For the first half of the last century, physics yielded not only deep insights into nature--which resonated with the disorienting work of creative visionaries like Picasso, Joyce and Freud--but also history-jolting technologies like the atomic bomb, nuclear power, radar, lasers, transistors and all the gadgets that make up the computer and communications industries.
But researchers still don't know exactly how the brain's extra folds and convolutions translated into Einstein's amazing abilities. We were wrong.
What this means for you. While awaiting Einstein's answer, David Ben-Gurion, the prime minister, reportedly asked an aide, "What are we going to do if he accepts?Einstein is often remembered as a harmless, other-worldly figure, detached from mundane problems. Some might argue that the nature of genius is such that it can't be quashed, regardless. His son Hans Albert and executor Otto Nathan gave the examining pathologist, Thomas Harvey, permission to preserve the brain for scientific study. It's only in the past few years that we've come to understand the extraordinary reason why. I f you insert human astrocytes into the brains of newborn mice, they grow up to be more intelligent. Very few researchers used it, and the observational methods required to show that black holes exist — radio and X-ray astronomy — were in their infancy. Where this "principle of equivalence" will lead remains obscure, but to Einstein, it offers the first hint of a theory that could supplant Newton's. This model was adopted by smaller institutions, which also began forming larger groups to attract funding.
That's a question even an Einstein can't answer. Celebrity, on the other hand, tends to follow more predictable patterns. Alongside Max Planck's work on quanta of heat, and Niels Bohr's later work on quanta of matter, Einstein's work anchors the most shocking idea in 20th-century physics: We live in a quantum universe, one built out of tiny, discrete chunks of energy and matter.