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Einstein's Big Idea (2005)

E=mc² (original title)
This docudrama examines the history of scientific discovery that lead up to Albert Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 and its aftermath in the creation of nuclear energy. This includes ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Callaway ... Maupertuis
Andy Crabbe ... Habicht
Daniel D'Alessandro ... Algarotti
Brendan Fleming ... Hermann Einstein
Gregory Fox-Murphy ... Brande
... Marie Anne Lavoisier
Philip Herbert ... Count de Amerval
Chris Jenkinson ... Dr. Haller
... Horlein
George Layton ... Emilie's Father
... Voltaire
... Chater (as Alex MacQueen)
... Einstein
Richard Mulholland ... Emilie's Tutor
Stephen Noonan ... Marat
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This docudrama examines the history of scientific discovery that lead up to Albert Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 and its aftermath in the creation of nuclear energy. This includes Faraday's discovery of electromagnetic fields; Antoine Lavoisier's discovery that mass is never lost; and Emilie du Chatelet's demonstration that Newton's calculation of the velocity of a falling object was incorrect. By 1905, the miracle year where the publication Einstein's four physics papers changed over 200 years of scientific fundamentals, all of this came together with his now famous equation. Afterwards, Lise Meisner's work on uranium let to her conclusion that splitting an atom would release large amounts of energy. Written by garykmcd

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11 October 2005 (USA)  »

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Einstein's Big Idea  »

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Features Nova: E=mc²: Einstein's Big Idea (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Longest 2 hours about nothing
21 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

Maybe it had more substance to someone not educated in science, someone whose never heard of basic physics, or someone from America, but this was 6 minutes of material diluted into 2 hours of endless synthetic dialog, narration, and wide shots of grass. The 2 hour length seems only to boost publicity and could have easily been condensed in to NOVA's normal 60 minute length.

The first 90 minutes are about the unknown scientists behind early physics. There is no mention of Newton, Gallileo, DaVinci, like you expect from these stories. Instead its all about unknown scientists behind things like uranium chemistry. The story is most useful not as a means of learning about Einstein but learning about how the business of science works. A lot of unknown scientists did a lot of hard work only to get wiped out of the history books by historical events and each tiny piece of modern physics represents the entire life work of most of these scientists.

The only reason this movie is staying on the hard drive is because it pays a lot of attention to the heroines behind E=mc2. Heroines who today would be depending on men to win the bread while they drove their kids to soccer games in their husband's SUVs, were making huge discoveries in the 18th and 19th centuries. A good line is when Einstein tells his wife the connection between time and light. She replies, "I'll check your math". Pretty good stuff.

The last 30 minutes switch to autopilot, recounting how E=MC2 was used and is used today. It seemed to overemphasize an insignificant branch of research in USA and neglect the truly mind blowing research being done in CERN.


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