I’ve always considered education to be very important; especially scientific education. You know … physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and engineering. The kind of education that makes the world a better place.
Full of enthusiasm, I went to the library the other day and I started reading scientific books. I found one that particularly interested me entitled “Einstein’s Theories Explained Easily For Those People Who Knew He Was On To Something Good But Never Quite Understood What This Great Genius Was Trying To Teach The World!”
I must admit they could have done with a shorter title. The title was so long it carried on to the back cover.
Anyway … I started reading this book “Einstein’s Theories etc …” and noticed that sitting at the table next to mine was a man reading a book about World Statistics. It was a much shorter title although it had the same number of pages as my book. Every so often he muttered to himself “Oh dear …” “Dear oh dear …” and such like expressions spreading doom and despondency on my re-awakened enthusiasm for the wonders of science.
Eventually he lent over towards me and said “Do you know that every time I take a breath in and out someone somewhere in the world dies!”
I suggested he uses a better mouthwash.
But I digress. Back to my book. Which is much more interesting, I tell you.
Einstein was quite a clever person you know. It’s really amazing what that man knew. It’s so wonderful that every so often the world produces great geniuses like him who discover or invent new ways to improve our lives and makes us all better for it.
Folks like Einstein and Penicillin didn’t get to where they are by just kicking a ball in the park, you know. I bet they spent many an hour in the library reading books and doing their homework instead of watching TV.
Here are a few interesting facts I learnt from the book about Einstein.
The furthest away you are from the earth’s gravity the faster time goes. Say you’re on earth with nothing better to do than looking at your watch. And out there very far away in space there’s another person also looking at his watch. He’d be in a spaceship of course; otherwise he won’t be able to breathe in space. Anyway … according to Einstein the other fellow’s watch will go faster than yours.
To prove this, scientists have placed a very accurate clock, measuring the smallest nth of a second, at the top of a very tall skyscraper, and an exactly similar clock on the ground floor.
After a period of time the clock at the top of the building was a few minutes ahead of its counterpart at the bottom. It had gained time because at the top of the building time was faster than at the bottom. Because it was further away from the earth’s gravity.
Not convinced, I tried this experiment at home.
I put a clock upstairs in the bedroom and another one downstairs in the hall.
The following day the clock at the top was ONE HOUR ahead of the one downstairs.
The battery in the clock downstairs had run out.
Einstein also claimed that because time is faster in outer space, away from the earth’s gravity, then someone in outer space, say a twin, would age faster than his brother on earth.
The book therefore recommended that people should not live in high-rise apartment blocks because they’ll age faster than people living at ground floor level. Especially if the elevator is not working and they have to walk up and down all those stairs to their apartments.
Enlightened with this knowledge I have moved our bedroom downstairs and the kitchen, (where we don’t go that often thanks to fast-foods delivered to our door), has been moved where the bedroom was.
The bathroom moved downstairs by itself when I overfilled the bath with water and it came down through the roof.
Einstein also said that in outer space, at the very edge, space is curved. This is because, apparently, gravity (I don’t know whose gravity if gravity is in effect on earth); but stay with me for a while on this … in outer space the very edge of space is curved because gravity makes it so.
I could not understand how this related to bananas being bent; maybe they come from outer space. Or perhaps I was distracted by another book about fruits which someone else in the library was reading.
Einstein also taught about light. Did you know that nothing can go faster than light?
If you could arrange a race between say light, sound and someone in the fastest car ever made; light would always win. That’s because it has moved off the starting line before the sound of the starting pistol has reached your ears.
And if the fastest car was driving with its lights on, then its light would reach the finishing line at the same time as the other light running on foot. Because light travels at a constant speed regardless of its mode of transport.
The light from the sun reaches the earth at the speed of light. The distance it has to travel however is so long that by the time it reaches the earth it’s night time down here and we’ve all gone to sleep.
I’ve tried to measure the speed of light in my home experiments. I think I’ve actually proved that some of Einstein’s Theory about light may well be wrong.
If nothing goes faster than light then how come with these new energy efficient light-bulbs I can get downstairs faster than the light at the top illuminates the staircase?
But then these light-bulbs were not invented when Einstein was around. So we can’t blame him for getting this one wrong.
Finally, a word about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
This one is simple: The richer you are the more relatives will turn up at your funeral.