March 31, 2014 | Barb Carr

Monday Motivation: Even Einstein Gets it Wrong…


Do you ever get discouraged when you make a mistake? Well ,don’t fret. you’re in good company. Albert Einstein made mistakes all the time, as reported by NPR:


Einstein’s theory of relativity is arguably the 20th century’s greatest idea. But not everything he did was right: Some newly uncovered work from the brilliant physicist was wrong. Really, really wrong…

Faced with evidence the universe was growing, Einstein apparently wanted to figure out why it wasn’t filling up with empty space. His proposed solution is in this newly discovered paper. As the universe expanded, he suggested, new matter showed up to fill the gaps. New stars and galaxies would just pop up, according to Einstein’s model, so that even as the universe grew, it would look the same.

Just to be clear, this theory is totally wrong. But for a little while Einstein thought it was right. The numbers made sense, because he had made a mathematical mistake. In the middle of a complicated calculation, he wrote a minus sign where he should have written a plus.

Einstein screwed up his equations all the time, it turns out…

“About 20 percent of Einstein’s papers contain various mistakes of various degrees,” says Mario Livio, an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute.

And Einstein’s not alone. Livio has written a book, Brilliant Blunders, all about some big mistakes made by great scientists.

“You try to think in unconventional ways and when you do that, guess what? Sometimes you encounter mistakes,” Livio says.

Sometimes, when you take a risk, you take a fall. But that’s what improvement is all about.

Read the full article from NPR:

Root Cause Analysis
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