Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity revolutionized how we think about light, gravity, and heavenly bodies today. Through this theory, Einstein was able to calculate how the Sun’s mass bends the space around it. But Einstein didn’t stop there; In 1917, just two years after his general theory of relativity, Einstein went on to the quest of modeling the shape of the Universe. If his theory modeled how mass is distributed throughout the Universe, Einstein thought he could calculate the Universe’s shape. It was a bold move, and he thought he might be sent to a madhouse with his controversial ideas about the cosmos.
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But without any data to work with, how could Einstein model the shape of the Universe? The answer was with simplifications, assumptions, and estimations. Lesser data available meant more freedom to speculate. And speculate Einstein did, and he drew from his worldview. Back at that time, most people believed that the Universe was static, and Einstein belonged to this group. He did not like the idea of an expanding Universe.
In 1929, however, astronomer Edwin Hubble proved that the Universe was expanding. Two years later, in 1931, Einstein discarded his idea of a static universe when he met the astronomer in California.
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