Saturday, March 14, 2015

PiEinstein Day

Einstein in 1904 / Lucien Chavan

Good morning, and a glorious Super Pi Day to you! In case you’re unaware, today is the occasion when the month and day coincide with the first three digits of π - 3.14. Today is even more spectacular in that the year, hour, minute, and second also extend to further match the irrational sequence of numbers at precisely 9:26:53 am, giving 3.141592653. So, why is Albert Einstein’s visage pictured above?

Galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849 / NASA/ESA
Believe it or not, today is also Einstein’s birthday! Born in 1879, he would have been blowing out 136 candles on this particular orbit around the sun. Furthermore, his theory of general relativity also celebrates its centenary this year. Published in 1915, this work takes the force of gravity and explains how it is a fundamental property of both space and time itself. While Einstein’s theory was not readily accepted at first, 100 years of vast testing and large-scale experiments have failed to disprove it. More importantly, general relativity has helped and continues to push physicists to new frontiers of science regarding black holes, gravitational waves, and cosmic emoticons (gravitational lensing). This "smiley" image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of a galaxy cluster demonstrates how gravitational lensing warps our perspective of objects in the observable universe. Appropriately enough, this is known as an "Einstein Ring."

Here, at the Cambridge Science Festival, we believe this theory is worth celebrating. So, we will! Celebrating Einstein is a series of events and activities taking place before and during the 2015 Cambridge Science Festival to mark the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, his greatest scientific legacy. Designed to celebrate and teach us about science and the revolution in physics that Einstein launched, we will have panel discussions, interviews, an interactive video-art installation, and interpretations of some aspects of general relativity expressed in dance, music, and film! Take a look at the list below to learn more, and be aware that some events require tickets to be purchased in advance. We hope to see you there!

Cosmic Loops: Music Beneath the Stars
Celebrate Einstein in this immersive visual and auditory experience.

Science By The Pint @ Aeronaut: Gravitational Waves
Does gravity ripple? Come learn about gravitational waves and how they are detected.

Discuss the science of simulating a universe in a computer.

Marcia Bartusiak talks about her new book, Black Hole: How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled on by Hawking Became Loved.

Listen to a panel of world-renowned scientists discuss Einstein's reigning influence.

An evening of true, personal stories about science from the popular podcast series.

Be immersed in the depths of a black hole and be entranced by the beauty of our universe.

Experience a danced lecture and a film, featuring music inspired by gravitational wave sounds.

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