Einstein, Mozart and a Chirp

Einstein“Mozart’s music is so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master,” Einstein once said. Einstein later described Mozart’s work as “a reflection of the inner beauty of the universe itself,” adding, “like all great beauty, his music was pure simplicity.”

The biographer Walter Isaacson would quote an Einstein friend describing the great thinker as playing his violin in the kitchen late into the night. The music would suddenly stop. “I’ve got it!” Einstein would exclaim.

Daily Beast, February 13

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Briefly, after much trial and error and various earlier incarnations, scientists constructed two mammoth antennas, one in Washington State and the other in Louisiana, designed to detect evidence of the space-time gravitational waves predicted a century ago by Albert Einstein.

And so they did, on September 14, in the form of a simple chirp created by the waves that, as the Times science reporter Dennis Overbye put it, “seems destined to take its place among the great sound bites of science, ranking with Alexander Graham Bell’s ‘Mr. Watson – come here’ and Sputnik’s first beeps from orbit.”

The New York Times, February 16


2 responses to “Einstein, Mozart and a Chirp

  1. As encoded in the language of Heideggerian existentialism, one could call ‘the form of a simple chirp created by the waves’ an instance of ‘unconcealment of the Dasein’.

    • Thank you, Jan, for this extraordinarily erudite and witty comment. This and many others. Your students are to be envied.