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first of all, in the abandonment of the geometry words, go far enough east in the universe, and of Euclid, with which most of us gain a casual you will find yourself in the West. and often unpleasant acquaintance in our High Accordingly, Einstein's universe is finite, and School days, and which we come to regard as yet one can never come to the end, for the reafinal and absolute truth.
son that there is no end. Imagine a person who Einstein does not consider Euclid absolute could travel anywhere in space and at any truth. He does not believe, for example, that speed he desired! Imagine him, furthermore, the sum of the angles of a triangle need be two believing with Einstein that the universe is right angles. He maintains that the axioms of limited and seeking to find the limits. At best, Euclid are not necessary truths, but mere em- he would be like a dog chasing its own tail. pirical laws-laws arrived at by assumptions Round and round he would go, and never reach that may or may not be correct. And, at this what he was trying to reach, since it would be point, Einstein makes a further departure from always beyond his reach! previously accepted beliefs. In the application From one point of view, it is a disappointing of his geometry he makes a distinction between thing—this universe in which one cannot travel space where matter is present and space where infinitely without turning back on one's self. matter is absent. If space be far enough re- Yet there is really no cause for despair. The moved from matter, he concedes, the principles septillion or so of cubic centimeters, which of Euclid apply; but, otherwise, space refuses Einstein allows us, is said to be quite adequate to regulate itself according to classical geo- for ordinary purposes; and there is no reason to metrical theories and the more matter there be, suppose that some cosmic Malthusian law will the more widely space disobeys Euclid.
operate to make us find that there is too little
room in even such a limited universe. \HESE considerations lead to an utterly The above, of course, represents only one
new conception of the universe. Accord- phase of the teachings of Einstein. In their ing to all previous theories, space was infinite. tendency to unify and explain the universe, One might travel at the rate of a million miles a these doctrines are similar to their author's second for a million million years, and yet be no other theories, which incline generally toward nearer the end of the universe than when he showing a connection between various forces started. It is known that light, moving at a and entities generally thought of as dissimilar speed of over 186,000 miles a second, takes and not previously known to be in any way many years—perhaps thousands of years—to connected. reach us from some of the stars. This opened up to our imagination a universe of such pro- HE theory of relativity, for example, disdigious size that it was easy to suppose that credits the idea that there can be such one might journey on and on forever, and never things as absolute time or space, and makes come to the end; that one might attain a point both space and time relative to the objects that compared with which the furthest star seemed move. Matter and energy are conceived of as as near as the lamp in one's sitting room, and being at root the same thing; and motion is yet not even be approaching the boundary of thought of as not absolute, but relative. To use space.
Einstein's own illustration, suppose that one But Einstein has changed all this. The uni- were riding in a rapidly moving railroad car, verse, in his conception, is not infinite, but and threw a stone from the window. The finite. In fact, he can measure it and tell you stone would dart forward at the speed of the how many million3 cf millions of gallons oi irain, plus the same with which it was prospace it actually contains. If you foilow Ein- pelled by the thrower; and to the watcher in stein, you will know the exact carrying capacity the train it would seem to fall in a parabolic of the universe, just as you will know the con- curve, in the same way that a stone flung from tents of your own quart measure. And Einstein a stationary point would fall. has arrived at the result by a somewhat similar Yet to one who observed it from outside the process of measurement. In abandoning the car, the stone would seem to fly in approxigeometry of Euclid, he abandons the belief that mately a straight line. Neither or both of these the ends of a straight line never meet. More- movements are correct, according to Einstein. over, he ceases to suppose that such a thing as Neither, because there is nothing absolute in a straight line exists at all, but rather holds that the movement of the stone: both, because to straight lines are arcs of enormous circles, so one observer the motion is in a straight line, that by following a straight line far enough one
while to the other it is in a curve. And in the would return to his starting place. In other same way, all motion, all energy, all space, all
time, is, to Einstein,
conception has ever a relative thing.
E cannot ourselves find done. For a second By way of estab
time relativity scored! happiness until we have lishing the unity of
But there is a third things in general, taught others the way.
