Albert Einstein and the Frontiers of Physics

Albert Einstein and the Frontiers of Physics

Albert Einstein and the Frontiers of Physics

Albert Einstein and the Frontiers of Physics

Synopsis

Albert Einstein did not impress his first teachers. They found him a dreamy child without an especially promising future. But some time in his early years he developed what he called "wonder" about the world. Later in life, he remembered two instances from his childhood--his fascination at age five with a compass and his introduction to the lucidity and certainty of geometry--that may have been the first signs of what was to come. From these ordinary beginnings, Einstein became one of the greatest scientific thinkers of all time. This illuminating biography describes in understandable language the experiments and revolutionary theories that flowed from Einstein's imagination and intellect--from his theory of relativity, which changed our conception of the universe and our place in it, to his search for a unified field theory that would explain all of the forces in the universe.

Excerpt

Many people who write biographies of famous people are at pains to tell the reader about how they met and spent time with their subject. In the best case this gives the reader a feeling of personal intimacy with the individual whose life is being described; in the worst case the reader may get the feeling that the book is really nothing but simpleminded hero-worshipping. Since I did not get to meet Albert Einstein I do not fall into either category. However, I thought by telling you how I did not get to meet Einstein I could introduce both myself and Einstein.

In 1947 I entered Harvard University as a freshman. I was 17 and had no intention of studying science. However, like many people I had heard of Einstein and his theory of relativity. Somehow I had learned that according to Einstein moving clocks slow down and that massive objects become more massive when observed in motion; indeed, that when such objects approach the speed of light they become so massive that they can no longer be accelerated at all. I had also read somewhere that space is [curved] and that there is . . .

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