Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time and the Beauty That Causes Havoc

By Arthur I. Miller | Go to book overview

7
I REALLY WOULD NOT
HAVE THOUGHT EINSTEIN
CAPABLE OF THAT!

After a dinner at the house of Émile Borel, Paul Valéry asked [Einstein]: when an idea comes to you, how do you make arrangements to remember it? A notebook, a scrap of paper ... Einstein responded: Oh! An idea, it is so rare!

—Émile Borel, 1922

Imagine that you are a university science graduate who found it impossible to obtain an academic position and so went into a civil service post. Yet you persist in your research and succeed in formulating a bold new theory of space and time. Others, however, interpret it as merely giving a firmer foundation to an already existing theory whose emphasis lies elsewhere. Even so, your name has become linked with one of the great scientists of the day. You are elated and even dare to dream of a university position. Then an experiment disconfirms the dual-named theory. Everything collapses.


PERSEVERANCE

This was precisely what Einstein faced in 1906, when his theory of space and time was interpreted as providing an underpinning to the esteemed

-215-

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Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time and the Beauty That Causes Havoc
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - Two Worlds as One 1
  • 2 - A Good-Looking Bootblack 9
  • 3 - The Kind of Male Beauty That Caused Such Havoc 41
  • 4 - How Picasso Discovered Les Demoiselles D'Avignon 85
  • 5 - Braque and Picasso Explore Space 127
  • Intermezzo 173
  • 6 - The Annus Mirabilis: How Einstein Discovered Relativity 179
  • 7 - I Really Would Not Have Thought Einstein Capable of That! 215
  • 8 - Creativity in Art and Science 237
  • Notes 269
  • Bibliography 323
  • Photo Credits 341
  • Index 345
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