In honour of the hundredth anniversary of Einstein\'s \'miraculous year\', I will describe the modern view of space and time. I will start with special relativity, then describe how space and time are modified in Einstein\'s general theory of relativity, and end with recent ideas coming out of string theory. In all cases, the view of space and time arising from modern physics is radically different from our everyday experience, yet many of their strange properties have already been confirmed by experiment.
It is well known that Einstein worked to develop a unified field theory that would encompass all of physics including (he hoped) all quantum phenomena. It is not so well known that there was \'another Einstein,\' who from 1916 on was skeptical about the continuum as a foundational element in physics, especially because of the existence of quantum phenomena.
Could the laws of physics change? The laws of physics are usually meant to be set in stone; variability is not usually part of physics. Yet contradicting Einstein\'s tenet of the constancy of the speed of light raises nothing less than that possibility. I will discuss some of the more dramatic implications of a varying speed of light.
Howard Burton, the Executive Director and chief architect of Perimeter Institute, describes the process and pitfalls of constructing a home for budding Einsteins from scratch in Waterloo.
The most important scientist of the twentieth century, and its most important artist, went through their periods of greatest creativity almost simultaneously and in remarkably similar circumstances: Einstein\'s special theory of relativity and Picasso\'s Les Demoiselles d\'Avignon. It turns out they were both working on the same problem: the nature of space and time and, more particularly, simultaneity.
Although Einstein emerged as a leading spokesman for pacifism in 1930, his political views already underwent a major shift even before Hitler came to power in January 1933. Disappointment with negotiations at the 1932 Disarmament Conference in Geneva led him to the conclusion that the only hope of averting a major war was the creation of a strong world government.
Two of the greatest geniuses of the twentieth century, Albert Einstein and Kurt Gödel, were colleagues in Princeton during the years 1940-55. This talk will explore the contrasting personalities, revolutionary results, consonant world views, and confluent interests in the nature of time that underlay their bond of friendship.