Einstein's Jury is the dramatic story of how astronomers in Germany, England, and America competed to test Einstein's developing theory of relativity. Weaving a rich narrative based on extensive archival research, Jeffrey Crelinsten shows how these early scientific debates shaped cultural attitudes we hold today. The book examines Einstein's theory of general relativity through the eyes of astronomers, many of whom were not convinced of the legitimacy of Einstein's startling breakthrough. These were individuals with international reputations to uphold and benefactors and shareholders to please, yet few of them understood the new theory coming from the pen of Germany's up-and-coming theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein. Some tried to test his theory early in its development but got no results. Others--through toil and hardship, great expense, and perseverance--concluded that it was wrong. A tale of international competition and intrigue, Einstein's Jury brims with detail gleaned from Crelinsten's far-reaching inquiry into the history and development of relativity. Crelinsten concludes that the well-known British eclipse expedition of 1919 that made Einstein famous had less to do with the scientific acceptance of his theory than with his burgeoning public fame. It was not until the 1920s, when the center of gravity of astronomy and physics shifted from Europe to America, that the work of prestigious American observatories legitimized Einstein's work. As Crelinsten so expertly shows, the glow that now surrounds the famous scientist had its beginnings in these early debates among professional scientists working in the glare of the public spotlight.
The more than one thousand letters and several dozen writings included in this volume cover the years immediately before the final formulation of new quantum mechanics. The discovery of the Compton effect in 1923 vindicates Einstein's light quantum hypothesis. Niels Bohr still criticizes Einstein’s conception of light quanta and advances an alternative theory, but Walther Bothe and Hans Geiger perform a difficult experiment that decides in favor of Einstein’s theory. At the same time, Satyendranath Bose sends a new quantum theoretical derivation of Planck’s law to Einstein and he discovers what is now known as Bose-Einstein condensation. Einstein attempts to reformulate a unified theory of the gravitational and electromagnetic fields. In early November 1923, Einstein flees overnight to the Netherlands in the wake of threats on his life and anti-Semitic rioting in Berlin. He rejoins the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation in June 1924, and supports the idea of a European union. He joins the board of governors of Hebrew University, which opens in April 1925, and celebrates the event in Buenos Aires while on a seven-week lecture tour of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. During this period, he delivers lectures, meets with heads of state, visits major institutions, and attends receptions hosted by the local Jewish and German communities. He has a serious, but short-lived, falling out with his son Hans Albert and his first wife Mileva Maric-Einstein over how to invest part of the Nobel Prize money and he rescues his sister Maja and her husband from debt on their house. Einstein has a fourteen-month romantic relationship with his secretary, Betty Neumann, which he ends in October 1924.
The complete guide to everything you ever wanted to know about Einstein This is the single most complete guide to Albert Einstein's life and work for students, researchers, and browsers alike. Written by three leading Einstein scholars who draw on their combined wealth of expertise gained during their work on the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, this authoritative and accessible reference features more than one hundred entries and is divided into three parts covering the personal, scientific, and public spheres of Einstein’s life. An Einstein Encyclopedia contains entries on Einstein’s birth and death, family and romantic relationships, honors and awards, educational institutions where he studied and worked, citizenships and immigration to America, hobbies and travels, plus the people he befriended and the history of his archives and the Einstein Papers Project. Entries on Einstein’s scientific theories provide useful background and context, along with details about his assistants, collaborators, and rivals, as well as physics concepts related to his work. Coverage of Einstein’s role in public life includes entries on his Jewish identity, humanitarian and civil rights involvements, political and educational philosophies, religion, and more. Commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the theory of general relativity, An Einstein Encyclopedia also includes a chronology of Einstein’s life and appendixes that provide information for further reading and research, including an annotated list of a selection of Einstein’s publications and a review of selected books about Einstein. More than 100 entries cover the rich details of Einstein’s personal, professional, and public life Authoritative entries explain Einstein’s family relationships, scientific achievements, political activities, religious views, and more More than 40 illustrations include photos of Einstein and his circle plus archival materials A chronology of Einstein’s life, appendixes, and suggestions for further reading provide essential details for further research
This detailed account of the controversy surrounding the publication of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity explores the ferocious popular and academic opposition which at one time encircled one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century. Based on extensive archival research, this fascinating discourse includes a compelling and entertaining examination of the contemporary literature created by Einstein's detractors. Exploring the arguments and strategies, social contexts, and motivations of Einstein's detractors, and providing unique insights into the dynamics of scientific controversies, this book is ideal for anyone interested in the history and philosophy of physics, popular science, and the public understanding of science.
In the first decade of the twentieth century as Albert Einstein began formulating a revolutionary theory of gravity, the Italian mathematician Gregorio Ricci was entering the later stages of what appeared to be a productive if not particularly memorable career, devoted largely to what his colleagues regarded as the dogged development of a mathematical language he called the absolute differential calculus. In 1912, the work of these two dedicated scientists would intersect—and physics and mathematics would never be the same. Einstein's Italian Mathematicians chronicles the lives and intellectual contributions of Ricci and his brilliant student Tullio Levi-Civita, including letters, interviews, memoranda, and other personal and professional papers, to tell the remarkable, little-known story of how two Italian academicians, of widely divergent backgrounds and temperaments, came to provide the indispensable mathematical foundation—today known as the tensor calculus—for general relativity.
"Stanley is a storyteller par excellence."--The Washington Post Kirkus Review starred review; Publishers Weekly starred review; Booklist starred review The birth of a world-changing idea in the middle of a bloodbath Einstein’s War is a riveting exploration of both the beauty of scientific creativity and enduring horrors of human nature. These two great forces battle in a story that culminates with a victory now a century old, the mind-bending theory of general relativity. Few recognize how the Great War, the industrialized slaughter that bled Europe from 1914 to 1918, shaped Einstein’s life and work. While Einstein never held a rifle, he formulated general relativity blockaded in Berlin, literally starving. He lost fifty pounds in three months, unable to communicate with his most important colleagues. Some of those colleagues fought against rabid nationalism; others were busy inventing chemical warfare—being a scientist trapped you in the power plays of empire. Meanwhile, Einstein struggled to craft relativity and persuade the world that it was correct. This was, after all, the first complete revision of our conception of the universe since Isaac Newton, and its victory was far from sure. Scientists seeking to confirm Einstein’s ideas were arrested as spies. Technical journals were banned as enemy propaganda. Colleagues died in the trenches. Einstein was separated from his most crucial ally by barbed wire and U-boats. This ally was the Quaker astronomer and Cambridge don A. S. Eddington, who would go on to convince the world of the truth of relativity and the greatness of Einstein. In May of 1919, when Europe was still in chaos from the war, Eddington led a globe-spanning expedition to catch a fleeting solar eclipse for a rare opportunity to confirm Einstein’s bold prediction that light has weight. It was the result of this expedition—the proof of relativity, as many saw it—that put Einstein on front pages around the world. Matthew Stanley’s epic tale is a celebration of how bigotry and nationalism can be defeated and of what science can offer when they are.
A narrative portrait based on the complete body of Einstein's papers offers insight into his contributions to science, in an account that describes the influence of his discoveries on his personal views about morality, politics, and tolerance.