way in which the Einstein traces a
theory should be vericonnection between
fied experimentally. gravitation and other forces. According to
In that respect,
has yet to prove its claims. Newton, gravitation stood as an isolated This test is concerned with the lines of the phenomenon; there was nothing to show that spectrum, which under certain conditions should it had any connection with any other force in shift toward the red; but as yet, the spectrum the universe; and there was nothing to explain has failed to support Einstein. why it should stand thus apart from every How this failure can be accounted for is other known law, acting with a singular inde- difficult to say, in view of the extraordinary pendence and aloofness, as though it scorned success with which the theory has been verified any close connection with other natural proc- in other respects. The results thus far attained
But Einstein has explained the appar- make it practically certain that Einstein is ently inexplicable behavior of gravitation; he aiming in the right direction, and has actually has calculated its operation with results which discovered new truths concerning the universe. he finds to be approximately although not exactly those of Newton; and his theories lead to ERHAPS all the results at which he has the assumption that there is no physical
arrived are valid, although there are chemical phenomenon which does not feel the vastly important universal laws which he has effect of gravitation. Previous to Einstein, for not even suspected; perhaps he has seen part of example, it was believed that light might be the truth, while the rest of it is still hovering deflected to some extent by the effect of gravi- beyond his view, and beyond the view of all tation; but Einstein calculated that the de- men. His theories, for example, lead us toward flection was twice as much as was conceded. belief in a fourth dimension. But it may be, as
The experiment occurred during an eclipse some writer has remarked, that there is a fifth of the sun, when measurements were taken dimension--and a sixth, and a seventh-and of the light of a star visible near the sun's disc. so on endlessly, so that, after all, the universe This light was found to be diverted from a is not finite, but infinite, although its infinity staight course almost exactly to the extent to is on an even more complex and inconceivable which Einstein predicted-a remarkable tri- scale than had been supposed before Professor umph for the relativity theory. The con- Einstein. clusion is that the light which reaches us from Whatever may be the world's ultimate verthe stars does not reach us along straight lines, dict on the theories of Einstein, it seems certain but along the arcs of gigantic circles, a result that he has brought us forward by enormous which corresponds perfectly with Einstein's strides in our conception of the universe. It theory of a limited universe.
may or may not be true that his is the greatest Other experimental evidence for the validity scientific achievement since Newton; but it of Einstein's theories was found in the case of does seem likely that his theories will take their the planet, Mercury. Astronomers had long place among the enduring monuments of human observed slight irregularities in the movements thought. There may be nothing ultimate of this planet, but nothing in Newton s theory about them. or any other known law could account for these It may be for some Newton of the future,to disturbances. The enigma was unsolved-appar- fully explain and adequately supplement them; ently it was insoluble—when Einstein appeared but, at least, Einstein appears to have estabwith his theory of relativity, which explains lished his place as a guide and a pathfinder in the the peculiar behavior of Mercury as no other age-long search for truth.
T is in every man to be first-class in something, if he will. Only himself can tunity and efficiency; no excuse for being second-class when it is possible to be first-class, and when first-class is in demand everywhere.
How the Mind Has Banished It
By H. ADDINGTON BRUCE
the Making of America," "Sleep and Sleeplessness,” and other volumes
-EDITORS' NOTEHYSTERIA! That is what Mr. H. Addington Bruce
calls the strangest of all diseases
. It is primarily a disease of lost memories-one of the most peculiar afflictions that comes to the human being—and the effectiveness of its treatment by mental means, the only means that ever are successful in handling it, usually depends on the skill with which these memories are recovered by the physician, so that he may know exactly what it is that he must suggest away. Mr. Bruce cites some remarkable cases in his article--the result of long research. Aside from being informing and valuable to the layman as well as the physican, it is unusually entertaining.
OME months ago there was taken to the discovered that she could walk, without as
Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, sistance and without pain. A few hours later,
a little girl suffering from a hip trouble so rejoicing in a perfect cure, she was sent home to severe that it had crippled her. It had come upon
her parents. her gradually, and under conditions warranting the belief that it was a tubercular affection. IMILARLY, a middle-aged woman, a dressSeveral doctors, indeed, had made the diagnosis maker named Sandford, while working of tubercular hip, and she had been sent to the hard to complete some orders in a busy season, hospital to undergo an operation that it was was attacked with paralysis down her right side. hoped might be the means of saving her life. For a week or more, she lay speechless, then
On the advice of one of the hospital's visiting gradually became able to talk again. But her physicians, however, she was kept in bed for some right arm and right leg remained totally paradays for purposes of observation. This physi- lyzed, together with the muscles of the right side cian, a specialist in nervous and mental diseases, of her face. Moreover, the entire right side of had noticed one or two things about her that led her body became anesthetic—that is to say, lost him to suspect that the previous diagnosis might all power of sensation. Once she accidentally be wrong. He visited her every day, chatted ran a needle through the index finger of her right with her, and watched her closely. One morning hand, but felt no pain whatever. The physicians he said to her abruptly:
who were called to treat her declared that her “Look here, what nonsense it is for a fine, condition was incurable. strong girl like you to be lying in bed all day? For nearly nine years the unfortunate woman Why don't you get up?"
was a helpless paralytic. One day she asked a She stared at him in amazement, while he girl who was staying with her to take down a went on:
bottle that had been standing for a long time on a “You are quite well now, there really is nothing shelf. The girl, obeying, found a dead mouse in the matter. You can walk as well as I can. the bottle, and forthwith brought it to show to Let's see you do it.”
