Was Einstein a plagiarist?

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posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 06:18 PM
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We often hear theories about so-called "geniuses" such as Edison, Heisenberg, et cetera, stealing ideas from other people. However, recently there has been an attack on Albert Einstein....or, perhaps, not so recently. I suppose it's actually been something that has been floating around for quite some time.

Richard Moody states:

Proponents of Einstein have acted in a way that appears to corrupt the historical record. Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Time Magazine's "Person of the Century", wrote a long treatise on special relativity theory (it was actually called "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", 1905a), without listing any references. Many of the key ideas it presented were known to Lorentz (for example, the Lorentz transformation) and Poincaré before Einstein wrote the famous 1905 paper.

As was typical of Einstein, he did not discover theories; he merely commandeered them. He took an existing body of knowledge, picked and chose the ideas he liked, then wove them into a tale about his contribution to special relativity. This was done with the full knowledge and consent of many of his peers, such as the editors at Annalen der Physik.


Now, if one is going to make these claims, why is it that such reviews haven't come about sooner. Why wasn't there an outcry from the person or persons that Einstein plagiarized from? I suppose, if Moody is to be believed, it is because a few of them were already deceased.


The most recognisable equation of all time is E = mc2. It is attributed by convention to be the sole province of Albert Einstein (1905). However, the conversion of matter into energy and energy into matter was known to Sir Isaac Newton ("Gross bodies and light are convertible into one another...", 1704). The equation can be attributed to S. Tolver Preston (1875), to Jules Henri Poincaré (1900; according to Brown, 1967) and to Olinto De Pretto (1904) before Einstein. Since Einstein never correctly derived E = mc2 (Ives, 1952), there appears nothing to connect the equation with anything original by Einstein.


Of course, it would be natural to ask the question of who stands to gain. Einstein certainly gained an iconic status in the world of physics...

As Moody states:

Science, by its very nature, is insular. In general, chemists read and write about chemistry, biologists read and write about biology, and physicists read and write about physics. But they may all be competing for the same research dollar (in its broadest sense). Thus, if scientists wanted more money for themselves, they might decide to compete unfairly. The way they can do this is convince the funding agencies that they are more important than any other branch of science. If the funding agencies agree, it could spell difficulty for the remaining sciences. One way to get more money is to create a superhero - a superhero like Einstein.


Now, I must say that I view Einstien as one of the greatest mind that ever lived. I guess that's why I am presenting this little thread. It shocked and dismayed me that there are actually people who feel this way.. On the other hand, when I read the article by Moody, it was quite convincing.

I know that there are other people on this board that are going to take issue with Mr. Moody's stance. However,I don't necessarily think that Moody's beef is as much with Einstein as it is with the scientific community for allowing it to happen.

He also has this to say about Einstein's pet "Theory of Relativity":

Jules Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) was a great scientist who made a significant contribution to special relativity theory. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy website says that Poincaré: (1) "sketched a preliminary version of the special theory of relativity"; (2) "stated that the velocity of light is a limit velocity" (in his 1904 paper from the Bull. of Sci. Math. 28, Poincaré indicated "a whole new mechanics, where the inertia increasing with the velocity of light would become a limit and not be exceeded"); (3) suggested that "mass depends on speed"; (4) "formulated the principle of relativity, according to which no mechanical or electromagnetic experiment can discriminate between a state of uniform motion and a state of rest"; and (5) "derived the Lorentz transformation".


If that be the case, then there are several people within the scientific community who have much to answer for. I think it is outrageous that we, as a society, build up people only to find out they weren't as great as we thought. We do it with politics, science,certainly religion. Why? Is the world just so sad that it has to invent heroes?




posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 07:24 PM
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Where are your sources and where is Poincare's paper?

I have heard these rumors before, but always the names of the "victim" changes with each telling. I believe the last I heard of was that he stole General Relativity from Marie Curie.

Also there is another possibility, besides plagerism. Coincidince. Many other breakthroughs have happened simultanoiusly in the past and the acknoledged inventor is usually the first to patent it. If Poincare's paper actually exists and was published it should be an easy matter to just look it up. Great minds think alike.

Also, I find it hard to believe that a paper so mind-bogglingly significant published in 1900 was overlooked, only to have Einstein come in a year later and blow the scientific world apart!

I find this statement dubious as well....



