Save 75% - Only $49.99 for 1 full year! digitalPLUS subscription offer ends 12/1
NewsOpinionReaders Respond

Large Hadron collider notwithstanding, it's still an Einsteinian universe

Superman (fictional character)Albert EinsteinGeorge Bernard Shaw

Mac Nachlas' letter suggests that the results of a recent European experiment not only raises entirely new doubt about Albert Einstein's theories but also reveals a failure of the U.S. to keep up with other devolved countries in its investment in basic research ("Faster than light? Research will benefit America in ways we can't foresee," Sept. 27.) I think Mr. Nachlas may be jumping to conclusions in two different directions at once (a phenomenon which itself may bear investigation by those who monitor the laws of physics).

First, there has been at least one previous experiment (done at an American University, I believe in the 1920s or 1930s) which showed that it was possible for particles to exceed the speed of light. Yet physicists have continued to view the world as Einstein described it, just as they continue to view it to a great extent as Newton described it. Perhaps we need to await further developments before we take alarm at the recent experiment.

And I question that the U.S. as a society is investing less in basic research in proportion to its more mundane and perhaps more destructive research than other societies of comparable capacity. The originators of scientific discovery and the technology that such discovery produces are astonishingly cosmopolitan in the modern world. And the uses to which new knowledge is put by the U.S. are little different than in other societies. The starving North Koreans, with a GNP comparable to Arkansas, developed an atomic bomb, and the British lost a cruiser to the Argentine Navy and a cheap but neat little missile invented by the French allies.

But I fear all this reflects weakness, not in America's devotion to basic research, but in man's character, and that predates Einstein or Newton or Ptolemy. In George Bernard Shaw's Man And Superman, Satan says to Don Juan "I tell you that in the arts of peace, Man is a bungler — His heart is in his weapons!" Now there is a conclusion that perhaps Mac and I, and the Devil, could join hands with the ghost of Shaw and skip rope to.

Bootz Mercer, Randallstown

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Superman (fictional character)Albert EinsteinGeorge Bernard Shaw
  • Farrakhan the false prophet
    Farrakhan the false prophet

    We are fortunate to have had three great leaders in the 20th century — each a man of color, each a man having no conventional power, each a man of peace. First, Mohandas Gandhi, then Martin Luther King Jr. and finally Nelson Mandela. Each taught us that change, change which is significant...

  • Ferguson: Is there justice for all?
    Ferguson: Is there justice for all?

    While I can, I go on hoping a majority of the grand jury in Ferguson votes to indict Officer Darren Wilson ("Far from Missouri, Baltimore readies for Ferguson ruling," Nov. 24). If they fail in that, the obvious choice is for everyone to go out and protest. The police in most of the country...

  • Praying for peace in Ferguson
    Praying for peace in Ferguson

    As we brace for the Ferguson grand jury to make a decision, there's a simple old adage that states, "God save the Queen."

  • Ferguson tweet shows poor judgment
    Ferguson tweet shows poor judgment

    In the case described in "Baltimore Police tweet about Ferguson draws criticism" (Nov. 21), while it is true that First Amendment Rights are important and this sergeant is entitled to her opinion, I question her judgment in opining on an incident not involving the Baltimore City Police...

  • Goats not baa-d groundskeepers
    Goats not baa-d groundskeepers

    I was thrilled to read about the goats eating the English ivy at Towson ("At Towson University, goats deliver weed-control lesson," Nov. 24). I drive by the Towson campus daily and have seen the ivy taking over the trees there. English ivy is a horrible scourge. Some of the vines are bigger...

  • Obama casts himself as a dictator with immigration action
    Obama casts himself as a dictator with immigration action

    On Thursday President Barack Obama granted amnesty to 5 million illegal aliens even though he declared it is not amnesty ("Obama makes his case for immigration action," Nov. 21). He has lost credibility with all the lies he has said in the past six years as president. What he did was...

Comments
Loading