Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Explained in One of the Earliest Science Films Ever Made (1923)

Albert Ein­stein devel­oped his the­o­ry of spe­cial rel­a­tiv­i­ty in 1905, and then men­tal­ly mapped out his the­o­ry of gen­er­al rel­a­tiv­i­ty between 1907 and 1915. For years to come, the rest of the world would try to catch up with Ein­stein, try­ing to under­stand the gist, let alone the full impli­ca­tions, of his ground­break­ing ideas.

Above, you can watch one such attempt. Pro­duced by Max and David Fleis­ch­er, best known for their Bet­ty Boop and Super­man car­toons, The Ein­stein The­o­ry of Rel­a­tiv­i­ty used the pow­er of ani­ma­tion to explain rel­a­tiv­i­ty to a broad, non-sci­en­tif­ic audi­ence in 1923. One of the first edu­ca­tion­al sci­ence films ever made, the silent ani­mat­ed film was cre­at­ed with the assis­tance of sci­ence jour­nal­ist Gar­rett P. Serviss and oth­er experts who had a han­dle on Ein­stein’s the­o­ries. Accord­ing to a biog­ra­phy of Max Fleis­ch­er, the film was “an out-and-out suc­cess.” “The crit­ics and the pub­lic applaud­ed it. And Ein­stein did too, appar­ent­ly deem­ing it an “excel­lent attempt to illus­trate an abstract sub­ject.”

Watch the short film above. And find it added to our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More

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Comments (4)
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  • Ronny says:

    Inter­est­ing to watch. Thank you.

  • ron kita says:

    I will be watch­ing this..BUT…Einstein only the Nobel Prize for the
    Pho­to­elec­tric Effect. He won noth­ing for GR or SR- This should set up a Red Flag.
    Some in Acad­e­mia claim the Nobel Prize com­mit­tee was Antisemetic..well…I guess that Albert won the prize for the Pho­to­elec­tric Effect dur­ing his catholic years!
    Pro­fes­sor RC Gup­ta has a paper Grav­i­ty as a sec­ondary elec­tro­sta­t­ic force. And there is Kita US 8901943. IF one googles: Teller Elec­tret Gravitation,one will see that Dr Teller was look­ing for a con­nec­tion between elec­trets and grav­i­ty.
    Ron Kita, Chi­ralex
    Why no posthu­mous award­ing of the Nobel Prize afdter his death-this “was” per­mit­ted until 1974.
    Arc deflac­tion of Sun­light dur­ing an eclipse by Edding­ton off of the ISle of Principe a mere 43 arc sec­onds in poor weath­er!

  • Omkar says:

    I am omkar my child­hood was same on Ein­stein because I read in class 6 I ask one ques­tion but no any teacher was reply . I come on home .I am not eat­ing and I am weping I read on very edu­cat­ed insti­tute but I am poor boy. i have not mon­ey so I will not go any where my dream is san­tist so this is my small intro­duc­tion.

  • Lev says:

    SRT is com­plete­ly erro­neous since it is based on the wrong kind of trans­for­ma­tions: they have lost the scale fac­tor char­ac­ter­iz­ing the Doppler effect.
    First, Lorentz con­sid­ered a more gen­er­al form of trans­for­ma­tions (with a scale fac­tor), but then he, and also Poin­care and Ein­stein equat­ed it 1 with­out prop­er grounds. Their form was arti­fi­cial­ly nar­rowed, the for­mu­las became incor­rect. This led to a log­i­cal con­tra­dic­tion of the the­o­ry, to unsolv­able para­dox­es.
    Accord­ing­ly, GRT is also incor­rect.
    For more details, see my brochure “Mem­oir on the The­o­ry of Rel­a­tiv­i­ty and Uni­fied Field The­o­ry” (2000):

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