A finely drawn portrait of Einstein's sixteen months in Prague In the spring of 1911, Albert Einstein moved with his wife and two sons to Prague, the capital of Bohemia, where he accepted a post as a professor of theoretical physics. Though he intended to make Prague his home, he lived there for just sixteen months, an interlude that his biographies typically dismiss as a brief and inconsequential episode. Einstein in Bohemia is a spellbinding portrait of the city that touched Einstein's life in unexpected ways—and of the gifted young scientist who left his mark on the science, literature, and politics of Prague. Michael Gordin's narrative is a masterfully crafted account of a person encountering a particular place at a specific moment in time. Despite being heir to almost a millennium of history, Einstein's Prague was a relatively marginal city within the sprawling Austro-Hungarian Empire. Yet Prague, its history, and its multifaceted culture changed the trajectories of Einstein's personal and scientific life. It was here that his marriage unraveled, where he first began thinking seriously about his Jewish identity, and where he embarked on the project of general relativity. Prague was also where he formed lasting friendships with novelist Max Brod, Zionist intellectual Hugo Bergmann, physicist Philipp Frank, and other important figures. Einstein in Bohemia sheds light on this transformative period of Einstein's life and career, and brings vividly to life a beguiling city in the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
"Outstanding Academic Title for 2014" by CHOICE Einstein Relatively Simple brings together for the first time an exceptionally clear explanation of both special and general relativity. It is for people who always wanted to understand Einstein's ideas but never thought they could. Told with humor, enthusiasm, and rare clarity, this entertaining book reveals how a former high school drop-out revolutionized our understanding of space and time. From E=mc2 and everyday time travel to black holes and the big bang, Einstein Relatively Simple takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on a mind-boggling journey through the depths of Einstein's universe. Along the way, we track Einstein through the perils and triumphs of his life — follow his thinking, his logic, and his insights — and chronicle the audacity, imagination, and sheer genius of the man recognized as the greatest scientist of the modern era. In Part I on special relativity we learn how time slows and space shrinks with motion, and how mass and energy are equivalent. Part II on general relativity reveals a cosmos where black holes trap light and stop time, where wormholes form gravitational time machines, where space itself is continually expanding, and where some 13.7 billion years ago our universe was born in the ultimate cosmic event — the Big Bang. Contents:Einstein Discovered: Special Relativity, E = mc2,and Spacetime:From Unknown to RevolutionaryThe Great ConflictThe Two PostulatesA New RealityThe Shrinking of TimeSimultaneity and the Squeezing of SpaceThe World's Most Famous EquationSpacetimeEinstein Revealed: General Relativity, Gravity, and the Cosmos:Einstein's Dream“The Happiest Thought of My Life”The Warping of Space and TimeStitching SpacetimeWhat is Spacetime Curvature?Einstein's MasterpieceThe Universe RevealedIn the Beginning Readership: Adults and young people all over the world who are curious about Einstein and how the universe works. Keywords:Einstein;Relativity;Special Relativity;General Relativity;Spacetime;Big Bang;Black Holes;Expansion of Space;Time Travel;E=mc2;Universe;Cosmos;Time Dilation;Length Contraction;Wormholes;Light Postulate;Length Contraction;Gravitational Time Dilation;Time Warp;Space Warp;Relativity Postulate;Lorentz Transformation;Light Clock;Relativity of Simultaneity;Twins Paradox;Equivalence Principle;Gravity;Spacetime Curvature;Spacetime Interval;Gaussian Co-Ordinates;Geodesic;Momenergy;The Einstein Equation;Schwarzschild Geometry;Bending of Starlight;Frame Dragging;Cosmic Microwave Background;Geometry of Universe;Flat Universe;Critical Density;Dark Matter;Dark Energy;Future of UniverseKey Features:Einstein Relatively Simple is the definitive book on Einstein's theories for the lay reader — one that is fun to read, comprehensive, and most important, understandableEinstein's ideas are explained in everyday languageThe book devotes eight chapters to special and a full eight chapters to general relativity. Most popular science books give general relativity only a brief mention or ignore it altogetherReviews: “This general relativity theory changed our views on the origin and on the ending (if any) of the universe … all topics that tickle the imagination of a general public and Egdall, bringing the reader to the point beyond general relativity, does not miss the opportunity to end his guided tour with a sparkling firework of these issues … it is an entertaining introduction for the layman, that brings the reader a very long way.” The European Mathematical Society “He covers the main topics of special and general relativity in a refreshing, personal way. This is a well-crafted, well-documented text with extensive endnotes, in which a bibliography is embedded. He introduces readers to his own unique entry into this very populous genre. Valuable for inquisitive nonscientists.” CHOICE “I'm crazy about it. It's the best presentation of relativity for non-scientists that I've seen.” Art Hobson Professor Emeritus of Physics University of Arkansas "The writing is jovial and energetic and holds the reader's attention. This book is a nice introduction to modern physics, with a great biography of Einstein included. This book is recommended for a lay reader with basic algebra skills; high school and beginning college physics students would find it easily accessible." Zentralblatt MATH
This book tracks the history of the theory of relativity through Einstein’s life, with in-depth studies of its background as built upon by ideas from earlier scientists. The focus points of Einstein’s theory of relativity include its development throughout his life; the origins of his ideas and his indebtedness to the earlier works of Galileo, Newton, Faraday, Mach and others; the application of the theory to the birth of modern cosmology; and his quest for a unified field theory. Treading a fine line between the popular and technical (but not shying away from the occasional equation), this book explains the entire range of relativity and weaves an up-to-date biography of Einstein throughout. The result is an explanation of the world of relativity, based on an extensive journey into earlier physics and a simultaneous voyage into the mind of Einstein, written for the curious and intelligent reader.
