News & Events

Your head is older than your feet: Anderson

Discussing key aspects of Einstein’s theory of relativity and exploring the extremes of physics were some of the leading points of the lecture by Prof. Nils Anderson, professor of Applied Mathematics at University of Southampton and leading authority on Einstein’s theory of relativity and extreme astrophysics.

The lecture was conducted at St. Joseph’s College by ICTS (International Centre for Theoretical Sciences) through their series of Einstein Lectures.

Prof. Nils started off by introducing the ‘exotic’ inhabitants of the Einstein universe which he referred to as Zombie stars which are otherwise known as neutron stars. These are stars that are formed when normal stars die when they run out of nuclear fuel and collapse under their own weight.

Then he went on to theories invented by Einstein and how they are relatable to us even today. He said, “Theory of gravity is such which challenges our understanding of the universe in many ways and although these ideas might seem confusing and challenging, we know that these theories have been tested in different ways and at contexts and we’ve learnt that Einstein’s ideas pass every single test with flying colours.”

It took eight years for Einstein to complete the theory of gravity even though he was constantly changing his mind about his theory because Einstein knew what he wanted to do but did not how to do it. While discussing the effect of gravity, Prof Nils explained about how the human head is older that the feet unless you spend most of your time upside down. This is because time moves at different rates depending on how close an object is to the Earth.

Prof Nils also compared Einstein’s theory to mathematics because even Einstein saw it as the most aesthetically pleasing thing. He said, “You might not see maths as the most beautiful thing but Einstein did because his theory was conceived more or less as a mathematical construction. Sometimes it is important to think that every mathematical equation tells something.”