Bird migration attracted Einstein

Looking at a BBC report on bees in 2019, a certain Judith Davis recalled the existence of a letter Einstein addressed to her late husband, Glynn. In the 1940s, the latter was interested in research by ethologist Carl von Frisch on the orientation ability of bees due to the polarization of light from the sky.

In this short message, Einstein talks about being aware of the work of Karl von Frisch. Above all, he says he believes that the understanding of physical processes as yet unknown can come from the analysis of animal perceptions. He cites the investigation of the behavior of migratory birds as a promising example.

An intuition that has been demonstrated after 70 years! It was in 2004 that a study first proved that thanks to navigating thrushes in the form of a magnetic compass. One of the theories to explain this phenomenon comes from quantum biology, which, as its name suggests, is interested in the relationship between quantum mechanics and biology.

“It shows us how Einstein was an extraordinary researcher,” said Adrian Dyer, scientist Judith Davies observed in the BBC report. He must have wondered about this problem, these birds that orient themselves precisely over incredible distances. He foresaw the degree of difficulty of this achievement and realized that studying it could push the limits of our understanding of physics. Professor Dyer and his colleagues covered the whole matter in one article Journal of Comparative Physiology A Published last May.

An anticipation that is not supernatural to Professor Anne Angers in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Montreal. “All scientists know that nature has much to teach us, so I am not surprised that Einstein would have thought of that.”

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Rather, Professor Dyer’s investigative work impressed him. In fact, Adrian Dyer and his team had to dig through the Davis family’s memories and archives of the time to clarify the subject of Glynn Davis’ (now untraceable) initial letter, and to understand that he had contacted Einstein. Why did you do it. Place. “I found Mr. Dyer’s words very convincing,” says Annie Angers. But when we read this famous letter from Einstein at the end, we realize that it is only 10 lines long. It flattens out a bit! What confirms the reputation that this great soul had to be a man of few words.

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