Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Al

Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879.  (good bio here)



His Nobel Prize in Physics (1921) was for Einstein's law of the photoelectrical effect.  Today, his relativity theory brings his work the most attention.  He died in 1955.

Do you use a GPS device?  Did you know your cellphone unless it's really old likely has a GPS receiver in it (good thing for E911)?

What does GPS have to do with Einstein? 

The system would not work if relativistic effects of the satellites' motion and location were not applied to the setup of the system.

Because of its speed and location the atomic clock on the satellite does not run at the same rate as an atomic clock on the ground.  Until I looked up some info on this, I didn't know the location and it's lower gravitational field has the largest relativistic effect that requires adjustment.

So next time you find your way with GPS help - thank Al.

 

I can’t blog

16 comments:

OneStonedCrow said...

No wonder Betty called him Al - thanks for the info lisleman ... has his birthday got anything to do with all the pies i see floating around on the internet today?

lisleman said...

Yes if you are Betty you can call me Al. Floating pies? Did any of those stones fall on your head? take care.

Kristina P. said...

I don't even have a GPS. WHo should I blame for that?

Dwmatty said...

Happy Birthday Al. You're a genius.

lisleman said...

Something tells me, he may have been called that before. thanks

lisleman said...

Good question - who do you usually blame for things not being right? Many people blame things on the devil and even stretch it to the point of saying the devil made them do it. So you can always use the devil as a default. But defaults are not too satisfying and I know you want some satisfaction (I can't get no). Ok given the current state of affairs - blame Charlie Sheen - trust me he will not even notice.
thanks

Barbara S. said...

I don't have a GPS, but happy birthday to Al, anyway! Beautiful photos of Chicago and that post on Aliens and the time change is hilarious (playing catch-up on my reader :)

lisleman said...

hey a combo comment - I don't know if I've had one of those before. You are so efficient. Thanks thanks and thanks.

BearmanCartoons said...

So do I get to blame Al when my GPS sends me down a dead end street??

CaliforniaGirl500 said...

tmi...I'm just happy our GPS works. :)

Jene said...

Pies are probably related to the fact that it was 3-14 - Pi Day!

lisleman said...

thanks I didn't think of that. Of course since Pi has a never ending fractional part it seems not to be such a good fit.

blueviolet said...

I had no idea there was a connection there. That's a pretty cool tidbit. I rely on those GPS devices big time!

Kristin_The_Goat said...

I had never thought about it before, but it makes total sense. Einstein was a bit of a genius! :)

secret agent woman said...

Kinda cool that Einstein was born on Pi Day.

lisleman said...

Yes I wonder if he ever thought of that. I suspect not because most Europeans write it day then month so it would be 14/3. I didn't know his birthday matched that day until I started reading these comments.
thanks.

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