Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/13/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The scientist couldn't believe his original calculations.

A century ago, Einstein cheated on his work. His model of the universe wasn't working because the math didn't seem to add up. Everybody at that time believed the universe to be a fixed, steady thing with stars and galaxies hovering in place, but Einstein's math said it should be expanding. Einstein faced a problem, how to fit a round peg into the square hole of his theory.

Einstein cheated, but at least he was honest about it.

Einstein cheated, but at least he was honest about it.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/13/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Einstein, cosmological constant, dark energy, cheated, universe, Hubble


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - So Einstein cheated, in a way. He created the cosmological constant, a sort of fudge factor to make his new calculations work. This allowed his new calculations to show that the universe was a steady place after all, thus matching the prevalent scientific expectations of the time. Unfortunately, this was a mistake.

As with all cheaters, conscience is a nag and Einstein remained troubled by what he would later call his "greatest blunder." The good scientist corrected himself as soon as contradictory evidence came available. Luckily, he didn't have to work very hard.

Georges Lemaitre, a Catholic priest and professor, studied Einstein's work, then predicted the universe could be expanding and suggested with great accuracy just how fast that might be happening. 

Subsequent observations by the preeminent astronomer, Edwin Hubble, proved Lemaitre correct.

Hubble's method was to observe the light coming from distant objects. Light, like any other energy travelling through the universe, moves in waves. As an object moves closer, the light becomes more intense, or specifically, blue. As it moves away, the light becomes less intense, and red. 

You may experience a similar effect, known popularly as Doppler shift, when you listen to the sound of an oncoming vehicle. As it gets closer, the sound gets much louder, but the instant it passes you, the sound rapidly fades. 

When Hubble observed a "red shift" in the light of distant objects, it became obvious that the universe was expanding. That meant Einstein's original calculations that predicted an expanding universe were right.

In the decades that followed, scientists have asked why the universe is expanding, but until recently they haven't had the technology to properly study the question. Fortunately, new technology and methods have made advanced observations possible and scientists now know, with over 99 percent certainty, that the universe is expanding because of a mysterious force known as "dark energy."

Scientists call it dark energy because they cannot (yet) directly observe it. So far, only its effects have been measured. Nobody can say precisely what it is, but it is very evident what it does. And what it does will also surprise you. Scientists now know that the universe is not only expanding, but that the rate of expansion is accelerating. 

Scientists now also know that empty space isn't empty space. New observations demonstrate that particles in space literally pop into existence from nothing (that we can yet observe) and also disappear. There's no agreed explanation yet for this phenomenon, but some think this phenomenon could be strongly related to dark energy.

Ultimately, scientists now know with great certainty that dark energy is real and that Einstein was correct the first time around; despite the pressure to be right, he didn't have to cheat. Although scientists will continue to test his theories, few actually expect to see contradictory answers. The good news is that these new understandings bring us closer to understanding how the universe works, and thus helps us to appreciate the marvel of all creation. 

 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Technology

This San Francisco based company's one invention will REVOLUTIONIZE the developing world! Watch

Image of Much of the developing world relies on cheap, inefficient and dangerous scooters, as a main form of transportation.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cars are ubiquitous in the Western world, especially in the United States. However, many developing parts of the world lack the infrastructure to support automobile usage on a large scale, and poorer families lack the financial means to purchase a car or gasoline ... continue reading


'Big Brother' is watching you on your iPhone Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who blew the whistle on some dubious, privacy robbing practices of the United States government, now thinks that Apple's iPhone has "special software." This gadget, he says, lets authorities remotely gather information ... continue reading


Doomsday is approaching! The symbolic Doomsday Clock moves closer to the fatal end Watch

Image of This is the closest the world has been to Doomsday since 1953.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Doomsday is the closest it's been since 1953, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock." The clock now stands at three minutes to midnight. Midnight represents the end of the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Doomsday Clock, created ... continue reading


Search giant, Google, has daring plans to infiltrate the competitive wireless cellphone service market Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The wireless phone game may soon be changing up. Currently there are four major names competing for customers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. However, Google reportedly has plans to enter the business of cellular service. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It was ... continue reading


High-tech drug smuggling: Drone found bearing meth near San Ysidro Port of Entry Watch

Image of Plastic webbing and strips of black tape was used to secure the drug packages to the drone, police said. The aircraft itself had six propellers and a lithium battery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drug smuggling has entered the high-tech age. A drone carrying methamphetamine, a stimulant that goes under the street names of "crank" and "Tina," crashed in Mexico near the San Ysidro Port of Entry this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The unmanned ... continue reading


California-based rocket company gets big bucks influx from Google, Fidelity Watch

Image of SpaceX leader Elon Musk says that the revenue generated by the venture could go toward building a city on Mars. This, he says, would further his long-held goal of turning humanity into a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California-based rocket company SpaceX has received a $1 billion investment from Google and Fidelity. The sudden influx of cash now brings the company's worth to more than $10 billion. SpaceX intends to construct a globe-spanning satellite constellation. LOS ... continue reading


Is it world domination? No, it's just Netflix Watch

Image of Netflix, the Internet streaming giant, has posted higher than expected growth and revenue for 2014.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Online streaming giant Netflix has finished 2014 with 57.4 million subscribers, up more than four million from their third quarter figures; making this their largest growth of subscribers all year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Additionally, the company's ... continue reading


Hacker's delight! BAD passwords make it airtight! Watch

Image of Unimaginative, kneejerk and obvious passwords used to encrypt personal data means potential hackers just need to enter a few keystrokes, and voila! Your entire life is there for the taking!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the recent attack on Sony Pictures by purported agents from North Korea prove, the more things change - the more they remain the same. Unimaginative, kneejerk and obvious passwords used to encrypt personal data means potential hackers just need to enter a ... continue reading


No longer a science fiction fantasy, the possibility of designer babies may threaten the world's reproductive future Watch

Image of While

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Designer babies" may soon be a reality as major strides have been made in germ-line genetic modifications. Dr. Tony Perry, of the University of Bath, has announced results in precise DNA editing at conception in mice, according to BBC. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


They could be watching you! Secret radar device unconstitutionally allows law enforcement to covertly 'see' through walls Watch

Image of The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service use a radar system to detect motion with radio waves.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A secret radar device, able to detect if anyone is inside a building, is now being used by at least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies. According to USA Today, using this kind of technology is "a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance." ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:1-10
1 So, since the Law contains no more than a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 10, 11
2 He pulled me up from the seething chasm, from the ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:31-35
31 Now his mother and his brothers arrived and, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 27th, 2015 Image

St. Angela Merici
January 27: When she was 56, Angela Merici said "No" to the Pope. She was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter