Stranger Fruit

Einstein … “it is a theory”

Next semester I will be teaching Einstein’s own account of relativity (amaz) in my HON 172 class. It will be interesting to see how that goes as it’s not the easiest text in the world. Given that, the following caught my eye:

In a fitting cap to the World Year of Physics 2005, MIT physicists and colleagues from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) report the most precise direct test yet of Einstein’s most famous equation, E=mc2.

And, yes, Einstein still rules.

The team found that the formula predicting that energy and mass are equivalent is correct to an incredible accuracy of better than one part in a million. That’s 55 times more precise than the best previous test.

Why undertake the exercise? “In spite of widespread acceptance of this equation as gospel, we should remember that it is a theory. It can be trusted only to the extent that it is tested with experiments,” said team member David E. Pritchard, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics at MIT, associate director of MIT’s Research Laboratory for Electronics (RLE) and a principal investigator in the MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms. (source)

Are we going to see ID supporters calling for teaching Einstein as “just a theory”? Hah.