Category Archives: Quantum World

Roadmap To Mount Pineal?

 Every culture that has ever existed on Earth has had at least one Diety running the show, who is not of Earth,  have you ever wondered……why?

Newsweek Cover: ‘God & the Brain: How We’re Wired for Spirituality’

Maynard S. Clark MSClark@MEDIAONE.NET
Mon, 30 Apr 2001 00:58:43 -0700

Newsweek Cover: 'God & the Brain: How We're Wired for Spirituality'
New Field of 'Neurotheology' Links Brain Activity to Spiritual, Mystical
Experiences, Contemplation

NEW YORK, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A new field of scientific research is
showing how the human brain responds to -- and may create -- religious
experiences and intimations of the divine. A slew of new books, scientific
publications and the establishment of research centers in "neurotheology"
are trying to identify what seems to be the brain's spirituality circuit,
and to explain how it is that religious rituals have the power to move
believers and nonbelievers alike, Newsweek reports in its cover package in
the May 7 issue (on newsstands Monday April 30).

(Photo: )

All the new research shares a passion for uncovering the neurological
underpinnings of spiritual and mystical experiences and for discovering
what happens in our brains when we sense that we have encountered a reality
different from the reality of an every-day experience, writes Senior Editor
Sharon Begley. In neurotheology, the study of the neurobiology of religion
and spirituality, psychologists and neurologists try to pinpoint which
regions of the brain turn on, and which turn off, during experiences that
seem to exist outside time and space. The studies try to identify the brain
circuits that surge with activity when we think we have encountered the
divine, and when we feel transported by intense prayer, an uplifting ritual
or sacred music.

Brain imaging techniques have enabled scientists to prove that spiritual
contemplation or a religious experience affects brain activity. What they
found is that as expected, the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the seat of
attention, lit up, and what surprised them was the quieting of activity. A
bundle of neurons in the superior parietal lobe, toward the top and back of
the brain, went dark. This region, nicknamed the "orientation association
area," processes information about space and time, and the orientation of
the body in space. It determines where the body ends and the rest of the
world begins.

But, the bottom line, says Dr. Andrew Newberg of the University of
Pennsylvania, a radiology specialist, is that "there is no way to determine
whether the neurological changes associated with spiritual experience mean
that the brain is causing those experiences ... or is instead perceiving a
spiritual reality." In other words, as Begley writes, "it is likely that
they [scientists] will never resolve the greatest question of all --
namely, whether our brain wiring creates God, or whether God created our
brain wiring. Which you believe is, in the end, a matter of faith."

In a companion essay, Religion Editor Kenneth L. Woodward warns that the
problem with neurotheology is that it confuses spiritual experiences with
religion. "The most that neurobiologists can do is correlate certain
experiences with certain brain activity. To suggest that the brain is the
only source of our experiences would be reductionist," he argues.

(Articles attached. Read Newsweek news releases at Click "Pressroom.")

Religion and the Brain

By Sharon Begley

One Sunday morning in March, 19 years ago, as Dr. James Austin waited for a
train in London, he glanced away from the tracks toward the river Thames.
The neurologist -- who was spending a sabbatical year in England -- saw
nothing out of the ordinary: the grimy Underground station, a few dingy
buildings, some pale gray sky. He was thinking, a bit absent-mindedly,
about the Zen Buddhist retreat he was headed toward. And then Austin
suddenly felt a sense of enlightenment unlike anything he had ever
experienced. His sense of individual existence, of separateness from the
physical world around him, evaporated like morning mist in a bright dawn.
He saw things "as they really are," he recalls. The sense of "I, me, mine"
disappeared. "Time was not present," he says. "I had a sense of eternity.
My old yearnings, loathings, fear of death and insinuations of selfhood
vanished. I had been graced by a comprehension of the ultimate nature of

Call it a mystical experience, a spiritual moment, even a religious
epiphany, if you like -- but Austin will not. Rather than interpret his
instant of grace as proof of a reality beyond the comprehension of our
senses, much less as proof of a deity, Austin took it as "proof of the
existence of the brain." He isn't being smart-alecky. As a neurologist, he
accepts that all we see, hear, feel and think is mediated or created by the
brain. Austin's moment in the Underground therefore inspired him to explore
the neurological underpinnings of spiritual and mystical experience. In
order to feel that time, fear and self-consciousness have dissolved, he
reasoned, certain brain circuits must be interrupted. Which ones? Activity
in the amygdala, which monitors the environment for threats and registers
fear, must be damped. Parietal-lobe circuits, which orient you in space and
mark the sharp distinction between self and world, must go quiet. Frontal-
and temporal-lobe circuits, which mark time and generate self-awareness,
must disengage. When that happens, Austin concludes in a recent paper,
"what we think of as our 'higher' functions of selfhood appear briefly to
'drop out,' 'dissolve,' or be 'deleted from consciousness'." When he spun
out his theories in 1998, in the 844-page "Zen and the Brain," it was
published not by some flaky New Age outfit but by MIT Press.

Since then, more and more scientists have flocked to "neurotheology," the
study of the neurobiology of religion and spirituality. Last year the
American Psychological Association published "Varieties of Anomalous
Experience," covering enigmas from near-death experiences to mystical ones.
At Columbia University's new Center for the Study of Science and Religion,
one program investigates how spiritual experiences reflect "peculiarly
recurrent events in human brains." In December, the scholarly Journal of
Consciousness Studies devoted its issue to religious moments ranging from
"Christic visions" to "shamanic states of consciousness." In May the book
"Religion in Mind," tackling subjects such as how religious practices act
back on the brain's frontal lobes to inspire optimism and even creativity,
reaches stores. And in "Why God Won't Go Away," published in April, Dr.
Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania and his late collaborator,
Eugene d'Aquili, use brain-imaging data they collected from Tibetan
Buddhists lost in meditation and from Franciscan nuns deep in prayer to ...
well, what they do involves a lot of neuro-jargon about lobes and fissures.
In a nutshell, though, they use the data to identify what seems to be the
brain's spirituality circuit, and to explain how it is that religious
rituals have the power to move believers and nonbelievers alike.

What all the new research shares is a passion for uncovering the
neurological underpinnings of spiritual and mystical experiences -- for
discovering, in short, what happens in our brains when we sense that we
"have encountered a reality different from -- and, in some crucial sense,
higher than -- the reality of every-day experience," as psychologist David
Wulff of Wheaton College in Massachusetts puts it. In neurotheology,
psychologists and neurologists try to pinpoint which regions turn on, and
which turn off, during experiences that seem to exist outside time and
space. In this way it differs from the rudimentary research of the 1950s
and 1960s that found, yeah, brain waves change when you meditate. But that
research was silent on why brain waves change, or which specific regions in
the brain lie behind the change. Neuro-imaging of a living, working brain
simply didn't exist back then. In contrast, today's studies try to identify
the brain circuits that surge with activity when we think we have
encountered the divine, and when we feel transported by intense prayer, an
uplifting ritual or sacred music. Although the field is brand new and the
answers only tentative, one thing is clear. Spiritual experiences are so
consistent across cultures, across time and across faiths, says Wulff, that
it "suggest[s] a common core that is likely a reflection of structures and
processes in the human brain."

There was a feeling of energy centered within me ... going out to infinite
space and returning ... There was a relaxing of the dualistic mind, and an
intense feeling of love. I felt a profound letting go of the boundaries
around me, and a connection with some kind of energy and state of being
that had a quality of clarity, transparency and joy. I felt a deep and
profound sense of connection to everything, recognizing that there never
was a true separation at all.

That is how Dr. Michael J. Baime, a colleague of Andrew Newberg's at Penn,
describes what he feels at the moment of peak transcendence when he
practices Tibetan Buddhist meditation, as he has since he was 14 in 1969.
Baime offered his brain to Newberg, who, since childhood, had wondered
about the mystery of God's existence. At Penn, Newberg's specialty is
radiology, so he teamed with Eugene d'Aquili to use imaging techniques to
detect which regions of the brain are active during spiritual experiences.
The scientists recruited Baime and seven other Tibetan Buddhists, all
skilled meditators.

In a typical run, Baime settled onto the floor of a small darkened room,
lit only by a few candles and filled with jasmine incense. A string of
twine lay beside him. Concentrating on a mental image, he focused and
focused, quieting his conscious mind (he told the scientists afterward)
until something he identifies as his true inner self emerged. It felt
"timeless and infinite," Baime said afterward, "a part of everyone and
everything in existence." When he reached the "peak" of spiritual
intensity, he tugged on the twine. Newberg, huddled outside the room and
holding the other end, felt the pull and quickly injected a radioactive
tracer into an IV line that ran into Baime's left arm. After a few moments,
he whisked Baime off to a SPECT (single photon emission computed
tomography) machine. By detecting the tracer, it tracks blood flow in the
brain. Blood flow correlates with neuronal activity.

The SPECT images are as close as scientists have come to snapping a photo
of a transcendent experience. As expected, the prefrontal cortex, seat of
attention, lit up: Baime, after all, was focusing deeply. But it was a
quieting of activity that stood out. A bundle of neurons in the superior
parietal lobe, toward the top and back of the brain, had gone dark. This
region, nicknamed the "orientation association area," processes information
about space and time, and the orientation of the body in space. It
determines where the body ends and the rest of the world begins.
Specifically, the left orientation area creates the sensation of a
physically delimited body; the right orientation area creates the sense of
the physical space in which the body exists. (An injury to this area can so
cripple your ability to maneuver in physical space that you cannot figure
the distance and angles needed to navigate the route to a chair across the

The orientation area requires sensory input to do its calculus. "If you
block sensory inputs to this region, as you do during the intense
concentration of meditation, you prevent the brain from forming the
distinction between self and not-self," says Newberg. With no information
from the senses arriving, the left orientation area cannot find any
boundary between the self and the world. As a result, the brain seems to
have no choice but "to perceive the self as endless and intimately
interwoven with everyone and everything," Newberg and d'Aquili write in
"Why God Won't Go Away." The right orientation area, equally bereft of
sensory data, defaults to a feeling of infinite space. The meditators feel
that they have touched infinity.

I felt communion, peace, openness to experience ... [There was] an
awareness and responsiveness to God's presence around me, and a feeling of
centering, quieting, nothingness, [as well as] moments of fullness of the
presence of God. [God was] permeating my being.

This is how her 45-minute prayer made Sister Celeste, a Franciscan nun,
feel, just before Newberg SPECT-scanned her. During her most intensely
religious moments, when she felt a palpable sense of God's presence and an
absorption of her self into his being, her brain displayed changes like
those in the Tibetan Buddhist meditators: her orientation area went dark.
What Sister Celeste and the other nuns in the study felt, and what the
meditators experienced, Newberg emphasizes, "were neither mistakes nor
wishful thinking. They reflect real, biologically based events in the
brain." The fact that spiritual contemplation affects brain activity gives
the experience a reality that psychologists and neuroscientists had long
denied it, and explains why people experience ineffable, transcendent
events as equally real as seeing a wondrous sunset or stubbing their toes.

That a religious experience is reflected in brain activity is not too
surprising, actually. Everything we experience -- from the sound of thunder
to the sight of a poodle, the feeling of fear and the thought of a
polka-dot castle -- leaves a trace on the brain. Neurotheology is stalking
bigger game than simply affirming that spiritual feelings leave neural
footprints, too. By pinpointing the brain areas involved in spiritual
experiences and tracing how such experiences arise, the scientists hope to
learn whether anyone can have such experiences, and why spiritual
experiences have the qualities they do.

I could hear the singing of the planets, and wave after wave of light
washed over me. But ... I was the light as well ... I no longer existed as
a separate 'I' ... I saw into the structure of the universe. I had the
impression of knowing beyond knowledge and being given glimpses into ALL.

That was how author Sophy Burnham described her experience at Machu Picchu,
in her 1997 book "The Ecstatic Journey." Although there was no scientist
around to whisk her into a SPECT machine and confirm that her orientation
area was AWOL, it was almost certainly quiescent. That said, just because
an experience has a neural correlate does not mean that the experience
exists "only" in the brain, or that it is a figment of brain activity with
no independent reality. Think of what happens when you dig into an apple
pie. The brain's olfactory region registers the aroma of the cinnamon and
fruit. The somatosensory cortex processes the feel of the flaky crust on
the tongue and lips. The visual cortex registers the sight of the pie.
Remembrances of pies past (Grandma's kitchen, the corner bake shop ...)
activate association cortices. A neuroscientist with too much time on his
hands could undoubtedly produce a PET scan of "your brain on apple pie."
But that does not negate the reality of the pie. "The fact that spiritual
experiences can be associated with distinct neural activity does not
necessarily mean that such experiences are mere neurological illusions,"
Newberg insists. "It's no safer to say that spiritual urges and sensations
are caused by brain activity than it is to say that the neurological
changes through which we experience the pleasure of eating an apple cause
the apple to exist." The bottom line, he says, is that "there is no way to
determine whether the neurological changes associated with spiritual
experience mean that the brain is causing those experiences ... or is
instead perceiving a spiritual reality."

In fact, some of the same brain regions involved in the pie experience
create religious experiences, too. When the image of a cross, or a Torah
crowned in silver, triggers a sense of religious awe, it is because the
brain's visual-association area, which interprets what the eyes see and
connects images to emotions and memories, has learned to link those images
to that feeling. Visions that arise during prayer or ritual are also
generated in the association area: electrical stimulation of the temporal
lobes (which nestle along the sides of the head and house the circuits
responsible for language, conceptual thinking and associations) produces

Temporal-lobe epilepsy -- abnormal bursts of electrical activity in these
regions -- takes this to extremes. Although some studies have cast doubt on
the connection between temporal-lobe epilepsy and religiosity, others find
that the condition seems to trigger vivid, Joan of Arc-type religious
visions and voices. In his recent book "Lying Awake," novelist Mark Salzman
conjures up the story of a cloistered nun who, after years of being unable
to truly feel the presence of God, begins having visions. The cause is
temporal-lobe epilepsy. Sister John of the Cross must wrestle with whether
to have surgery, which would probably cure her -- but would also end her
visions. Dostoevsky, Saint Paul, Saint Teresa of Avila, Proust and others
are thought to have had temporal-lobe epilepsy, leaving them obsessed with
matters of the spirit.

Although temporal-lobe epilepsy is rare, researchers suspect that focused
bursts of electrical activity called "temporal-lobe transients" may yield
mystical experiences. To test this idea, Michael Persinger of Laurentian
University in Canada fits a helmet jury-rigged with electromagnets onto a
volunteer's head. The helmet creates a weak magnetic field, no stronger
than that produced by a computer monitor. The field triggers bursts of
electrical activity in the temporal lobes, Persinger finds, producing
sensations that volunteers describe as supernatural or spiritual: an
out-of-body experience, a sense of the divine. He suspects that religious
experiences are evoked by mini electrical storms in the temporal lobes, and
that such storms can be triggered by anxiety, personal crisis, lack of
oxygen, low blood sugar and simple fatigue -- suggesting a reason that some
people "find God" in such moments. Why the temporal lobes? Persinger
speculates that our left temporal lobe maintains our sense of self. When
that region is stimulated but the right stays quiescent, the left
interprets this as a sensed presence, as the self departing the body, or of

I was alone upon the seashore ... I felt that I ... return[ed] from the
solitude of individuation into the consciousness of unity with all that is
... Earth, heaven, and sea resounded as in one vast world encircling
harmony ... I felt myself one with them.

Is an experience like this one, described by the German philosopher Malwida
von Meysenburg in 1900, within the reach of anyone? "Not everyone who
meditates encounters these sorts of unitive experiences," says Robert K.C.
Forman, a scholar of comparative religion at Hunter College in New York
City. "This suggests that some people may be genetically or temperamentally
predisposed to mystical ability." Those most open to mystical experience
tend also to be open to new experiences generally. They are usually
creative and innovative, with a breadth of interests and a tolerance for
ambiguity (as determined by questionnaire). They also tend toward fantasy,
notes David Wulff, "suggesting a capacity to suspend the judging process
that distinguishes imaginings and real events." Since "we all have the
brain circuits that mediate spiritual experiences, probably most people
have the capacity for having such experiences," says Wulff. "But it's
possible to foreclose that possibility. If you are rational, controlled,
not prone to fantasy, you will probably resist the experience."

In survey after survey since the 1960s, between 30 and 40 percent or so of
those asked say they have, at least once or twice, felt "very close to a
powerful, spiritual force that seemed to lift you out of yourself." Gallup
polls in the 1990s found that 53 percent of American adults said they had
had "a moment of sudden religious awakening or insight." Reports of
mystical experience increase with education, income and age (people in
their 40s and 50s are most likely to have them).

Yet many people seem no more able to have such an experience than to fly to
Venus. One explanation came in 1999, when Australian researchers found that
people who report mystical and spiritual experiences tend to have unusually
easy access to subliminal consciousness. "In people whose unconscious
thoughts tend to break through into consciousness more readily, we find
some correlation with spiritual experiences," says psychologist Michael
Thalbourne of the University of Adelaide. Unfortunately, scientists are
pretty clueless about what allows subconscious thoughts to pop into the
consciousness of some people and not others. The single strongest predictor
of such experiences, however, is something called "dissociation." In this
state, different regions of the brain disengage from others. "This theory,
which explains hypnotizability so well, might explain mystical states,
too," says Michael Shermer, director of the Skeptics Society, which debunks
paranormal phenomena. "Something really seems to be going on in the brain,
with some module dissociating from the rest of the cortex."

That dissociation may reflect unusual electrical crackling in one or more
brain regions. In 1997, neurologist Vilayanur Ramachandran told the annual
meeting of the Society for Neuroscience that there is "a neural basis for
religious experience." His preliminary results suggested that depth of
religious feeling, or religiosity, might depend on natural -- not
helmet-induced -- enhancements in the electrical activity of the temporal
lobes. Interestingly, this region of the brain also seems important for
speech perception. One experience common to many spiritual states is
hearing the voice of God. It seems to arise when you misattribute inner
speech (the "little voice" in your head that you know you generate
yourself) to something outside yourself. During such experiences, the
brain's Broca's area (responsible for speech production) switches on. Most
of us can tell this is our inner voice speaking. But when sensory
information is restricted, as happens during meditation or prayer, people
are "more likely to misattribute internally generated thoughts to an
external source," suggests psychologist Richard Bentall of the University
of Manchester in England in the book "Varieties of Anomalous Experience."

Stress and emotional arousal can also interfere with the brain's ability to
find the source of a voice, Bentall adds. In a 1998 study, researchers
found that one particular brain region, called the right anterior
cingulate, turned on when people heard something in the environment -- a
voice or a sound -- and also when they hallucinated hearing something. But
it stayed quiet when they imagined hearing something and thus were sure it
came from their own brain. This region, says Bentall, "may contain the
neural circuits responsible for tagging events as originating from the
external world." When it is inappropriately switched on, we are fooled into
thinking the voice we hear comes from outside us.

Even people who describe themselves as nonspiritual can be moved by
religious ceremonies and liturgy. Hence the power of ritual. Drumming,
dancing, incantations -- all rivet attention on a single, intense source of
sensory stimulation, including the body's own movements. They also evoke
powerful emotional responses. That combination -- focused attention that
excludes other sensory stimuli, plus heightened emotion -- is key.
Together, they seem to send the brain's arousal system into hyperdrive,
much as intense fear does. When this happens, explains Newberg, one of the
brain structures responsible for maintaining equilibrium -- the hippocampus
-- puts on the brakes. It inhibits the flow of signals between neurons,
like a traffic cop preventing any more cars from entering the on-ramp to a
tied-up highway.

