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    but whats this i hear that newton was going in the direction of einstein but he died !!! in effect he ran out of time and had he been given more time alot more mysteries could have been solved i think.

    Also i think newton contributed more to maths than einstein.
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    (Original post by ElWilson)
    Without the knowledge of gravity, how would Einstein of been able to make the Atomic Bomb? Bombs can't fall without gravity...
    Seeing as einstein didnt make the nuclear bomb your point is slightly invalid. Einstein came up with the famous 'e=mc²', however he did not believe a nuclear fission bomb was possible, until he was persuaded during the 2nd world war (i think) that it was, but still had no real involvement in its development. His only action was to sign a letter that recommended to the president to start a program to create a nuclear bomb, something that he later came to regret.
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    (Original post by massimo)
    Also i think newton contributed more to maths than einstein.
    But einstein was the greater physicist! He came up with three papers, all of which should have won a nobel prize, the latter two didnt only because they were so revolutionary.



    Einstein demonstrated brilliant insight in all three of his ground-breaking papers. Whilst most people had believed that light was a wave, as a result of Young's experiment, he demonstrated that it behaved as discrete packets of energy called quanta in some situations, somethign that layed the foundations for perhaps the greatest theory (alongside einstein's own general theory of relativity) of the last century, namely quantum theory.

    Although Newton was groundbreaking in his time, I believe that einstein was infact the greater physicist, creating one of the greatest theories of all time, and laying the foundations of another
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    i noticed you managed to avoid the question about einsteins contribution to mathematics and newtons contribution to mathematics !!
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    (Original post by rpotter)
    But einstein was the greater physicist! He came up with three papers, all of which should have won a nobel prize, the latter two didnt only because they were so revolutionary.
    For his day, much of Newtons work would have won the Noble prize also....if only it, or anything like it was around back.

    Newton virtually created modern physics with his work too as well as devising a whole area of maths which today physics pretty much realises on in order to model or explain anything.

    Maybe some people are less inclined to think of Newton as the greater because his work is more accessible to the average person than Einsteins work.

    But accessibility has nothing to do with the groundbreakingness or revolutioness of a persons work. Both peoples work fits in both categories for the time they were around, however Einsteins work would most likely have been discovered by someone else by half way through the 20th Century. It would probably have been much longer for someone to come up with Newton's work if he had not.
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    (Original post by Mehh)
    I wonder how you are going to find Physics when you eventially meet Einstein's work on Quantum Physics. Contrary to popular belief, Einstein was only against the idea of the Uncertainty Principle and the Copenhagen Interpretation.
    To be honest you can't really compare the two. They existed in completely different eras. Physics was at completely different points.
    It is only by building on knowledge of those before you that we can make any progress.
    I already have met his work in quantum physics.

    Being against the uncertainity principle is being against quantum mechanics as the unceratintiy principle was a key motivator for quantum mechanics and by design is a direct result of the postulates of that theory. I'm unsure what exactly Einstein objected too in quantum mechanics (clearly he objected to the Copenhagen interpretation, though some of his work would seem to rule out interpretaions that one may of thought he would find more preferable), he still did alot of important work in that area though.

    As Is aid the comparison is very subjective, but this doesn't mean that one can't be made.
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    (Original post by rpotter)
    But einstein was the greater physicist! He came up with three papers, all of which should have won a nobel prize, the latter two didnt only because they were so revolutionary.
    I really wouldn't say this is true, special relativty was revolutionary to layman, but in physics it wasn't that revolutionary, Lorentz's relativity is experimentally indistiguishable form special relativity and Lorentz had already won a Nobel prize for his work. Giving quanutm theory a rigourous foundation was much harder than giving relativity a rigourous foundation, but John von Neumann did not win a Nobel prize for doing this.
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    (Original post by massimo)
    i noticed you managed to avoid the question about einsteins contribution to mathematics and newtons contribution to mathematics !!
    Since we are discussing who was the greatest physicist, i decided that it has no bearing on the matter. However einstein did teach himself some extremely extremely extremely complew mathematics that you would only do in fourth year at university today

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    (Original post by Roger Kirk)
    Einsteins work would most likely have been discovered by someone else by half way through the 20th Century. It would probably have been much longer for someone to come up with Newton's work if he had not.
    Perhaps so, but there were far more physicists around in the 20th century than when newton was around, so this doesnt really have a bearing on this topic

