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Theology Thursdays: "Einstein's Lesson for the Third Millennium" by Sylvester James Gates, Jr

*Editor's Note: The following is an edited transcript of the plenary address delivered by physicist and educator Sylvester James Gates, Jr. on Sunday 20 February 2005 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.


Tonight, I'd like to begin by thanking the American Association for the Advancement of Science; AAAS President Dr. Shirley Anne Jackson; the AAAS Board of Directors; Dr. Alan Leshner, CEO and Science executive publisher; and all others responsible for this invitation. I must extend a special thanks to AAAS staffers Stacey Pasco and Gaynelle Bowden, who went above and beyond in assisting me being here.

You know, I feel a sense of utter excitement and amazement serving in this capacity. I can think of many other colleagues, who, in my opinion, would rise to far greater heights in delivering this address. Therefore, if I fail tonight, don't blame me. Instead, we should all look at the American Association for the Advancement of Science; AAAS president Dr. Shirley Anne Jackson; the AAAS Board of Directors; Dr. Alan Leshner, CEO and Science executive publisher; and all others responsible for my being here.

We're going to begin with some movies. And, let me just say, that the movies we are going to watch were created by a young University of Maryland graduate student by the name of Kenneth Griggs.

So, let's go on a journey. When you were walking in tonight, some of you might have noticed something on-screen that's related to this image. We're going to fly down along the North Pole, and see this image representing a binary star system. The balls that you see circling one about the other are representations of stars, and the lines, like on basketballs or beach balls, about them are representations of magnetic fields. And then the beams that you see going out top and bottom represent rays of high-energy particles. Now, this is the viewpoint you saw when you first walked in.

We were standing out at the equator. Let's fly through the middle and surf one of these waves—the waves you saw coming off of these objects as they circled one about the other. These waves, what are they? Let's put that off for a moment and imagine we could surf to a familiar place, a blue marble and its companion, and watch the impact of one of these waves as it comes down from the heavens and strikes our planet Earth. Now, if this wave were to impinge upon two places on planet Earth, namely, above the state of Washington or the state of Louisiana, as it breaks through the clouds you might encounter a large L-shaped structure—and here we come upon that structure. As you can see in our animation, the structure is not at rest. It's vibrating back and forth, as if shaken by a violent earthquake. That shaking is in fact due to this wave of whatever it was that came down from the heavens.

This has something to do with Albert Einstein and we will get to that. However, let me first of all set the correct scale for the shaking. Because the waves I was talking about do, indeed, we believe, exist in nature. If they were as violent as the ones in the animation, it would be difficult to build any structures whatsoever. So, to set the right scale for how much these waves shake things on earth, we have this image. This is an animation of the helium atom. As you look at this animation, you will notice that there is a thin red line in the picture. You might think that perhaps my graduate student made an error there and drew that line by accident. But, in fact, the width of that line is how much these waves from outer space would cause displacement in objects here on planet earth.

What we've just described is all a theory. In fact, it's a theory that was given to us by the greatest accomplishment of Albert Einstein, his theory of general relativity. And our country has spent in excess of $400 million to construct those two L-shaped buildings in order to detect these waves. It is through the generous support of U.S. taxpayers that this money comes. And, I always like to tell people that as scientists, we need to explain to others what investments we are making for them. In the popular mind, the most famous of Einstein's works is summarized by five characters: E=MC2, with the widely held belief of its connection to nuclear weaponry.

This Einstein World Year of Physics seems to be celebrated almost everywhere. In the fall, Nova/PBS will air a production entitled, "E=MC2." This is probably the first time that an equation stars in a television production. There's even a rap song about the World Year of Physics, and of course Time Magazine named Albert Einstein as its "Man of the Century."

And to think that all this began with three scientific papers written in 1905. They have almost innocent sounding titles: "On a Heuristic Point of View Toward the Emission and Transmission of Light," published on June 9, "On the Movement of Small Particles Suspended in Stationary Liquids Required by the Molecular Kinetic Theory of Heat," published on July 18; and, finally, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies," published on September 26.

An interesting thing is that Einstein only earned his Ph.D. in April of that year, and yet each of these papers is a landmark in physics. The first of these papers, in fact, lends to the creation of quantum theory, and, as we all know, that's not something with which Einstein comfortably lived. In fact, he was to be quoted at some point saying: "Quantum mechanics is a very worthy topic of study, but an inner voice tells me this is not the true Jacob. The theory yields much, but it hardly brings us closer to the secrets of the old one. In any case, I am convinced he does not play dice."

With the second paper, Einstein stakes a claim in the middle of today's revolutions in biology. Brownian motion, which is explained by this work, has a powerful impact in such realms, but it is the third paper that announces the birth of special relativity and remakes notions of space and time for which he is most famous.

Einstein was one of the most quoted individuals of the last century. Among these quotes, we find things such as:

"Only two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the former."

"Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truths."

"The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science."

"The Lord God is subtle, but, malicious he is not."

"I have second thoughts. Maybe God is malicious."

Einstein's religious beliefs are at least as complicated as his theory of general relativity and perhaps as hard to follow. Einstein is a man of theories. Part of his inspiration for the creation of special relativity was the theory of electromagnetism, created by Maxwell. His 1905 paper, in part, leads to quantum theory.

Once, a high school student asked me two questions: "Was the only thing that Einstein did was to create theories?" and "Is all of science a theory?" I answered yes to both of these, and said, "Science is a process by which our species has obtained its most precise understanding of our home, the physical universe." Young students often think science is what you find in books, and I tell them, "That's like walking into a sculpture studio, looking down at the floor, and concluding that sculptors are people who make little piles of rock."

Several hundred years, if not thousands, have taught the scientific community that we must work in such a way as to account for our own fallibility. Thus, each generation of scientists is charged to check and recheck the scientific knowledge that's passed down to it and it's almost a unique attribute of science that we do this. Due to this cautious approach to wisdom, science casts its greatest achievements in the forms of theories. An accepted scientific theory must explain many, many facts, sometimes hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands, but a single fact can destroy a theory.

Let me paraphrase Einstein about this. He said, "The unhappy fate of most theories is to be proven wrong shortly after being introduced. However, for those not so treated, at best nature says: 'Maybe.' "

I believe part of his legacy should guide our community in a debate that's occurring today in our nation. There is a set of suggestions, known as intelligent design, which have been offered as a scientific theory by some. We, in the scientific community, owe this discussion a respectful debate. First, to not do so would be a betrayal of our own cautiousness in approaching the gaining of wisdom. Second, historical examples show that faith-based communities do have the power to turn off science. Unless we rigorously and openly join this debate, our nation will move into the third millennium educating young ones who will be less than able to continue the progress we have seen so far.

But, for me, personally, this debate has another dimension. I spent all of my teenage years, as mentioned in the introduction, in Orlando, Florida. As many people know, the southern African American community is one with a deep tradition of religious faith. The bulk of my religious training occurred in the confines of the African American Methodist Episcopal Church. There, we were taught that faith is to be anchored on the inhuman perfection of religion. If intelligent design is accepted as science, then like all scientific theories, it is in principle possible to disprove it by the actions of human observation and thought. Thus, those who would join the inhuman perfection of religion to the human imperfection of science put both at grave peril for anyone who deeply contemplates them. Many in the AME church tradition, like me, must reject this idea that by thoughts and actions of man our faith can be called into question. This is the very greatest danger, in my opinion, of the notion of intelligent design.

I believe this debate would actually surprise Einstein, who commented so often about the practicality of Americans and America. We observe this practicality every day. If most Americans were told that a loved one were injured they would do two things: say a prayer and then pick up a cell phone. The first is a result of religion; the second is the final output of science. Most Americans see no need to choose either one or the other. And I believe Einstein would agree.

Here's another quote: "Does there truly exist an inseparable contradiction between religion and science? Can religion be superseded by science? The answers to these questions have for centuries given rise to considerable dispute and, indeed, bitter fighting. Yet, in my mind, there is no doubt that in both cases, dispassionate consideration can only lead to a negative answer." So, for our celebrant, Albert Einstein, this is not an either/or proposition.

Albert Einstein was an unusual individual in many, many ways. In addition to being a great scientist, as well as one who had this peculiar and often-stated relationship to the notion of God, he also had a direct relationship to people. Einstein always maintained that others overrated his abilities. And if I may quote again, he said: "The culture of the individual is always, in my view, unjustified. It strikes me as unfair, and even in bad taste, to select a few for boundless admiration, attributing superhuman powers of mind and character to them. This has been my fate and the contrast between the popular estimate of my powers and achievements and the reality is simply grotesque."

