April 26, 2013, 12:54 PM —
Image credit: Flickr/MARK FISCHER
Albert Einstein's famous general theory of relativity appears to have been confirmed by the behavior of two stars orbiting each other 7,000 light years from Earth.
The brilliant physicist presented his general relativity theory in 1915 and published it a year later. As The Space Report explains, the theory "states objects with mass cause a curvature in space and time."
This phenomenon apparently has been observed in the two stars, which together have created an incredibly strong gravitational field. According to The Space Reporter:
Scientists say the pair of stars creates a rare scenario in which the gravitational field is so strong it causes deviations in the white dwarf’s motion. Einstein’s theory posits that a close binary system will radiate gravitational energy in the form of ripples in spacetime called gravitational waves. As a result, the binary slowly loses energy, the stars move closer, and the orbital period shortens as predicted by Einstein.
The general theory of relativity was but one of many physics theories developed by Einstein. But the German-born Nobel Prize winner also displayed profound wisdom outside the world of science. In fact, we could use a few more people like Einstein in our troubled world.
On intelligence, creativity and persistence
"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination."
"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education."
"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."
On what holds us back
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions."
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
On what really matters
"The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible."
"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."
"Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population."
"Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving."
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."