John Williams to discuss Einstein’s theory of special relativity Jan. 9

Dec 28, 2018

Lincolnville — John Williams will deliver a presentation on Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, at 7 p.m. at the Lincolnville Community Library, 208 Main St.

Einstein uncovered a new strangeness to the universe using pure logic that Williams says any curious person can understand. He invites attendees to see for themselves, from simple diagrams, how Einstein figured it all out from just a single fact about the speed of light.

Attendees will learn what is meant by the term "spacetime,” why time slows down at high speeds, and why space contracts. This presentation is based on Chapter 1 of the book "Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory" by Leonard Susskind and Art Friedman.

Williams earned his PhD in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale in 1981 and did postdoctoral research at Cornell and Michigan State universities. His plan to become an academic scientist was sidetracked by the dawn of the biotechnology industry where the future was wide open and jobs plentiful.

Widely published, Williams' career work included studies of plant photosynthesis using a genetic engineering technology he invented, the development and automation of DNA fingerprinting technology used in plant breeding, and the partial invention of a next-generation, single-molecule DNA sequencing technology.

Now retired, Williams' favorite hobby is learning more about fundamental physics. He enjoys physics books written for the general reader, but he likes them better if they include math. He says Einstein’s Special Relativity is “one of the greatest intellectual achievements in physics of the last century — an achievement that is unique in its elegance and simplicity.”

For more information, email questions@lincolnvillelibrary.org or call 706-3896.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.