The most recognisable equation of all time is E = mc2. It is attributed by convention to be the sole province of Albert Einstein (1905). However, the conversion of matter into energy and energy into matter was known to Sir Isaac Newton ("Gross bodies and light are convertible into one another...", 1704). The equation can be attributed to S. Tolver Preston (1875), to Jules Henri Poincaré (1900; according to Brown, 1967) and to Olinto De Pretto (1904) before Einstein. Since Einstein never correctly derived E = mc2 (Ives, 1952), there appears nothing to connect the equation with anything original by Einstein.


"Gross bodies and light are convertible into one another...", is not the same as E=mc2. One is speculation without the math, and the other is pure math, easy and simple to understand.

The other people he talks about, I have never heard of, but again, if this stuff is in the literature, it should be easily found out, a cursory study and comparison of all the material involved(not a light task mind you) will tell us if they are both original, fraudulent, or plagerized.

[edit on 12-9-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 07:36 PM
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I remember reading a while back that Einstein plagerized some italian physicist as far as relativity goes.

It sounds more like Einstein took a bunch of ideas and wove them into one framework.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 07:38 PM
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It sounds more like Einstein took a bunch of ideas and wove them into one framework.


If he did, then he should have cited the work he based his work off of. That is one of the pillars of Academia.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 07:42 PM
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I say good for him. He was still a genious.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 07:47 PM
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About 3-4 months ago, the educational channel presented a documentary on the life of Albert Einstein.

The most interesting part was his wife was a tremendously brilliant person and some of her thinking may have eclipsed what Albert thought.

One of the themes that ran through the program was that E=mc2 may have been derived from Albert's wifes thinking or that she may have developed it on her own and Albert took it over.
One of the end comments was that Mrs. Einstein should have shared in the credit for E=mc2, but didn't.

Perhaps due to the thinking of the era in general.
That being, women didn't belong in the sciences etc.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 07:52 PM
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Which wife? He had two you know, the second was a first cousin I believe, yet another sign of the times he lived in.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Which wife? He had two you know, the second was a first cousin I believe, yet another sign of the times he lived in.



I don't know.

He attended college with the woman in question and later married her so perhaps it's his first wife.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by Desert Dawg

Originally posted by sardion2000
Which wife? He had two you know, the second was a first cousin I believe, yet another sign of the times he lived in.



I don't know.

He attended college with the woman in question and later married her so perhaps it's his first wife.


Yeah, that's the first one. They originally intended to be a team I believe(accordind to PBS), then 1905 came and went and that's all she wrote for that.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Where are your sources and where is Poincare's paper?




Here are the sources Moody used:

References:
Bjerknes, C.J. (2002), Albert Einstein: The Incorrigible Plagiarist, XTX Inc., Dowers Grove.
Born, M. (1956), Physics in My Generation, Pergamon Press, London, p. 193.
Brown, G. Burniston (1967), "What is wrong with relativity?", Bull. of the Inst. of Physics and Physical Soc., pp. 71-77.
Carezani, R. (1999), Autodynamics: Fundamental Basis for a New Relativistic Mechanics, SAA, Society for the Advancement of Autodynamics.
Carroll, R., "Einstein's E = mc2 'was Italian's idea'", The Guardian, November 11, 1999.
Clark, R.W. (1984), Einstein: The Life and Times, Avon Books, New York.
De Pretto, O. (1904), "Ipotesi dell'etere nella vita dell'universo", Reale Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Feb. 1904, tomo LXIII, parte II, pp. 439-500.
Einstein, A. (1905a), "Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper" ("On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies"), Annalen der Physik 17:37-65.
Einstein, A. (1905b), Does the Inertia of a Body Depend on its Energy Content?", Annalen der Physik 18:639-641.
Einstein, A. (1907), "Über die vom Relativitätspringzip geforderte Trägheit der Energie", Annalen der Physik 23(4):371-384 (quote on p. 373).
Einstein, A. (1935), "Elementary Derivation of the Equivalence of Mass and Energy", Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 61:223-230 (first delivered as The Eleventh Josiah Willard Gibbs Lecture at a joint meeting of the American Physical Society and Section A of the AAAS, Pittsburgh, December 28, 1934).
Hawking, S., "Person of the Century", Time Magazine, December 31, 1999.
Ives, H.E. (1952), "Derivation of the Mass-Energy Relation", J. Opt. Soc. Amer. 42:540-543.
Keswani, G.H. (1965), "Origin and Concept of Relativity", Brit. J. Phil. Soc. 15:286-306.
Mackaye, J. (1931), The Dynamic Universe, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, pp. 42-43.
Maddox, J. (1995), "More Precise Solar-limb Light-bending", Nature 377:11.
Moody, R., Jr (2001), "Plagiarism Personified", Mensa Bull. 442(Feb):5.
Newton, Sir Isaac (1704), Opticks, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, p. cxv.
Nordman, C. (1921), Einstein et l'univers, translated by Joseph McCabe as "Einstein and the Universe", Henry Holt and Co., New York, pp. 10-11, 16 (from Bjerknes, 2002).
Poincaré, J.H. (1905), "The Principles of Mathematical Physics", The Monist, vol. XV, no. 1, January 1905; from an address delivered before the International Congress of Arts and Sciences, St Louis, September 1904.
Poor, C.L. (1930), "The Deflection of Light as Observed at Total Solar Eclipses", J. Opt. Soc. Amer. 20:173-211.
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Jules Henri Poincaré (1854-1912), at www.utm.edu...
Webster, N. (1947), Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, p. 1878.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 03:03 PM
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Yes these stories have been around for awhile. problem is, even if true, Einstein has such iconic standing it'll be extremely difficult to change a significant number of minds about him.

