The Theory of General Relativity Turns 100 Today

Janet Burns
Public Doman via Wikimedia Commons
Public Doman via Wikimedia Commons / Public Doman via Wikimedia Commons

First published on November 25, 1915 [PDF], Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity continues to be, as physicist Brian Greene explains in Smithsonian, “widely revered as one of humankind’s greatest intellectual achievements.” Since then, the theory (handily broken down in this infographic) has “become the nexus for a wide range of foundational issues,” Greene says, in our understanding of the universe.

Einstein's decade-in-the-making theory—his Special Theory of Relativity debuted in 1905—rocked the scientific world. It was the end result of a line of inquiry that led “not to a disavowal of [Isaac] Newton’s theory of gravitation, but to a sublimation or supplement of it,” as Einstein told The New York Times in 1919 [PDF].  

This Thanksgiving, consider pausing for a moment (while all matter in the universe keeps whizzing around and through you) to appreciate the massive impact that Einstein and countless other scientists have achieved over the past century with their fresh ideas—ones that have helped us to better understand every aspect of existence, from the largest supernova to the smallest second helping of pie.

Public Domain via Pixabay