The result is that certain regions of the brain are deprived of neuronal
input. One such deprived region seems to be the orientation area, the same
spot that goes quiet during meditation and prayer. As in those states,
without sensory input the orientation area cannot do its job of maintaining
a sense of where the self leaves off and the world begins. That's why
ritual and liturgy can bring on what Newberg calls a "softening of the
boundaries of the self" -- and the sense of oneness and spiritual unity.
Slow chanting, elegiac liturgical melodies and whispered ritualistic prayer
all seem to work their magic in much the same way: they turn on the
hippocampus directly and block neuronal traffic to some brain regions. The
result again is "blurring the edges of the brain's sense of self, opening
the door to the unitary states that are the primary goal of religious
ritual," says Newberg.

Researchers' newfound interest in neurotheology reflects more than the
availability of cool new toys to peer inside the working brain. Psychology
and neuroscience have long neglected religion. Despite its centrality to
the mental lives of so many people, religion has been met by what David
Wulff calls "indifference or even apathy" on the part of science. When one
psychologist, a practicing Christian, tried to discuss in his introductory
psych book the role of faith in people's lives, his publisher edited out
most of it -- for fear of offending readers. The rise of neurotheology
represents a radical shift in that attitude. And whatever light science is
shedding on spirituality, spirituality is returning the favor: mystical
experiences, says Forman, may tell us something about consciousness,
arguably the greatest mystery in neuroscience. "In mystical experiences,
the content of the mind fades, sensory awareness drops out, so you are left
only with pure consciousness," says Forman. "This tells you that
consciousness does not need an object, and is not a mere byproduct of
sensory action."

For all the tentative successes that scientists are scoring in their search
for the biological bases of religious, spiritual and mystical experience,
one mystery will surely lie forever beyond their grasp. They may trace a
sense of transcendence to this bulge in our gray matter. And they may trace
a feeling of the divine to that one. But it is likely that they will never
resolve the greatest question of all -- namely, whether our brain wiring
creates God, or whether God created our brain wiring. Which you believe is,
in the end, a matter of faith.

With Anne Underwood

Faith is More than a Feeling   The problem with neurotheology is that it
confuses spiritual experiences -

which few believers actually have - with religion.

By Kenneth L. Woodward

Skeptics used to argue that anyone with half a brain should realize there
is no God. Now scientists are telling us that one half of the brain, or a
portion thereof, is "wired" for religious experiences. But whether this
evolving "neurotheology" is theology at all is doubtful. It tells us new
things about the circuits of the brain, perhaps, but nothing new about God.

The chief mistake these neurotheologians make is to identify religion with
specific experiences and feelings. Losing one's self in prayer may feel
good or uplifting, but these emotions have nothing to do with how well we
communicate with God. In fact, many people pray best when feeling shame or
sorrow, and the sense that God is absent is no less valid than the
experience of divine presence. The sheer struggle to pray may be more
authentic than the occasional feeling that God is close by, hearing every
word. Very few believers have experienced what Christian theology calls
mystical union with God. Nor, for that matter, have many Buddhists
experienced the "emptiness" that the Buddha identified as the realization
of "no-self."

Neurotheologians also confuse spirituality with religion. But doing the
will of God -- or following the dharma -- involves much more than prayer
and meditation. To see Christ in the person of an AIDS victim or to really
love one's enemy does not necessitate a special alteration in the circuits
of the brain. Nor does the efficacy of a eucharistic celebration depend on
the collective brain waves of the congregation. In short, religion
comprehends a whole range of acts and insights that acknowledge a
transcendent order without requiring a transcendent experience.

On the other hand, most of us have at one time or another experienced the
dissolution of the boundaries of the self -- and a corresponding sense of
being at one with the cosmos. But such peak moments need not be religious.
William Wordsworth found release from self in nature, where his spirit
"Rolled round in earth's diurnal course/With rocks and stones and trees." A
very different poet, Walt Whitman, escaped his individual self by merging
imaginatively with the whole of democratic America -- and everybody in it.
What else is a rock concert but an assault on all the senses so that
individual identities can dissolve into a collective high? Even ordinary
lovers can momentarily feel at one with the universe through the mutual
meltdown of ecstatic sex: "Did the earth move for you, too?"

According to the neurotheologians, evolution has programmed the brain to
find pleasure in escaping the confines of the self. Some religious
practices bear this out. As every meditator quickly learns, reciting a
mantra for 20 minutes a day does relax the body and refresh an
overstimulated mind. The Bible, too, recommends contemplative prayer for
the busily self-involved: "Be still and know that I am Lord." But in the
yogic traditions of India, where overcoming the boundaries of the self is
central to spirituality, severe ascetic practices like fasting for weeks
and more.


You Can’t Unring The Bell

Life on Earth is the most brutal thing a Soul can endure, Overlaid on your Human meat puppet, for a period of time that ranges from a few seconds to maybe 125 years max, you are strapped in for a mother of a hellride/fun house for Soul Building 101. Stripped of all memory of your prior Immortal existence (and also your immortal  powers) you are injected blindly into a new existence (with no manual) to learn all the lessons and deal with all your Karma issues as you inch your way to perfection, incarnation by incarnation. Earth is the home base of a Cosmic Navy SEAL Training Camp. It ain’t supposed to be easy, and we are all given the choice to either ring the Bell (drop out of Soul building) or grit our teeth,dig in and continue on our path. Eventually we get tired of ringing the bell and we move on up in the Spiritual food chain as we complete the course, lessons learned and all our debts paid. It could take thousands, maybe millions of incarnations to grow to that state of being. When you don’t ring the bell…….you don’t have to come back unless you desire to do so. Immortals do walk the Earth today, waiting for it to become time to lift the veil. You won’t be in any danger of hearing any bell-ringing from them.

Life in the Foodchain-Tonio K



OTA’s 2013 Easter Special: The Reality Of The Resurrection (Debunking Old Urban Legends)????

This ABC News feature explains the near certainty  of the images on the Shroud being created by an intense flash of UV light (ie: lasers)…..the book review  concerns observations and interviews with a large group of English people who identified as Essenes in past life regression studies published by psychologists of a large English University, they tell us where the lasers came from and how they worked. The third article is a wassup on the Shroud , figuratively today , done almost a year ago.

The Shroud of Turin Wasn’t Faked, Italian Experts Say

By Suzan Clarke

Dec 21, 2011 6:56pm
ap holy turin shroud nt 111221 wblog The Shroud of Turin Wasnt Faked, Italian Experts SayAntonio Calanni/AP Photo

Has the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin finally been proven?

A new study by Italian scientists may not be definitive on its origins, but it does refute the popular notion that it was faked during the Middle Ages.

Experts at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development have concluded in a report that the famed purported burial cloth of Jesus Christ could not have been faked.

According to the Vatican Insider, a project by La Stampa newspaper that closely follows the Catholic church, the experts’ report says, “The double image (front and back) of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining which is identical in all its facets, would be impossible to obtain today in a laboratory … This inability to repeat (and therefore falsify) the image on the Shroud makes it impossible to formulate a reliable hypothesis on how the impression was made.”

The centuries-old shroud contains a faint impression of the front and back of a human body, along with blood, dirt and water stains from age.

Many have long questioned the shroud’s authenticity, and others have suggested that it was faked during medieval times.

The Italian researchers, who conducted dozens of hours of tests with X-rays and ultraviolet lights, said that no laser existed to date that could replicate the singular nature of markings on the shroud. They also said that the kind of markings on the cloth could not have come from direct contact of the body with the linen.

Previous investigation has determined the markings could not have come from pigments or dyes.

The Italian scientists said the  marks could only have been made by “a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation.”

Such technology did not exist in the time the skeptics claim the shroud could have been forged.

The scientists haven’t offered an explanation for how they believe the marks were made, but believers have long thought the shroud was miraculously marked when Jesus rose from the dead following his crucifixion.

The mystery of the shroud has long been a subject of debate and serious research.

Just last year, the History Channel  aired a special in which it revealed a 3D image of the face of Jesus, constructed from the markings left in the cloth.  Artists and scientists studied the Shroud of Turin, and used cutting-edge technology to create a  computer-generated image of the face surrounded by the shroud.

The revelation caused mixed reactions around the globe.  While some people said the image was “realistic” and what they imagined Christ looked like, others were not as certain.

The shroud is owned by the Vatican, although the Catholic church has never taken an official position on the cloth’s authenticity.



The Essenes: Children of the Light and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

The Essenes: Children of the Light [Paperback]

Stuart Wilson (Author)

Book Description

Publication Date: March 2005
Take a trip through time to uncover the mysterious Essene knowledge and secrets that Jesus was taught. * Did Jesus really die on the cross? * Who was Mary Magdalene and what was her real connection with Jesus?* Extensive new information about the secretive Essene mystery schools. It is one of the great tragedies of Western culture that Christianity forgot and eventually denied its Essene roots. Those roots are herein explored from the perspective of past life regression. Fascinating new information emerged, including Essene links with the Druids, the existence of a secret Core Group around Jesus, and contacts with the Order of Melchizedek. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that the Essene Jesus is restored to us, bringing to life the wise and loving Being who has been obscured by so much doctrine and dogma. His words speak to us across the centuries and open a clearer understanding of the Way, which he established, and the ultimate goal of that Way. This book makes clear that Jesus did not stand-alone. He had the backing of a powerful and dedicated team of Essenes, including Joseph of Arimathea. Thanks to the technique of past life regression, this story can now be told for the first time, opening up a fascinating window onto a unique and vital time in history.

