Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein

By Abraham Pais | Go to book overview

29 Of Tensors and a Hearing Aid and Many Other Things: Einstein's Collaborators

All of Einstein's major papers are his alone. However, over the years he had a remarkably large number, more than thirty, of co-workers. Einstein did not like crowds, never cared for teaching classes, and did not create a school. But he loved to talk physics, as was illustrated in such delightful ways during the session of the Einstein symposium in Princeton devoted to 'working with Einstein' [W1]. The four men who reminisced on that occasion had all worked with him during the 1930s and 1940s. Their respective collaborative efforts all dealt with general relativity and unified field theory, Einstein's exclusive interests during that period. All of them were men much younger than Einstein who had come to him in the formative stages of their development.

It was not quite like that in earlier times. Along with the younger physicists who came even in those days, Einstein also had collaborators who belonged to his own generation, men like Laub, the Habicht brothers, Grossmann, Ehrenfest, Bucky, Mühsam, and Tolman. Pauli, though twenty years younger than Einstein, was already a mature physicist when he and Einstein wrote a joint paper. Furthermore, in the early days, even though relativity was already a main topic of concern, there was a greater variety of research subjects that interested Einstein. For example, he is the co-author of experimental papers dealing with refrigerators, a hearing aid, gyromagnetism, and the permeability of membranes for colloids. It would appear that in the early years Einstein had more fun.

To understand Einstein the physicist, it would be of some interest to organize a reunion, albeit on paper only, of all his collaborators.* It is the purpose of this appendix to do so. The format will be a series of thumb-nail sketches in which the nature of the various collaborations are stated and in which it is indicated what became of the people who worked with Einstein.**

____________________
*
I believe but cannot certify that the list of collaborators given in what follows is complete. I do not include men such as Besso, with whom Einstein had important scientific discussions not accompanied or followed by a joint enterprise.
**
See also [P1] for an account of Einstein's earliest scientific collaborations.

-483-

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Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • To the Reader vii
  • Contents (entries in Italics Are Almost Entirely Biographical) xi
  • I- Introductory 3
  • 1- Purpose and Plan 5
  • 2- Relativity Theory and Quantum Theory 26
  • 3 - Portrait of the Physicist as a Young Man 49
  • II- Statistical Physics 53
  • 4- Entropy and Probability 55
  • 5- The Reality of Molecules 79
  • III- Relativity, the Special Theory 109
  • 6- ''subtle is the Lord . . .'' 111
  • 7- The New Kinematics 138
  • 8- The Edge of History 163
  • IV- Relativity, the General Theory 175
  • 9- ''The Happiest Thought of My Life'' 177
  • References 184
  • 10- Herr Professor Einstein 190
  • 11- The Prague Papers 192
  • 12- The Einstein-Grossmann Collaboration 208
  • 12- The Einstein-Grossmann Collaboration 208
  • References 228
  • 13- Field Theories of Gravitation 237
  • 14- The Field Equations of Gravitation 239
  • 15 - The New Dynamics 292
  • V- The Later Journey 297
  • 16- ''The Suddenly Famous Doctor Einstein'' 299
  • 17- Unified Field Theory 325
  • VI - The Quantum Theory 355
  • 18 - Preliminaries 363
  • 19- The Light-Quantum 364
  • 20- Einstein and Specific Heats 389
  • 21- The Photon 402
  • 22- Interlude- The Bks Proposal 416
  • 23- A Loss of Identity 423
  • 24- Einstein as a Transitional Figure 435
  • 25- Einstein''s Response to the New Dynamics 440
  • 26- Einstein''s Vision 460
  • VII- Journey''s End 471
  • 27- The Final Decade 473
  • 28- Epilogue 479
  • VIII- Appendices 481
  • 29- Of Tensors and a Hearing Aid and Many Other Things 483
  • 30- How Einstein Got the Nobel Prize 502
  • 31 - Einstein''s Proposals for the Nobel Prize 518
  • 32- An Einstein Chronology 520
  • Name Index 531
  • Subject Index 539
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