Here are two more of my favorite quotes. "In sending this greeting to you, children of Japan, I lay open claim to a special right to do so, for I have myself visited your beautiful country, seen its cities and houses, its mountains and woods, and the Japanese boys who have learned to love their country for its beauty. A big fat book full of colored drawings by Japanese children lies always on my table."

And, finally, "A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer lives are based on the labors of other people living and dead, and that I must exert myself to give the same measure as I have received and am still receiving."

Einstein clearly felt a deep connection to humanity. This is manifested in many ways in his life, and one of them occurred after World War II, with humanity facing an existential question. "Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war?" as was so aptly proposed by the joint declaration with Bertrand Russell. Einstein was acutely aware of the role much of the world attributed to him and worked tirelessly against the perversion of science to create weapons of mass destruction. This part of his legacy must be carried forward by our community in this third millennium.

His life also reminds us that like all humans, he was filled with imperfections. At one time, his global fame rivaled that of Charlie Chaplin, the actor. His fame did not go unnoticed by members of the opposite gender, and, apparently, Einstein himself was not unmindful of this attention. We may speculate on the impact this had on his personal life; however, late in life, writing about a friend's death, he said, "What I admired most in him as a human being is that he managed to live for so many years not only in peace but also in lasting harmony with a woman, an undertaking of which I twice failed disgracefully." This is not a figure for veneration and he was very much aware of this and speaks so to us across this 50-plus years since his death.

He was grateful and joyous to be an American. And all of us who have this privilege, I think, share that. He said things like, "My political ideal is that of democracy. As long as I have a choice, I will only stay in a country where political liberty, tolerance and equality of all citizens before the law prevail." "The smile on the faces of the people is a symbol of one of the greatest assets of the American. He is friendly, self-confident, optimistic and without envy."

But Einstein was also aware of another aspect of this nation. As a person of the African Diaspora, I found this particularly surprising upon first discovery. He once described racism in his new homeland as its worst disease, and said: "The more I feel American, the more the situation pains me. I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out. Many a person will answer me, 'They are not our equals in intelligence, sense of responsibility, reliability.' " Einstein responds, "I am firmly convinced that whoever believes this suffers from a fatal misconception."

Einstein clearly had the ability in both heart and mind to move well beyond the world and world picture of most of his contemporaries. Einstein writes these statements, interestingly enough, not from a purely theoretical point of view. For example, when Marion Anderson was invited to perform in Princeton and was unable to secure accommodations at any hotel in the city, one A. Einstein invited her to come to his house as a guest. And in a fascinating book of which I've recently become, entitled "Einstein on Race and Racism," written by Fred Jerome and Rodger Taylor, it is apparent that Einstein spent a fair amount of time interacting with the African American community in Princeton. There are stories of these interactions which have yet to be told to a broader public, but they clearly show that Einstein reaches out to African Americans as fellow members in the family of man.

Einstein clearly informs us about the unity of our species. At the death of the great female scientist, Emmy Noether, he comments on her precision of thought, contrary to the sorts of debates that we now hear coming from various quarters in this nation. And if one of our great heroes of science can feel this way about a mind that is encased in the body of a person of the female gender, how then are we to look at such questions when they arise? They are certainly fair to be raised, because to not do so is not to be a scientist, but at least one of our great heroes has already stated his opinion on this matter.

But, it is, of course, science for which Einstein is known. And to me, that's where I find the greatest part of his legacy. I came to know the theory of special relativity in that classroom in Orlando, Florida, that was mentioned by Dr. Jackson [AAAS President Shirley Ann Jackson—ed.] in the introduction, and as an 11th-grader, to be witness to such deep and profound thoughts about the structure of the universe which I thought I knew, was a truly shocking experience. But, it was an experience in which I found a true beauty from the very beginning.

And that's, of course, peculiar to the way that physicists (and mathematicians) work. We are able to find beauty in mathematics. I often have occasion to speak to the general public on these sorts of topics. I am thrown often into the situation of trying to explain how is it that scientists and physicists, especially, can say that mathematics is beautiful. And so, I've come up with one story I'd like to share with you and that when told to people not involved in scientific efforts, seems to allow them to get it.

