Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Einstein’s unified field theory , and some of his early works

Einstein’s unified field theory:    

A simple general law combining the four forces of nature (the electromagnetic force, gravitation, the strong force, and the weak force) :



An electromagnetic force is exerted between electrical charges and magnetic fields.

2. Gravitational force is related to mass and acceleration and can affect electromagnetic radiation.

3. The gluon of the strong force holds the nuclei of atoms together. The positive protons and quarks in an atom’s nucleus would repel each other and fly apart if it was not for the ‘‘glueballs’’ of the strong force that ‘‘bind’’ the quarks and protons.

           4. The weak force is responsible for the slow nuclear processes that produce radiation, such as beta decay of the neutron to generate high-speed electrons.

Albert Einstein spent the last thirty years of his life seeking to combine these four fundamental forces and the equations containing them into a general unified theory (GUT). HE NEVER ACHIEVED THIS GOAL.

Einstein did not completely accept the new quantum theory, which did not contribute itself to his concept for a unified field theory.

One reason for not completely accepting quantum mechanics was because of the concept of indeterminacy where the exact position and momentum of a particle could not be determined at the same time. Thus, he considered that the ‘‘fuzziness’’ of matter was inconsistent with his concepts of relativity and the real world.


Toward the end of his life and later, physicists used particle accelerators to separate and identify numerous particles and forces from atoms and their nuclei, which made the unified field theory impossible. But the idea is not completely dead. Today there are several efforts to combine or find symmetry between various theories of matter and energy.

Some examples follow:

Einstein unified field

·       The grand unification theory (GUT): an attempt to derive an equation to combine the strong and weak forces and explain how the particles of matter were dispersed from each other at the time of the bigbang at speeds greater than the speed of light. The GUT has led to another concept referred to as the inflationary universe.  

·       The theory of everything (TOE): an attempt to state that there is only one simple force and one ultimate particle in the universe. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN FOUND.

·       The string theory: a mathematical concept to explain everything in the universe with just one theory, based on the assumption that all elementary subatomic particles are really strings that are single-dimensional loops, sometimes described as a doughnut folded over itself several times. Presumably the string theory has as few as ten or as many as twenty-six dimensions (not the three coordinates plus time with which we are familiar). Thus, it may not be related to the real universe but is an challenging concept for mathematicians and theoretical physicists. When various mathematical equations and techniques are used to combine other mathematical equations into one final statement, the results always seem to come out as noise or lead to infinity.

Even before his work on relativity and gravity he published several important papers before and during 1905 that addressed areas of theoretical physics that changed many scientific concepts of physics.

In summary, these papers addressed the following topics:

1. One of his first papers dealt with the atomistic nature of the new science of thermodynamics. He considered the mechanical (Newtonian) view of the world elaborately related to the second law of thermodynamics.

      2. His next paper was the use of this concept to explain the Brownian motion of microscopic particles suspended in a fluid that led to the concept of heat

3. At the age of sixteen he wrote a paper explaining how time and motion are related to the observer if the speed of light is constant. This paper might be called the ‘‘seed’’ of his theories of relativity.

4. He published several papers that addressed why the Newtonian and Galilean laws of gravity, time, and space required an inertial frame of reference, as well as the compatibility of Maxwell’s equations and relatively.

5. He proposed a quantum hypothesis, particularly for light (photons). Even though this led to the development of quantum mechanics, and so forth, he had some difficulty in trying to incorporate relativity, gravity, quantum theory, and other ideas into an overall grand unification theory (GUT). Scientists are still trying to arrive at a theory of everything (TOE).


It was said about Einstein :

  1. As a young boy Albert Einstein was shy but curious even
  2. though he did not talk until he was three years of age.
  3. He did not do particularly well in school except when
  4. he was introduced to subjects dealing with nature.
  5. He had an ability to understand mathematical concepts and
  6. taught himself Euclidean geometry at twelve years of age.
  7. He left school at age fifteen but later entered a school in Switzerland. However, he disliked the methods of formal education and spent much of his school years studying physics on his own and playing his violin.
  8. He passed his graduation exams by studying his classmates’ notes but was not recommended for graduate education.
  9. He spent two years tutoring students and later was hired as an examiner in the Swiss patent office in 1902.
  10. He was married in 1903, had two sons, was divorced, remarried, and reportedly had ten mistresses later in life.
  11. He received his doctorate from the University of Zurich in 1905.
  12. He believed it important to simplify and unify the system of theoretical physics .