I remember sometime in March having watched an interview of a French government official who wants to pass a bill in their parliament about the compensation for victims of nuclear testing in the Pacific atolls in
The word ‘mass’ has punning and permutating meanings. The scientific (physical) definition is debatable but we commonly understand it as the property that measures how heavy an object is. Newton, in his second law of motion, equated force as the product of a particle's mass and its acceleration. Einstein, on the other hand, in his general theory of relativity defined rest energy as the energy of a particle equal to its mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light. The speed of light itself – roughly equal to 300,000 m/s – is so large that it's hard to believe that it defines the upper limit of how fast a particle can be accelerated. Any particle accelerator is bound to approach the value of the speed of light but not the exact value.
Are we all the better then for the achievement of Einstein in improving upon Newtonian mechanics and ushering in modern physics?
Here lies the great paradox in Amis’s collection of stories, the perfectly titled Einstein's Monsters: that men has advanced scientific knowledge, but applied it to ever backward, unethical, and immoral pursuits. As Amis pointed out in his preface to the collection: Einstein's monsters refer not only to nuclear weapons but also to ourselves. “We are Einstein’s monsters, not fully human, not for now.” Amis's criticism of the present nuclear world is short of a criticism of intellectual human heritage. It is a powerful criticism of human nature in the face of self-destruction.
This is not to blame Einstein for conceiving and setting into motion a paradigm shift from a pre-nuclear world to a nuclear world. In synthesizing the behavior of particles and pulling the rug from under Newton’s nose to produce what has to be the watershed theory in physics, Einstein unwittingly(?) altered the behavior of man. It is the interpretation of his theory, its demonic application and perverted disposition that has put us in a quandary of global insecurity among nations.
Will we ever rise above it all? Just consider the United States’ selfish stance to not ratify the