What Einstein Got Wrong

Watch What Einstein Got Wrong

  • 2017
  • 1 Season

What Einstein Got Wrong from The Great Courses Signature Collection is a fascinating and informative series hosted by physicist Dan Hooper. The show explores the many areas in which Einstein's theories have been challenged or proven incorrect, and examines the implications of these discoveries for our understanding of the universe.

Over the course of the series, Dan Hooper delves into some of the most important breakthroughs in modern physics, and explains how they complicate our understanding of Einstein's work. He covers everything from quantum mechanics to black holes, showing how these phenomena have revealed inconsistencies in Einstein's theories.

One of the main topics of the series is the concept of space-time, which Einstein famously described as a "fabric" that could be distorted by the presence of massive objects. Hooper explains how this idea has been challenged by recent discoveries, such as the detection of gravitational waves, which suggest that space-time is actually much more complex than Einstein envisioned. He also explores theories that suggest space and time might not be fundamental components of the universe at all, but rather emergent properties of more basic entities.

Another major theme of the series is the realm of quantum mechanics, which has long been known to contradict several of Einstein's ideas. Hooper examines how some of the most bizarre aspects of quantum mechanics, such as entanglement and superposition, challenge our notions of causality and locality. He also explores ways in which physicists are trying to reconcile these seemingly incompatible theories, including the development of "quantum gravity" models that attempt to blend the principles of general relativity with those of quantum mechanics.

Throughout the series, Hooper discusses a range of experimental techniques and technologies that have been used to test and refine Einstein's theories. These include astronomical observations of black holes and neutron stars, as well as laboratory experiments with subatomic particles. He explains how these experiments have provided evidence both for and against Einstein's ideas, and how physicists are using this data to develop new theories and models.

What Einstein Got Wrong is a great resource for anyone interested in physics and the history of scientific discovery. Dan Hooper is an engaging and knowledgeable guide, and he presents complex ideas in a way that is easy for non-experts to follow. Whether you're an armchair scientist or a seasoned physicist, this series is sure to expand your understanding of the universe and the role that Einstein's theories play in our understanding of it.

What Einstein Got Wrong is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (12 episodes). The series first aired on December 8, 2017.

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What Other Giants Got Wrong
12. What Other Giants Got Wrong
December 8, 2017
As a scientist who sometimes got things wrong, Einstein was in good company. In this last lecture, investigate the mistakes of three other great thinkers: Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton. Despite their triumphs in astronomy and physics, they, like Einstein, sometimes pursued intriguing but false leads. Consider the examples that their careers set for how science progresses.
Problems with Time Travel
11. Problems with Time Travel
December 8, 2017
Einstein's friend Kurt Gödel discovered a solution to the general relativity equations that implied the possibility of time travel, an idea that Einstein found interesting but impossible. Was he right to dismiss time travel? Explore other solutions to Einstein's equations that posit the existence of rotating black holes and worm holes, which may be portals to the past and future.
The Search for a Unified Field Theory
10. The Search for a Unified Field Theory
December 8, 2017
Einstein spent the last decades of his life searching for a unified field theory that would unite general relativity with Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism. But by then, quantum theory had superseded Maxwell's work, rendering the entire exercise futile. See how this quest has nonetheless stimulated ideas for unification in proposals such as string theory.
Quantum Entanglement
9. Quantum Entanglement
December 8, 2017
Follow Einstein's quest to overturn the standard view of quantum mechanics known as the Copenhagen interpretation. Focus on his famous EPR paper, written with two collaborators, which identified a paradoxical phenomenon later called entanglement. Study two proposals to supplant the Copenhagen view: the "hidden variable" and "many worlds" interpretations.
Does God Play Dice with the Universe?
8. Does God Play Dice with the Universe?
December 8, 2017
Probe Einstein's devotion to the principle of determinism, seeing how it prompted him to reject the probabilistic interpretation of quantum mechanics accepted by most of his peers. Einstein famously said that "God does not play dice," meaning that quantum events only look probabilistic. He sought to make the quantum world less weird by finding a deterministic version of the theory.
What Einstein Got Right: Light Quanta
7. What Einstein Got Right: Light Quanta
December 8, 2017
Along with relativity, Einstein's major contributions to physics include his proof that light is made up of discrete quanta, an insight that led to the quantum revolution. Retrace his route to this key discovery. As with relativity, his genius was to break out of the classical mode of thinking about light and matter, going wherever experiment, logic, and mathematics led him.
The Cosmological Constant and Dark Energy
6. The Cosmological Constant and Dark Energy
December 8, 2017
Einstein tried to make general relativity compatible with a static universe by adding a cosmological constant to his equations, a move he later regretted. Learn how this "blunder" now looks prescient in light of the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, driven by some unknown dark energy. Einstein appears to have been right to add the constant, but for the wrong reason.
Cosmology and the Cosmological Constant
5. Cosmology and the Cosmological Constant
December 8, 2017
Investigate what Einstein reportedly called his "biggest blunder": his insistence that the universe is static, despite the prediction of general relativity that space is either expanding or contracting. Explore why general relativity is inconsistent with a static universe, and chart astronomer Edwin Hubble's pioneering observations that prove we live in an expanding cosmos.
Einstein and Gravitational Waves
4. Einstein and Gravitational Waves
December 8, 2017
General relativity predicts that objects with mass radiate extremely faint gravitational waves when they interact. Einstein was reluctant to accept this idea, but after his death evidence began accumulating that gravity waves do, in fact, exist - as shown by the detection of gravity waves from distant colliding black holes starting in 2015.
Einstein's Rejection of Black Holes
3. Einstein's Rejection of Black Holes
December 8, 2017
The most astounding prediction of general relativity was considered so absurd by Einstein that he rejected it out of hand. Learn how the concept of black holes emerged from his theory and how he dismissed it, even as other researchers were gaining a detailed understanding of the theoretical properties of these strange objects. Only after Einstein's death were black holes proved to exist.
What Einstein Got Right: General Relativity
2. What Einstein Got Right: General Relativity
January 1, 1970
Einstein's greatest triumph was his general theory of relativity, which built on special relativity and led to a radically new understanding of the geometry of space and time. Einstein followed a rocky road to this breakthrough, with mistakes that hampered his progress and almost gave the honor of discovery to a rival.
What Einstein Got Right: Special Relativity
1. What Einstein Got Right: Special Relativity
December 8, 2017
Einstein is the most famous and influential scientist of modern times. But no one is perfect, and his powerful intuition led him astray in several key areas of physics, which are now among the most fruitful areas of the discipline. Begin your study of Einstein mistakes by looking at what he got spectacularly right, starting with his revolutionary special theory of relativity.#Science & Mathematics
Where to Watch What Einstein Got Wrong
What Einstein Got Wrong is available for streaming on the The Great Courses Signature Collection website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch What Einstein Got Wrong on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon and Hoopla.
  • Premiere Date
    December 8, 2017