Imagine a world on which there was no sound whatsoever. Could there be music in such a world? The answer turns out to be yes, because, as long as a group of individuals on this world were able to write the scores that we know as music, then music would exist in this place. Now, these special people with this ability to write scores and read them would be called "the musicians," in much the same way that we have "the scientists," or the "theoretical physicists." They would look at these works, and, because, they have complete access to them as intellectual constructs, I believe, would be able to sense the same power and beauty that we hear as in concert of Mozart, or perhaps hear from a jazz pianist with Stanley Turrentine, or hear in the voice of a great opera singer, like Denyce Graves, or even hear (and it's often hard for me to do this) but, in the beauty of rap music.

These special individuals with this skill to read music would know the beauty of music on this foreign planet. But how do they explain it to their fellow creatures? That's the problem, the essential problem we scientists face—and especially those in the theoretical sciences and mathematically based sciences—when we speak to the general public. I believe it's a problem we must wrestle with aggressively, and some of us find various devices for doing this. I am particularly fond of using music as an analogy, because most people have some sort of music for which they have a particular affection. By using the analogy with music, and there are lots of ways to do this, I think we can make science more accessible, particularly, the mathematically based sciences.

In creating his work of sublime beauty, Einstein demonstrated, convincingly, the human imagination is one of the most powerful tools in science. He once said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge." When I first read this statement it confused me. And it was probably 15-20 years of working as a scientist before, I think, I finally got at what he was driving. Of course, like a lot of scientists when we finally understand something, what do we do? We rephrase it in a way we think is somehow better, more close to our hearts.

What I've come up with as a reformulation is that the creation of genuinely new rational paradigms is itself an irrational process.

This recognition then opens up for science a connection to all of the great achievements of creation that humans can accomplish. Because you see, creativity doesn't occur only in the science and the sciences. In fact, many people think of creativity as a property of artists, sculptors, painters, dancers, singers, but in the general population, the notion that scientists share in creativity is one that is generally lacking.

On the other hand, this, I believe, is one of the things that we must press in our discussion, especially with young people. It is the young who bring a fresh new eye to whatever problems the world may possess, including the problems of science. We must show young people that people my age, and I'm in my mid-50s, can still find a sense of play in these endeavors, which at the end of the day are important, very important. It's the sense of play that drives me to do my science. And I believe most scientists, if you get them locked firmly away in a closet, will admit to you that what they are doing is fun. That's something we need to share more with the general public and especially the young.

Einstein, in his creation of special relativity, also performs an interesting transformation in the order of science. Before Einstein, typically science was done by first experiment and observation on some system of interest, followed by a mathematical summary, and then, finally, at the end of that process, a theory would emerge. That, for example, was a route that was taken by Maxwell in the creation of the theory of electromagnetism.

However, this is not the route that Einstein pursued. Instead, Einstein first came up with a theory. It is interesting that the beginning of this theory is initially not phrased in the language of mathematics. It comes in the form of a question, and we all know this question very well: What would the universe look like if I could ride on the crest of a wave of light? That's doing physics. It's not mathematical. And yet it exists as a precursor for the powerful mathematics of special relativity. Here we see the commonality between creativity in the sciences and creativity, for example, in the field of music. It is often the case that if you talk to people who compose music, they will tell you that, "I hear the music" or "I hear a piece of music in my imagination before I write it on paper."

Einstein's questioning about the structure of the universe while riding on a beam of light is this precursor to writing the score to his theory of general relativity. So, he writes down, he proceeds first from a theory, Gedanken Experiments we call them, and then he finds the mathematics that brings this theory to life. He writes out the score, which precisely allows him to explore this theory. And in this, of course, we share the wonder of mathematics.

Mathematics for a theoretical scientist is a language. Mathematics for a theoretical scientist is also a sensory perception organ. This is especially true for the theoretical physicist. I tell young people all the time, "Yeah, we've got a form of ESP (an extra sensory perception)—it's called mathematics." Stated by another analogy, it's as if when we study mathematics, we open a third eye to view the workings of the universe.

