Einstein’s general theory of relativity has not only been proven correct time and time again, but has had implicit in it, ideas that Einstein himself disagreed with on a personal level. This must be properly understood, as this fact is often misused within popular science, as a means to undermine the genius of Einstein. To be clear – E=MC2 is absolutely correct and is not wrong in any way. As a formula, it contributes to, and does not contradict the thinking behind quantum physics. Therefore, it logically follows that Einstein was entirely ‘correct’ when he worked-out that energy equals mass – times the speed of light (squared). This is exactly the same formula that Heisenberg used to formulated his ‘uncertainty theory’, and which Georges Lemaitre used to mathematically work-out that the universe had a definite beginning. Given that this is the case, why is Einstein often portrayed as ‘wrong’ within popular science? This is because Einstein did not personally agree with many of the implications of his own theory, a fact that demonstrates that Einstein managed to ‘think’ beyond his own limited viewpoints. It some of Einstein’s personal opinions that are at odds with his own formula – and not his formula that is ‘wrong’. Many popular scientific narratives conflate Einstein’s personal opinions with his formula, and give the false impression that his formula (and not his opinions) is at odds with the thinking of quantum theory. This is bad science, and one is left wondering what lies behind this obvious attack on Einstein’s genius.
Einstein believed that the universe existed in a ‘steady state’, and was not the product of a sudden creation event. Lemaitre – using Einstein’s formula – proved that Einstein’s personal opinion was at odds with the mathematical implications of his formula. Einstein checked Lemaitre’s mathematical work and agreed that it did suggest that the universe had a definite beginning. Not only this, but Lamaitre’s work suggested that the universe was expanding, and that it emerged from a tiny cosmic egg (or ‘super atom’). Einstein agreed with Lemaitre’s mathematics, but disagreed with his physics. Edwin Hubble, during the 1920’s, worked out that the universe was huge, that it was expanding, and was billions of years old (although his assessment of 2 billion years was wrong). Hubble’s genius was that he scientifically proved that the universe was billions of light years across, and not just hundreds of thousands of light years, as previously thought. Indeed, Fred Hoyle – like Einstein – believed that the universe was eternal and that it already contained hydrogen and helium. In 1949, Fred Hoyle coined the derogatory term ‘Big Bang’ to refer to what he thought was a religiously premised pseudo-science. The eminent Soviet cosmologist George Gamov disagreed with the strong-willed Hoyle – and instead agreed with Lemaitre’s idea of a ‘Big Bang’. Even within the Soviet scientific system (that produced many great scientists), George Gamov was considered a genius in his own right (being elected at the young age of just 28, to being a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR). He was an expert in radioactivity, and nuclear fusion, but despite the privileged life he experienced in the USSR, he decided to defect to the West in the early 1930’s – thus betraying his homeland. Whilst building on Soviet expertise and scientific innovation, Gamov exported his knowledge to the USA, where his contribution to science is acknowledged but played-down (Gamov was of the opinion that all hydrogen and helium was suddenly created during the Big Bang).
Although the universe is now known to be 13.8 billion years old, it is considered not old enough for its heat content to be distributed evenly everywhere – as is the case. This is where Alan Guth’s theory of ‘inflation’ comes into play. He stated that although Einstein was right to assume that nothing could travel faster than light, prior to the creation of the universe, this reality did not yet apply. Just before the Big Bang, when the four forces of nature were still a singularity, a certain uniformity of temperature was locked-in to the entire system, before its rapid expansion or ‘inflation’. Guth premised that the universe originated from a tiny volume, and when the universe was both young and small, its heat content spread evenly, which was retained as space expanded faster than light. Subsequent photographs of the universe just after the Big Bang have subsequently confirmed that the Big Bang happened. Less than one billionth of a second after the Big Bang, a tiny bubble (smaller than a fraction of an atom) with a very high temperature was formed. This contained as of yet the undifferentiated four forces of nature – gravity, electromagnetism, and weak and strong nuclear forces. This is considered a combined superforce. Gravity suddenly split-off from this superforce as the universe rapidly expanded. As the universe expanded, it cooled, triggering a burst of energy which initiated the hyper-inflation of the universe. At this point (perhaps just a second since its beginning), the superforce collapsed into its four constituent natural forces, and eventually light was emitted. As light slowed down, matter was formed, which was then acted upon by gravity (generating spherical shapes). All this was fore-seen in Einstein’s E=MC2. The Big Bang is very much a work in progress within the realm of human science, and could be displaced if new knowledge is discovered or revealed through further research.