At Maker Faire New York on Septmber 25 and 26, 2010, I presented “Happy Birthday Mr. Einstein,” a performance and experiment based on a real life incident in the life of Albert Einstein. He received a gift on his 72nd birthday–a toy which could easily demonstrate a fundamental principle that lay at the foundation of general relativity, the principle known as the equivalence principle.
This principle is that there is no difference between the force created by gravity of an astronomical body and the force that seems to be created by an accelerating motion. The simple toy shows this by having a ball hanging out of a vase, connected to the bottom of the vase with an elastic cord, that is strong enough to pull a very light object into the vase, but a slightly heavier object remains outside the vase. When the vase is dropped from a height, the object hanging out of the vase becomes weightless and the elastic pulls it into the vase–demonstrating the equivalence principle.
This toy delighted Einstein no end and he showed it to every visitor that came to his house during the last year of his life.
After each 15-20 minute performance and demonstration, I participated (as Einstein) in a question and answer session where audience members may ask questions about the life and work of Einstein. As a former science editor of the Americana, a former physics teacher and as a producer/editor of the book, E = Einstein I look forward to presenting a series of presentations about the life and work of Albert Einstein.
At the Brooklyn Technical Institute, I presented a lecture as Albert Einstein entitled “What is a Physicist” to several physics classes.