Here's a link- What is Wrong with Relativity? Some heavy lifting there, but interesting. Excerpt-

There were other disturbing features: the fact that Einstein never wrote a definitive account of his theory; that his first derivation of the Lorentz transformation equations contained velocities of light of c — v, c + v and (c2 — v2)½, quite contrary to his second postulate that the velocity of light was independent of the motion of the source; and that his first attempt to prove the formula E = m0c2, suggested by Poincaré, was fallacious because he assumed what he wanted to prove


Another one- The Einstein Hoax. This is a loooong article in its entirety.

Excerpt-

The author is seriously troubled by the historical accounts. The fact that the knowledge and insight to resolve the dilemma represented by the Michelson-Morley Experiment had already been provided by truly intelligent men (Thompson, Lorentz, Larmor, and especially Fitzgerald), degrades Dr. Einstein's contribution in this area from a work of brilliance to the rather trivial exercise of formulating the existing knowledge into mathematical terms for easier use in computational activities. [Dr. Einstein's famous equation, (dS)2=(dX)2+(dY)2+(dZ)2-C*(dT)2, which is accepted as the most succinct means of defining the effects of velocity, follows from the fact that the Lorentz Transformations for length and time are identical to the Pythagorean Theorem.] However, the politics of the scientific community was not served by crediting Fitzgerald with the conceptual breakthrough since his approach did not suit its goals. As a result, Dr. Einstein was given that honor and was eventually proclaimed a deity of the new religion while the true contributors were relegated to footnotes in textbooks.


Here's some info about his wife, Mileva Meric. True? It's an "anonymous" author, so who knows?

Excerpt-

The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein prove to any open-minded person, that Maric did indeed collaborate on the authorship of Einstein's famous papers in 1905. Einstein even uses the word "collaboration". Just a sample quote from Albert to Mileva from their love letters: "How happy and proud I will be when the two of us together will have brought our work on the relative motion to a victorious conclusion!" Our work???


Personally, I've always been much more of a Tesla man.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 03:15 PM
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Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
It sounds more like Einstein took a bunch of ideas and wove them into one framework.


Which as any academic knows is basically how science works. Everything is out there already for observation etc. and most phenomena have been documented.

Picking the relevant parts of already established fact, looking at them from a different POV or weaving them onto your own framework is the only way to make scientific progress.

Its very rare that a theory pops out of the blue, the problem is drawing the line between copying and building upon someone elses work.



posted on Sep, 13 2006 @ 03:20 PM
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Well, according to www.biblebelievers.org.au...:


The Encyclopedia Britannica says of Einstein's early education that he "showed little scholastic ability." It also says that at the age of 15, "with poor grades in history, geography, and languages, he left school with no diploma." Einstein himself wrote in a school paper of his "lack of imagination and practical ability." In 1895, Einstein failed a simple entrance exam to an engineering school in Zurich.

