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A Cosmic Conundrum

A new incarnation of Einstein's cosmological constant may point the way beyond general relativity

By Lawrence M. Krauss and Michael S. Turner

A Century of Einstein

Scientific American has covered Einstein's theories--and the refinements and reactions to them--ever since scientists began to grasp the import of his landmark 1905 papers. Read on for a sampling of our reports, some by leading physicists of their times

By Daniel C. Schlenoff

The Search for Relativity Violations

To uncover evidence for an ultimate theory, scientists are looking for infractions of Einstein's once sacrosanct physical principle

By Alan Kostelecký

Was Einstein Right?

Unlike nearly all his contemporaries, Albert Einstein thought quantum mechanics would give way to a classical theory. Some researchers nowadays are inclined to agree

By George Musser

The String Theory Landscape

The theory of strings predicts that the universe might occupy one random "valley" out of a virtually infinite selection of valleys in a vast landscape of possibilities

By Raphael Bousso and Joseph Polchinski
The Patent Clerk's Legacy
The Sciences

The Patent Clerk's Legacy

In 1905 the musings of a functionary in the Swiss patent office changed the world forever. His intellectual bequest remains for a new generation of physicists vying to concoct a theory of everything

By Gary Stix
Forces of the World, Unite!
The Sciences

Forces of the World, Unite!

In a 1950 Scientific American article, Einstein outlined his unified theory of physics. Too bad it was wrong

By George Musser

Everyday Einstein

Finding your way out of the woods with GPS? Hanging a picture frame with a laser level? Making photocopies? Better thank Einstein

By Philip Yam

Einstein's Compass

What was it about the magnetism of an iron bar that could divert Einstein from perfecting his celebrated theory of general relativity?

By Peter Galison

Einstein and Newton: Genius Compared

The two scientific giants were alike in intellect and temperament

By Alan Lightman

Atomic Spin-offs for the 21st Century

A new generation of technologies aims to put Einstein's theories to work in computers, hospitals--even submarines

By W. Wayt Gibbs

Departments

  • Letters

    Letters

  • Erratum

  • Advances

    Nipah's Return

  • Piecing the Past

  • Chemical Conversations

  • Paleolithic Pensioners

  • Location, Location, Location

  • Cracked Caloric Counter

  • Ringed Up

  • Full Entangled House

  • No Place Like Home

  • Recommended

    Existential Terroir in Northern California

  • Skeptic

    Mustangs, Monists and Meaning

  • Anti Gravity

    Terror Bull

  • 50, 100 & 150 Years Ago

    Prolific Stars -- Clever Horse -- Busy Worms

  • Perspectives

    Einstein = Man of Conscience2

  • In Brief

    Data Points: September 2004

  • Brief Points: September 2004

  • Voyages

    Hiking Underground

  • By the Numbers

    Oil Haves and Have-Nots

  • Working Knowledge

    String Theory

  • Insights

    Superhot among the Ultracool

  • Ask the Experts

    Ask the Experts, September 2004

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