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    (Original post by idoit)
    I really wouldn't say this is true, special relativty was revolutionary to layman, but in physics it wasn't that revolutionary
    But it did give a new theory of the universe in the wake of the abandonment of the theory that there was a universal reference frame known as the ether
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    i decided that it has no bearing on the matter.
    i think this display of judegement is terrible andyou still try and makeyourself sound credible by avoiding a great and major achievement on his own, if newton just did mathematics he would still have gone down in history.

    its little things like this that people pick up on and find the flaws in your argument.

    maybe if einstein has nothing to hide we could compare the achievements and contribution of math between einstein and newton.
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    Einstein considered his greatest creation not to be his theories of photoelectric effect, special and general relativity, e=mc^{2}, brownian motion, or his contribution to quantum mechanics, but instead the bit of maths which does bear his name, the Einstein summation convention, and damn useful it is too when you're doing general relativity!

    Personally I don't think you can really say which one is greater than the other because they both made excellent contributions, and did different things. Newton started up so many fields of physics and did a fair wack of maths, while Einstein challenged some of the most fundamentally ingrained notions of his peers, and also published in flurrishes.

    You can't say whose theories are better, because both had theories which developed and expanded and revolutionised previous work.

    Both did work in areas that we can now look back on with hindsight and say "You're not right". People have mentioned Einstein's comments on quantum mechanics. Newton spent vast amounts of time and effort researching alchemy and (if I remember correctly) codes in scriptures like the Bible.
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    (Original post by AlphaNumeric)
    Einstein considered his greatest creation not to be his theories of photoelectric effect, special and general relativity, e=mc^{2}, brownian motion, or his contribution to quantum mechanics, but instead the bit of maths which does bear his name, the Einstein summation convention, and damn useful it is too when you're doing general relativity!
    Are you joking (it's an honest question)? Einstein would talk about his 'great contribution' to maths, but he was being entirely tongue in cheek; as I'm sure you know the Einstein summation convention is merely a convention rather than new maths (tbh I really wonder how useful Einstein's convention is, I think it's only useful for the person writing the sum, not the person reading it and there are better ways to treat tensors)
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    (Original post by rpotter)
    Since we are discussing who was the greatest physicist, i decided that it has no bearing on the matter. However einstein did teach himself some extremely extremely extremely complew mathematics that you would only do in fourth year at university today
    For what it's worth Einstein had help when he learnt differential geometry. From some claims made about him, you would think that Einstein was barely maths-literate; these claims are obviously false, he was very competent at maths, but his mathematical acheivements are not notable.




    But it did give a new theory of the universe in the wake of the abandonment of the theory that there was a universal reference frame known as the ether
    If Eisnetin had not come up with special rleativty it would of been a matter of months not years before some else came up with it, there were several other people who were close (e.g. Poincare)
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    (Original post by idoit)
    Are you joking (it's an honest question)? Einstein would talk about his 'great contribution' to maths, but he was being entirely tongue in cheek; as I'm sure you know the Einstein summation convention is merely a convention rather than new maths (tbh I really wonder how useful Einstein's convention is, I think it's only useful for the person writing the sum, not the person reading it and there are better ways to treat tensors)
    It's a well known anecdote of a reporter interviewing Einstein.

    My general relativity lecturer mentioned the story again a few weeks ago when we got to the end of the lecture course. Given he's spent his life doing GR and does it at Cambridge, I tend to trust his ability to know if the statement is true or not

    True it's not new maths, just something Einstein probably just did to help speed things up, it is none the less a useful trick to us, I can testify to that.
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    True it's not new maths, just something Einstein probably just did to help speed things up, it is none the less a useful trick to us, I can testify to that
    i think thats it, all it is, is a trick and nothing more where as when we compare einsteins math achivements and math ability to newtons math achivement and maths ability einstein doesnt have anything to show
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    (Original post by AlphaNumeric)
    It's a well known anecdote of a reporter interviewing Einstein.

