When it comes to penning down history, it may be quite hard to dig out minute discrepancies which can simply be a product of the historian’s imagination. In the case of Einstein, a new research reveals that he may never have called his use of ‘lambda’ as his ‘biggest blunder’ ever.
What really happened that when Einstein coined general theory of relativity, it demanded that the universe would eventually collapse or expand. However, the famous scientists decided to add a constant of his own, namely lambda, to compensate for the discrepancy.
However, in time, it was revealed that the universe is indeed expanding and Einstein’s lambda had to be discarded, having proved wrong. If he hadn’t created lambda out of thin air and continued working with his original theory, he may have been able to reach this conclusion first.
Popular narrative says that when Einstein found out how the lambda thing turned out to be inaccurate, he stated that this was the ‘biggest blunder’ of his life. This phrase was originally quoted by George Gamow who was a physicist and met with Einstein several times.
However, other evidence shows that Gamow was a man with a penchant for embellishment and would often add things on his own, just to make it all interesting. The documentary evidence shows that the relationship between Einstein and Gamov was fairly formal which hints that the famous scientist may not have uttered something this intimate to Gamov. These findings have been suggested by astrophysicist, Mario Livio, in one of his recent publications.