From: John Clark (jonkc@worldnet.att.net)
Date: Thu Jun 29 2000 - 22:42:43 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker <lee@piclab.com> Wrote:

> Without Einstein, Michaelson and Morely probably would have done
> their experiment to measure the ether, failed, and come up with
> relativity to explain their failure.

Special Relativity was in the air in 1905 when Einstein came up with it, if
he hadn't somebody else would have in a year or two. However when he
discovered General Relativity in 1916 it really came out of the blue and
nobody else was even close to it. Feynman is quoted as saying he has
no idea how he could have thought up something so original. I remember
reading another quote from a Nobel prize physicist (I think it was Feynman
again but I'm not sure) saying that without Einstein it might have been another
century before anybody found it. We'll never know for sure.

By the way, Michaelson and Morely performed their famous experiment the
year Einstein was born, although he hadn't heard of it in 1905. It was not well
known for many years, even Michaelson didn't think it was important, he looked
on it as a failed experiment and figured he must be doing something wrong.
Einstein came to relativity by way of pure theory.

              John K Clark jonkc@att.net

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