Einsteinís mathematician
Date: Friday, March 26, 2021 @ 11:15:56 GMT
Topic: Science

From CosmosMagazine.com: History: Einstein’s mathematician/ by Jeff Glorfeld/ Overcame obstacles to become a towering mathematician.

Amalie Emmy Noether was born on 23 March 1882, in the Bavarian city of Erlangen.

Her father, Max Noether, was called “one of the finest mathematicians of the nineteenth century” by Leon Lederman and Christopher Hill in their book Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe, and she was to follow in his footsteps.

A story in journal Science News on 23 June 2018 carried the headline: “In her short life, mathematician Emmy Noether changed the face of physics”...

...A problem had arisen with Albert Einstein’s new theory, general relativity, which had been introduced several months earlier.

It seemed that Einstein’s work did not adhere to a principle known as conservation of energy, which states that energy can change forms but can never be destroyed. Total energy is supposed to remain constant. 

She resolved the issue with one of two theorems she proved that year, American science writer Steve Nadis wrote in 2017, “by showing that energy may not be conserved ‘locally’ – that is, in an arbitrarily small patch of space – but everything works out when the space is sufficiently large”. 

Nadis continued: “The other theorem, which would ultimately have a far greater impact, uncovered an intimate link between conservation laws (such as the conservation of energy) and the symmetries of nature, a connection that physicists have exploited ever since.

“Today, our current grasp of the physical world, from subatomic particles to black holes, draws heavily upon this theorem, now known simply as Noether’s theorem.”

In 1918 Noether published her work, of which American theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said: “That theorem has been a guiding star to twentieth and twenty-first century physics.”


A 2015 article in the Washington Post cites a letter Einstein sent to the New York Times after Noether’s death. 

“In the judgment of the most competent living mathematicians,” penned the great man, “Fraulein Noether was the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began.”

Source: https://cosmosmagazine.com/mathematics/science-history-einstein-s-mathematician/

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