All of these analogies are true. And so Einstein clothed his work in the language of mathematics and was able to derive things that are terribly counter-intuitive. Time can be slowed down. Space can be contracted, and this mathematics, which leads to these conclusions, comes from a beautiful understanding of symmetry in the construct of Maxwell's equations. Our use of mathematics is something we must strive to share with the general public. I tell people that mathematics is one thing for which every person, just like an appreciation of music, should at some point in their lives gain an appreciation.

He wrote these equations. They tell us about space and time becoming flexible. And he solved problems that the experimentalists have been wondering about. This occurs in a time when the scientific field is searching for a mysterious substance called ether. So it's human creativity that led to this breakthrough. This is, of course, something that is familiar to almost all of us in society. And nowadays, human imagination must be brought to bear on a new class of problems, as well as a new class of exciting possibilities in science.

We know of the human genome project, where we have had this enormous breakthrough in being able to read the instructions for how to create a human being. This will be one of the greatest challenges, I think, for scientists and our society as a whole, because with this ability will come temptations. It will probably be more difficult than many of us imagine to gain the benefits of the human genome. I was at a conference at Rice University when it was announced the project was successfully completed with people who were nonscientists, and one of them expressed a horror that scientists had done this thing. I tried to reassure this person by saying, "Do you remember when you first learned how to read? At that instant, did you instantly become able to write a book?"

The writing and rewriting of the human genome will be at least as difficult as someone who first learns how to read a book and later goes on to become an author. In fact, I expect it to be considerably more difficult.

Nanotechnology is an area in which human imagination will have to lead us safely in this third millennium. Nanotechnology holds out promises that are so vast that it is hard to talk about them, but, it has, in fact, the same kinds of dangers that we in the scientific community must be charged with communicating to the general population. For example, today in the headlines we read about various scandals in sports with steroids. Imagine 15 or 20 or 30 years in the future when the scandals might read "Nanobots Enhance Human Performance on the Athletic Field." "Nanobots are Found to Lead to the Abilities of a Great Pianist."

How many of us would be able to resist the temptation to have a child who played tennis like Serena Williams, played golf like Tiger Woods, and perhaps looked like Anna Kournikova? How many people would resist that temptation of choosing that for their children? This, I fear, will not be a theoretical question at some point in the next 100 years. We in the scientific community had best be serious about the business of educating our general population to both the opportunities and dangers of what it would mean to redefine the word "human."

Einstein's legacy of using imagination presents us with both opportunities and challenges. In my part of science, this legacy is thriving. In the last 30 years of his life, Einstein strove to construct something he called the unified field theory. In the end, he failed. My generation has been exceedingly fortunate in our timing (of course, we had nothing to do with this). We happen to be here at a time when a set of ideas have coalesced around something called superstring/M theory. It is both a conservative and radical remaking of our view of nature.

Many of you are probably familiar with the production "The Elegant Universe," that was broadcast several times this year by PBS, as an adaptation of the book by Brian Green. You are also probably familiar with the arguments of why many of us have been caught up with this mathematical construction that apparently realizes Einstein's unrealized dream.

String theory is a very strange thing and I'm not going to try convince you one on way or the other tonight whether it's right or wrong. Those of us who work in the area find in it the same kind of beauty that I alluded to earlier—the beauty that it is often a hallmark of a scientific theory that is not only correct but has intrinsic power. So there are lots of us running around, maybe a thousand or so in the world, who do string theory. On a program like "The Elegant Universe," you will find many who will stand up and shout, "We've done it!" In fact, the reality from my perspective is more similar to, "Well, we're close to doing it."

You see, string theory exists in this nether region in the development of science. It certainly consists of mathematics, but is it physics? We don't know. We have seen other parts in science where similar occurrences happened and quantum mechanics is a familiar one. Quantum theory was born in two parts: In 1905, Bohr stated his rule for the quantization of position and momentum. In 1926, Schroedinger and Heisenberg finally came up with their respective descriptions of quantum mechanics. But, if you took a time machine (if we could build one) back to the year of 1920, and gathered the world's very best physicists together in a room and asked the question: "What is quantum mechanics?" you would have gotten answers all over the place.

It was before the paradigm shift that Schroedinger and Heisenberg gave to us, with a stunning act of imagination, because, no one had dreamed of something like a wave function beforehand. Prior to these gentlemen's work, we were caught in the world of Sir Isaac Newton, with position and particle knowable with infinite precision. It is an act of imagination that gets us out of that trap.

