Today was Pi Day, the day marked by nerds and mathical folks because the important mathematical constant pi has a value of 3.14. So March 14 = 3/14. Get it?
Anyway, it’s also the birthday of the most famous physicist in the history of the world, Albert Einstein, who was born on this date in 1879.
Dr. Einstein was something of a prodigy. At age 26, in 1905, he had what many of his biographers have described as a Miracle Year. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich that year and also published four of his most important and influential papers on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of mass and energy. These established him as a pre-eminent theoretical physicist.
I’m equally fascinated by Einstein’s deep understanding of religion and religiosity. While not religious in the traditional sense, Einstein, if he were alive today, would probably easily accept the label, “spiritual but not religious.” He actually co-authored the book Einstein on Cosmic Religions and Other Opinions and Aphorisms with George Bernard Shaw. He also wrote a famous article for the New York Times Magazine entitled “Science and Religion” which was later collected into my favorite volume of Einstein thought, Ideas and Opinions.
Anyway, I love the coincidence of Pi and Einstein’s birthday.