Einstein, Symmetry and the Future of Physics - Deepstash
Insights of Albert Einstein

Many insights of Albert Einstein are now part of popular imagination: black holes, time warps, and wormholes show up in movies and books.

Less famous, but probably the most revolutionary par...

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Einstein, Symmetry and the Future of Physics

quantamagazine.org

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The most fundamental aspects of nature stay the same.

For example, Einstein's papers on relativity show that the relationship between energy and mass is invariant, even ...

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We often think of things as the heart of reality. But most often the relationship is more important, not the stuff.

We may think "stuff" like space and time are unchangeable aspects of natur...

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The relationship that mattered most to Einstein's ideas was symmetry. Scientists describe symmetry as changes that don't really change anything. More complicated symmetries have le...

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Albert Einstein did not think about symmetry when he wrote his first relativity papers in 1905. He was considering several seemingly unrelated puzzles and connecting the dots.

  • Einstein...

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Unified space-time starts to make sense if we think that the speed of light is a relationship between the distance traveled over time.

Because the speed of light can't change, your laser bea...

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Einstein's special theory of relativity applies only to steady, unchanging motion through space-time, not accelerating motion like an object falling toward Earth.

  • It troubled Einstein ...

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After Einstein, the pull of symmetry became more powerful.

  • Paul Dirac, trying to make quantum mechanics compatible with the symmetry requirements of special relativity, found a minus s...

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From the 1950s, invariances took on a life of their own. New symmetries, known as "gauge" invariances, became productive by requiring the existence of everything from W and Z bosons to gluons.

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Symmetry, as it is understood, seems not to answer the biggest questions in physics. In some cases, symmetries show the underlying laws of nature that do not show up in reality.

For exam...

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Duality is a closely related idea to symmetry. Wave-particle duality has been around since the beginning of quantum mechanics. But newfound dualities have shown interesting relationships. ...

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The idea of symmetry proved very powerful. Giving it up would mean giving up on naturalness - the idea that the universe has to be exactly the way it is for a reason.

But inside black ...

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