Bridgewater hedge fund manager Ray Dalio recently read *Einstein’s Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius*, by Hans Ohanian, according to the New Yorker.

The book does exactly what it says: offers of a critique of Albert Einstein’s failures, including the first seven proofs of E=mc2, and his early understanding of clock synchronisation, which is the basis of the Theory of Relativity (“He still clings to the misconceptions of synchronisation, 50 years after the publication of his 1905 paper”).

Ohanian talks about how geniuses naturally have a harder time, well, believing they’re wrong. He says:

“Once a genius falls into a seductive mistake, it’s liable to become a* idee fixe*. He is then blind to the mistake, and if this blindness is compounded by stubbornness, he will be deft to criticism, and he will cling to his mistake forever.”

Galileo and Newton were also guilty of *idee fixe*, which is an obsession “held so firmly as to resist any attempt to modify it,” in their understanding of tidal theory.

Here’s a chronology of Einstein’s biggest mistakes, outlined in the book and also courtesy of Discover magazine:

**1905** Mistake in clock synchronisation procedure on which Einstein based special relativity**
1905 ** Failure to consider Michelson-Morley experiment

**Mistake in transverse mass of high-speed particles**

1905

1905

**Multiple mistakes in the mathematics and physics used in calculation of viscosity of liquids, from which Einstein deduced size of molecules**

1905

1905

**Mistakes in the relationship between thermal radiation and quanta of light**

1905

1905

**Mistake in the first proof of E = mc2**

1905

1905

**Mistakes in the second, third, and fourth proofs of E = mc2**

1906

1906

**Mistake in the synchronisation procedure for accelerated clocks**

1907

1907

**Mistakes in the Principle of Equivalence of gravitation and acceleration**

1907

1907

**Mistake in the first calculation of the bending of light**

1911

1911

**Mistake in the first attempt at a theory of general relativity**

1913

1913

**Mistake in the fifth proof of E = mc2**

1914

1914

**Mistake in the Einstein-de Haas experiment**

1915

1915

**Mistakes in several attempts at theories of general relativity**

1915

1915

**Mistake in the interpretation of Mach’s principle**

1916

1916

**Mistake in the introduction of the cosmological constant (the “biggest blunder”)**

1917

1917

**Mistakes in two attempts to modify general relativity**

1919

1919

**Mistakes and more mistakes in the attempts to formulate a unified theory**

1925

1925

**Mistakes in discussions with Bohr on quantum uncertainties**

1927

1927

**Mistakes in interpretation of quantum mechanics (Does God play dice?)**

1933

1933

**Mistake in the sixth proof of E = mc2**

1934

1934

**Mistake in the interpretation of the Schwarzschild singularity and gravitational collapse (the “black hole”)**

1939

1939

**Mistake in the seventh proof of E = mc2**

1946

1946

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