By Chet Yarbrough
Written by: Pedro G. Ferreira
Narration by: Sean Runnette
Will twenty-first century science impact the general theory of relativity as profoundly as Einstein’s disruption of Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion? Pedro G. Ferreira seems to think so. In “The Perfect Theory”, Einstein is deservedly praised with as much awe and respect as Newton was in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. However, Ferreira shows new discoveries find Einstein’s intuitive genius wanting.
Though Newton explained much about the physics of earth, the encompassing truth of Newton’s physics of the universe are found incomplete and inaccurate by Einstein’s discoveries. Ferreira infers Einstein is on the verge of facing the same fate as Newton. After one hundred years of measuring physics against Einstein’s theories, relativity is being challenged. It is a repeat of Newton’s challenge by Einstein’s concepts of specific and general relativity.
Einstein did not displace Newton. By the same token, Einstein is unlikely to be displaced by modern scientists. However, Ferreira notes that both Einstein’s and Newton’s discoveries are imperfect. Ferreira is not suggesting these geniuses are diminished because their discoveries are still what scientific progress is measured against.
The advance of quantum theory challenges Einstein’s discoveries just as the advance of specific relativity challenged Newton’s discoveries.
Neither quantum nor relativity theories advances diminish the monumental reputations of these two giants but new experimentally proven discoveries show that Newton’s and Einstein’s fundamental conclusions are flawed. The experimental proof of space-time relativity challenges Newton’s laws of motion. Einstein’s general relativity is challenged by the science of quantum theory, the unpredictability inherent in particle physics, and a cosmological constant that today’s scientists believe is related to dark energy and dark matter.
Ferreira offers an informative history of the challenges that face Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The discoveries of black holes, dark energy, dark matter, and their cosmological consequence create doubt about general relativity. Evidence of God playing dice is seen in quantum mechanics; string theory challenges Einstein’s conception of a unified field theory, and dark matter and energy qualify Einstein’s view of the cosmological constant.
Ferreira does a fine job of explaining the history of many of the world’s geniuses’ contribution to the science of general relativity. Ferreira convincingly argues that science is a critically important investment in understanding and making the world a better place. The needed ingredient for continued success is political will for investment in science.