But forget all that. Just focus on the photo. Here’s the caption:
Albert Einstein writes out the equation for the density of the Milky Way, at the Mt. Wilson Observatory Headquarters of the Carnegie Institute in Pasadena, CA. January 16, 1931.
The problem with Albert Einstein photos is that one tends to just glance past them because of the Einstein-the-icon factor. “Oh, another Albert Einstein photo with the wild hair and the distant gaze.” Ho-hum.
Meanwhile, dude is writing out the equation for the density of the Milky Way! He’s incredible. And in this shot, you can see he’s a real human being: his suit’s a little big, his hand’s a little pudgy, and his moustache is a mess.
Here’s another very human shot from 16 years later:
By this time he was wearing his wife’s housecoat everywhere, and you can just see a glint of the gold earring he had begun sporting during World War II. This was the famous “transphysicist” Einstein — quite controversial at the time, of course. These days nobody would give it a second thought.
Einstein died in 1955. If only he’d lived 16 more years, he could also have played Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
So his death turned out to be a loss to both physics and Hollywood.
The mass density of the Milky Way ended up being 4 × 10(?24)g/cm(3), incidentally. Although naturally it’s not perfectly uniform.
Neither was Einstein. Neither was Einstein.