About the Author
Stuart Wilson was born in Exmouth in the West of England. He came from a conventional background and went to a Scottish public school (Fettes in Edin-burgh). However his mother was fascinated by theosophy and the writings of Alice Bailey, and this led to Stuart’s lifelong interest in esoteric teachings and the Eastern and Western wisdom traditions. After service in the RAF on Christmas Island in the Pacific, he entered advertising as an agency copywriter, rising over some years to become an advertising manager for an industrial company. He then retrained as a counselor and set up a small publishing business, which he later sold to concentrate on writing. He wrote two best-selling name dictionaries, including Simply the Best Baby Name Book, and moved in 1990 to help his friend Joanna Prentis with the development of the Starlight Centre in mid-Devon. He writes of this period: “It was inspiring and fascinating but also exhausting! A stream of visitors came in to the Centre, mainly from the United States and Australia, but some also from Europe. We had an amazing and mind-expanding time sitting at the feet of internationally respected spiritual teachers and workshop leaders. What I remember most about this time was the big gatherings when our friends came in to share a meal and talk about our experiences and all the changes that were happening in our lives. It was a wonderful time, full of joy and laughter, and the special events, like Anna Mitchell Hedges sharing her crystal skull, and the two fire-walks led by Esassani, were simply magical!” Joanna Prentis: I was born in Bangalore in southern India. When I was two my family returned to Scotland where I spent my childhood and teenage years. After leaving school I traveled exten-sively, married and lived in Hong Kong for two years and then ten years in the Australian bush in Western Australia, where my three daughters were born. It was there that my interest began in alternative medicine and education, organ

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real Jesus and His real teachings of The Way March 18, 2007
This book is so astounding and outstanding that I am moved to write my first Amazon review. We are treated to an insider’s experience of not only the Essene community at Qumran, but the travels of Joseph of Arimathea and the true inner teachings of Jesus Christ. I have come to truly understand the Way of the Nazarene as taught by Jesus while He was on Earth in a human body. The teachings are profound and yet so simple–practice love and forgiveness with all. The story of the Essene priests bringing Jesus back to life is a stretch for me, but may very well be entirely true. We see how involved the family of Jesus was in His ministerial training and support. I came to truly feel that Daniel was a good friend and a sense of loss overtook me as the book ended, like losing an old and dear friend to old age. The wisdom in this book is on a par with Conversations With God, and it is just as insightful. The parallels to the work of Dolores Cannon are more than remarkable. They either copied her work or –clearly–their methods of regressive hypnosis reveal the same hidden truths. Unlike Cannon’s work, Daniel is an Essene master of the Mysteries and is trained in clairvoyance, and is therefore able to see that he is talking to beings in the future and obtains permission to reveal the secrets he was sworn to preserve even under torture by the Romans or the Sanhedrin. Having studied with Cannon years ago and taken classes at the Berkeley Psychic Institute, I was well prepared to accept the information at face value. Even if you discount the method, the information and teachings revealed by Daniel and Joseph are true, deeply profound, and as moving as anything I have read in Buddhist literature or from my favorite spiritual teacher and writer, Ram Dass. We come away with a clear understanding of the history and lifestyle of the Essenes. Whether your interest is in the real Jesus, the Essenes, Joseph, the Druids, the Kaloo, Atlantis, crystals, the Dead Sea Scrolls, or the metaphysical truths and secret teachings of the spiritual masters of the world, this book will move you and captivate you. I put it at the top of my list with the work of Ram Dass and Neal Donald Walsch. Don’t miss this one. It is all here, except the truth that energy equals matter and thoughts create reactions on the physical plane. I have been to Qumran and can totally relate to the perspective given here. The history is unique and the teachings profound. I have researched much of this subject matter on my own, and had other psychics look at the same material, and reached many of the same conclusions prior to hearing them from Daniel. I only wish they had asked Joseph if it is true that Jesus and Mary had two children. There is profound truth contained within the pages of this book, and it leaves Cannon’s work far behind. Six stars!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essene experience and secrets April 20, 2005
If you have interest in the Essenes, and in the experience of being in Jesus’ presence, this is the book for you. Thanks to the author using past life regression, the reader hears about the Core Group that supported Jesus, the Kaloo (Ancient Ones)who gave their wisdom to the Essenes, the Order of Melchizedek, the meeting before Jesus’ death and events after his death. This book is a joy to read and to aid us in growing to the Light. I have bought extra copies to share with friends. Thank you, Joanna and Stuart, for writing it. I await your next book.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely beautiful August 14, 2006
A strange title for a review of a book which is full of historical background? It’s based around some extensive past life regression sessions of those who were once Essenes and one of these was a well-known Biblical figure. So the book is historical in nature and gives us a lot of information, with many fascinating details of Essene life. In essence, they were nothing less than the support group for Jesus. However, it is the beautifully poetic spiritual words which come through from Daniel that, for me, make this one of the most wonderful New Age books that I have ever come across.
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April 8, 2012 9:24 AM

Controversial new theories on the Shroud of Turin

(CBS News) The Shroud of Turin has intrigued believers and non-believers alike for centuries. On this Easter Sunday morning our Cover Story is reported by Martha Teichner:

It’s possibly the greatest “What if …” in the world. What if the Shroud of Turin really is the burial cloth Jesus was wrapped in . . . and the faint imprint on it, the image of a man who has been tortured and crucified, really is Christ himself?

The last time the Shroud was on view, for six weeks in 2010, more than two million people saw it, even though in 1988, after a carbon dating test, it was declared a medieval fake – dating from between 1260 and 1390.

The story was supposed to be over. But tell that to the throngs who waited hours for the chance to spend seconds before it in reverent silence.

And tell that to scholars who think the carbon dating results were just plain wrong, among them art historian Thomas de Wesselow.

De Wesselow – an agnostic, originally a skeptic about the Shroud – has just published a provocative new book about in which he concludes it’s genuine.

He compared it to artwork depicting the Crucifixion created since the Middle Ages, referring to the Station of the Cross at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City: “If you look at the hands on the cross, the nails go through the center of the palms,” he showed Teichner. “That part of the hand is not strong enough to bear the weight of the body.”

Meanwhile, the image on the Shroud shows the nail wounds going through the wrists. “That’s how they would have done it in Roman times,” said De Wesselow, supporting the idea that the Shroud is much older than the middle ages.

He said the Shroud illustrates signs of the events of Good Friday through Easter Sunday. “You start off with the flagellation, and that’s very clearly presented on the Shroud, with these very, very distinct marks of the flagrum,” he said. “You can then see the crown of thorns. He then is beaten and you can see on his face underneath his eyes there’s a swelling. His nose looks as if it’s been broken.” There is also the mark of a puncture of a spear, with “dribbles of blood coming down.”

Just coincidence?

19 Photos

The Shroud of Turin

View the Full Gallery »

But now here’s the provocative part: De Wesselow’s take on the resurrection – what he says happened on Easter Day when Mary Magdalene and two other women went to Jesus’ tomb:

“They go to the body, they lift off the cloth, and they notice this strange shadowy form on the cloth itself,” he said. “Immediately, they would have had this perception of it as a living presence in the tomb with Jesus.”

“They didn’t see Jesus come alive again?”

“No, I think what they saw was the Shroud,” De Wesselow said. “Once they saw the Shroud they understood that he’d not been resurrected in the flesh, he’d been resurrected in the spirit.”

A positive and negative image of the Shroud of Turin./ Durron Books/CBS

According to de Wesselow, each supposed sighting of the risen Christ was actually a sighting of the Shroud. He’s convinced it was what sparked the rapid spread of Christianity, as it was taken from Jerusalem to Galilee, then to Damascus, where he believes Paul saw it and became a Christian.

Next, to a town called Edessa, in Turkey, and in the year 944, to Constantinople. There’s a drawing from the 1190s of what some scholars believe was the Shroud. A French knight wrote about seeing such a cloth in Constantinople before the city was sacked by crusaders in 1204.

“We can show perfectly rationally where the Shroud was all the way back to the first century,” de Wesselow said.

More than a thousand years before it turned up in Lirey, France, where Geoffrey de Charny – descended from one of the crusaders who led the sacking of Constantinople – put it on display in 1355, right about when the carbon dating results said it was faked.

It’s been in Turin, Italy since 1578.

“It could well be the burial cloth of Jesus – I wouldn’t discount that possibility,” said Harold Attridge, dean of Yale Divinity School and an eminent New Testament scholar, said of de Wesselow’s book: “That’s part of the case that he makes; the other part is trying to see how the discovery of this cloth might have functioned in generating belief about the resurrection, and that’s much more, in my mind, conjectural.

“However this image was formed, it was formed in a way that’s compatible with the ancient practice of Crucifixion,” said Attridge.

“So that is at least plausible?” asked Teichner.

“That’s at least plausible, yeah, yeah, and the blood stains, for instance, are clearly not paint,” he said.

That much has been proven. But, is it Jesus or someone else? Or is it an expert fake?

In 1898, Secondo Pia was allowed to photograph the Shroud. The image he saw in his darkroom startled the world. The Shroud, it turns out, is like a photo negative.

“There were plenty of other images of Christ which are meant to be imprints of his face, dating from the middle ages,” said de Wesselow. “And none of them look remotely like the Shroud.”

Thomas de Wesselow’s specialty is medieval art. “People did not know about negative images in those days. No one could have seen the realistic image that’s hidden behind the negative image on the cloth.”

In 1978, a group of respected American scientists and scholars calling themselves the Shroud of Turin Research Project (or STURP) were given 120 hours to subject the Shroud to a “CS”-like forensic study. Working 24 hours a day, they set out to discover how the image was made, and if it was a fake. They couldn’t.

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


 What seems to have happened is that there was a chemical reaction between the decomposition products on the body and the carbohydrate deposits on the cloth,” said de Wesselow. The conclusion of one of the STURP scientists was that a chemical process known as a Maillard reaction had occurred. (It’s the same reaction that causes the crust of bread to go brown in the oven.)High definition photography has brought new detail to the case made by the cloth itself. Its size, roughly 3 1/2 feet by 14 feet; its distinct herringbone weave; even the way a seam was sewn is consistent with ancient burial cloths found near Jerusalem. Pollen samples taken from it show that, at some time, it was near Jerusalem and in Turkey.For just a moment, suppose Thomas de Wesselow’s theory is right. The implication that the image on the Shroud is authentic, but can be explained by scientific evidence – and what it means to a cornerstone of Christianity – is stunning.”I’m obviously not the first person to deny that the Resurrection happened,” said de Wesselow. “Some people will dismiss [the book]. Some people will be intrigued by it. And some people may change their attitudes on one thing or another by it.”Yale Divinity School Dean Attridge said, “For many, many mainstream Protestants and Catholics, certainly evangelical Protestants, you have a notion that you need the resurrected body in the way that it’s described in Luke and John. That was not Paul’s belief. Paul did not have a belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus. And I tend to agree with Paul. But it remains something of a mystery.”. . . as does the history and meaning of the Shroud of Turin. There is, after all, the carbon dating evidence, confirmed by three different labs. The Catholic Church, owner of the Shroud, accepted those findings. But when it was on display in 2010, Pope Benedict called it “a burial cloth, which wrapped the body of a man crucified in total conformity with what the evangelists tell us of Jesus…”So, what is the truth?