    My general relativity lecturer mentioned the story again a few weeks ago when we got to the end of the lecture course. Given he's spent his life doing GR and does it at Cambridge, I tend to trust his ability to know if the statement is true or not

    True it's not new maths, just something Einstein probably just did to help speed things up, it is none the less a useful trick to us, I can testify to that.
    This is the andecdote:
    The convention was introduced by Einstein (1916, sec. 5), who later jested to a friend, "I have made a great discovery in mathematics; I have suppressed the summation sign every time that the summation must be made over an index which occurs twice..." (Kollros 1956; Pais 1982, p. 216).
    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/EinsteinSummation.html

    Even callign the summation convention an achievement (especially when you comapre it to Einstein's other achievements) is pushing it a bit far it's just a way of doing things that is useful in certain situations (for comparison could anyone name the person who came up with 'iff', which is an unrelated convention more well-known than the summation convention).

    When you have lots of indices, some summed over, some not, the conevntion can be confusing. Infact the whole use indices has been shunned by mathematicans for several decades anyway, though obviously indices are never going to go completely away when you need numerical answers mathematical physicists are going the same way.
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    (Original post by massimo)
    i think this display of judegement is terrible andyou still try and makeyourself sound credible by avoiding a great and major achievement on his own, if newton just did mathematics he would still have gone down in history.

    its little things like this that people pick up on and find the flaws in your argument.

    maybe if einstein has nothing to hide we could compare the achievements and contribution of math between einstein and newton.
    i dont see why you keep on going on about maths when i have stated twice that we are discussing the greater PHYSICSIST! Hence who was the greater mathematician has no bearinf on the subject under discussion. Thus this is by no means a flaw in my argument since we are not discussing maths. And dont just quote a small piece of my post taking it out of context and making it look like it was an unfounded remark.
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    i dont see why you keep on going on about maths when i have stated twice that we are discussing the greater PHYSICSIST! Hence who was the greater mathematician has no bearinf on the subject under discussion. Thus this is by no means a flaw in my argument since we are not discussing maths. And dont just quote a small piece of my post taking it out of context and making it look like it was an unfounded remark.
    i think this continues to do terrible damagae to your reputation and add further weight to the argument that newton was greater than einstein.

    when newton created his mathematical ideas it allowed him to prove his points and go further in physics and thus newton is greater than einstein.
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    (Original post by massimo)
    i think this continues to do terrible damagae to your reputation and add further weight to the argument that newton was greater than einstein.

    when newton created his mathematical ideas it allowed him to prove his points and go further in physics and thus newton is greater than einstein.
    If you look at the original post in this thread it says we are to discuss the greater physicist. Maybe if we took maths into account newton might be somehow greater overall, but since we are not discussing overall greatness, just greatness in physics. Of course you need to be good at maths to be able to do physics, but rather look at their mathematical ability and try to infer something about they ability at physics, why not just look at they're ability at physics

    You say that newton's mathematical ideas allowed him to go further than einstein. Maybe not, have you seen the equations of general relativity, they are extremely complicated, and far more complex than newton's. Im sorry but einstein went further into physics than newton, he realised that newton's laws were only an approximation to reality, and came up with new laws that have provent to be extremely accurate.

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    (Original post by massimo)
    maybe if einstein has nothing to hide we could compare the achievements and contribution of math between einstein and newton.
    sure, that would be a great idea, but probably not in a thread discussing the better physicist, do you fail to understand the distinction?
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    you are comparing newtons mathematical genius with einsteins lack of mathematical genius, you dont seem to be able to grasp the fact that

    newton CREATED new mathematical methods
    einstein used existing methods

    there is a huge difference there !!! and this in ability of you to grasp these basic concepts brings your judgement into question and i think people dont take you seriously when they see statements like that !!!.

    newton was able to create "CREATE" new mathematical techniques where as einstein just used existing methods this helped newton to achieve more than einstein and contribute more than einstein to physics.

    and this is how newton contributed more to physics than einstein.
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    (Original post by rpotter)
    Perhaps so, but there were far more physicists around in the 20th century than when newton was around, so this doesnt really have a bearing on this topic
    But really, before Newtons time, physics wasn't a separate subject to either maths and perhaps even philosophy.

    One there wasn't much to look at in these areas compared to now, so very few people went into it.

    It was perhaps Newtons work which started physics off on it's own course and opened up a whole world of new thinking and development which allowed a wider group of people into the subject (mostly due to more people being needed to investigate the wealth of new directions Newton opened up within the subject.
 
 
 
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