Portland, Oregon Science Museum Spotlights Einstein

for Those Traveling to and from Oregon; Space Travel

Portland, Oregon Science Museum Spotlights Einstein

Published 06/04/2010

(Portland, Oregon) - Explore the mysteries of space and time and journey inside the mind of Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists the world has ever known, in the new exhibit Einstein, opening June 26 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). Einstein is the most comprehensive exhibit ever presented on Albert Einstein and brings to life his most revolutionary theories through hands-on interactive displays, videos about his life, science, and legacy; facsimiles of his manuscripts and personal letters to his loved ones, and more. The exhibit explores many of Einstein’s most astonishing visions of the Universe - light’s constant speed, time as the fourth dimension, and space-time as a curved geometry - while at the same time revealing his passion for social justice and his speaking out against segregation, anti-Semitism, McCarthyism, and nuclear armament.

Through several influential scientific papers, Albert Einstein changed the world and our understanding of it. His Special Theory of Relativity paved the way to unleashing atomic energy; his work on the photoelectric effect led directly to the development of vacuum tubes and integrated circuits, and eventually to the computer revolution; and his explanation of Brownian motion created a new understanding of the size and shape of molecules that ultimately helped to unlock the secrets of DNA.

Einstein exhibit highlights include:

Einstein’s Revolution - The classic Newtonian view of gravity as a simple force between objects was overthrown by Einstein’s vision of gravity as the result of objects warping space-time. A large video installation graphically simulates this by distorting the images of visitors by the imaginary gravity of a projected black hole. 

Life and Times - A short video familiarizes visitors with Einstein’s life and accomplishments and introduces some basic physics concepts encountered in the exhibition.

Light - A kinetic light sculpture using innovative LED technology to create moving light patterns helps visitors visualize Einstein’s most revolutionary theories on the nature of light. 

Time - A tremendous wall display of digital clocks, each ticking off the seconds, hours, and days at a different rate, graphically illustrates Einstein’s radical understanding that the length of any interval of time varies according to how fast the “clock” and the observer are moving. 

Energy - (E=mc²) Visitors can delve deeper into the reasoning behind the formula by touching individual components of the equation on an interactive “blackboard.”  Graphic panels reveal the difference between fusion (combining two atomic nuclei to produce a heavier nucleus) and fission (splitting an atomic nucleus) as methods of releasing tremendous energy. 

Gravity - Visitors follow Einstein’s steps as he reconsiders gravity not as a force but as the effect of massive objects warping space-time. On an interactive wall, visitors see the mass of their own bodies warping the images on the screen, just as a bowling ball bends the fabric of a trampoline. 

Einstein’s Legacy - Videotaped interviews with some of today’s leading physicists reveal the lasting impact of Einstein as a role model for scientists all over the world.

Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in each of us. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, Oregon. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit www.omsi.edu.











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