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 Einstein Picasso Agatha and Chaplin 

 

 

How art, literature, science, travelling in time and mystery are interwined

 

 

                           By Regina Goncalves

 

 

 

Chapter X

 

RELATIVITY

   How to explain Einstein's theory?

 

 

 

 

“Imagine, for a moment, that this well tucked-in bed was huge.”

“Yes, I have already imagined that several times,” clucked Pablo to himself.

“Well,” proceeded Albert, walking to the basket and picking up a watermelon that he took back to the bed. “Now tell me, what will happen if I drop this watermelon on the bed?”

He let go of the watermelon in front of everyone’s eyes and they contemplated the demonstration in amusement.

“The sheet sank,” giggled Mary. “So much for making the bed.”

“In other words, my dear, the sheet curved. And what would happen if I dropped this lemon?”

“It would also curve the sheet but just slightly,” answered Maurice, approaching Gertrude. “What is your point exactly?”

Ignoring the question, Albert said, “And if I push the lemon next to the watermelon?” He smiled as he slowly rolled the lemon to where the watermelon sat.

“They’re together now,” observed Mary.

“So what, Albert?” interrupted Pablo, getting more and more agitiated. “Just tell us. What is your intention? Create a still life on the bed?”

“All right,” continued Albert, paying no heed to the wave of laughter. “Now, imagine that this sheet and bed were transparent. What impression would we get from both fruit?”

“Well,” said Caius, trying hard not to laugh even more. “It would seem that the watermelon attracted the lemon and that’s why they are that way.”

           “That is correct,” agreed the physicist, touching the fruit. “The impression we have is that the heavier fruit is attracting the little lemon. So, my friends, I believe this is what happens in space. What you see here is how gravity works. The Sun curves space, the same way this watermelon does. The poor lemon is like our planet Earth. If Earth didn’t have the translation movement that keeps it in orbit, it would go straight towards the Sun. The Sun, because of its mass, curves space and Earth moves in this curvature. This curvature is the guilty party. It makes the bodies attract each other. The matter always makes space-time curve itself, in bigger or smaller proportion.”

  “Amazing!” said Caius as he picked up the lemon from the bed. “If I roll the lemon to the edge of the bed instead of towards the watermelon, it could escape the depression and continue to move in a straight line.”

“This would explain the reason why other stars aren’t attracted by the Sun!” Maurice added. “This is very interesting. Why hasn’t anyone noticed this before?”

Albert approached him and placed both hands on his back.

“My friend, when a blind beetle walks on the surface of a branch it doesn’t realize that the path is actually curved. I am lucky enough to perceive what the beetle does not.”

“That’s true, we’re like beetles,” said Caius. “We do not notice that the Earth rotates, do we?”

“Not always,” Albert disagreed, drinking the last bit of wine from the glass. “To me, it is sometimes too easy to see everything spinning.”

“I’m starting to like this space-time concept a lot more,” said Pablo, waving his arms in the air. “Bravo, wise one! What an imagination you have!”

“I do not have a special gift and not much imagination,” he said gravely. “I’m just enthusiastically curious.”

         “There is one more thing I would like to know,” Mary declared, turning to

Albert. “What did you mean by ‘the bodies attract each other’?”

“The law of Gravity says that every body that is relatively close to any other body, attracts it. The Sun attracts the Earth. The Earth attracts a person. And the person attracts the Earth. But, gravity is not responsible for the attraction people  falling in love.",” he explained, smiling jestingly and making Mary blush.

           “Are you saying that I attract the Earth?” interrupted Andre.

“Of course! As incredible as it may seem, there’s a gravitational attraction between a person and the planet although we don’t notice this attraction. Do you know that this attraction also exists between you and the note pad you’re holding?”

“Well, I agree with you on that,” he said, grinning. He held the pad to his chest lovingly. “I don’t live without it. This is where I keep many of my great ideas.”

“Funny,” remarked Albert, picking some grapes from the basket and popping them into his mouth all at once. “I have only had one to this day.”

 

“Back to the fruit…” Maurice cut in. “If this is the case, if gravity is just a three-dimensional reflex of a curvature in the four-dimensional space, being that time is one of them, how do you explain light?”

“What about light?” asked Albert, trying hard to keep his eyes open.

“Does light suffer the effects of this curvature?” he insisted.

