Institute For Advanced Study Celebrates Founders Day And Einstein
State and Local Officials Commemorate 75th Anniversary of Founding
On May 20, 1930, a certificate of incorporation was filed with the State of New Jersey, marking the creation of the unique institution that is the Institute for Advanced Study. Neither a university nor a research organization, the Institute fulfilled the dreams of its first Director, Abraham Flexner, and its founders, Louis Bamberger and his sister Caroline Bamberger Fuld, who designed it solely to encourage and support fundamental scholarship � the original, often speculative, thinking that produces advances in knowledge.
Today, the Institute celebrates its 75th anniversary and commemorates the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein�s annus mirabilis with a series of lectures on Einstein�s seminal papers and his relationship with the Institute and the world. Einstein was one of the first Faculty members at the Institute, and his legacy continues to be honored here.
"Since its founding in 1930, the Institute has remained true to the mission set by its founders of providing an environment where curiosity-driven research into fundamental questions in the sciences and the humanities can flourish, and of gathering the ablest scholars and scientists from around the world to work here, selected on the basis of their outstanding abilities alone," said Institute Director Peter Goddard. "Unlike many academic institutions, its ethos and culture have remained essentially unchanged over the last 75 years. "
Among the Founders Day activities will be the dedication of an undulating granite and steel sculpture by noted artist Elyn Zimmerman. The sculpture, situated between the Institute�s pond and woods, fits gracefully into its environment. It is dedicated to the achievements in science and scholarship of the Institute, and was made possible through the generosity of Institute Trustee Robert B. Menschel.
Dedication ceremony participants included Princeton Township Mayor Phyllis Marchand; Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes; New Jersey Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman; Institute Director Peter Goddard; Institute Trustee Robert B. Menschel and artist Elyn Zimmerman.
Public Lectures in Wolfensohn Hall
Throughout the day, there will be a series of lectures, including several on Einstein�s three principal papers of 1905, and others on the history of the Institute and Einstein�s relationship with the wider world.
Philip C. Argyres, Member, School of Natural Sciences
In 1905, Einstein wrote two papers on special relativity. This talk will explain them in non-technical terms, and will include information on the origin of the famous formula E=mc2.
Simeon Hellerman, Member, School of Natural Sciences
Brownian Motion and the Atomic Theory
In 1905, Einstein wrote a paper interpreting the zig-zagging motion of particles of pollen suspended in liquid as evidence for the existence of atoms. This talk will describe Einstein�s paper, the experimental results on which it was based, and the conceptual shift it caused in the realm of microscopic physics, promoting the idea of atoms from an abstract way of describing the phenomenon of heat to a concrete fact about the microscopic structure of matter.
Graham Kribs, Member, School of Natural Sciences
The Photoelectric Effect
Einstein�s first paper in 1905 proposed that light comes in discrete quanta or particles, successfully predicting the photoelectric effect. This paper began the long road to the quantum revolution of the 1920s and its metamorphosis into modern-day particle physics.
Stephen Adler, Professor, School of Natural Sciences
Einstein and Quantum Mechanics: A Love Hate Relationship
This talk will first briefly describe Einstein�s further contributions to quantum mechanics, and specifically, about his deduction of the rules of the interaction of matter with radiation from an analysis of the Planck radiation formula. Then it will cover Einstein�s estrangement from quantum mechanics, the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paper, and recent applications of related ideas to both quantum cryptography and the Bell inequalities.
Peter Goddard, Director, Institute for Advanced Study
The Founding of the Institute for Advanced Study
When Louis Bamberger and his sister Carrie decided to use part of the fortune that they had amassed from the success of Bamberger�s department store in Newark to found a medical school in that city, they consulted Abraham Flexner, then the leading expert on medical education. Flexner not only told them that their idea was misconceived, he also told them of his own dream, an institute for advanced study.
George Dyson, Historian of Technology
Einstein and the Institute
The last 25 years in the life of Einstein were the first 25 years in the life of the Institute. Einstein�s presence helped establish, and still embodies, the concept of a refuge where unencumbered scholarship and statesmanship could find a permanent home.
Peter Paret, Professor Emeritus, School of Historical Studies
Einstein, Freud and their pamphlet �Why War?�
The talk outlines the unusual collaboration Einstein initiated with Freud, and discusses its place in their lives and in the history of the 1930s.
Joan Wallach Scott, Harold F. Linder Professor, School of Social Science
Einstein and Politics
In addition to his scientific work, and in part in connection to it, Einstein took a number of outspoken political positions in his life. He was a pacifist (though he thought it necessary to wage war against Hitler�s Germany), an internationalist and a strong advocate for academic freedom. Although his critics often dismissed his position as dangerous at worst and na�ve at best, in fact those positions were carefully thought out and deeply rooted. In the realm of politics, Einstein was a man who had the courage of his convictions.
Michael Walzer, UPS Foundation Professor, School of Social Science
Einstein and Zionism
The talk will describe Einstein�s engagement with Zionism � both his support for the movement and his criticism of it � from about 1920 until his death in 1955.
Peter L. Galison, Mallinckrodt Professor of the History of Science and of Physics, Harvard University
The Assassin of Relativity
From the time they were students together at the Zurich Polytechnic, Albert Einstein was good friends with Friedrich Adler, the son of the leader of the Socialist Party in Vienna. Like Einstein, he was a physicist very much engaged with both epistemology and politics. Then, in the midst of World War I, on October 21, 1916, Adler assassinated the Prime Minister of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Einstein rallied to his defense, and between death row and Berlin, Adler and Einstein began an extraordinary correspondence about the meaning and validity of relativity. This presentation is an exploration of the heady mix of psychoanalysis, politics, physics and philosophy that followed, as the world stumbled deeper into war, and began grappling with the import of relativity.