DIRECTORJohnstone, Gary
TITLEEinstein's Big Idea
DISTRIBUTORWGBH, Boston
ISBN1-593753-17-9
DATE PUBLISHED2005
RUNNING TIME112 minutes
Web Access
Available online from NOVA   (available with fee)


This film, which focuses on Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation, contains a twenty minute section on the discovery of fission by Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn in 1938. The events leading to the discovery and the relationship between the two scientists are presented as a historical reenactment. Historian and Meitner biographer, Ruth Sime, comments on Meitner's role in the discovery. The film also includes a scientific explanation of nuclear fission and its relationship to Einstein’s equation. Other segments of the film include contributions to the development of the equation by scientists Michael Faraday, Antoine Lavoisier, James Maxwell, and Émilie du Châtelet in addition to Einstein. The film is based on David Bodanis’ book, E=mc2: A Biography of the World’s Most Famous Equation.


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