This story is told by a 75 years old man who has reached the final benevolent stage of life. Some 3 percent of my about 600 scientific publications are actually on Einstein, starting two decades ago. My method is: to re-trace the origin of a fresh insight before it is contaminated by more traditional stuff.
He had three absolutely maverick insights while young (and a fourth three decades later which is not our concern). The first looks absolutely impossible, the second looks totally absurd, and the third, an add-on to the second, lacks an implied final step whose absence only adds to its importance.
The first absurd truth consisted in demonstrating to the eye a fact that everyone would have bet is impossible: The speed of light c can be the same around each of two persons who are in rapid mutual motion. This logical impossibility becomes a truth, Einstein saw, if the two simultaneities coincide only at the moment of the two persons flying-by each other, but are mutually slanted outside. No one else would have been able to picture this in his mind (Einstein’s elder friend Michele Besso had served as midwife).
The second absurd truth Einstein spotted 2 ½ years later: Inside a tall church tower – or equivalently a slender rocketship accelerating in outer space –, the floor is in a constant receding motion away from the tip despite the fact that the distance remains constant. This follows from the global c of the first result. The constant recession speed generates a constant Doppler-shift, which is measurable to date even if the tower in question is but 2 cm in height.
The third absurd truth is again owed to the counterintuitive global c and again holds true in a tower in gravity or else in an ignited rocketship in outer space. It reads: A horizontal light ray hugging the floor looks reduced in its speed when watched from above. That is: c-global implies non-c-global?
This conclusion came as a catastrophe in 1907. Einstein stopped working and thinking about gravitation for 3 ½ years. It then would take a century until an explanation for the inconsistency was found in the lecture hall jointly with Dieter Fröhlich and the late Normann Kleiner: The light ray hugging the flat floor is actually slanted relative to the tip because the floor is receding. Thus, c is non-reduced in its speed. Result # 2 implies result # 3.
Einstein would be making a jump out of joy. The confirmed global c has powerful implications. For example, there can be no cosmic expansion any more since the latter is at variance with c-global. Second, Hawking radiation is not possible any more. For the well-known infinite temporal distance of the horizon of a black hole that is valid for the outside world as far as light rays going down or coming up are concerned, is now accompanied by an equally large spatial distance by virtue of c-global.
Since black holes can no longer Hawking evaporate, the hoped-for production of miniature black holes on earth in a currently running experiment can in case it is successful no longer be registered by the instruments of the experiment. On the other hand, miniature black holes that do not evaporate share the famous property of giant black holes to grow exponentially inside eatable matter. Therefore a world-famous experiment that already won a Nobel prize for the discovery of the Higgs boson is jeopardizing the planet on a short-term basis? This is what Einstein reloaded implies.
Everyone sympathizes with the media who say that Einstein reloaded no longer captures the imagination 60 years after Einstein’s passing away. But does this argument which I doubt really justify jeopardizing a planet? I, for one, am grateful to Einstein.