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Einstein Discusses Space Expansion in Farewell Lecture

November 22, 1932
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Professor Albert Einstein made his adieu before sailing for the United States on December 10th, at a lecture on Saturday night devoted to space expansion.

Professor Einstein estimated the expanding speed of the universe at 10,000 kilometres, about 6000 miles, per second.

Professor Einstein stated that Euclid’s conception of geometry was of little use to the present-day astronomers.

Using homely examples, Professor Einstein explained that absolute measurements of the universe’s movement were impossible except in relation of one body’s movement to another. His calculations relating to the speed expansion of the heavenly system increased previous accepted conceptions tenfold.

The scientist made no effort to estimate how long this expansion had been progressing, but he predicted that the universe ultimately would contract, citing a rubber ball’s expansions and contractions to illustrate his point.

Using the example of a merry-go-round to illustrate a point in Lorentz’s theory, Professor Einstein said speed determined the length of bodies.

“Length laid along the radius of the merry-go-round does not change with speed but, as speed increases the length laid around the circumference becomes shorter,” he said.

From this he drew the conclusion that the accepted conception of “Pi” should not read 3.1415926, but “rather something higher,” depending upon the speed of the bodies.

Through example he sought to show that the weight of masses had a decided influence on the geometric structure of space. He explained the ability to measure astronomical distances by measuring the strength of light reaching the earth through the wave lengths of the observed spectrum.

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