Kuiper stands under the arm of a large statue of Albert Einstein.

Meeting Einstein at the National Academy of Sciences

“That is simple, my friend. It is because Politics is more difficult than physics.” Albert Einstein, The New York Times, 1955

This was Einstein’s response to the question “Dr. Einstein, why is it that when the mind of man has stretched so far as to discover the structure of the atom we have been unable to devise the political means to keep the atom from destroying us?”

Although we warned him in advance, Kuiper was a little disappointed that the National Academy of Sciences @thenasciences doesn’t typically allow visits from young dog scientists. However, he perked right up when he saw the giant memorial to Einstein outside. He immediately hopped up and demanded a bedtime story. We tried to explain that it was only 4 p m. and also that this Einstein doesn’t talk, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer.

You’ve probably heard about Einstein’s work on the theory of relativity and his formula e=mc^2. Did you know that neither of those are what his Nobel prize was awarded for? Einstein also proposed a new model of how light works, i.e. as particles which transmit energy (“photons.”) In some cases, they can transmit enough energy to create an electric current. This is called the photoelectric effect, and is the basis for solar panels, the safety feature on garage door openers, digital cameras, and more.

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