On November 25th, 1915, Einstein published his greatest work: general relativity. The theory transformed our understanding of nature’s laws and the entire history of the cosmos, reaching back to the origin of time itself.
Now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s achievement, NOVA tells the inside story of Einstein’s masterpiece. The story begins with the intuitive thought experiments that set Einstein off on his quest and traces the revolution in cosmology that is still playing out in today’s labs and observatories. Discover the simple but powerful ideas at the heart of relativity, illuminating the theory—and Einstein’s brilliance—as never before.
From the first spark of an idea to the discovery of the expanding universe, the Big Bang, black holes, and dark energy, NOVA uncovers the inspired insights and brilliant breakthroughs of “the perfect theory.”
This episode of NOVA can be purchased directly from PBS Home Video.
We also encourage our loyal patrons to purchase John Gribbin’s Einstein's Masterwork: 1915 and the General Theory of Relativity.
Dr. Gribbin’s book is the most authoritative historical account of how Albert Einstein came up with General Relativity that I have read to date.
In 1915, Albert Einstein presented his masterwork to the Prussian Academy of Sciences - a theory of gravity, matter, space and time: the General Theory of Relativity. Einstein himself said it was 'the most valuable theory of my life', and 'of incomparable beauty'. It describes the evolution of the Universe, black holes, the behaviour of orbiting neutron stars, gravitational lensing, and why clocks run slower on the surface of the Earth than in space. It even suggests the possibility of time travel. And yet we think instead of 1905, the year of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and his equation E=mc2, as his annus mirabilis, even though the Special Theory is less far-reaching. Today the General Theory is overshadowed by these achievements, regarded as 'too difficult' for ordinary mortals to comprehend. In Einstein's Masterwork, John and Mary Gribbin put Einstein's astonishing breakthrough in the context of his life and work, and make it clear why his greatest year was indeed 1915.