Graph illustrating black-body curves from Max Planck's experiment and comparison to the classical theory of Rayleigh-Jeans.
History of Science

How Max Planck Gave Birth to the Concept of Quanta

April 23, 2020

Light was believed to be a wave in the late 19th century and early 20th century, but this didn’t work in the case of black-body radiation. German physicist Max Planck came up with a theory which claimed emitted and absorbed light was in the form of quanta. […]

Cygnus X-1
Astronomy

The Discovery of Black Holes: From Theory to Actuality

December 27, 2019

Although Einstein was skeptical about the existence of black holes, his own theory suggested otherwise. Bringing us closer to the discovery of black holes was an observation regarding the behavior of collapsing stars. A mysterious object called Cygnus X-1 at last delivered proof. […]

gamma rays burst from a dying star
Astronomy

Star Collapse and Black Holes: Exploring the Connection

December 9, 2019

What gives stars their power? And what happens when a star runs out of fuel? Exploring the various theories behind star collapse and the stages of collapse—including white dwarfs and neutron stars—eventually leads us to black holes. […]

The first image taken of a black hole
Astronomy

Einstein on Black Holes: Why He Rejected His Own “Child”

December 9, 2019

Black holes are a direct consequence of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. However, when examining the views of Einstein on black holes, we see that he was skeptical. Interestingly, an astronomer’s efforts to solve Einstein’s field equations end up pointing toward the existence of black holes. […]

Einstein's field equation on a wall in Leiden, Netherlands.
Science

How Einstein Solved the General Theory of Relativity

October 20, 2019

The general theory of relativity is recognized as Einstein’s greatest achievement, but arriving at the final version was not an easy task. It involved years of missteps and disappointments. Discover how Einstein finally connected all the dots and how the theory holds up in light of today’s scientific advancements. […]

Blackboard containing Einstein field equations, Hamiltonian and Gauss' Law
History of Science

Einstein’s Field Equations: A Long Road of Trial and Error

October 20, 2019

Einstein’s field equations would lead him down the path to perfecting his general theory of relativity. That path, though, was fraught with frustration as the numbers weren’t working out. Learn how even history’s most brilliant minds must persevere through setbacks. […]

Einstein formula of relativity on a blue background
History of Science

Einstein’s Equivalence Principle: Expanding Our View on Gravity

October 20, 2019

The special theory of relativity, brilliant as it was, still had some holes to account for after its initial conception. Einstein’s equivalence principle would help to address these issues, though the equations would take years to refine. Discover how Einstein’s findings challenged conventional beliefs about the nature of gravity as well as geometry. […]

earth's gravity bends space around it
Science

Einstein’s Grand Achievement: A General Theory of Relativity

July 18, 2019

In his quest to develop a general theory of relativity, Einstein spent many years working to resolve inconsistent and, at times, incorrect math. Another mathematician, David Hilbert, was also working toward solving the equations. So, the year of 1915 became a race to see who would be the first to complete the greatest and most celebrated theory in the history of physics. […]

Albert Einstein
Science

From Special to General Relativity

July 18, 2019

Take a look at what was incomplete about the special theory of relativity, and what conceptual elements Einstein used to formulate his general theory of relativity. […]

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