This article covers a number of issues with Einstein that show him in a different light from the usual characterisation of slightly eccentric mega-genius.
Einstein is invariably connected with, and credited with, the famous formula e=mc². In essence the formula shows that energy and matter are the same “stuff”. It also shows that a very small amount of matter, when converted, produces a vast amount of energy. e=mc² is inextricably connected in the public imagination with Einstein, his alleged incredible genius, and Relativity. And the public did not reach this imagination on their own; it was constant (and continuing) media hype that provided it.
The first part of the truth is that a substantial assortment of scientists had already worked on the equivalence of matter and energy. James Clerk Maxwell, Johann Soldner, Michael Faraday, Samuel Preston, Julius Mayer, J. J. Thomson, Freidrich Hasenöhrl, and Philipp Lenard to name some. The e=mc² formula and the similar e=4/3mc² were both known. Giving all the credit to Einstein, or, indeed, giving any of the credit to Einstein is a clear aberration. Some people consider Einstein a plagiarist (one who copies the work of others without attribution.) That is a far more accurate assessment than “mega-genius”.
The second part of the truth is that there is in any event no essential connection between Relativity and e=mc². The former is highly questionable, the latter is not only arrived at without Relativity, but is proved experimentally every time a Nuclear Reactor fires up or an Atomic Bomb is detonated. The connection between the well-proven e=mc², Einstein’s supposed genius, and Relativity, is totally bogus. And the scale of the promotion of it suggests deliberate action.
A further issue is with the question of the Ether. This substance, if you can call it that, is the medium through which light waves are often believed to travel. Since light has all the normal characteristics of a wave, yet travels in a vacuum, it is logical to assume the existence of a medium through which it travels. But this medium is completely undetectable in any other way. The Michelson-Morley Experiment (MMX) was set up to detect it through its interaction with light and the motion of the Earth around the Sun. The result was negative. There were three possible conclusions from this:
1 The Ether doesn’t exist.
2 The local Ether is dragged along with the Earth.
3 The Earth is stationary.
Michelson still believed, in spite of his result, that the Ether existed; but Einstein and others leapt on the first possible conclusion. MMX therefore played a major role in the genesis of Relativity Theory. However, it had not disproved the Ether. Further experiments were needed to understand which of the three conclusions was correct.
Thus Einstein reached a conclusion that space really is just that. There is absolutely nothing there. But the later Sagnac Experiment showed that the Ether does exist. And Einstein himself came to the view that space was actually filled with Space-Time, and that Space-Time is curved. How can absolute nothingness be curved? There must be something there. Further, modern Cosmology supposes the existence of Dark Energy and Dark Matter, which actually make up most of the mass of the Universe. Is this undetectable matter and energy what would previously have been called the Ether?
Further still, Einstein in his 1920 Leiden Lecture (here ) confirmed his own belief in the existence of an Ether!
Finally, Einstein’s “Thought Experiments” cannot pass without mention. I remember, as a teenager, watching an Einstein documentary on a Black and White TV of the time. I was deeply impressed, just as I was meant to be, by the fact that his brilliance enabled him to carry out these Thought Experiments. The truth, of course, was never mentioned. Science depends on real experiments carried out in the real World. Whatever may go on in someone’s imagination is just that: imagination.
In view of all the above, it is necessary to view Einstein and Relativity in a far more critical way. And also to consider the third possible conclusion of MMX: that the Earth is not moving with respect to the Sun.