Einstein's Unfinished Symphony

Einstein was the first to understand that the constancy of the speed of light, regardless of any observer's frame of reference, necessitated that time and space be relative. He was also the first person to produce a coherent and testable explanation for the effects of gravity, and the first to understand the close relationship between matter and energy. As if all this weren't enough, Einstein's ultimate ambition was to produce a unified theory that would explain everything about the physical world, from the workings of the subatomic world to the laws governing galaxies.

Einstein was a fervent believer in an ordered universe. His famous claim that "God does not play dice with the universe" reflected his philosophical commitment to uniformity and the paradoxical idea that "the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible." Unfortunately for Einstein, his own work gave birth to quantum mechanics, a theory that would radically undermine the basis for his belief in a uniform universe, even if Einstein himself could never allow himself to accept this implication.

Through dramatizations of his life (based on many of his own words), today's documentary traces the story of Einstein's sudden rise to fame, his struggle against quantum mechanics, and his ultimate failure to find a theoretical framework to unify our understanding of the universe.


Hungry for more related videos? Check out a particle-wave duality animation, Brian Greene's documentary series The Elegant Universe, Jim Al-Khalili's documentary on the birth of quantum mechanics, or an awesome documentary about the conceptual tools that enabled Einstein to come up with his famous equation E=mc2.
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