Issue 3 - September 2000
EINSTEIN nicked his most famous equation, E=mc 2 , from an unknown Italian - and took all the credit, it has been claimed.
Historian Umberto Bartocci has gone public with his statement that the legendary sum was first presented by an industrialist from Vincenza in 1903.
Olinto De Pretto is said to have stumbled across the equation while speculating about the life of the universe, and had it published in science journal Atte.
Albert Einstein allegedly used the discovery in a major paper he brought out in 1905, and went on to become the most famous scientist of the century.
Bartocci explained that although De Pretto devised the equation, he didn't link it with a theory of relativity, so Einstein's credibility is largely preserved.
Bartocci said: "De Pretto did not discover relativity, but there is no doubt that he was the first to use the equation. That is hugely significant.
"I also believe, though it is impossible to prove, that Einstein used De Pretto's research."
St Andrew's University professor Edmund Robertson added: "An awful lot of mathematics was done by people who have never been credited - Arabs in the Middle Ages for example.
"Einstein may have got the idea from someone else but ideas come from all sorts of places."
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