Einstein’s 23 Biggest Mistakes

Posted on September 24, 2008 

Einstein’s 23 Biggest Mistakes

The man with the big ideas wasn’t so good with the details. In Einstein’s Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius (W.W. Norton, $24.95, excerpted below), Hans Ohanian writes that Albert often let his intuition overrule flawed proofs and shaky math. Maybe you’ll feel a little better about your own flubs.

# 1905 – Mistake in the first proof of E = mc2
# 1906 – Mistakes in the second, third, and fourth proofs of E = mc2
# 1907 – Mistake in the synchronization procedure for accelerated clocks
# 1907 – Mistakes in the Principle of Equivalence of gravitation and acceleration
# 1911 – Mistake in the first calculation of the bending of light
# 1913 – Mistake in the first attempt at a theory of general relativity
# 1914 – Mistake in the fifth proof of E = mc2

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