“Are you saying that light can make curves?” Mary said, getting some bananas and apples.

“Yes,” confirmed Albert. “You are right. After all, light propagates through space and, as space is curved, it must also follow the curvature.”

“I don’t believe it,” muttered Dur, taking a handkerchief from his trouser pocket and wiping his sweaty forehead “This is too much!”

“And why not?” snapped Pablo. “This is getting very animated.”

“I would just like to see,” sniffed Dur, pointing his handkerchief at the physicist, “how will you  prove this!”

“I can’t prove a definition. Nobody can. What we can do is show that it makes sense.”

“This is nonsense. It’s impossible!” he yelled angrily, punching the air.

       “My dear Dur, something is impossible only until someone doubts it and proves the contrary,” smiled Albert patiently, leaning on Caius´s shoulder

“I insist that it does not make sense. It’s not logical.”

“There is no logical path to discover laws of the universe young man. The only path is intuition. I have a question for you. How does a poet work?”

“What do you mean?” said Dur, apprehensively.

“I mean, how does the conception of a poem come to you?”

“I don’t know. I just feel it. It just comes to my mind.”

“But that is exactly what happens with a scientist,” contended Albert. The mechanism of discovery is not logical… Don’t you see? It’s a sudden illumination, almost ecstasy. There’s a connection with the imagination. And imagination is more important than knowledge.”

            “And what an imagination!” Caius teased. “It’s crazy!”

“I know what he’s talking about, Dur,” Pablo intercepted. “I’m a painter and I can’t explain with words why I paint this or that way… I just do it!”

“I think 99 times and I don’t discover anything,” murmured Albert, returning to the discussion. “I stop thinking, dive into a deep silence and the truth comes to me. The mind advances up to the point where it can analyze, but after that, it enters a higher dimension, not knowing how it got there. All the great revelations undergo this process.”

“If you ask me, this will always be a big mystery without solution,” muttered Mary, looking desolate.

“My dear,” said Albert, approaching her, “the most beautiful thing that man can experience is mysterious.” He picked up her hand and kissed it softly. “It is the source of all true art and all science, don’t you think?”

“Nonsense!” cried Dur. “All this is nothing but utter hogwash.”

“You’re right about one thing, young man,” said the professor impatiently, letting go of Mary’s hand delicately and turning to face Dur. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. I’m not sure about the universe.”

“Oh, stop arguing, Pierre!” Gertrude was also getting irritated.

“But I don’t agree with any of this, cousin Gertie, and that’s it!”

“Don’t mind your cousin, my dear,” he reassured her. “A discussion in which everyone is unanimous is a lost discussion.”

“What could be crazier than that, after all?” teased Andre.

“And what do you think of the idea that we travel toward the future but what we see around us is the past?” inquired Maurice, taking a silver cigarette case out of his pocket.

“What do you mean, ‘the past’?” asked Mary, completely baffled.

( Passages from the Caius Zip's book).

 

 

    Einstein  Picasso Agatha and Chaplin

How to explain the theory of relativity, cubism, travelling in time and unmask a murderer

 

 

By Regina Gonçalves

 

 

 Read  first pages of this book:  

                                           

                

 

 

 

 Read  some pages of this book about cubism 

                                           

                

 

WHAT DO EINSTEIN AND PICASSO HAVE IN COMMON?   

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT          

 

 

 

Caius Zip, the Time Traveller, in:

 

Einstein, Picasso, Agatha  and Chaplin 

 

Book Description                                   

 

 

Caius Zip, the young time traveller, arrives at Paris in 1905. The turn of the 20th century is a period that sizzles with ideas and realizations and the Universe is about to be contemplated as it never was before.

 

On the night that Einstein launched the famous E=mc2 formula on paper, he disappeared for a few days. Where was he?

 

In this work of fiction, Einstein was resting in Paris before his innovating Theory of Relativity enlightened him. At that same time, Picasso was just starting on his idea of breaking with conventional perspective.

 

Both characters seek the same concept: space-time relation. The encounter between art and science is finally possible by means of a limitless imagination.

 

Caius penetrates the birth of the theory of relativity and cubism and also manages to solve a murder mystery with the help of his two teenage friends, Agatha Cristie, with her investigative mind and Charlie Chaplin, who provides a touch of magic to this surprising work of fiction.

 

After all and as Einstein once said:

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed”.