Albert Einstein’s 23 Mistakes

Date: December / 29 / 2009 + Comments: 0

Albert Einstein picture

Albert Einstein was a genius but also he made some mistakes, specially with the details of his equations and theories. In the book Einstein’s Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius (W.W. Norton, $12.93), Hans Ohanian writes that Albert often let his intuition overrule flawed proofs and shaky math.

DISCOVER Magazine also posted a story on Einstein’s biggest flubs: thinking black holes were impossible, believing the universe was static, and saying that “God does not play dice.”

Chronology of Albert Einstein’s Mistakes

  1. 1905 Mistake in clock synchronization procedure on which Einstein based special relativity.
  2. 1905 Failure to consider Michelson-Morley experiment.
  3. 1905 Mistake in transverse mass of high-speed particles.
  4. 1905 Multiple mistakes in the mathematics and physics used in calculation of viscosity of liquids, from which Einstein deduced size of molecules.
  5. 1905 Mistakes in the relationship between thermal radiation and quanta of light.
  6. 1905 Mistake in the first proof of E = mc2.
  7. 1906 Mistakes in the second, third, and fourth proofs of E = mc2.
  8. 1907 Mistake in the synchronization procedure for accelerated clocks.
  9. 1907 Mistakes in the Principle of Equivalence of gravitation and acceleration.
  10. 1911 Mistake in the first calculation of the bending of light.
  11. 1913 Mistake in the first attempt at a theory of general relativity.
  12. 1914 Mistake in the fifth proof of E = mc2.
  13. 1915 Mistake in the Einstein-de Haas experiment.
  14. 1915 Mistakes in several attempts at theories of general relativity.
  15. 1916 Mistake in the interpretation of Mach’s principle.
  16. 1917 Mistake in the introduction of the cosmological constant (the “biggest blunder”).
  17. 1919 Mistakes in two attempts to modify general relativity.
  18. 1925 Mistakes and more mistakes in the attempts to formulate a unified theory.
  19. 1927 Mistakes in discussions with Bohr on quantum uncertainties.
  20. 1933 Mistakes in interpretation of quantum mechanics (Does God play dice?).
  21. 1934 Mistake in the sixth proof of E = mc2.
  22. 1939 Mistake in the interpretation of the Schwarzschild singularity and gravitational collapse (the black hole).
  23. 1946 Mistake in the seventh proof of E = mc2.

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Post author: Daniel Semper

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