This exam consisted mainly of mathematical problems, and Einstein showed himself to be mathematically inept in this exam. He then entered a lesser school hoping to use it as a stepping stone to the engineering school he could not get into, but after graduating in 1900, he still could not get a position at the engineering school!



Of course, we all know that very brilliant individuals,very often, lack the basic skills most of us have...Therefore, one cannot really make any presumptions on this statement alone.

I suppose one of the admirable things about Einstein, at least in my opinion, was his admittance that he was not always the brightest bulb in the package.....


Supposedly, while working a full time job, without the aid of university colleagues, a staff of graduate students, a laboratory, or any of the things normally associated with an academic setting, Einstein in his spare time wrote four ground-breaking essays in the field of theoretical physics and quantum mechanics that were published in 1905.

Many people have recognized the impossibility of such a feat, including Einstein himself, and therefore Einstein has led people to believe that many of these ideas came to him in his sleep, out of the blue, because indeed that is the only logical explanation of how an admittedly inept moron could have written such documents at the age of 26 without any real education. THE TRUTH IS: HE STOLE THE IDEAS AND PLAGIARIZED THE PAPERS.


There is all kinds of information on the net about Einstein's "plagiarism". I am not necessarily ready to put aside my previous feelings about the man; as I said previously, I honestly think he was the greatest mind to ever live. However, the information I have rececently stumbled across certainly has made me wonder.


originally posted by YeahRight

Personally, I've always been much more of a Tesla man.


I like him as well....Although, I think people are a bit misinformed about what he actually tried to accomplish.



posted on Sep, 14 2006 @ 01:32 PM
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Let's not forget Konstantin Karatheodori, a greek mathematician who Einstein personally thanked in one of his letters for Karatheodori's contributions in Einstein's theories...

Some sources say that the theory og General Relativity was plagiarized entirely from Karatheodori.



posted on Sep, 14 2006 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by masterp
Let's not forget Konstantin Karatheodori, a greek mathematician who Einstein personally thanked in one of his letters for Karatheodori's contributions in Einstein's theories...

Some sources say that the theory og General Relativity was plagiarized entirely from Karatheodori.



Yeah, I'm not even sure that Einstein intended to receive the credit he got. I think it was science that built him into this almost god-like figure. Like I have said repeatedly, I have much respect for Einstein, but if he was a plagiarist, I think it removes a lot from his credibility.



posted on Sep, 14 2006 @ 03:05 PM
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I hate to say it but we are all plagiarist.
This whole copyright thing is just an excellent marketing scheme to make you pay for stuff.

Solomon the wise said it clearly...there is nothing new under the sun.
(time to go above the sun)

Peace

dalen



posted on Sep, 14 2006 @ 04:36 PM
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I don't know if he was a plagiarist or not, but I always thought that he was much over-rated by the media, possibly to put other scientists in the shadows (I am developing my ability to see a conspiracy everywhere
)



posted on Sep, 14 2006 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by Desert Dawg
One of the themes that ran through the program was that E=mc2 may have been derived from Albert's wifes thinking or that she may have developed it on her own and Albert took it over.
One of the end comments was that Mrs. Einstein should have shared in the credit for E=mc2, but didn't


He did in fact give her all the money he won as result of being awarded the Nobel prize and personally i do not think that was all for child support as the story went at the time.


Stellar



posted on Sep, 14 2006 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by dAlen

Solomon the wise said it clearly...there is nothing new under the sun.
(time to go above the sun)

Peace

dalen

You do know that a lot of people claim that is proof of the eternal return theory. For those who don't know what the eternal return is, it's basically the idea, promoted by Fredrich Nietzsche, that technology only progresses so far and then we get thrown back into ancient times. It's also the idea that 2 million years from now an exact carbon copy of you will be doing exactly what you are doing right now, reading this writing on your computer. It's basically the idea that everything is eternally repeating itself, with the same players and all. It's kind of a weird idea.



posted on Sep, 14 2006 @ 06:07 PM
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I'm a little tired of reading, and then commenting on, the allegations of Einstein's plagiarism.

Fact is, in modern society people do exchange ideas and it contributes to the progress.

I read some of Poincare's work and yes, Einstein definitely benefited from what Poincare did, but interpretation and thought experiment is a large part of research in physics, and Einstein did exactly that. So let's lay this to rest.





 
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