einstein l’imposteur

http://www.clubdelhorloge.fr/einstein_poincare.htm

Einstein, Poincaré, Hilbert : débat à propos de la paternité de la théorie de la relativité.

Un débat très intéressant a eu lieu à France-Culture, le samedi 22 janvier 2005, entre Jean-Paul Auffray et Jean Eisenstaedt, sur la paternité de la théorie de la relativité. Son attribution à Albert Einstein est aujourd’hui contestée par les spécialistes soucieux d’objectivité, en dépit de la mythification du personnage et du battage médiatique qui l’entoure.

Il n’est malheureusement plus possible d’écouter l’émission, qui n’est restée en ligne qu’une semaine sur le site de France-Culture, mais on peut lire l’article de Fabien Gruhier paru le 5 août 2004 dans Le Nouvel Observateur, sous le titre “Einstein plagiaire ?”, et la chronique de Claude Allègre parue le 8 novembre 2004 dans L’Express, sous le titre “Lorentz, Poincaré et Einstein”, après la publication du livre de Jean Hladik (voir ci-après).

“Aujourd’hui, il faut se rendre à l’évidence, écrit M. Claude Allègre : Einstein n’a pas inventé la théorie de la relativité (restreinte). Le premier découvreur de cette théorie fut un Français : Henri Poincaré. La physique mondiale sait cela depuis que le Britannique Edmund Whittaker l’a dit, mais peu de scientifiques compétents ont voulu s’assurer de la véracité de ce fait. Personne n’osait s’interroger sur les mérites du génie absolu. La physique moderne avait sacralisé Einstein.”

Faut-il rappeler que le professeur Claude Allègre, docteur ès sciences physiques, a été ministre de l’éducation nationale, de la recherche et de la technologie de 1997 à 2000, et qu’il est membre de l’Académie des sciences depuis 1995 ?

Voici, pour approfondir le sujet, quelques références de livres et d’articles, où il est question, non seulement de la théorie de la relativité restreinte (1905), mais aussi de la théorie de la relativité généralisée (1915) :

• Jean-Paul Auffray, Einstein et Poincaré sur les traces de la relativité, éd. du Pommier, 1999 (prix Gegner de l’Académie des sciences morales et politiques)

• Jean Hladik, Comment le jeune et ambitieux Einstein s’est approprié la relativité restreinte de Poincaré, Ellipses, 2004

• Jules Leveugle, La Relativité, Poincaré et Einstein, Planck, Hilbert. Histoire véridique de la théorie de la relativité, L’Harmattan, 2004 [un abrégé de cet ouvrage est en ligne sur le site personnel de l’auteur]

• Jean-Paul Auffray, Comment je suis devenu Einstein. La véritable histoire de E = mc2, éd. Carnot, 2005

ainsi que :

• Edmund Whittaker, A History of the Theories of Æther and Electricity [“Histoire des théories de l’éther et de l’électricité”] (1ère éd. 1910 ; rééd. t. 1, The Classical Theories [Les théories classiques], 1951, t. 2, The Modern Theories, 1900-1926 [Les théories modernes, 1900-1926], 1953), Thomas Nelson, 1962 et 1961

[L’ouvrage de Sir Edmund Whittaker, mathématicien, astronome et historien des sciences, fait autorité sur la question. Or, il intitule le chapitre 2 du tome 2, qui est paru en 1953 : “The Relativity Theory of Poincaré and Lorentz” [La théorie de la relativité de Poincaré et Lorentz], en précisant, dans le corps du texte (p. 40), qu’en 1905 “Einstein a publié un article qui exposait la théorie de la relativité de Poincaré et Lorentz, avec quelques développements”. On ne pouvait pas être plus clair.]

• Jules Leveugle, “Poincaré et la relativité”, in La Jaune et la Rouge [revue des anciens élèves de l’Ecole polytechnique], avril 1994

[Dans cet article fondateur, qui cite Whittaker, Jules Leveugle va plus loin que celui-ci, car il démontre, pour la première fois, non seulement l’antériorité de Poincaré, mais aussi que l’article d’Einstein ne saurait résulter d’une découverte indépendante et qu’il est donc un plagiat.]

• Christopher Jon Bjerknes, Albert Einstein : The Incorrigible Plagiarist [“Albert Einstein, plagiaire incorrigible”], XTX Inc., DownersGorve, Illinois, E.-U., 2002

[Einstein n’a pas seulement “emprunté” la relativité restreinte à Poincaré et la relativité généralisée à Hilbert, il a procédé selon les mêmes méthodes pour le mouvement brownien, l’équivalence de la masse et de l’énergie, etc. : toute son œuvre est un immense plagiat.]

• Friedwardt Winterberg, « On “Belated Decision in the Hilbert-Einstein Priority Dispute”, published by L. Corry, J. Renn, and J. Stachel » [« A propos de “Décision tardive dans le débat d’antériorité Hilbert-Einstein”, publié par L. Corry, J. Renn, and J. Stachel »], in Zeitschrift für Naturforschung, Vol. 59a, 715-719 (2004).

[Comme le rappelle le professeur Winterberg, “il a été généralement admis que David Hilbert avait élaboré la théorie de la relativité généralisée au moins cinq jours avant Einstein”, jusqu’à la publication de l’article de Corry et alii en 1997. Ces derniers, qui s’étaient reportés aux épreuves de l’article de Hilbert, archivées dans la bibliothèque de Goettingen, ont affirmé que celui-ci s’était, en réalité, inspiré d’Einstein ! F. Winterberg a vérifié. Et il s’est aperçu que le document avait été mutilé (on a découpé un tiers de page avec un canif), pour faire disparaître un passage essentiel. F. Winterberg montre que l’article original de Hilbert comprenait bel et bien l’ensemble de la théorie et qu’Einstein en avait pris connaissance depuis plusieurs semaines, lorsqu’il a publié le sien. Corry et ses coauteurs, qui sont ainsi confondus, admettent aujourd’hui que les équations de Hilbert étaient “correctes”, tout en persistant à dire qu’elles n’étaient pas “explicites”. Il est vrai que l’explicitation en cause se trouvait apparemment dans le passage qui a été caviardé…]

La question est donc aujourd’hui clarifiée pour l’essentiel, notamment après la parution de l’article de Winterberg en 2004 :

– C’est Poincaré, et non Einstein, qui a découvert la théorie de la relativité restreinte en 1905.

– C’est Hilbert, et non Einstein, qui a découvert la théorie de la relativité généralisée en 1915.

– Einstein a plagié Poincaré pour la relativité restreinte. Il a plagié Hilbert pour la relativité généralisée.

– Eisenstaedt et quelques autres seraient de sérieux candidats pour le “prix Lyssenko”, si la désinformation à laquelle ils ont contribué était de nature politique.

(Voir, à ce propos, le commentaire de Polémia, “Centenaire de la relativité : Poincaré génie de la physique, Einstein génie de la com !”.)

L’occultation de Poincaré et de Hilbert et la mythification d’Einstein le plagiaire interpellent la communauté scientifique. La perpétuation de cette imposture, plus de cinquante ans après le livre de Whittaker, qui aurait pourtant dû régler définitivement la question, du moins pour la relativité restreinte, ne peut que susciter un profond malaise et soulever inévitablement une interrogation légitime : le mythe Einstein est-il un cas unique, ou bien y aurait-il d’autres “vérités” apparentes, généralement acceptées, dans le domaine de l’histoire ou de la science, qui seraient, elles aussi, fondées sur le mensonge ?

Même si vous ne connaissez pas grand-chose à la physique, vous avez entendu parler d’Einstein… Nous vous invitons donc à faire circuler le présent document en le diffusant au plus grand nombre de vos correspondants, car le mythe Einstein est un symptôme et une illustration remarquables de la désinformation dont nous sommes trop souvent les victimes.

~ by quintal on 24 July, 2011.

4 Responses to “einstein l’imposteur”

  1. Il me semble qu’Einstein n’a jamais nié des emprunts notamment à Lorentz en particulier la fameuse Transformation de Lorentz qui fut (après légère modification) le “cœur” de la relativité restreinte. Lorentz a certes établit un cadre mathématique mais il n’en a pas tiré une théorie cohérente, généralisée et complète comme l’a fait Einstein par la suite.

    Pour ce qui est de la relativité générale c’est un très gros morceau mais Hilbert lui même a reconnu l’antériorité des travaux d’Einstein et Grossmann, il n’y a donc pas lieu de polémiquer

  2. Il me semble qu’Einstein n’a jamais nié des emprunts notamment à Lorentz en particulier la fameuse Transformation de Lorentz qui fut (après légère modification) le “cœur” de la relativité restreinte. Lorentz a certes établit un cadre mathématique mais il n’en a pas tiré une théorie cohérente, généralisée et complète comme l’a fait Einstein par la suite.
    +1