Albert Einstein is often viewed as the icon of genius, and his theories are admired for their beauty and correctness. Yet the final judge of any theory is the rigorous test of experiment, not the fame of its inventor or the allure of its mathematics. For decades, general relativity has passed test after test with flying colors, including some remarkable new tests using the recently detected gravitational waves. Still, there are reasons for doubt. Einstein's theory of gravity, as beautiful as it is, seems to be in direct contradiction with another theory he helped create: quantum mechanics. Until recently, this was considered to be a purely academic affair. But as more and more data pour in from the most distant corners of the universe, hinting at bizarre stuff called "dark energy" and "dark matter," some scientists have begun to explore the possibility that Einstein's theory may not provide a complete picture of the cosmos. This book chronicles the latest adventures of scientists as they put Einstein's theory to the test in ever more precise and astonishing ways, and in ever more extreme situations, when gravity is unfathomably intense and rapidly churning. From the explosions of neutron stars and the collisions of black holes to the modern scientific process as a means to seek truth and understanding in the cosmos, this book takes the reader on a journey of learning and discovery that has been 100 years in the making.
A thrilling adventure story chronicling the perilous journey of the scientists who set out to prove the theory of relativity--the results of which catapulted Albert Einstein to fame and forever changed our understanding of the universe. In 1911, a relatively unknown physicist named Albert Einstein published his preliminary theory of gravity. But it hadn't been tested. To do that, he needed a photograph of starlight as it passed the sun during a total solar eclipse. So began a nearly decade-long quest by seven determined astronomers from observatories in four countries, who traveled the world during five eclipses to capture the elusive sight. Over the years, they faced thunderstorms, the ravages of a world war, lost equipment, and local superstitions. Finally, in May of 1919, British expeditions to northern Brazil and the island of Príncipe managed to photograph the stars, confirming Einstein's theory. At its heart, this is a story of frustration, faith, and ultimate victory--and of the scientists whose efforts helped build the framework for the big bang theory, catapulted Einstein to international fame, and shook the foundation of physics.
This volume is the first systematic presentation of the work of Albert Einstein, comprising fourteen essays by leading historians and philosophers of science that introduce readers to his work. Following an introduction that places Einstein's work in the context of his life and times, the book opens with essays on the papers of Einstein's 'miracle year', 1905, covering Brownian motion, light quanta, and special relativity, as well as his contributions to early quantum theory and the opposition to his light quantum hypothesis. Further essays relate Einstein's path to the general theory of relativity (1915) and the beginnings of two fields it spawned, relativistic cosmology and gravitational waves. Essays on Einstein's later years examine his unified field theory program and his critique of quantum mechanics. The closing essays explore the relation between Einstein's work and twentieth-century philosophy, as well as his political writings.
Modern thermodynamics is a unique but still not a logically self-consistent field of knowledge. It has a proven universal applicability and significance but its actual potential is still latent. The development of the foundations of thermodynamics was in effect non-stop but absolutely no one has any idea about this. This book is the first of its kind that will motivate researchers to build up a logically consistent field of thermodynamics. It greatly appreciates the actual depth and potential of thermodynamics which might also be of interest to readers in history and philosophy of scientific research. The book presents the life stories of the protagonists in detail and allows readers to cast a look at the whole scene of the field by showcasing a significant number of their colleagues whose works have fittingly complemented their achievements. It also tries to trigger a detailed analysis of the reasons why the actual work in this extremely important field has in effect gone astray. It comprises five chapters and introduces three scientists in the first two chapters, which are specifically devoted to the Scandinavian achievements in macroscopic thermodynamics. These introductions are novel and call for a detailed reconsideration of the field. The third chapter acquaints the readers with their fourth colleague in Germany who was working on the proper link between the macroscopic thermodynamics, kinetics, and the atomistic representation of matter. The fourth chapter brings in their fifth colleague in the United States who could formally infer the famous formula S = k * ln(W), ingeniously guessed by Ludwig Boltzmann, and thus clarify the physical sense of the entropy notion. The last chapter summarizes the above-mentioned discourses.
