General Relativity - Einstein Discovers God
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Slide 4 of 22
In deriving the equations of general relativity and applying them to the universe, Einstein came up with the equation pictured above. The left side of the equation represents acceleration. Since p is small and c2 is very large (right side of equation), this acceleration value is very close to zero. If 3p/c2 is zero, what does this tell us about the value of this expression? The universe is experiencing negative acceleration, or decelerating. If you solve more equations, you also determine that the universe is expanding. What, in nature can you think of that is simultaneously expanding and decelerating? An explosion. This was the first suggestion of what has come to be called the "Big Bang." Einstein did not like the implications of the Big Bang, which he thought implied the existence of a Creator. He spent many years modifying the original equations to introduce a cosmological constant "fudge factor" to attempt to eliminate the need for a Creator. This cosmological constant remained undetected until the late 1990’s, and then, it was many orders of magnitude smaller than that required to eliminate a beginning to the universe.
Last Modified October 4, 2004