  3. Louis Essen’s take on Einstein’s relativity :

    Einstein’s theory of relativity was dealt with very briefly in my university course but we were told that we must not expect to understand it. I accepted this situation and I have since discovered that most physicists are content to remain in the same position assuming that it must be right because it is generally accepted. My doubts about it arose when I found that the experts did not understand either. An exchange of letters in Nature between Dingle and McCrea showed that they had opposite views about some of the predictions of the theory and the arguments advanced on both sides were in my view illogical and unconvincing. Much of the discussion about the theory was concerned with the readings of clocks when they are moving relatively to each other, and since I had a wide experience of comparing clocks and measuring time it seemed to be almost a duty to take a closer interest in the controversy especially as some of the so-called relativity effects although very small were not [[quintal’s note : I guess he means “were now”]] becoming significant in the definition of the atomic second and the use of atomic clocks.

    It is always better to refer to the original papers rather than to second hand accounts and I, therefore, studied Einstein’s famous paper, often regarded as one of he most important contributions in the history of science. Imagine my surprise when I found that it was in some respects one of the worse papers I had ever read. The terminology and style were unscientific and ambiguous; one of his assumptions is given on different pages in two contradictory forms, some of his statements were open to different interpretations and the worst fault in my view, was the use of thought-experiments. This practice is contrary to the scientific method which is based on conclusions drawn from the results of actual experiments. My first thoughts were, that in spite of its obvious faults of presentation, the theory must be basically sound, and before committing my criticisms to print I read widely round the subject. The additional reading only confirmed my belief that the theory was marred by its own internal contradictions. Relativitists often state that the theory is accepted by all scientists of repute but this is quite untrue. It has been strongly criticised by many scientists, including at least one Nobel prize winner. Most of the criticisms are of a general nature drawing attention to its many contradictions, so I decided to pin-point the errors which give rise to the contradictions, giving the page and line in Einstein’s paper, thus making it difficult for relativitists to dodge them and obscure them in a morass of irrational discussion.”

    Special Theory flawed

    There were definite errors about which there can be no argument. One was the assumption that the velocity of light is constant. This is contrary to the foundations of science and the fact that it is repeated in all the textbooks I have seen, shows how little these foundations are understood by theoretical physicists. Science is based on the results of experiment and these results must be expressed in a single coherent set of units. The unit of length was the metre and the unit of time was the second. Velocity was a measured quantity as so many metres per second. Even though it was found to be constant under certain conditions, it was quite wrong to make it a constant by definition under all conditions. Only the unit of measurement can be made constant by definition and Einstein’s assumption constituted a duplication of units. It was this duplication that led to puzzling and contradictory results and not the profundity of the theory as relativitists like us to believe.

    The question of units is a rather complicated one; and in this instance some writers are confused by the fact that the velocity of light is now often used as a standard, distances being calculated from the time of travel of a pulse of light or radio waves; but the value used is the measured value and the conditions of measurement are carefully defined. Quite recently a further complication has arisen. At the end of our work at the NPL we made the suggestion that as the techniques improved it might be advantageous to redefine the units of measurement, keeping the atomic second, giving a defined value to the velocity of light and discarding the unit of length. This has now been done, but these developments do not affect the criticisms of the theory. Even with these units it would still be absurd to assume that the velocity would be the same for two observers in relative motion. Units must be used with common sense.

    Thought experiments

    The other glaring mistake occurred in the course of one of his thought experiments. Einstein had never made any actual experiments, as far as I can find, and he certainly had no idea of how to compare clocks. He imagined two identical clocks side by side and supposed one of them to move away at a uniform velocity and then return. According to one of the results deduced from the theory a moving clock appears to go slower than the stationary one when viewed from the stationary position. Calling the clocks A and B the predictions are:

    B is slower than A as seen from A

    and since velocity is only relative and either of the clocks can be regarded as the moving one:

    A is slower than B as seen from B

    This is certainly strange although not logically impossible. It implies that something happens to the signals during their transmission. He then outlines his experiment without giving any details of how the measurements are made and concludes that:

    B is slower than A

    and although he does not specifically say so:

    A is slower than B

    in accordance with the relativity principle.

    This result is of course impossible, and is usually called the clock paradox. Many thousands of words have been written about it, but the explanation is simply that he did not go through the correct procedures in making his experiment. It is a very simple experiment, being carried out every day in clock comparisons, and the correct result agrees with his predictions as indeed it must do since a thought experiment cannot give a new result. The predictions themselves are also inexplicable but this is one of the consequences of the duplication of units.

