Colloquium20150303-Insights and mistakes of a legendary genius

Abstract:

2015 is the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s great achievement, his gravity theory, general relativity.  This presentation reviews some of the lesser known history, mostly from a recent book [Ohanion: Einsteins’s Mistakes] described as follows: ”Although Einstein was the greatest genius of the twentieth century, many of his groundbreaking discoveries were blighted by mistakes, ranging from serious errors in mathematics to bad misconceptions in physics and failures to grasp the subtleties of his own creations. His extraordinary intuition about physics nonetheless permitted him to discover profound truths despite—and sometimes because of—the mistakes he made along the way”

These include his (i) mistakes in deriving his equations, (ii) problematical principles, (iii) light bending predictions, (iv) cosmological constant blunder, (vi)  unaccepted Phys Rev paper, and (vii) attempts at a unified field theory. I may also mention his gravitational energy-momentum density, which indirectly profoundly affected our modern theories.