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Home » Intellectually Promiscuous: Ahmed El-Ghandour (Transcript)

Intellectually Promiscuous: Ahmed El-Ghandour (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Ahmed El-Ghandour’s talk titled “Intellectually Promiscuous” at TED conference.

Listen to the audio version here:

TRANSCRIPT:

Introduction to Google Trends and Relativity

Okay, so let me start first by showing you this thing. This is from Google Trends. It was a screenshot I took back in 2015. So Google Trends basically measures the frequency of a search of a particular word. What I did was, I tried the word “relativity” between the time of 2004 up until 2015, and I chose the category. And, as you can realize, I don’t know if I can actually move right there because – Okay, so as you can realize, no one is searching for the term up until the end of 2014. Boom! There’s a spike. Can anyone guess what’s the source of the spike? Oh, my God, you just — Anyways, okay.

So, the word “relativity” is a theory by Einstein. There are basically two relativities: special relativity and general relativity. It’s known to be a revolution. They’re basically revolutionary theories, but they’re also very hard. Arthur Eddington, the guy who actually proved the theory, when asked in an interview whether – is it true that only three people in the world understand relativity. His answer was: “I don’t know who’s the third.” So it’s a pretty hard one to get. It’s also, as I said, very revolutionary. So it changed a lot of the ideas we have about space, time, light, and gravity.

Understanding Relativity

So, we always assumed that – Is the video working? So, we always assumed that the sun, because of its mass, pulls things, but turns out it’s just different. Basically, this net is what is called the space-time fabric. And the mass inside bends the space-time fabric, and therefore, the planets get to revolve around. Just like this way – nothing actually pulls the other. So it’s a very revolutionary idea, particularly that we always thought that the sun basically exerts something like a spooky force that pulled the earth towards it.

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