Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin Meeting

Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin
Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin

There is a well-known phrase attributed in various ways to Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and Ernest Rutherford. It has been stolen from our ears.

The phrase goes like this: "You don't really understand something unless you explain it to your grandmother."

Michelle Lavery says, “Emotion tells the truth. It feels right for researchers in all disciplines, from particle physics to ecopsychology,” he writes.

As Feynman discovered during his many years of teaching, Russell Grossman of The Guardian says:

The grandmother slogan could become the catchphrase of “all professional communicators and scientists as they communicate”.

Einstein became one of the world's greatest science communicators, not necessarily but by choice. He found ways to explain his complex theories to children and the elderly alike. But perhaps, if he could, he would rather avoid words altogether, preferring what an acrobat would do to get his message across. However, this was not possible.

We can at least draw such a conclusion out of respect for the work of Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin was the only person Einstein wanted to meet in California during his second visit to the United States in 1930-31.

Einstein was at the height of his fame and the newspapers were following his every move. At the same time, scholars were trying to pressure him to explain their theory.

The admiration between Charlie Chaplin and Einstein was of course mutual.

Their first meeting took place outside of the press coverage and at Universal Studios, where they had lunch together. During their encounters, they naturally shared their perspectives on life and their ideas.

Chaplin writes in his autobiography that Einstein's wife, Elsa, had an invitation to dinner at her home.

Reporter Starkey states that Elsa had a dinner with Einstein and Chaplin. At the dinner, he states that Einstein was very happy with this obligation, when he put forward his theory that changed the world, and there was an intimate dinner where he entertained Chaplin with his story.

The relationship between Einstein and Chaplin continued. When Chaplin invited Einstein to the premiere of City Lights in 1931, there was a huge crowd of fans and famous reporters and photographers from different countries. The friendship between them was evident in this encounter.

It is stated that the conversations between them during their encounter have very interesting sentences and meanings.

According to one report, when Einstein expressed his surprise at the cheering for Chaplin, Chaplin would say, “People are clapping for me because everybody understands me and they are applauding you because nobody understands you.”

Chaplin himself wrote in his 1933-34 work A Comedian Sees The World that one of Einstein's sons uttered the following line weeks later:

“You are popular. Because you are understood by the masses. On the other hand, the professor's popularity with the masses is due to his lack of understanding.”

There was a dialogue in the excerpt from the Nobel Prize's Instagram account, as well as in a post that received thousands of likes.

Einstein: “What I admire most about your art is your universality. You don't say a word, yet the world understands you!”

Chaplin: “Right. But your glory is even greater! Even if they don't understand a word of what you're saying, the whole world admires you.”

Whatever they really said to each other, it's clear that Einstein saw something worth emulating in Charlie Chaplin.

Chaplin left his mark on existential philosophy by naming his movie Modern Times to the influential magazine Les Temps Modernes by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. He also had a literary side.

And it seems that he may have had little influence on physics, or the most famous physicists who may have had a secret ambition to be a silent film comedian, or at least communicated the universal activity of someone gifted.

Like Charlie Chaplin, a favorite of geniuses and grandmothers (and great-grandmothers).


Compiled by: Hasan Ongan


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