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Download Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity ePub

by Andrew Robinson

Download Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity ePub
  • ISBN 1435124081
  • ISBN13 978-1435124080
  • Language English
  • Author Andrew Robinson
  • Publisher Sterling (June 30, 2010)
  • Pages 256
  • Formats txt lrf azw lit
  • Category Biography
  • Subcategory Professionals and Academics
  • Size ePub 1946 kb
  • Size Fb2 1911 kb
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 705

According to the terms of Albert Einstein's will, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the last depository of his personal papers and holds the copyright to his literary estate. Today this unique collection forms the Albert Einstein Archives, the world's foremost such resource. Its goal is to preserve, restore and expand its holdings, enhance accessibility to the material, administer Einstein's literary estate, and increase the public awareness of the scientific achievements, political activities, and the moral and humane values of Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein's universal appeal is only partially explained by his brilliant work in physics, as Andrew Robinson demonstrates in this authoritative, accessible, illustrated biography. The main narrative is augmented by eleven essays by well-known scientists and scholars, including three Nobel Laureates. The book presents clearly the beautiful simplicity at the heart of Einstein's greatest discoveries, and explains how his ideas have continued to influence scientific developments such as the theory of the big bang, lasers and "theories of everything." Einstein's life and activities outside of science are also considered, including his encounters with famous contemporaries such as Chaplin, Roosevelt and Tagore, his love of music, and his troubled family life. It recognizes that his striking originality was expressed in many ways, from his political and humanitarian campaigns against nuclear weapons, anti-Semitism, McCarthyism and social injustices, to his unconventional personal appearance. Published in association with the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and draws upon this exceptional resource of Einstein's private papers and personal photographs.

Andrew Robinson was educated at the Dragon School, Eton College where he was a King's Scholar, University College, Oxford where he read Chemistry and finally the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He is the son of Neville Robinson, an Oxford physicist, and Daphne Robinson.

Einstein: A Hundred Years. has been added to your Cart. Andrew Robinson's main biographical narrative is enhanced by 12 essays by eminent scientists, scholars and artists that put Einstein's life and work in perspective. -Bill Condie, Cosmos Magazine

Einstein: A Hundred Years. -Bill Condie, Cosmos Magazine. With its plentiful photographs and iconic, whimsical images, Robinson’s work has great aesthetic appeal. The book offers a general introduction to Einstein in which his scientific achievements and his vivid personality are clearly conveyed.

Start by marking Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

The book recognizes that Einstein’s striking originality was expressed in many ways, from his political and . The main narrative is enriched by twelve essays by well-known scientists, scholars, and artists, including three Nobel Laureates. The book presents clearly the beautiful simplicity at the heart of Einstein’s greatest discoveries, and explains how his ideas have continued to influence scientific developments such as lasers, the theory of the big bang, and "theories of everything.

The Poetry of Light: Venetian Drawings from the National Gallery of Art, Washington. com User, September 13, 2005.

The best Albert Einstein books as recommended by Einstein expert Andrew Robinson. Find out more about life and times of the 'unique genius. You’re the author of a biography of Albert Einstein called Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity that was republished this year to coincide with the centenary of the theory of general relativity. Relativity is generally regarded as his greatest achievement and it comes in two forms: special relativity (1905) and general relativity (1915) - a hundred years ago this month. He also made major contributions to quantum mechanics.

In the popular imagination Einstein’s genius is so absolute that he has acquired an almost cartoon-like status. In Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity, Andrew Robinson reconstructs a nuanced portrait of the revolutionary thinker

In the popular imagination Einstein’s genius is so absolute that he has acquired an almost cartoon-like status. In Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity, Andrew Robinson reconstructs a nuanced portrait of the revolutionary thinker. His large format book has the endorsement of the Albert Einstein Archives, and it draws on an exceptional collection of photographs and rarely aired manuscripts, making for a rich visual experience. The book is in two parts – the first dealing with the physicist and the second with the man.

As Freeman Dyson writes in the preface, Einstein’s life was full of paradoxes, and this lovely coffee table book, with essays by Stephen Hawking, Philip Anderson, Steven Weinberg and others, reveals them all. Philip Glass invokes Einstein the musician, the dreamer, the poet, the artist. It has the great man describing in his own words his revolutionary new ideas, and the suspense as the results of the experiments confirming general relativity were announced. Bernard Cohen’s reminiscence of his interview with the physicist – Einstein’s last – gives a glimpse of the man behind the genius.

Home Andrew Robinson EINSTEIN : A HUNDRED YEARS OF REALITY. Einstein : a hundred years of reality. About the Author: Andrew Robinsonis the author of some 25 books, written for both general and academic readers, covering three main areas: science and the history of science; archaeology, scripts and decipherment; and the history and culture of India.

Academic journal article The Science Teacher. Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity. The second section examines Einstein as a man. Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity By Andrew Robinson. 256 pp. Princeton University Press. Several chapters feature essays by different authors, including Einstein, giving special insights into his character, influence, personality, and thought processes.

Talk about Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity

Andrew Robinson’s compendium on all things Einstein, published in 2015 during the one hundredth anniversary of general relativity, is a lavishly illustrated treat which I read with great pleasure in one sitting. It consists of contributions from Robinson himself as well as from a variety of writers, scientists and philosophers on various aspects of Einstein’s life, work and the times he lived in. There are scores of photos of Einstein with everyone from Niels Bohr to Charlie Chaplain to Rabindranath Tagore. Robinson himself is a measured and very engaging guide to Einstein’s life, treading methodically and evenly over all major events in his life. The book consists of introductory essays by Robinson followed by chapters on specific topics. All the chapters on Einstein’s work are drawn from past writings on Einstein by leading thinkers and scientists; Stephen Hawking, Steven Weinberg, Freeman Dyson, Max Jammer, Philip Anderson and Philip Glass. It is especially illuminating to read Glass’s essay in which Glass talks about how Einstein inspired his play, “Einstein on the Beach”. Each of these writers talks about a particular triumph and folly of Einstein’s, or how he influenced their own work. The volume also contains a reprint of a revealing interview with Einstein by Bernard Cohen, conducted only two weeks before his death.

Although Einstein is known for relativity – and both general and special relativity receive an extended treatment here - he contributed to many other important parts of physics. He was one of the fathers of quantum theory, a fact of perpetual irony given his vociferous later opposition to the meaning of the theory. In 1905 which is regarded as his annus mirabilis, he published papers on the sizes of atoms, on diffusion through different media and of course, on special relativity. Even after putting the finishing touches on relativity in 1915, Einstein made at least two major contributions to science. One was his work with Satyendranath Bose predicting what are called Bose-Einstein condensates; it took until the 1990s for these novel forms of matter to be created in the laboratory. The other was his contribution in explaining the process of stimulated emission which led to the laser. Another of Einstein’s lesser-known works was a practical one – the Einstein-Szilard refrigerator which he invented as a safe refrigerator with his friend Leo Szilard, the same Szilard who encouraged him to write the famous letter to president Roosevelt warning of the discovery of fission.

The book is roughly chronological; starting with Einstein’s rebellious days as a student and trailblazer at the Swiss patent office, as deep thinker and revolutionary when he was a professor in Berlin, as pacifist during World War 1, as one of the most famous men in the world after World War 2, as target of anti-Semitic propaganda, as world-famous émigré in Princeton and as pacifist, tongue-wagging celebrity-sage again after World War 2. One of the themes that constantly emerges through these different periods of Einstein’s life is that of stubbornness and rebellion combined with an unusual tolerance for unorthodox thinking and unconventional people. One of the significant myths about Einstein that the volume demolishes is that of an introverted, lonely, deep thinker. Throughout his life Einstein was surrounded by close friends who he kept in touch with either in person or through letters; his personal and professional correspondence with famous as well as common folk number in the thousands. During his young days he was a lusty, vivacious and joyful man filled with dry humor and cheekiness, and these qualities endured late into his life. They were partly what helped to psychologically shield him against the breakdown of Germany and the world that he witnessed.