OTA’s Favorite Rocket Surgeon Albert Einstein 3/14/1879-4/18/1955

Happy Birthday Albert!!

Albert Einstein

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Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein in 1921
Born 14 March 1879
Ulm, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire
Died 18 April 1955 (aged 76)
Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Residence Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, United Kingdom, United States
Fields Physics
Alma mater
Doctoral advisor Alfred Kleiner
Other academic advisors Heinrich Friedrich Weber
Notable students
Known for
Notable awards
Spouse Mileva Marić (1903–1919)
Elsa Löwenthal (1919–1936)

Albert Einstein (pron.: /ˈælbərt ˈnstn/; German: [ˈalbɐt ˈaɪnʃtaɪn] ( listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics).[2][3] While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”),[4] he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect“.[5] The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory.

Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe as a whole.[6]

He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, and did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He settled in the U.S., becoming a citizen in 1940.[7] On the eve of World War II, he helped alert President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Germany might be developing an atomic weapon, and recommended that the U.S. begin similar research; this eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein was in support of defending the Allied forces, but largely denounced using the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon. Later, with the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. Einstein was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.

Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works.[6][8] His great intellectual achievements and originality have made the word “Einstein” synonymous with genius.[9]



Early life and education

See also: Einstein family
A young boy with short hair and a round face, wearing a white collar and large bow, with vest, coat, skirt and high boots. He is leaning against an ornate chair.

Einstein at the age of three in 1882

Studio photo of a boy seated in a relaxed posture and wearing a suit, posed in front of a backdrop of scenery.

Albert Einstein in 1893 (age 14)

Einstein's matriculation certificate at the age of 17. The heading reads "The Education Committee of the Canton of Aargau." His scores were German 5, French 3, Italian 5, History 6, Geography 4, Algebra 6, Geometry 6, Descriptive Geometry 6, Physics 6, Chemistry 5, Natural History 5, Art Drawing 4, Technical Drawing 4. The scores are 6 = excellent, 5 = good, 4 = sufficient, 3 = poor, 2 = very poor, 1 = unusable.

Einstein’s matriculation certificate at the age of 17, showing his final grades from the Aargau Kantonsschule (on a scale of 1-6, with 6 being the best mark).

Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, in the Kingdom of Württemberg in the German Empire on 14 March 1879.[10] His father was Hermann Einstein, a salesman and engineer. His mother was Pauline Einstein (née Koch). In 1880, the family moved to Munich, where his father and his uncle founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a company that manufactured electrical equipment based on direct current.[10]

The Einsteins were non-observant Jews. Albert attended a Catholic elementary school from the age of five for three years. At the age of eight, he was transferred to the Luitpold Gymnasium where he received advanced primary and secondary school education until he left Germany seven years later.[11] Although it has been thought that Einstein had early speech difficulties, this is disputed by the Albert Einstein Archives, and he excelled at the first school that he attended.[12] He was right handed;[12][13] there appears to be no evidence for the widespread popular belief[14] that he was left handed.

His father once showed him a pocket compass; Einstein realized that there must be something causing the needle to move, despite the apparent “empty space”.[15] As he grew, Einstein built models and mechanical devices for fun and began to show a talent for mathematics.[10] When Einstein was ten years old, Max Talmud (later changed to Max Talmey), a poor Jewish medical student from Poland, was introduced to the Einstein family by his brother, and during weekly visits over the next five years, he gave the boy popular books on science, mathematical texts and philosophical writings. These included Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, and Euclid’s Elements (which Einstein called the “holy little geometry book”).[16][17][fn 1]

In 1894, his father’s company failed: direct current (DC) lost the War of Currents to alternating current (AC). In search of business, the Einstein family moved to Italy, first to Milan and then, a few months later, to Pavia. When the family moved to Pavia, Einstein stayed in Munich to finish his studies at the Luitpold Gymnasium. His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but Einstein clashed with authorities and resented the school’s regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning. At the end of December 1894, he travelled to Italy to join his family in Pavia, convincing the school to let him go by using a doctor’s note.[19] It was during his time in Italy that he wrote a short essay with the title “On the Investigation of the State of the Ether in a Magnetic Field.”[20][21]

In late summer 1895, at the age of sixteen, Einstein sat the entrance examinations for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zurich (later the Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule). He failed to reach the required standard in several subjects, but obtained exceptional grades in physics and mathematics.[22] On the advice of the Principal of the Polytechnic, he attended the Aargau Cantonal School in Aarau, Switzerland, in 1895–96 to complete his secondary schooling. While lodging with the family of Professor Jost Winteler, he fell in love with Winteler’s daughter, Marie. (Albert’s sister Maja later married Wintelers’ son Paul.)[23] In January 1896, with his father’s approval, he renounced his citizenship in the German Kingdom of Württemberg to avoid military service.[24] (He acquired Swiss citizenship five years later, in February 1901.)[25] In September 1896, he passed the Swiss Matura with mostly good grades (including a top grade of 6 in physics and mathematical subjects, on a scale of 1-6),[26] and, though only seventeen, enrolled in the four-year mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at the ETH Zurich. Marie Winteler moved to Olsberg, Switzerland for a teaching post.

Einstein’s future wife, Mileva Marić, also enrolled at the Polytechnic that same year, the only woman among the six students in the mathematics and physics section of the teaching diploma course. Over the next few years, Einstein and Marić’s friendship developed into romance, and they read books together on extra-curricular physics in which Einstein was taking an increasing interest. In 1900, Einstein was awarded the Zurich Polytechnic teaching diploma, but Marić failed the examination with a poor grade in the mathematics component, theory of functions.[27] There have been claims that Marić collaborated with Einstein on his celebrated 1905 papers,[28][29] but historians of physics who have studied the issue find no evidence that she made any substantive contributions.[30][31][32][33]

Marriages and children

In early 1902, Einstein and Marić had a daughter they named Lieserl, born in Novi Sad where Marić was staying with her parents. Her fate is unknown, but the contents of a letter Einstein wrote to Marić in September 1903 suggest that she was either adopted or died of scarlet fever in infancy.[34][35]

Einstein and Marić married in January 1903. In May 1904, the couple’s first son, Hans Albert Einstein, was born in Bern, Switzerland. Their second son, Eduard, was born in Zurich in July 1910. In 1914, Einstein moved to Berlin, while his wife remained in Zurich with their sons. They divorced on 14 February 1919, having lived apart for five years.

Einstein married Elsa Löwenthal on 2 June 1919, after having had a relationship with her since 1912. She was his first cousin maternally and his second cousin paternally. In 1933, they emigrated to the United States. In 1935, Elsa Einstein was diagnosed with heart and kidney problems and died in December 1936.[36]

Patent office

Three young men in suits with high white collars and bow ties, sitting.

Left to right: Conrad Habicht, Maurice Solovine and Einstein, who founded the Olympia Academy

After graduating, Einstein spent almost two frustrating years searching for a teaching post, but Marcel Grossmann‘s father helped him secure a job in Bern,[37] at the Federal Office for Intellectual Property, the patent office, as an assistant examiner.[38] He evaluated patent applications for electromagnetic devices. In 1903, Einstein’s position at the Swiss Patent Office became permanent, although he was passed over for promotion until he “fully mastered machine technology”.[39]

Much of his work at the patent office related to questions about transmission of electric signals and electrical-mechanical synchronization of time, two technical problems that show up conspicuously in the thought experiments that eventually led Einstein to his radical conclusions about the nature of light and the fundamental connection between space and time.[40]

With a few friends he met in Bern, Einstein started a small discussion group, self-mockingly named “The Olympia Academy“, which met regularly to discuss science and philosophy. Their readings included the works of Henri Poincaré, Ernst Mach, and David Hume, which influenced his scientific and philosophical outlook.

Academic career

Einstein’s official 1921 portrait after receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics.

In 1901, his paper “Folgerungen aus den Capillaritätserscheinungen” (“Conclusions from the Capillarity Phenomena”) was published in the prestigious Annalen der Physik.[41][42] On 30 April 1905, Einstein completed his thesis, with Alfred Kleiner, Professor of Experimental Physics, serving as pro-forma advisor. Einstein was awarded a PhD by the University of Zurich. His dissertation was entitled “A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions”.[43][44] That same year, which has been called Einstein’s annus mirabilis (miracle year), he published four groundbreaking papers, on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of mass and energy, which were to bring him to the notice of the academic world.

By 1908, he was recognized as a leading scientist, and he was appointed lecturer at the University of Bern. The following year, he quit the patent office and the lectureship to take the position of physics docent[45] at the University of Zurich. He became a full professor at Karl-Ferdinand University in Prague in 1911. In 1914, he returned to Germany after being appointed director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics (1914–1932)[46] and a professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin, with a special clause in his contract that freed him from most teaching obligations. He became a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. In 1916, Einstein was appointed president of the German Physical Society (1916–1918).[47][48]

During 1911, he had calculated that, based on his new theory of general relativity, light from another star would be bent by the Sun’s gravity. That prediction was claimed confirmed by observations made by a British expedition led by Sir Arthur Eddington during the solar eclipse of 29 May 1919. International media reports of this made Einstein world famous. On 7 November 1919, the leading British newspaper The Times printed a banner headline that read: “Revolution in Science – New Theory of the Universe – Newtonian Ideas Overthrown”.[49] Much later, questions were raised whether the measurements had been accurate enough to support Einstein’s theory. In 1980 historians John Earman and Clark Glymour published an analysis suggesting that Eddington had suppressed unfavorable results.[50] The two reviewers found possible flaws in Eddington’s selection of data, but their doubts, although widely quoted and, indeed, now with a “mythical” status almost equivalent to the status of the original observations, have not been confirmed.[51][52] Eddington’s selection from the data seems valid and his team indeed made astronomical measurements verifying the theory.[53]

In 1921, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect, as relativity was considered still somewhat controversial. He also received the Copley Medal from the Royal Society in 1925.