This book examines the many faces of philosophy of time, including the metaphysical aspects, natural science issues, and the consciousness of time. It brings together the different methodologies of investigating the philosophy of time. It does so to counter the growing fragmentation of the field with regard to discussions, and the existing cleavage between analytic and continental traditions in philosophy. The book’s multidirectional approach to the notion of time contributes to a better understanding of time's metaphysical, physical and phenomenological aspects. It helps clarify the presuppositions underpinning the analytic and continental traditions in the philosophy of time and offers ways in which the differences between them can be bridged.
First published in 1922 and based on lectures delivered in May 1921, Albert Einstein’s The Meaning of Relativity offered an overview and explanation of the then new and controversial theory of relativity. The work would go on to become a monumental classic, printed in numerous editions and translations worldwide. Now, The Formative Years of Relativity introduces Einstein’s masterpiece to new audiences. This beautiful volume contains Einstein’s insightful text, accompanied by important historical materials and commentary looking at the origins and development of general relativity. Hanoch Gutfreund and Jürgen Renn provide fresh, original perspectives, placing Einstein’s achievements into a broader context for all readers. In this book, Gutfreund and Renn tell the rich story behind the early reception, spread, and consequences of Einstein’s ideas during the formative years of general relativity in the late 1910s and 1920s. They show that relativity’s meaning changed radically throughout the nascent years of its development, and they describe in detail the transformation of Einstein’s work from the esoteric pursuit of one individual communicating with a handful of colleagues into the preoccupation of a growing community of physicists, astronomers, mathematicians, and philosophers. This handsome edition quotes extensively from Einstein’s correspondence and reproduces historical documents such as newspaper articles and letters. Inserts are featured in the main text giving concise explanations of basic concepts, and short biographical notes and photographs of some of Einstein’s contemporaries are included. The first-ever English translations of two of Einstein’s popular Princeton lectures are featured at the book’s end.
First published in 1973, Gravitation is a landmark graduate-level textbook that presents Einstein’s general theory of relativity and offers a rigorous, full-year course on the physics of gravitation. Upon publication, Science called it “a pedagogic masterpiece,” and it has since become a classic, considered essential reading for every serious student and researcher in the field of relativity. This authoritative text has shaped the research of generations of physicists and astronomers, and the book continues to influence the way experts think about the subject. With an emphasis on geometric interpretation, this masterful and comprehensive book introduces the theory of relativity; describes physical applications, from stars to black holes and gravitational waves; and portrays the field’s frontiers. The book also offers a unique, alternating, two-track pathway through the subject. Material focusing on basic physical ideas is designated as Track 1 and formulates an appropriate one-semester graduate-level course. The remaining Track 2 material provides a wealth of advanced topics instructors can draw on for a two-semester course, with Track 1 sections serving as prerequisites. This must-have reference for students and scholars of relativity includes a new preface by David Kaiser, reflecting on the history of the book’s publication and reception, and a new introduction by Charles Misner and Kip Thorne, discussing exciting developments in the field since the book’s original publication. The book teaches students to: Grasp the laws of physics in flat and curved spacetime Predict orders of magnitude Calculate using the principal tools of modern geometry Understand Einstein's geometric framework for physics Explore applications, including neutron stars, Schwarzschild and Kerr black holes, gravitational collapse, gravitational waves, cosmology, and so much more
Ron Cowen offers a sweeping account of the century of experimentation that has consistently confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity. He shows how we got from Eddington’s pivotal observations of the 1919 eclipse to the Event Horizon Telescope, aimed at starlight wrapping around the black hole at our galaxy’s center.
Dedicated to the centennial anniversary of Minkowski's discovery of spacetime, this volume contains papers, most presented at the Third International Conference on the Nature and Ontology of Spacetime, that address some of the deepest questions in physics.