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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

Einstein's Lectures on Electricity and Magnetism Demonstrate the Role of Data Quality and Transparency in Illuminating Complex Subject Matter

Lecture notes by Albert Einstein for a course on electricity and magnetism demonstrate that careful attention to Data Quality and transparency are essential for disseminating information about complex scientific issues. However, the lectures also demonstrate that, when requisite care is given to Data Quality, even difficult topics become accessible to a wider audience, thus expanding the ability of stakeholders to participate in the discussion. The following quote concerning continuously distributed electricity, following a discussion of the generalized form of Gauss's theorem, provides a lucid example of how Einstein carefully dealt with the use of assumptions. "So far we have assumed that electricity is unalterably bound to small bodies (treated as points). But the character of experience favors the assumption that electricity is spatially distributed. We must generalize our investigations in this sense." (p.6)
  • Click to read English translation of Einstein lecture notes from the Albert Einstein Archives, The Jewish National and University Library, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

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