For Einstein, 1905 was a remarkable year. It was also a miraculous year for the history and future of science. In six short months, he published five papers that would transform our understanding of nature. This unparalleled period is the subject of Rigden's book, which deftly explains what distinguishes 1905 from all other years in the annals of science, and elevates Einstein above all other scientists of the twentieth century.
Makes these ideas accessible to a general reader complex concepts of relativity and the stimulated emission of light through the use of mathematics no more difficult than one learns in high school. Written by a noted and successful science writer. Noted science writer Jeremy Bernstein tells the remarkable story of Einstein’s papers and their impact one century ago. Explains the many technological ramifications of ideas which changed our lives in the twentieth century and continue to do so.
Constructing Quantum Mechanics is the first of two volumes on the genesis of quantum mechanics. It covers the key developments in the period 1900-1923, which provided the scaffold on which the arch of modern quantum mechanics was built. This volume traces the early contributions by Planck, Einstein, and Bohr to the theories of black-body radiation, specific heats, and spectroscopy, all showing the need for drastic changes to the physics of their day. It examines the efforts by Sommerfeld and others to provide a new theory, now known as the old quantum theory. After some striking initial successes (explaining the fine structure of hydrogen, X-ray spectra, and the Stark effect), the old quantum theory ran into serious difficulties (failing to provide consistent models for helium and the Zeeman effect) and eventually gave way to matrix and wave mechanics. The book breaks new ground, both in its treatment of the work of Sommerfeld and his associates, and also in its offering of new perspectives on classic papers by Planck, Einstein, and Bohr. Throughout this volume, the authors provide detailed reconstructions of the central arguments and derivations of the physicists involved, allowing for a full and thorough understanding of the key principles.
This book is the fourth in a series of lectures of the S ́ eminaire Poincar ́ e,whichis directed towards a large audience of physicists and of mathematicians. The goal of this seminar is to provide up-to-date information about general topics of great interest in physics. Both the theoretical and experimental aspects are covered, with some historical background. Inspired by the Bourbaki seminar in mathematics in its organization, hence nicknamed “Bourbaphi”, the Poincar ́ e Seminar is held twice a year at the Institut Henri Poincar ́ e in Paris, with cont- butions prepared in advance. Particular care is devoted to the pedagogical nature of the presentations so as to ful?ll the goal of being readable by a large audience of scientists. This volume contains the seventh such Seminar, held in 2005. It is devoted to Einstein’s 1905 papers and their legacy. After a presentation of Einstein’s ep- temological approach to physics, and the genesis of special relativity, a cen- nary perspective is o?ered. The geometry of relativistic spacetime is explained in detail. Single photon experiments are presented, as a spectacular realization of Einstein’s light quanta hypothesis. A previously unpublished lecture by Einstein, which presents an illuminating point of view on statistical physics in 1910, at the dawn of quantum mechanics, is reproduced. The volume ends with an essay on the historical, physical and mathematical aspects of Brownian motion. We hopethatthe publicationofthis serieswill servethe community ofphy- cists and mathematicians at the graduate student or professional level.
Mechanics, the science of moving bodies and their interactions, is among the finest accomplishments of western civilization. This is the story of development, from the ground-breaking attempts of the Greeks, through the brilliant abstractions of medieval logicians, to the breathtaking achievements of Galileo, Huygens, and Newton, to the dazzling virtuosity of Maxwell and Einstein. Crowe's presentation allows the reader to appreciate this story from the inside, following the thoughts of the original authors in their own words. Ample commentary places these scientific giants in their context and helps modern readers understand the unfamiliar modes of expression of earlier times. In the course of telling the story, this book also provides a practical introduction to mechanics, with sample computations and problems in both classical physics and relativistic kinematics.
From Isaacson, the bestselling author of "Benjamin Franklin," comes the first full biography of Albert Einstein since all his papers have become available--a fully realized portrait of a premier icon of his era.
This book pieces together the jigsaw puzzle of Einstein’s journey to discovering the special theory of relativity. Between 1902 and 1905, Einstein sat in the Patent Office and may have made calculations on old pieces of paper that were once patent drafts. One can imagine Einstein trying to hide from his boss, writing notes on small sheets of paper, and, according to reports, seeing to it that the small sheets of paper on which he was writing would vanish into his desk-drawer as soon as he heard footsteps approaching his door. He probably discarded many pieces of papers and calculations and flung them in the waste paper basket in the Patent Office. The end result was that Einstein published nothing regarding the special theory of relativity prior to 1905. For many years before 1905, he had been intensely concerned with the topic; in fact, he was busily working on the problem for seven or eight years prior to 1905. Unfortunately, there are no surviving notebooks and manuscripts, no notes and papers or other primary sources from this critical period to provide any information about the crucial steps that led Einstein to his great discovery. In May 1905, Henri Poincaré sent three letters to Hendrik Lorentz at the same time that Einstein wrote his famous May 1905 letter to Conrad Habicht, promising him four works, of which the fourth one, Relativity, was a rough draft at that point. In the May 1905 letters to Lorentz, Poincaré presented the basic equations of his 1905 “Dynamics of the Electron”, meaning that, at this point, Poincaré and Einstein both had drafts of papers relating to the principle of relativity. The book discusses Einstein’s and Poincaré’s creativity and the process by which their ideas developed. The book also explores the misunderstandings and paradoxes apparent in the theory of relativity, and unravels the subtleties and creativity of Einstein.