    I had rather naively thought that scientists would be glad to have an explanation of the confusion which had existed for so long and would at least pay some attention to my explanation, since I had more practical experience in these matters than all the relativitists put together. But I was wrong. No one attempted to refute my arguments although they justified Einstein by repeating his thought experiment and his mistakes in different forms. I was, however, dropped some pretty broad hints that if I continued to criticise the theory my reputation and career prospects were likely to suffer. It was only a sideline to my experimental work but I found it so interesting that I did not feel like dropping it, and felt that it was very important that the theory should be exposed. My Director was good about it and said he had no objection himself as long as I did not involve the NPL. I was beginning to realise that scientists could be just as irrational as anyone else and having accepted the theory as a faith without understanding it they closed their minds to argument. They also tried to suppress opposition and two of my papers after being accepted by the referees were mysteriously never published.

    I was not entirely without support and was invited to write an article by the Oxford University Press. It was not so comprehensive as they hoped, since I was not able to devote as much time to it as I would have liked, and lacked the secretarial assistance of my department, but it was accepted and published as one of their Research Papers (No. 5). The Director of the Royal Institution also invited me to give one of their Friday Evening Discourses. This was quite enthusiastically received and I had many letters of congratulation, although, as I noticed with some amusement, most of them were written on private notepaper and not on the paper of their organisations as one would normally expect.

    The history of relativity would make a fascinating study and I regret that I do not feel competent to do it myself. I have kept to those aspects dealing with units of measurement and the comparison of clocks which I know something about. It was inspired by the puzzling results of an experiment made by Michelson and Morley. They argued that if light travelled at a steady velocity through the medium, or aether, and the surface of the earth was moving through this medium there should be a detectable effect on the movement, but they failed to detect any. Fitzgerald and Lorentz gave an empirical explanation that moving rods were shortened and moving clocks were slowed down. Scientists badly wanted a more detailed satisfactory explanation and this is what Einstein thought he had done. All he did was to introduce irrational ideas into physics and incorporate the Lorentz explanation into electromagnetic theory as an assumption. The original puzzling results, therefore, remain and it is important to science that a true explanation should be found.

    Joke or swindle !

    The famous paper published in 1905 does not appear to have attracted any attention until Eddington returned from an expedition to study the eclipse in 1919, and with great publicity announced to a meeting of the Astronomical Society in London that the results had proved Einstein’s theory. What he thought he had confirmed was Einstein’s value for the bending of light round the sun. Scientists were prepared to go to a lot of trouble to obtain experimental evidence for the theory as they realised that this was necessary and yet Eddington is supposed to have said that the theory was so satisfactory that if the experimental results did not confirm it then they must be wrong. A criticism of the results made later pointed out that in order to obtain the result he wanted, some of the observations which did not fit were ignored. Also someone has pointed out, with some evidence, that Einstein himself had predicted two results differing by 2 to 1 for the deflection. Finally the deflection of the sun’s rays has nothing to do with the special theory and the clock paradox and yet in some mysterious way it was claimed to confirm it. Still searching for experimental support an experiment was made in the US some years ago. Four atomic clocks were carried by plane in opposite directions round the world. The discrepancies between the results for different clocks were many times greater than the effect being sought, and yet by ignoring the results they did not like and performing some undescribed statistical analysis the authors claimed to have confirmed Einstein’s theory and specifically the clock paradox. There was a spectacular television programme about it in which a well-known actor was installed in a simulated space shuttle and told that he would come back younger than if he had stayed on earth. Being an intelligent man he appeared to regard it as a lot of nonsense as I hope the viewers did.

    Unified field theory

    My intrusion into theoretical physics must be regarded as a failure in that I did not convince the relativitists of their mistakes. It may have had some benefit in encouraging scientists to look for a rational extension of electromagnetic theory to explain the many mysteries not yet explained. There have been several attempts, that of Rene L Vallée being in my view particularly encouraging. It is a unified field theory giving an electromagnetic explanation of gravitation, and including a most important suggestion that it might be possible to harness the gravitational energy of space safely and economically. He argued that the nuclear energy programme in France was wasteful and misdirected and was in consequence obliged to leave the authority for which he worked. It is sad if his ideas were not fully studied because the nuclear fusion programmes throughout the world seem to make little progress in spite of the billions spent on them.

    .
    (down) http://www.btinternet.com/~time.lord/Relativity.html
    http://www.thelivingmoon.com/47john_lear/08PDF_Files/Relativity_Dr_Louis_Essen.html
    .
    Another Louis Essen article about Einstein’s theory : http://www.cfpf.org.uk/articles/scientists/essen/essen.html

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