The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries

Writing for Quanta Magazine, previous Director's Visitor K.C. Cole presents a historical overview of the idea of symmetry, highlighting the research of Albert Einstein, Emmy Noether, Carl P. Feinberg Professor Juan Maldacena, and Charles Simonyi Professor Edward Witten, among others, with perspectives from IAS Director and Leon Levy Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf.

"Noether showed that the symmetries of general relativity—its invariance under transformations between different reference frames—ensure that energy is always conserved. Einstein’s theory was saved. Noether and symmetry have both occupied center stage in physics ever since."

Read more, and browse the interactive timeline, at Quanta Magazine.