Travels abroad

Einstein visited New York City for the first time on 2 April 1921, where he received an official welcome by the Mayor, followed by three weeks of lectures and receptions. He went on to deliver several lectures at Columbia University and Princeton University, and in Washington he accompanied representatives of the National Academy of Science on a visit to the White House. On his return to Europe he was the guest of the British statesman and philosopher Viscount Haldane in London, where he met several renowned scientific, intellectual and political figures, and delivered a lecture at King’s College.[54]

In 1922, he traveled throughout Asia and later to Palestine, as part of a six-month excursion and speaking tour. His travels included Singapore, Ceylon, and Japan, where he gave a series of lectures to thousands of Japanese. His first lecture in Tokyo lasted four hours, after which he met the emperor and empress at the Imperial Palace where thousands came to watch. Einstein later gave his impressions of the Japanese in a letter to his sons:[55]:307 “Of all the people I have met, I like the Japanese most, as they are modest, intelligent, considerate, and have a feel for art.”[55]:308

On his return voyage, he also visited Palestine for 12 days in what would become his only visit to that region. “He was greeted with great British pomp, as if he were a head of state rather than a theoretical physicist”, writes Isaacson. This included a cannon salute upon his arrival at the residence of the British high commissioner, Sir Herbert Samuel. During one reception given to him, the building was “stormed by throngs who wanted to hear him”. In Einstein’s talk to the audience, he expressed his happiness over the event:

I consider this the greatest day of my life. Before, I have always found something to regret in the Jewish soul, and that is the forgetfulness of its own people. Today, I have been made happy by the sight of the Jewish people learning to recognize themselves and to make themselves recognized as a force in the world.[56]:308

Emigration to U.S. in 1933

Cartoon of Einstein, who has shed his “Pacifism” wings, standing next to a pillar labeled “World Peace.” He is rolling up his sleeves and holding a sword labeled “Preparedness” (circa 1933).

In February 1933 while on a visit to the United States, Einstein decided not to return to Germany due to the rise to power of the Nazis under Germany’s new chancellor.[57][58] He visited American universities in early 1933 where he undertook his third two-month visiting professorship at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He and his wife Elsa returned by ship to Belgium at the end of March. During the voyage they were informed that their cottage was raided by the Nazis and his personal sailboat had been confiscated. Upon landing in Antwerp on 28 March, he immediately went to the German consulate where he turned in his passport and formally renounced his German citizenship.[56]

In early April, he learned that the new German government had passed laws barring Jews from holding any official positions, including teaching at universities.[56] A month later, Einstein’s works were among those targeted by Nazi book burnings, and Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels proclaimed, “Jewish intellectualism is dead.”[56] Einstein also learned that his name was on a list of assassination targets, with a “$5,000 bounty on his head.”[56] One German magazine included him in a list of enemies of the German regime with the phrase, “not yet hanged”.[56]

He resided in Belgium for some months, before temporarily living in England.[59][60] In a letter to his friend, physicist Max Born, who also emigrated from Germany and lived in England, Einstein wrote, “… I must confess that the degree of their brutality and cowardice came as something of a surprise.”[56]

Portrait taken in 1935 at Princeton

In October 1933 he returned to the U.S. and took up a position at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, that required his presence for six months each year.[61][62] He was still undecided on his future (he had offers from European universities, including Oxford), but in 1935 he arrived at the decision to remain permanently in the United States and apply for citizenship.[63][64]

His affiliation with the Institute for Advance Studies would last until his death in 1955.[65] He was one of the four first selected (two of the others being John von Neumann and Kurt Gödel) at the new Institute, where he soon developed a close friendship with Gödel. The two would take long walks together discussing their work. His last assistant was Bruria Kaufman, who later became a renowned physicist. During this period, Einstein tried to develop a unified field theory and to refute the accepted interpretation of quantum physics, both unsuccessfully.

Other scientists also fled to America. Among them were Nobel laureates and professors of theoretical physics. With so many other Jewish scientists now forced by circumstances to live in America, often working side by side, Einstein wrote to a friend, “For me the most beautiful thing is to be in contact with a few fine Jews—a few millennia of a civilized past do mean something after all.” In another letter he writes, “In my whole life I have never felt so Jewish as now.”[56]

World War II and the Manhattan Project

In 1939, a group of Hungarian scientists that included emigre physicist Leó Szilárd attempted to alert Washington of ongoing Nazi atomic bomb research. The group’s warnings were discounted.[66] Einstein and Szilárd, along with other refugees such as Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner, “regarded it as their responsibility to alert Americans to the possibility that German scientists might win the race to build an atomic bomb, and to warn that Hitler would be more than willing to resort to such a weapon.”[55]:630[67] In the summer of 1939, a few months before the beginning of World War II in Europe, Einstein was persuaded to lend his prestige by writing a letter with Szilárd to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to alert him of the possibility. The letter also recommended that the U.S. government pay attention to and become directly involved in uranium research and associated chain reaction research.

The letter is believed to be “arguably the key stimulus for the U.S. adoption of serious investigations into nuclear weapons on the eve of the U.S. entry into World War II”.[68] President Roosevelt could not take the risk of allowing Hitler to possess atomic bombs first. As a result of Einstein’s letter and his meetings with Roosevelt, the U.S. entered the “race” to develop the bomb, drawing on its “immense material, financial, and scientific resources” to initiate the Manhattan Project. It became the only country to successfully develop an atomic bomb during World War II.

For Einstein, “war was a disease … [and] he called for resistance to war.” But in 1933, after Hitler assumed full power in Germany, “he renounced pacifism altogether … In fact, he urged the Western powers to prepare themselves against another German onslaught.”[69]:110 In 1954, a year before his death, Einstein said to his old friend, Linus Pauling, “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 …”[70]

U.S. citizenship

Einstein accepting U.S. citizenship, 1940

Einstein became an American citizen in 1940. Not long after settling into his career at Princeton, he expressed his appreciation of the “meritocracy” in American culture when compared to Europe. According to Isaacson, he recognized the “right of individuals to say and think what they pleased”, without social barriers, and as result, the individual was “encouraged” to be more creative, a trait he valued from his own early education. Einstein writes:

What makes the new arrival devoted to this country is the democratic trait among the people. No one humbles himself before another person or class … American youth has the good fortune not to have its outlook troubled by outworn traditions.[56]:432

As a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at Princeton who campaigned for the civil rights of African Americans, Einstein corresponded with civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois, and in 1946 Einstein called racism America’s “worst disease”.[71] He later stated, “Race prejudice has unfortunately become an American tradition which is uncritically handed down from one generation to the next. The only remedies are enlightenment and education”.[72]

Einstein in 1947

During the final stage of his life, Einstein transitioned to a vegetarian lifestyle,[73] arguing that “the vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind”.[74]

After the death of Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, in November 1952, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion offered Einstein the position of President of Israel, a mostly ceremonial post.[75] The offer was presented by Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Abba Eban, who explained that the offer “embodies the deepest respect which the Jewish people can repose in any of its sons”.[55]:522 However, Einstein declined, and wrote in his response that he was “deeply moved”, and “at once saddened and ashamed” that he could not accept it:

All my life I have dealt with objective matters, hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official function. I am the more distressed over these circumstances because my relationship with the Jewish people became my strongest human tie once I achieved complete clarity about our precarious position among the nations of the world.[55]:522[75][76]


The New York World-Telegram announces Einstein’s death on 18 April 1955.

On 17 April 1955, Albert Einstein experienced internal bleeding caused by the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which had previously been reinforced surgically by Dr. Rudolph Nissen in 1948.[77] He took the draft of a speech he was preparing for a television appearance commemorating the State of Israel’s seventh anniversary with him to the hospital, but he did not live long enough to complete it.[78] Einstein refused surgery, saying: “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.”[79] He died in Princeton Hospital early the next morning at the age of 76, having continued to work until near the end.

During the autopsy, the pathologist of Princeton Hospital, Thomas Stoltz Harvey, removed Einstein’s brain for preservation without the permission of his family, in the hope that the neuroscience of the future would be able to discover what made Einstein so intelligent.[80] Einstein’s remains were cremated and his ashes were scattered at an undisclosed location.[81][82]

In his lecture at Einstein’s memorial, nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer summarized his impression of him as a person: “He was almost wholly without sophistication and wholly without worldliness … There was always with him a wonderful purity at once childlike and profoundly stubborn.”[69]

Scientific career

Head and shoulders shot of a young, moustached man with dark, curly hair wearing a plaid suit and vest, striped shirt, and a dark tie.

Albert Einstein in 1904

The photoelectric effect. Incoming photons on the left strike a metal plate (bottom), and eject electrons, depicted as flying off to the right.

Throughout his life, Einstein published hundreds of books and articles.[8][10] In addition to the work he did by himself he also collaborated with other scientists on additional projects including the Bose–Einstein statistics, the Einstein refrigerator and others.[83]

1905 – Annus Mirabilis papers

The Annus Mirabilis papers are four articles pertaining to the photoelectric effect (which gave rise to quantum theory), Brownian motion, the special theory of relativity, and E = mc2 that Albert Einstein published in the Annalen der Physik scientific journal in 1905. These four works contributed substantially to the foundation of modern physics and changed views on space, time, and matter. The four papers are:

Title (translated) Area of focus Received Published Significance
On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light Photoelectric effect 18 March 9 June Resolved an unsolved puzzle by suggesting that energy is exchanged only in discrete amounts (quanta).[84] This idea was pivotal to the early development of quantum theory.[85]
On the Motion of Small Particles Suspended in a Stationary Liquid, as Required by the Molecular Kinetic Theory of Heat Brownian motion 11 May 18 July Explained empirical evidence for the atomic theory, supporting the application of statistical physics.
On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies Special relativity 30 June 26 September Reconciled Maxwell’s equations for electricity and magnetism with the laws of mechanics by introducing major changes to mechanics close to the speed of light, resulting from analysis based on empirical evidence that the speed of light is independent of the motion of the observer.[86] Discredited the concept of a “luminiferous ether.”[87]
Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content? Matter–energy equivalence 27 September 21 November Equivalence of matter and energy, E = mc2 (and by implication, the ability of gravity to “bend” light), the existence of “rest energy“, and the basis of nuclear energy.