This particular type of creative act of imagination has yet to occur in string theory. And, so, we struggle with many different tools or many different ideas, but the complete paradigm shift necessary for string theory has yet to occur. But, it is certainly an imagination-driven endeavor. It has, of course, engendered critics. But I tell people, "Yes, it's fair to make the criticism, but, would you go back to 1920 and tell the physics community 'stop working on quantum mechanics, because you don't have a complete picture'," and thereby rule out the development of a piece of science that leads to technology that has a stunning impact on our life (e.g. the cell phone)?

That's what criticizing string theory is like now. It's not complete, and there's room for criticism, but it needs to be studied further.

What are other strange aspects of string theory? You've heard about these extra dimensions my community generally goes on about. Well, they may be there, but they also may not be there. I happen to hold the heretical belief that they are likely not going to be there at the final form of the theory. Part of the reason I do so is because I, and a small group of physicists, in the late '80s actually studied the mathematics of string theory and we found ways in which to describe four dimensional strings.

All of the work in 1905, and in particular the work of special relativity, is but a `prequel' to Einstein's greatest composition. The composition that we saw earlier today with those waves of gravity coming down and shaking earth by distances that are 1/1000 the diameter of the nucleus.

However, let's try to imagine a world in which Einstein did not exist. What would have happened to us had there been no Einstein? Well, the astronomers would have come from their investigation of the heavens with the conclusion that all of the galaxies around us are rushing away from us madly, but, without a theory of general relativity, we have no way of understanding why that occurs.

Closer to our time, radio would have been developed and Arno Penzias and his colleague, Robert Wilson, who discovered the three degrees of radiation, would have likely made that discovery. However, without a theory of general relativity, how do we explain this strange cosmological static that is everywhere present in the heavens?

And, finally, even more practically, suppose there had been no Einstein? We probably would have gotten into space, eventually. We would have built satellites and engineers, perhaps, would have struggled with something called the global positioning system, because it turns out unless you know about the theory of general relativity, you cannot properly calibrate the signals as they transit between the earth and satellites and back. Engineer would be confronted with this strange shifting of frequencies (engineers are clever, by the way, let's not avoid that). Engineers would figure out how to make it work even without understanding the rules.

I often like to remind scientists of a statement I came across many years ago, which keeps me normalized. It says: "Scientists, and particularly physicists, are people who find the rules of reality that allow for what can be, but engineers are those people who take those rules and create what has never been before." Our powerful technology cannot survive without the imaginative works of engineers.

But, are these things I've named the greatest part of Einstein's legacy? I would answer, no. Because, with general relativity we gain as a species a scientific explanation for the entire universe in which we are inhabitants. We learn that approximately 14 billion years ago, a big bang announced the birth of a new universe, which begins its cosmic evolution. Its birth is a very turmoil-filled period. There is a period in which matter and anti-matter destroy each other, and if they continue doing this, precisely, there's no matter left to construct the universe in which we live. There is a period in which quarks, the materials that are interior to nuclear matter, have to first coalesce to form protons and neutrons, and, finally, densities have to drop so that light can begin to propagate and we get a first morning in this baby universe. Stars turn on, supernovae happen—cooking the basic elements, "the star stuff," as Carl Sagan used to describe it, that ultimately are required for making us.

Galaxies coalesce, planetary systems evolve, our earth is born approximately four-and-a-half billion years ago, and then things really start to get interesting. Life first arises, then consciousness, and in this entire 14-billion-year-long period, the universe manages to create exactly one copy of a creature called "you." This is part of the Einstein legacy, and to me, the greatest part, because if the universe has spent all of this time developing one copy of you through transformations of energy, matter, time and space, which represents to my mind a kind of preciousness that every individual conscious human being on this planet possesses, how then are we able to discount other human beings? Each one of them represents the same effort by this universe in which we live—and to me, knowing this is the greatest part of the legacy of Albert Einstein.

Sylvester James Gates, Jr is the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at The University of Maryland. He specializes in elementary particle physics and quantum field theory. This transcript was originally published on the website of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Professor Gates can be reached at

Sylvester James Gates, Jr

Thursday, August 25, 2005

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