An iPad app has been launched which allows users to explore the brain of scientific genius Albert Einstein.
The app, which has been created by scanning slices of the late physicist’s brain created after his death in 1955, is intended to provide better access to the slides to scientists and students.
Einstein’s brain was illegally removed and dissected by a pathologist called Thomas Hardy following an autopsy. Although Einstein is said to have considered donating his body to science, he never actually put these wishes into writing before his death.
Hardy cut the brain into around 350 different pieces in the hope that studying it may offer some clue as to how Einstein’s genius developed. The move cost the pathologist his job, although he did manage to secure retrospective permission from Einstein’s son.
The brain slices were bequeathed to the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Chicago in 2010, from where a team of developers went on to create the app. Available from Apple’s App Store for £6.99, users can browse through the slides which are organised into different sections depending on which part of the brain they are from.
Results from previous studies of the brain segments have not been particularly revelatory and have failed to provide any definitive conclusion about why Einstein was so good at developing scientific ideas. However, it has been shown that his parietal lobe (a part of the brain associated with mathematics, language and special awareness) was 15% larger than in an average human.