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Monday, December 31, 2012

E=mc^2 Einstein's Big Idea

It's quite a natural segue from 'The Hunt for Higgs', or rather, the other way round, in terms of scientific discovery.

This superb docu-drama follows the development of the most famous equation by Einstein, and it is based on David Bodanis' bestseller book.

What I like the most about this documentary is, it gives the credit to people who also contributed scientifically or mathematically to his theory, some of whom are relatively unknown.

They're, for example, Antoine Lavoisier who showed water can be separated into H2 and O without any loss of mass, and Emilie du Chatelet who showed that Leibniz, rather than Newton, was right when it comes to kinetic energy mv^2.
I didn't know that she had an affair with Voltaire.

Also, Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell whose stories are well- known.

It's 'c' in Maxwell's beautiful equation that eventually led Einstein to his triumphant conclusion.

The programme also gives due credit to Lise Meitner, who should have shared Nobel prize for splitting atoms for the first time, i.e. nuclear fission.
Otto Hahn got all credit to himself.
I found their story very fascinating and a very sad one.

It's rare to see a documentary as good as this.

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