Einstein's used general relativity to make four predictions about the Universe:
These effects are incredibly small. For #2, astronomers needed to measure an angle of 0.0005 degrees. For #3, astronomers looked at 100 years of observations to determine that Mercury is 0.7 degrees away from where it should be. And #4 was only proven in 2015, 100 years after Einstein predicted it. Scientists at LIGO had to detect a change in their experiment of 0.00000000000000000001 meters, caused by the merging of two black holes on the other side of the galaxy. Woah.
Such incredibly small predictions. And he came up with it all from the desk of his patent office in Bern.
Einstein was a lifelong advocate of world peace, having to flee Europe for safety from the Nazis. After spending the second part of his career urging nations not to develop nuclear weapons, he was invited in 1952 to become the second President of Israel. Politics are complicated, which is why he refused, but imagine that. A world renowned scientist, with a conviction that peace is always possible, Israel might look different today if it spent some time under his leadership. Thomas Jefferson often said that if his country needed a scientist, he would have been one. A young America needed a statesman instead.
I was surprised to find Einstein had some connection to Philly! Check out his naturalization papers, he wrote to the Consulate in Philadelphia! Of all places.
Our host Stephan gave us an incredible look at Bern. And listen, this place is perfect for bicycles. There are green lights specifically for the bikes. You see trams come down the road more often than cars.
Look for the picture of us with our host Stephan, hanging with a brass statue of Einstein. He's made of metal, so he got really hot in the sun!
Every town and country seems to have a connection to space travel somehow. In the Bern History Museum, we found a letter from Neil Armstrong, addressed to the scientist Johannes Geiss. One of Dr. Geiss' biggest contributions to physics: a piece of aluminum foil!
Actually, Neil was writing about the success of an experiment where the Apollo mission flew a special foil that could absorb radiation from the Sun. Dr. Geiss was the first person to study the composition of the Solar wind, and he did it from Bern!
Then we traveled to a special place: It's underneath a train bridge, and it's a skate park where all the younger guys go to party hard. I know this happens in Philly, so you need to invite me sometime, but we had huge crowds of people dancing to club music in a parking lot underneath a concrete bridge! Graffiti everywhere.
We pointed our telescope at Jupiter, which is making a close pass with the Earth as we speak! Curious partiers came to check out what we were doing, and Stephan helped to explain in fluent Swiss German. In English, we explained the wonders of Galileo's moons, the fact that they change position every night, and reminded these guys that we live in a tiny reality compared to the vastness of the Solar System. We put a smile on their face, and maybe, tomorrow night, when they see Jupiter in the sky, they will have some new perspective about this planet we all live on. A simple bright spec, it brings happiness and peace to know what is actually there. You can see it in the pleasant smile on their face.