featured | Nova podcast + documentary film on physicist Albert Einstein PhD

Celebrating 100 years of the general theory of relativity.
August 13, 2018



— look + listen —

A film and podcast for the 100th anniversary of physicist Albert Einstein PhD’s legendary math equation: E = mc2 — considered a pillar of today’s science history.

This biographical dramatic feature-length film + audio series is from the classic, Emmy award winning, television documentary science brand Nova — on the life + discoveries of iconic physicist Albert Einstein PhD.

Scroll down to watch the film and listen to the companion podcast series, featuring 10 of the world’s top physicists.


— 100th anniversary —

institution: Morgan Library + Museum
exhibit: 100 years — celebrating Einstein’s general theory of relativity

publication: HyperAllergic
story: Morgan Library + Museum marks the centennial of Einstein’s general theory of relativity


— the documentary film —

film title: Einstein’s Big Idea
deck: The life + discoveries of Albert Einstein PhD.
brand: by Nova
broadcast: PBS
film: transcript

about | More than 100 years ago, physicist Albert Einstein PhD grappled with his revolutionary physics idea “the special theory of relativity” and had a startling insight — mass and energy relate to each other with the simple math formula E = mc2.

In the feature film Einstein’s Big IdeaNova re-creates a drama of the landmark story behind this equation. But E = mc2 was just one of Einsten’s extraordinary breakthroughs in 1905 — he also proved mathematically that atoms exist, and he described the physics of light. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

E = mc2 is his most famous discovery. But who knows what it means? This film brings to life the story of how it all came to be, and shows how Einstein’s equation can seem simple, when it’s actually complex.


— click play to watch the film —



— the podcast series —

podcast series title: E = mc2
brand: by Nova
broadcast: PBS
summary: 10 of the world’s top physicists explain Albert Einstein PhD’s famous equation.

description: by Nova

To celebrate the centennial of physicist Albert Einstein PhD’s math equation E = mc2 — Nova asked 10 top physicists, including 2 Nobel Prize winners, how they describe his equation to curious non-physicists. This podcast was produced by Lexi Krock and David Levin.

Einstein lived from 1879 – 1955. He was a legendary German theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity: one of the 2 pillars of modern physics. The other pillar is the theory of quantum mechanics.

Einstein’s research built foundational science knowledge. People especially know Einstein for his math equation: the mass–energy equivalence formula — E = mc2 — it’s called “the world’s most famous equation.”

He won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and for his discovery of the photo-electric effect” that was a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory in physics. These theories and laws describe how matter and movement exist in the universe — and eventually become the shape of the world we live in with all its life.

This podcast series is a companion to the Nova documentary film: Einstein’s Big Idea


1. | episode: Brian Green PhD — listen
guest: theoretical physicist
quote: ”It’s not a subtle equation.”

2. | episode: Janet Conrad PhD — listen
guest: experimental physicist
quote: “To me there’s a lot more the equation.”

3. | episode: Sheldon Glashow PhD — listen
guest: theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
quote: ”When an object emits light — like a flashlight — it gets lighter.”

4. | episode: Nima Arkani Hamed PhD — listen
guest: theoretical physicist
quote: “Things that seem incredibly different can be the same phenomena.”

5. | episode: Alan Guth PhD  — listen
guest: theoretical physicist
quote: ”It’s easiest to explain by how things looked from the point of view of  Isaac Newton.”

6. | episode: Tim Halpin Healy PhD — listen
guest: theoretical physicist
quote: ”Moving clocks run slow, moving meter sticks are shortened — how does that happen.”

7. | episode:  Neil DeGrasse Tyson PhD — listen
guest: astro-physicist
quote: “It’s something that doesn’t happen in your kitchen or in everyday life.”

8. | episode: Michio Kaku PhD — listen
guest: theorestical physicist
quote: “E = mc2 is the secret of the stars.”

9. | episode: Lene Hau PhD  — listen
guest: experimental physicist
quote: “You can get access to parts of nature you’ve never been able to access before.”

10. | episode: Frank Wilczek PhD — listen
guest: theoretical physicist
quote: “95 percent of the mass of matter as we know it comes from energy.”


on the web | pages

PBS | shows: Nova
PBS | YouTube channel: main
PBS | YouTube channel: Nova

Wikipedia | Nova
Wikipedia | Albert Einstein PhD


on the web | learning

Wikipedia | mass/energy equivalence
Wikipedia | the general theory of relativity

Wikipedia | matter
Wikipedia | mass
Wikipedia | energy


* PBS is the Public Broadcasting Service