Oct. 11, 2005

Care for a little music with your Einstein?

McMaster Image
The Origins Institute at McMaster presents a public lecture: Was Einstein Right?

Hamilton, ON - One of the most unusual celebrations of Einstein’s “miracle year” – the centenary of his famous theory of relativity – comes to McMaster University in a combination of music and lecture on October 18, a coupling that would have delighted the master physicist.

Hamilton-born Clifford Will, professor of physics, and member of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, will ponder the question: Was Einstein Right? Will’s lecture is part of a national multi-city tour sponsored by the Perimeter Institute and the Canadian Association of Physicists in celebration of Einstein’s remarkable legacy.

“It’s a great question, and it has spawned hundreds of debates,” says Ralph Pudritz, director of McMaster’s Origins Institute. “After 100 years, everyone wants to know how the world’s most celebrated theories have held up under the scrutiny of planetary probes, radio telescopes and atomic clocks. Cliff’s lecture will also demonstrate how relativity plays an important part in daily life.”

From measuring the bending of light in 1919, to measuring a decaying star system’s gravitational waves in 1980, to current experiments on whether space and time do “the twist”. Einstein began a revolution in astronomy and technology that continues to intrigue generations of scientists and arm-chair star gazers.

An unusual treat for the evening will be a concert by the renowned Borealis String Quartet, who will perform Water to Ice, a composition written by Aaron Hryciw, a physics student at the University of Alberta, inspired by Einstein’s work.

“Most people are unaware that Albert Einstein loved music,” says Pudritz. “He was an accomplished violinist, and famously said: “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” “

The event takes place Tuesday, October 18 in Chester New Hall, Room 104. The concert begins at 7:30 pm, followed by the lecture at 8pm. The performance and lecture are free, but seating is limited, and will be offered on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The Origins Institute was establish in 2004, and undertakes research into origins-related themes, such as the origins of space and time, and the origins of structure in the cosmos. The lecture is part of the on-going Origins Public Lecture Series. For additional information on the Institute and the lecture series please visit http://origins.mcmaster.ca

McMaster University, named Canada’s Research University of the Year by Research InfoSource, has world-renowned faculty, and state-of-the-art research facilities. McMaster's culture of innovation fosters a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University has a student population of more than 23,000, and an alumni population of more than 115,000 in 128 countries.