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

By Arthur I. Miller | Go to book overview

6
THE ANNUS MIRABILIS:
HOW EINSTEIN DISCOVERED
RELATIVITY

I have been extremely interested by the fact that you are planning to return to the Patent Office, in that cloister among the men where I hatched my best ideas and where we spent such pleasant days together.

—Letter of Albert Einstein to
Michele Besso, 12 December, 1919

At intervals of six to eight weeks starting on 17 March, 1905, Einstein sent off to the Annalen der Physik three papers that would appear in the journal's now famous Volume 17. Of these three masterpieces, the greatest is the special theory of relativity. This chapter explores how Einstein discovered it.


THE BEST PHYSICS DEPARTMENT IN EUROPE

From 29 October, 1903, to 15 May, 1905, the Einsteins lived in the old city center of Bern. Their two-room flat at 49 Kramgasse was a second- floor walk-up accessible by a steep staircase.

-179-

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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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