Mrs. Sandford, who, as “But,” she began.
it happened, had more “Don't say you can't,”
than the usual feminine he interrupted. “I know
fear of mice. At sight of you can, and I want you too highly of yourself, for
the little animal, which if the Creator made you, you to do so at once. So get
she believed to be alive, out of bed and walk must have inherited divine,
she uttered piercing omnipotent possibilities, you across the room.”
shrieks of terror, continAnd, in fact, to her evimust partake of His qualities.
uing until assured that dent astonishment, she
the mouse was dead.
DON'T be afraid of thinking
Observe the strange
to this, had she ever been sequel. That night she T was not intended that man
afraid that she might be slept scarcely a wink, and should be a slave to his pas
attacked by epilepsy like the following day (Sunsions, a victim of his moods, or
her mother?” day) felt a curious, tinthat he should need to consult
"Yes, indeed. Ever gling sensation in her his feelings as to whether he can
since she was a child she right side. When she perform the duties of a man, or
has worried about that awoke Monday morning carry out his life program. He
more or less. But, docshe found to her intense was fashioned to rule, to domi
tor," hopefully, “do you surprise and delight, that
nate, to be
mean to say that you she could use her right himself, of his environment.
don't believe she is epihand fully as well as
leptic?" before the paralysis at
“I believe," was the retacked it, and that she
ply, “that she thinks she could walk unaided. Of course she was very is an epileptic, which in her case amounts for all weak. But she regained strength with phenome- practical purposes to the same thing as being one. nal rapidity, and soon made a complete cure. But I also believe that if I can persuade her to Since then her health has been of the best. think differently, she will no more be tortured
like this.” N another case there was brought to the clinic A prediction which, it is enough to say, was
conducted by an eminent Boston neurologist, abundantly verified by the results of the simple Dr. Morton Prince, a young woman afflicted with drugless treatment which Dr. Prince proceeded to attacks resembling what is known as Jacksonian apply. Only a few weeks and the spasm-racked epilepsy, a dread and incurable disease. The sufferer was once more a healthy, efficient memattacks took the form of convulsive spasms
of ber of society. frequent occurrence, lasting several minutes at a time, involving the abdominal muscles, the OW, I have cited these cases not because of diaphragm, and the muscles of the larynx, and their singularity, nor with any desire of presenting a frightful spectacle to all who exploiting them as "miraculous cures,” but bechanced to see them. Her parents had been told cause they afford a vivid view of what is one by more than one physician that she was un- of the most wide-spread and disastrous, and doubtedly a victim of epilepsy, and they readily certainly the strangest, of all diseases. This is believed this, the more so since one of them, the the disease, hysteria. mother, was herself an epileptic.
Most people undoubtedly will feel surprised at But Dr. Prince, like the physician in the case of being told that hysteria is a separate and distinct the girl with the tubercular hip, as a result of his disease in itself, like cancer or tuberculosis. clinical examination found reason for thinking When they think of it at all, they think of it as that a wrong diagnosis had been made. He took merely the manifestation of a peculiar temperathe parents aside, and questioned them privately. ment which causes persons to weep or laugh im
“How long,” he asked, "has she been this moderately at small provocation. Thus we hear way?”
a great deal about “hysterical laughter” and “For many months.”
“hysterical tears.” As a matter of fact, your “And before then? Did she never have any true hysteric seldom laughs and seldom weeps to attacks like these?”
any great extent. Thus hysteria shows itself in “Never.”
a much more serious way-namely, in the "When did they first come on?”
mimicry of the symptoms of all sorts of other “She had a bad fright, fainted, and was for a diseases. long time delirious. It was while she was in her delirium that the fits began.”
WHIS it is that makes hysteria such a potent "H’m. And what did you say when you saw source of suffering, and that, until quite them? Did you talk about her condition in her lately, has made it a sad stumbling block to the hearing? Did you say that she must be epi- medical profession. Indeed, even to-day, it is leptic?"
safe to say that the great majority of physicians, The parents glanced at each other.
however competent otherwise, are helpless in the "Perhaps we did. But she couldn't under
presence of a case of genuine hysteria. For it is stand us. She was out of her head.”
only within recent years that there has been “That doesn't matter," said Dr. Prince. any appreciation, even by specialists, of its real fancy she understood you fast enough. Previous nature or the correct methods for treating it; and,