Robinson’s volume is also very good at exploring the paradoxes of Einstein’s life. Einstein was a wise, avuncular figure to strangers and the world at large, but he was often terribly cruel and indifferent to his family; he was an adulterer who womanized regularly even after being married twice, and he was estranged from both of his sons. Much of this revelation was hidden from the public and only became apparent with the discovery of Einstein’s letters to his wife in the 1990s. As with most other people, Einstein had trouble being consistent in his morality. His pacifism was perhaps one of the most consistent qualities in him, although he wisely cast it off once Hitler came to power.

Scientifically Einstein’s life presents even more interesting paradoxes. Freeman Dyson opens the volume with an essay talking about what was perhaps Einstein’s biggest scientific failure; his inability to imagine a universe without black holes. As I describe in the post below, both Einstein and Oppenheimer played foundational roles in the discovery of black holes; they were a logical result of Einstein’s field equations of general relativity. Yet both men essentially abandoned their scientific creations, staying utterly indifferent to them for the rest of their lives. Einstein even wrote a paper in 1939 that supposedly refuted black holes, but it was fatally flawed in its assumptions of static spacetime around these inherently dynamic objects. Today black holes are recognized as the engines which fuel the birth and death of the universe. Einstein also made a mistake when he inserted a cosmological constant in his equations to keep the universe from expanding or contracting. However to his credit, he immediately got rid of this constant once he learnt of Edwin Hubble’s discovery of the expanding universe. Ironically, as the expansion of the universe was found to be accelerating, the cosmological constant was resurrected.

Einstein’s reliance on beauty and mathematics was also paradoxical. As the physicist Philip Anderson describes, many still think of Einstein as primarily a mathematical physicist. But all his early advances in relativity were fueled not by abstract mathematics but by practical thought experiments in physics. He always stayed close to experiment and let the data guide his thinking. His time in the patent office in Bern had given him a real taste for mechanical contraptions. However, as described by Steven Weinberg, when developing general relativity, Einstein did have to take advantage of the novel field of Riemannian geometry which he learnt from his friend Marcel Grossmann. Weinberg speculates that perhaps Einstein got so enamored with mathematics during this time that it led to his isolation from the mainstream of physics during the last few decades of his life when he kept on trying to develop a unified field theory without paying attention to real advances in physics. Sadly, Weinberg finds that almost everything that Einstein did after 1925 was irrelevant in terms of real contributions to physics. The one exception was the debate with Niels Bohr and others about quantum entanglement which he sparked in 1935, and even in that debate he finally ended up on the losing side.

Einstein remains of great interest to a new generation, not because he was a genius but because – as this volume illustrates - he was human. Ultimately when we strip away the trappings of myth and fame from his scientific contributions, what remains is a human being in all his honest clarity. That is what makes him a topic of enduring interest.
100 years plus after his best work and it's still relevant. A very good book. Lots of pics.
On-time delivery, book as promised
My husband would not read one book and finally he is reading!!!! Has to be GREAT!
Einstein was my inspiration while growing up. I was never as focused as he obviously was. Book was a great read.
An excellent book on a genius unrivalled since Newton. Einstein is interesting for his scientific breakthroughs as well as his personal life and this book presents both aspects of this great man.
Published in 2005, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Einstein's miracle year of 1905, this book is a rare treat presented in two parts. Part one deals with Einstein's legacy in physics as seen by his closest associates and admiring colleagues. Part II deals with Einstein the man: his personal life, his political and religious views. It closes with Einstein's final interview and the author's comments on what his life and discoveries all mean. Altogether, it is a fitting tribute to the great man.

In the introduction, Freeman Dyson, a friend and Princeton colleague, summaries the paradox that was Einstein the scientist using as an example Einstein's refusal to accept one of the important consequences of his own theory of relativity: the predicted existence of black holes. Einstein submitted a flawed paper claiming their non-existence, and never changed his mind. Later in his life, he also took a similar stance regarding another of his developments, the quantum theory. Regarding it, in one of his most famous quips he is quoted as having said that: "god does not play dice with the universe."

Chapter 1 is a quick review of Newtonian physics in which the author swiftly takes us through the Greeks, Copernicus, Kepler, Tyco Brahe, Galileo on to Newton with his laws of motion. Significantly, Newton "posited" the existence of gravity without fully understanding it. Thus, Newton's universe was not so much a paradigm shift as the first coherent paradigm of the universe at all. Its primary weakness was that it depended on absolute time and space, which at bottom assumes the existence of a space-time frame of reference that is at rest. This of course was one of the weaknesses that led Einstein to exploit Newton's theory to good effect in his special theory, and later further explored and refined in the general theory. Newton also got in trouble with his "corpuscular theory of light," forcing all those who embraced it into having also to posit the existence of the strange phenomenon of the "ether" as the medium through which light necessarily had to travel. The implausibility of the ether opened up the floodgates to James Clerk Maxwell's rather incredible work, which arguably was indeed the paradigm shift that was needed for Einstein's ideas to take root and to flourish. Maxwell's equations changed the way reality was perceived: from a framework of "material points" to one of "continuous fields."

Chapter II takes us through Einstein's graduation from the Swiss Polytechnic in Zurich. There the young Einstein was growing into a "hard case:" again separated from his family, had become an undisciplined dreamer, "stateless," and with little or no respect for authority (including his teachers at the Polytechnic), but who despite this, was a voracious reader "up on" all of the latest scientific materials. This mixture of personal habits and attitudes landed him not in his preferred role of teacher at the institute, but as a bureaucrat at the Federal Swiss Office for Intellectual Property -- the Patent Office. And as the saying goes, "the rest is history."

Steven Hawking then gives a brief but very revealing history of Relativity. It begins with the Michelson-Morley experiment, which finally dispatched Newton's idea of the "ether" into oblivion and immediately launched Einstein into a frenetic period of creative theorizing. The crowning gem of this period was his radical proposal of the universal constancy of light. This proved to be the Rosetta Stone of relativity. The rest was really no more than tying up the loose ends, which Einstein did in grand style with his now famous equation E=mc^2. The chapter ends with the much more complicated notions that led to the general theory.

Chapter III described the events of 1905, dubbed "the miraculous year." By May of 1905, Einstein had sketched out four papers that would revolutionize our understanding of the universe. The least well-known of his work during this period on the "black body problem of light," would later earn him the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Imagine this: In the span of six months, a 26-year old patent officer, with no contacts with the rest of the physics profession, and whose papers cited no previous scientific authors, had single-handedly formulated the basis for the quantum theory, the theory of Brownian motion, the Special theory of Relativity, and had developed a draft of a paper on the General theory of Relativity. In short, in no more than six months, he had revolutionized our understanding of the universe.

Chapters IV and V deal with the "fallout" of the two most controversial papers of 1905, the General theory and quantum mechanics. Chapter IV deals with the agonizing development of the General Theory of Relativity, the crown jewel of Einstein's work. There were no easy parts to either the general theory, or quantum mechanics, both of which unlike the other papers, got strong "blowback" from the established physics community. However, Einstein held fast and weathered the storm with confidence that his theories would eventually prove to be correct. He was right.

Arguably Einstein should have been considered for a Nobel Prize for any one of his 1905 papers, or even for them collectively, but even as late as 1922, he was not being considered for any of them because of the controversial nature of both the quantum paper and the one on the General theory. In fact, only in 1907 was he promoted in his patent office job. At the time of his promotion, no mention was made of his most famous outside work that was revolutionizing the world of science.He remained at the Patent Office for seven years before leaving to take a lowly teaching job.

The rest of part I of the book is about how physics and the world changed as a result of Einstein's theories, and his own failed search for the "holy grail" of physics, a theory of everything. And while there are certainly better discussions of the latter of these, none are as interesting or as pumped with historical significance as this one.

The second half of the book, chapters 8 to the end, covers in modest detail Einstein's personal and non-scientific public life. And while it is all interesting there do exist better sources for those who wish to know these details. I have read and reviewed several of those books and thus quickly skimmed through the last half of the book. Overall it is a wonderful read. Five stars.