The Life’s Work That Proved Einstein Right

Saturday, May 14, 2016
by Eric Moskowitz

CAMBRIDGE — Long before he designed the detector that proved Einstein right, Rai Weiss climbed out of the subway on his first day at MIT and ran smack into a suffocating stench.

He had applied to the school without visiting and thought suddenly that he had made a mistake, unprepared for the acrid byproducts of mayonnaise, chocolate, and soap manufacture that belched from the smokestacks of East Cambridge.

When he found a seat in a crowded auditorium, he heard an imposing figure command the freshmen to look left, then right: One out of every three would be gone by graduation.

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photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe