Somewhere in the cloud, two great men sit in a small sailboat, having a mythical discussion, catching rays and lounging their hands in the cool, green water. Rumpled, comfortable Fedora hats on their heads …
Thomas Alva Edison (TAE):
Albert, thanks for the ride on your sailboat. It reminds me of my winter home in Fort Myers. I really miss that.
Albert Einstein (AE):
My pleasure Tom. Sailing always relaxed me when I had some deep thinking to do.
Speaking of deep thinking, I must tell you Al, I never could understand your theory of light thing, with the speed of light as a cosmic speed limit; and time being variable. Wow, that really bent my brain!
It’s just the way the math worked out-no big thing. You know … we both had our fling with light-my theory and your light bulb experiments. What patience you had with all the filament experiments performed.
Well I was much younger then and eager to make a mark for myself. You were no slouch yourself with those four incredible scientific papers you published in 1905. Al, you changed the world of physics. Let me see if I remember what those papers had to do with … your special theory of relativity, the photoelectric effect, that famous equation of yours [E = mc2] and something called Brownian motion. Those papers are all brain-busters my friend!
Let me compliment you as well Tom….with your inventions of recorded sound, motion pictures, the electric light and the electric utility system; and you taught the commercial world about the steps for creating new products without limit—the invention factory concept … which led to R&D labs in every major company today. That is real, economic growth.
I must comment here Al. All your theoretical work laid the foundation for solid state physics—leading to transistors and integrated circuits. Some folks call you the father of solid state physics, what drives our Internet, telecommunications, and smart phones today. And this also is big-time economic growth.
We both had some great fun didn’t we? I wish we could do it all over today.
You know Al, we should open a little shop up here in the cloud-do some tinkering and inventing; maybe come up with some new theories. You had some inventions of your own as I recall. We could team up with the theory and practicality-making folks stand-up and notice we old dogs on the block.
Sounds like fun, but there must be time to sail.
Absolutely, and time to read and research.
What will we call this little shop?
Wait for it Al … ”Inventions at the Speed of Light”.
How about we do a nice webpage, featuring a monster “selfie” photo of us, just like the modern celebrities do?
I can picture that….but first I have a question. You were always good at anticipating the future, where technology would go. You nailed that electric vehicle application, anticipating it over 100 years ago. What do you see in the next 50 years?
Al … I need to think that over for a couple of days. I can tell you this … it is going to be very interesting!
[Readers: What technological innovations do you see in the next 50 years? Let us know. Drop us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. The top 3 submissions will receive Amazon gift cards: first place-$50; second place-$25; and third place-$10. We do reserve the right to cancel this offer if only a few folks respond.]
One last thing Tom, maybe we should try and contact that Michael Faraday fellow we both admired. Get him to join us. Michael was a fine experimentalist.
I agree. His electric motor invention rocked my world I can tell you that. He had a big influence on my thinking…my kind of guy!
Al, let’s do our “selfie” photo now so it’s ready for the new webpage.
Thomas Edison said: “My desire is to do everything within my power to free people from drudgery and create the largest measure of happiness and prosperity.”
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