How did one elegant
theory incite a scientific revolution?
Physicists have been exploring, debating, and questioning
the general theory of relativity ever since Albert Einstein first presented it
in 1915. Their work has uncovered a number of the universe’s more surprising
secrets, and many believe further wonders remain hidden within the theory’s
tangle of equations, waiting to be exposed. In this sweeping narrative of
science and culture, astrophysicist Pedro Ferreira brings general relativity to
life through the story of the brilliant physicists, mathematicians, and
astronomers who have taken up its challenge. For these scientists, the theory
has been both a treasure trove and an enigma, fueling a century of intellectual
struggle and triumph.
Einstein’s theory, which explains the relationships among
gravity, space, and time, is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement
of modern physics, yet studying it has always been a controversial endeavor.
Relativists were the target of persecution in Hitler’s Germany, hounded in
Stalin’s Russia, and disdained in 1950s America. Even today, doctorate students
are warned that specializing in general relativity will make them unemployable.
Despite these pitfalls, general relativity has flourished,
delivering key insights into our understanding of the origin of time and the
evolution of all the stars and galaxies in the cosmos. Its adherents have
revealed what lies at the farthest reaches of the universe, shed light on the
smallest scales of existence, and explained how the fabric of reality emerges.
Dark matter, dark energy, black holes, and string theory are all progeny of
We are in the midst of a momentous transformation in modern
physics. As scientists look farther and more clearly into space than ever
before, The Perfect Theory reveals the greater relevance of
general relativity, showing us where it started, where it has led, and where it
can still take us. Download and start listening now!