Thermodynamic fluctuations and statistical physics

Albert Einstein’s first paper[88] submitted in 1900 to Annalen der Physik was on capillary attraction. It was published in 1901 with the title “Folgerungen aus den Kapillarität Erscheinungen,” which translates as “Conclusions from the capillarity phenomena”. Two papers he published in 1902–1903 (thermodynamics) attempted to interpret atomic phenomena from a statistical point of view. These papers were the foundation for the 1905 paper on Brownian motion, which showed that Brownian movement can be construed as firm evidence that molecules exist. His research in 1903 and 1904 was mainly concerned with the effect of finite atomic size on diffusion phenomena.[88]

General principles

He articulated the principle of relativity. This was understood by Hermann Minkowski to be a generalization of rotational invariance from space to space-time. Other principles postulated by Einstein and later vindicated are the principle of equivalence and the principle of adiabatic invariance of the quantum number.

Theory of relativity and E = mc²

Einstein’s “Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper” (“On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”) was received on 30 June 1905 and published 26 September of that same year. It reconciles Maxwell’s equations for electricity and magnetism with the laws of mechanics, by introducing major changes to mechanics close to the speed of light. This later became known as Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

Consequences of this include the time-space frame of a moving body appearing to slow down and contract (in the direction of motion) when measured in the frame of the observer. This paper also argued that the idea of a luminiferous aether – one of the leading theoretical entities in physics at the time – was superfluous.[89]

In his paper on mass–energy equivalence Einstein produced E = mc2 from his special relativity equations.[90] Einstein’s 1905 work on relativity remained controversial for many years, but was accepted by leading physicists, starting with Max Planck.[91][92]

Photons and energy quanta

Main articles: Photon and Quantum

In a 1905 paper,[93] Einstein postulated that light itself consists of localized particles (quanta). Einstein’s light quanta were nearly universally rejected by all physicists, including Max Planck and Niels Bohr. This idea only became universally accepted in 1919, with Robert Millikan‘s detailed experiments on the photoelectric effect, and with the measurement of Compton scattering.

Einstein concluded that each wave of frequency f is associated with a collection of photons with energy hf each, where h is Planck’s constant. He does not say much more, because he is not sure how the particles are related to the wave. But he does suggest that this idea would explain certain experimental results, notably the photoelectric effect.[94]

Quantized atomic vibrations

Main article: Einstein solid

In 1907 Einstein proposed a model of matter where each atom in a lattice structure is an independent harmonic oscillator. In the Einstein model, each atom oscillates independently – a series of equally spaced quantized states for each oscillator. Einstein was aware that getting the frequency of the actual oscillations would be different, but he nevertheless proposed this theory because it was a particularly clear demonstration that quantum mechanics could solve the specific heat problem in classical mechanics. Peter Debye refined this model.[95]

Adiabatic principle and action-angle variables

Main article: Old quantum theory

Throughout the 1910s, quantum mechanics expanded in scope to cover many different systems. After Ernest Rutherford discovered the nucleus and proposed that electrons orbit like planets, Niels Bohr was able to show that the same quantum mechanical postulates introduced by Planck and developed by Einstein would explain the discrete motion of electrons in atoms, and the periodic table of the elements.

Einstein contributed to these developments by linking them with the 1898 arguments Wilhelm Wien had made. Wien had shown that the hypothesis of adiabatic invariance of a thermal equilibrium state allows all the blackbody curves at different temperature to be derived from one another by a simple shifting process. Einstein noted in 1911 that the same adiabatic principle shows that the quantity which is quantized in any mechanical motion must be an adiabatic invariant. Arnold Sommerfeld identified this adiabatic invariant as the action variable of classical mechanics. The law that the action variable is quantized was a basic principle of the quantum theory as it was known between 1900 and 1925.[citation needed]

Wave–particle duality

Einstein during his visit to the United States

Although the patent office promoted Einstein to Technical Examiner Second Class in 1906, he had not given up on academia. In 1908, he became a privatdozent at the University of Bern.[96] In “über die Entwicklung unserer Anschauungen über das Wesen und die Konstitution der Strahlung” (“The Development of Our Views on the Composition and Essence of Radiation“), on the quantization of light, and in an earlier 1909 paper, Einstein showed that Max Planck‘s energy quanta must have well-defined momenta and act in some respects as independent, point-like particles. This paper introduced the photon concept (although the name photon was introduced later by Gilbert N. Lewis in 1926) and inspired the notion of wave–particle duality in quantum mechanics.

Theory of critical opalescence

Main article: Critical opalescence

Einstein returned to the problem of thermodynamic fluctuations, giving a treatment of the density variations in a fluid at its critical point. Ordinarily the density fluctuations are controlled by the second derivative of the free energy with respect to the density. At the critical point, this derivative is zero, leading to large fluctuations. The effect of density fluctuations is that light of all wavelengths is scattered, making the fluid look milky white. Einstein relates this to Raleigh scattering, which is what happens when the fluctuation size is much smaller than the wavelength, and which explains why the sky is blue.[97] Einstein quantitatively derived critical opalescence from a treatment of density fluctuations, and demonstrated how both the effect and Rayleigh scattering originate from the atomistic constitution of matter.

Zero-point energy

Main article: Zero-point energy

Einstein’s physical intuition led him to note that Planck’s oscillator energies had an incorrect zero point. He modified Planck’s hypothesis by stating that the lowest energy state of an oscillator is equal to 12hf, to half the energy spacing between levels. This argument, which was made in 1913 in collaboration with Otto Stern, was based on the thermodynamics of a diatomic molecule which can split apart into two free atoms.

General relativity and the Equivalence Principle

Black circle covering the sun, rays visible around it, in a dark sky.

Eddington‘s photograph of a solar eclipse.

General relativity (GR) is a theory of gravitation that was developed by Albert Einstein between 1907 and 1915. According to general relativity, the observed gravitational attraction between masses results from the warping of space and time by those masses. General relativity has developed into an essential tool in modern astrophysics. It provides the foundation for the current understanding of black holes, regions of space where gravitational attraction is so strong that not even light can escape.

As Albert Einstein later said, the reason for the development of general relativity was that the preference of inertial motions within special relativity was unsatisfactory, while a theory which from the outset prefers no state of motion (even accelerated ones) should appear more satisfactory.[98] So in 1908 he published an article on acceleration under special relativity. In that article, he argued that free fall is really inertial motion, and that for a freefalling observer the rules of special relativity must apply. This argument is called the Equivalence principle. In the same article, Einstein also predicted the phenomenon of gravitational time dilation. In 1911, Einstein published another article expanding on the 1907 article, in which additional effects such as the deflection of light by massive bodies were predicted.

Hole argument and Entwurf theory

Main article: Hole argument

While developing general relativity, Einstein became confused about the gauge invariance in the theory. He formulated an argument that led him to conclude that a general relativistic field theory is impossible. He gave up looking for fully generally covariant tensor equations, and searched for equations that would be invariant under general linear transformations only.

In June 1913 the Entwurf (“draft”) theory was the result of these investigations. As its name suggests, it was a sketch of a theory, with the equations of motion supplemented by additional gauge fixing conditions. Simultaneously less elegant and more difficult than general relativity, after more than two years of intensive work Einstein abandoned the theory in November 1915 after realizing that the hole argument was mistaken.[99]


Main article: Cosmology

In 1917, Einstein applied the General theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe as a whole. He wanted the universe to be eternal and unchanging, but this type of universe is not consistent with relativity. To fix this, Einstein modified the general theory by introducing a new notion, the cosmological constant. With a positive cosmological constant, the universe could be an eternal static sphere.[100]

Einstein, sitting at a table, looks up from the papers he is reading and into the camera.

Einstein in his office at the University of Berlin.

Einstein believed a spherical static universe is philosophically preferred, because it would obey Mach’s principle. He had shown that general relativity incorporates Mach’s principle to a certain extent in frame dragging by gravitomagnetic fields, but he knew that Mach’s idea would not work if space goes on forever. In a closed universe, he believed that Mach’s principle would hold. Mach’s principle has generated much controversy over the years.

Modern quantum theory

Main article: Schrödinger equation

Einstein was displeased with quantum theory and mechanics, despite its acceptance by other physicists, stating “God doesn’t play with dice.” As Einstein passed away at the age of 76 he still would not accept quantum theory.[101] In 1917, at the height of his work on relativity, Einstein published an article in Physikalische Zeitschrift that proposed the possibility of stimulated emission, the physical process that makes possible the maser and the laser.[102] This article showed that the statistics of absorption and emission of light would only be consistent with Planck’s distribution law if the emission of light into a mode with n photons would be enhanced statistically compared to the emission of light into an empty mode. This paper was enormously influential in the later development of quantum mechanics, because it was the first paper to show that the statistics of atomic transitions had simple laws. Einstein discovered Louis de Broglie‘s work, and supported his ideas, which were received skeptically at first. In another major paper from this era, Einstein gave a wave equation for de Broglie waves, which Einstein suggested was the Hamilton–Jacobi equation of mechanics. This paper would inspire Schrödinger’s work of 1926.

Bose–Einstein statistics

In 1924, Einstein received a description of a statistical model from Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose, based on a counting method that assumed that light could be understood as a gas of indistinguishable particles. Einstein noted that Bose’s statistics applied to some atoms as well as to the proposed light particles, and submitted his translation of Bose’s paper to the Zeitschrift für Physik. Einstein also published his own articles describing the model and its implications, among them the Bose–Einstein condensate phenomenon that some particulates should appear at very low temperatures.[103] It was not until 1995 that the first such condensate was produced experimentally by Eric Allin Cornell and Carl Wieman using ultra-cooling equipment built at the NISTJILA laboratory at the University of Colorado at Boulder.[104] Bose–Einstein statistics are now used to describe the behaviors of any assembly of bosons. Einstein’s sketches for this project may be seen in the Einstein Archive in the library of the Leiden University.[83]

Energy momentum pseudotensor

General relativity includes a dynamical spacetime, so it is difficult to see how to identify the conserved energy and momentum. Noether’s theorem allows these quantities to be determined from a Lagrangian with translation invariance, but general covariance makes translation invariance into something of a gauge symmetry. The energy and momentum derived within general relativity by Noether’s presecriptions do not make a real tensor for this reason.

