History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Narratives

The Einstein blackboard

Albert Einstein was internationally celebrated for both his special and general theories of relativity when he was invited to Oxford in 1931. He gave a series of three lectures on relativity. This blackboard was preserved from the second lecture on 16 May 1931.

During the 1920s Edwin Hubble's observational work on red shifts had established that other galaxies were receding from our own. In his lecture Einstein outlined a relatively simple model to explain the apparent expansion of the universe.

The first three lines establish an equation for D, the measure of expansion in the universe. The lower four lines provide numerical values for the expansion, density, radius and age of the universe.

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