomb was definitely Einstein’s.
According to the famous E=mc^2 equation, a large amount of energy (E) can be released from a small amount of matter (m). That’s essentially the premise behind the bomb, which harnesses the enormous amount of energy released when a tiny atom is split in half.
Einstein made another contribution, too. In 1938, scientists in Germany successfully split a uranium atom, and several American scientists were worried that Hitler and the Nazis would create an atomic bomb before anyone else could. Two of these scientists, Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner, asked Einstein to write a letter to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt (pictured) explaining the dire consequences that would result if the Nazis developed an A-bomb. They chose Einstein because he was world-famous, and they believed a letter from him would be taken seriously by the government. And they were right!
Immediately after Roosevelt received Einstein’s letter, the U.S. government began the development of the atomic bomb. Ironically, when the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945, Einstein was appalled. In 1954, shortly before he died, he said, "I made one great mistake in my life... when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made; but there was some justification — the danger that the Germans would make them."
Quirky Stuff Edit
After Albert Einstein died in New Jersey in 1955, a pathologist at Princeton Hospital, Dr. Thomas Harvey, performed an autopsy. During this procedure, he removed Einstein’s brain. In an action that eventually cost him his job, Harvey kept the brain for himself—and hung onto it for decades.
In 1978, a magazine reporter from New Jersey decided to track it down. He found that Dr. Harvey, who was now practicing medicine in Wichita, KS, still had the brain. In fact, he was keeping it in two glass jars inside a cardboard box behind a beer cooler. In 1996, Harvey finally returned it to Princeton Hospital in New Jersey.
Over the years, there have been several papers published on the topic of whether or not Einstein’s brain was unusual, although none of them were entirely conclusive. According to the first study, one area of Einstein’s brain had a high ratio of glial cells, which support and protect neurons, to neurons themselves. The scientists concluded that this might be because Einstein had a “hungrier” brain than others—his brain needed and used more energy than those of average people.
Another study found that the density of neurons in Einstein’s brain was fairly high—meaning that his brain packed a large number of neurons into each square centimeter. A third study found that Einstein had an unusual pattern of grooves on the parietal lobes, in an area that's thought to be important for mathematical abilities and spatial reasoning.
Unsolved Mysteries Edit
When Albert Einstein published his theory of general relativity in 1916, astronomers viewed the universe as a stable and unchanging place. But his original equations suggested that every object in the universe should either be moving away from every other object or toward every other object.
Einstein figured out a way to account for this difference by creating a mathematical fudge factor in his equations. He called this the cosmological constant, and it was represented by the Greek letter lambda (pictured).
Some colleagues realized that Einstein’s initial equations implied that the universe might be changing. But lacking experimental evidence, Einstein strongly denied that that could be possible.
Then in 1929, American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is,in fact, expanding; i.e., objects in the universe are speeding away from each other! Einstein agreed that he had been wrong to include the cosmological constant, and famously called it his “biggest blunder.”
But was it? Some scientists now think this mistake may not have been a mistake after all! In the last decade, astronomers have discovered that the universe is not only moving, it’s accelerating, or speeding up. No one really knows how this can be happening, but some think a mysterious energy might be at work.
Whatever this energy turns out to be, another fudge factor will need to be added to Einstein’s original equations for them to make sense with what we now know about the universe. Although physicists are still debating it, it’s possible that Einstein’s fudge factor, the cosmological constant (or something close to it), will do the trick!