Einstein argued that this is true for fundamental reasons, because the gravitational field could be made to vanish by a choice of coordinates. He maintained that the non-covariant energy momentum pseudotensor was in fact the best description of the energy momentum distribution in a gravitational field. This approach has been echoed by Lev Landau and Evgeny Lifshitz, and others, and has become standard.

The use of non-covariant objects like pseudotensors was heavily criticized in 1917 by Erwin Schrödinger and others.

Unified field theory

Following his research on general relativity, Einstein entered into a series of attempts to generalize his geometric theory of gravitation to include electromagnetism as another aspect of a single entity. In 1950, he described his “unified field theory” in a Scientific American article entitled “On the Generalized Theory of Gravitation”.[105] Although he continued to be lauded for his work, Einstein became increasingly isolated in his research, and his efforts were ultimately unsuccessful. In his pursuit of a unification of the fundamental forces, Einstein ignored some mainstream developments in physics, most notably the strong and weak nuclear forces, which were not well understood until many years after his death. Mainstream physics, in turn, largely ignored Einstein’s approaches to unification. Einstein’s dream of unifying other laws of physics with gravity motivates modern quests for a theory of everything and in particular string theory, where geometrical fields emerge in a unified quantum-mechanical setting.


Main article: Wormhole

Einstein collaborated with others to produce a model of a wormhole. His motivation was to model elementary particles with charge as a solution of gravitational field equations, in line with the program outlined in the paper “Do Gravitational Fields play an Important Role in the Constitution of the Elementary Particles?”. These solutions cut and pasted Schwarzschild black holes to make a bridge between two patches.

If one end of a wormhole was positively charged, the other end would be negatively charged. These properties led Einstein to believe that pairs of particles and antiparticles could be described in this way.

Einstein–Cartan theory

In order to incorporate spinning point particles into general relativity, the affine connection needed to be generalized to include an antisymmetric part, called the torsion. This modification was made by Einstein and Cartan in the 1920s.

Equations of motion

The theory of general relativity has a fundamental law  – the Einstein equations which describe how space curves, the geodesic equation which describes how particles move may be derived from the Einstein equations.

Since the equations of general relativity are non-linear, a lump of energy made out of pure gravitational fields, like a black hole, would move on a trajectory which is determined by the Einstein equations themselves, not by a new law. So Einstein proposed that the path of a singular solution, like a black hole, would be determined to be a geodesic from general relativity itself.

This was established by Einstein, Infeld, and Hoffmann for pointlike objects without angular momentum, and by Roy Kerr for spinning objects.

Other investigations

Einstein conducted other investigations that were unsuccessful and abandoned. These pertain to force, superconductivity, gravitational waves, and other research. Please see the main article for details.

Collaboration with other scientists

The 1927 Solvay Conference in Brussels, a gathering of the world’s top physicists. Einstein in the center.

In addition to longtime collaborators Leopold Infeld, Nathan Rosen, Peter Bergmann and others, Einstein also had some one-shot collaborations with various scientists.

Einstein–de Haas experiment

Einstein and De Haas demonstrated that magnetization is due to the motion of electrons, nowadays known to be the spin. In order to show this, they reversed the magnetization in an iron bar suspended on a torsion pendulum. They confirmed that this leads the bar to rotate, because the electron’s angular momentum changes as the magnetization changes. This experiment needed to be sensitive, because the angular momentum associated with electrons is small, but it definitively established that electron motion of some kind is responsible for magnetization.

Schrödinger gas model

Einstein suggested to Erwin Schrödinger that he might be able to reproduce the statistics of a Bose–Einstein gas by considering a box. Then to each possible quantum motion of a particle in a box associate an independent harmonic oscillator. Quantizing these oscillators, each level will have an integer occupation number, which will be the number of particles in it.

This formulation is a form of second quantization, but it predates modern quantum mechanics. Erwin Schrödinger applied this to derive the thermodynamic properties of a semiclassical ideal gas. Schrödinger urged Einstein to add his name as co-author, although Einstein declined the invitation.[106]

Einstein refrigerator

Main article: Einstein refrigerator

In 1926, Einstein and his former student Leó Szilárd co-invented (and in 1930, patented) the Einstein refrigerator. This absorption refrigerator was then revolutionary for having no moving parts and using only heat as an input.[107] On 11 November 1930, U.S. Patent 1,781,541

was awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd for the refrigerator. Their invention was not immediately put into commercial production, as the most promising of their patents were quickly bought up by the Swedish company Electrolux to protect its refrigeration technology from competition.[108]

Bohr versus Einstein

Two men sitting, looking relaxed. A dark-haired Bohr is talking while Einstein looks sceptical.

Einstein and Niels Bohr, 1925

The Bohr–Einstein debates were a series of public disputes about quantum mechanics between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr who were two of its founders. Their debates are remembered because of their importance to the philosophy of science.[109][110][111]

Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen paradox

Main article: EPR paradox

In 1935, Einstein returned to the question of quantum mechanics. He considered how a measurement on one of two entangled particles would affect the other. He noted, along with his collaborators, that by performing different measurements on the distant particle, either of position or momentum, different properties of the entangled partner could be discovered without disturbing it in any way.

He then used a hypothesis of local realism to conclude that the other particle had these properties already determined. The principle he proposed is that if it is possible to determine what the answer to a position or momentum measurement would be, without in any way disturbing the particle, then the particle actually has values of position or momentum.

This principle distilled the essence of Einstein’s objection to quantum mechanics. As a physical principle, it was shown to be incorrect when the Aspect experiment of 1982 confirmed Bell’s theorem, which had been promulgated in 1964.

Political and religious views

Casual group shot of four men and two women standing on a brick pavement.

Albert Einstein, seen here with his wife Elsa Einstein and Zionist leaders, including future President of Israel Chaim Weizmann, his wife Dr. Vera Weizmann, Menahem Ussishkin, and Ben-Zion Mossinson on arrival in New York City in 1921.

Albert Einstein’s political view was in favor of socialism;[112][113] his political views emerged publicly in the middle of the 20th century due to his fame and reputation for genius. Einstein offered to and was called on to give judgments and opinions on matters often unrelated to theoretical physics or mathematics.[114]

Einstein’s views about religious belief have been collected from interviews and original writings. These views covered Judaism, theological determinism, agnosticism, and humanism. He also wrote much about ethical culture, opting for Spinoza’s god over belief in a personal god.[115]

Love of music

Einstein developed an appreciation of music at an early age. His mother played the piano reasonably well and wanted her son to learn the violin, not only to instill in him a love of music but also to help him assimilate German culture. According to conductor Leon Botstein, Einstein is said to have begun playing when he was five, but did not enjoy it at that age.[116]

When he turned thirteen, however, he discovered the violin sonatas of Mozart. “Einstein fell in love” with Mozart’s music, notes Botstein, and learned to play music more willingly. According to Einstein, he taught himself to play by “ever practicing systematically,” adding that “Love is a better teacher than a sense of duty.”[116] At age seventeen, he was heard by a school examiner in Aarau as he played Beethoven‘s violin sonatas, the examiner stating afterward that his playing was “remarkable and revealing of ‘great insight.'” What struck the examiner, writes Botstein, was that Einstein “displayed a deep love of the music, a quality that was and remains in short supply. Music possessed an unusual meaning for this student.”[116]

Botstein notes that music assumed a pivotal and permanent role in Einstein’s life from that period on. Although the idea of becoming a professional himself was not on his mind at any time, among those with whom Einstein played chamber music were a few professionals, and he performed for private audiences and friends. Chamber music also became a regular part of his social life while living in Bern, Zurich, and Berlin, where he played with Max Planck and his son, among others. In 1931, while engaged in research at California Institute of Technology, he visited the Zoellner family conservatory in Los Angeles and played some of Beethoven and Mozart’s works with members of the Zoellner Quartet, recently retired from two decades of acclaimed touring all across the United States; Einstein later presented the family patriarch with an autographed photograph as a memento.[117][118] Near the end of his life, when the young Juilliard Quartet visited him in Princeton, he played his violin with them; although they slowed the tempo to accommodate his lesser technical abilities, Botstein notes the quartet was “impressed by Einstein’s level of coordination and intonation.”[116]

Non-scientific legacy

While travelling, Einstein wrote daily to his wife Elsa and adopted stepdaughters Margot and Ilse. The letters were included in the papers bequeathed to The Hebrew University. Margot Einstein permitted the personal letters to be made available to the public, but requested that it not be done until twenty years after her death (she died in 1986[119]). Barbara Wolff, of The Hebrew University’s Albert Einstein Archives, told the BBC that there are about 3,500 pages of private correspondence written between 1912 and 1955.[120]

Einstein bequeathed the royalties from use of his image to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Corbis, successor to The Roger Richman Agency, licenses the use of his name and associated imagery, as agent for the university.[121]

In popular culture

In the period before World War II, Einstein was so well known in America that he would be stopped on the street by people wanting him to explain “that theory”. He finally figured out a way to handle the incessant inquiries. He told his inquirers “Pardon me, sorry! Always I am mistaken for Professor Einstein.”[122]

Einstein has been the subject of or inspiration for many novels, films, plays, and works of music.[123] He is a favorite model for depictions of mad scientists and absent-minded professors; his expressive face and distinctive hairstyle have been widely copied and exaggerated. Time magazine’s Frederic Golden wrote that Einstein was “a cartoonist’s dream come true”.[124]

Awards and honors

Einstein received numerous awards and honors, including the Nobel Prize in Physics.

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