Einstein's Biggest Blunder, Explained

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Shared August 1, 2019

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This video is about how Albert Einstein made a mistake when applying the Field Equations of General Relativity to cosmology (in particular, to a static, constant density universe), and solved the problem by introducing the cosmological constant, rather than allowing for a dynamic universe with a scale factor - that is, the Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker universe, first developed by Alexander Friedmann of Russia. Later, it was discovered by the Slipher and Hubble red-shift that the universe is indeed expanding, and even later, by Schwarz and company in 1998, that the expansion is accelerating - aka, dark energy. And the cosmological constant was re-introduced.

Thanks to Grant Sanderson of http://www.youtube.com/3Blue1Brown for help with the fancy equation animation!


The Einstein Field Equations

Interrogating the Legend of Einstein’s “Biggest Blunder”

On the General Theory of Relativity (Einstein)

The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity (Albert Einstein)

Cosmological Considerations in the General Theory of Relativity

Einstein Wrongly Criticizes Alexander Friedmann

Alexander Friedmann Corrects Einstein

Einstein Admits his Mathematical Mistake

The Field Equations of Gravitation

George Gamow

Mach’s Principle

Equivalence Principle

Sean Carroll and William Press Paper

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Created by Henry Reich

J.P. Nery N.

Einstein. The man who is right even when he's wrong.

6 months ago | [YT] | 4,785

Nathan Banks

"If you don't want to make silly math mistakes like Einstein" is the best segue ever.

6 months ago | [YT] | 4,165


Einstein wrong?
Universe changes to match

6 months ago | [YT] | 1,649

Rahul Sahi

Other fellow scientists : You were wrong
Einstein : Well Yes, But Actually No

6 months ago | [YT] | 1,580

Vito Lebommil

Schrodinger's Einstein is wrong and right at the same time

6 months ago | [YT] | 853


"If you don't want to make silly math mistakes like Einstein"... emm...
I probably won't have the chance to even make the mistake...

6 months ago | [YT] | 899

Adam Key

Einstein's blunder still contributes more to science than the rest of us mere mortals ever will 🤷‍♂️

6 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 752


When you realize
You are small brain and cannot understand big brain equations

6 months ago | [YT] | 1,482

-.- Cat

That one equation expanding to 10 equations is such a 3b1b moment if you know what I'm talking about.

6 months ago | [YT] | 452

Pranav Chopra

The man so badass that he got the right answer with the wrong assumptions

6 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 300


Watches video


Einstein hair funny

6 months ago | [YT] | 100

rt tr

"if you dont want to make silly math mistakes like einstien" that went from 0 to completely unrelatable

6 months ago | [YT] | 143

S M Russel Kabir Roomey

"If you don't want to make silly math mistakes like Einstein...."
Never have I ever thought I would hear this.

6 months ago | [YT] | 84

Josh Lake

Thank you, Henry, this is absolutely perfect for the capstone piece at the end of my cosmology class after students finish their Hubble constant lab. Beautifully explained as always! Your videos make my teaching so much more effective.

6 months ago | [YT] | 483

Ayush Shukla

A bit more on it:
The constant that Einstein added has had an effect on findings related to dark energy.
I read it somewhere:
Einstein's two biggest mistakes were:
Adding that constant
Removing that constant

6 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 143

Tony Zhang

math that I know 0:05
what i thought math in school is 0:19
math in school: 1:02

6 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 103

raptor eagles

So he's in superposition of being right and wrong.

6 months ago | [YT] | 37

Random Jin

So... Einstein's equations don't conform to the Universe. The Universe conforms to them.

6 months ago | [YT] | 181


You should use Brilliant so that you don’t miscalculate those trivial fundamental equations of the universe and such

6 months ago | [YT] | 171

Aryaman Mishra

When Universe respects you so much that it changes the whole game just to match your equation.

6 months ago | [YT] | 9