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- Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson.
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- Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson.
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Michael D. Gordin, Einstein: His Life and Universe. By Walter Isaacson. The most original feature of Walter Isaacson's blockbuster new biography of the physicist Albert Einstein is his arrangement of chapters. That is not trivial.
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson.
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Search this site. Dear Habicht, Such a solemn air of silence has descended between us that I almost feel as if I am committing a sacrilege when I break it now with some inconsequential babble. So, what are you up to, you frozen whale, you smoked, dried, canned pieceof soul? Why have you still not sent me your dissertation? Don't you know that I am one of the 1. I promise you four papers in return. The first deals with radiation and the energy properties of light and is very revolutionary, as you will see if you send me your work first.
The second paper is a determination of the true sizes of atoms. The fourth paper is only a rough draft at this point, and is an electrodynamics of movingbodies which employs a modification of the theory of space and time. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt inawe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.
To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In thissense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.
The outcome of this doubt and befogged speculation about time and space is a cloak beneath which hides the ghastly apparition of atheism. That's a whole lotta motherfuckin' bango django.
Love Bertie the last one, not really. It's the story of Albert as a child, showing him as quiet and absentminded, and preferring to play the violin rather thanroughhouse with other boys in the neighborhood. It also tells the story of when Albert had a fever and had to stay in bed, his father gave him a compass.
Albert became fascinated by the needle and asked so many thoughtful questionsabout the magnetic fields and the poles of the earth that his father, who could not answer them all, realized how smart his son was.
His gaze, which everyone thought to be absentminded, really reflected a very busy mind, a mind that was exploring places where nobody else could follow. It was the mind of agenius. It inspired in me a deep awe for Albert Einstein, one that has carried through to adulthood.
Walter Isaacson seems to have the same reverence for Einstein — there is an underlying fondness and admiration in this biography. A century after his great triumphs, we are still living in Einstein's universe His fingerprints are all over today's technologies. Photoelectric cells and lasers, nuclear powerand fiber optics, space travel, and even semiconductors all trace back to his theories.
He signed the letter to Franklin Roosevelt warning that it may be possible to build an atom bomb, and the letters of his famed equation relatingenergy to mass hover in our minds when we picture the resulting mushroom cloud.
There isn't a lot about his childhood in Germany, but I was happy to see therewas some truth in the story of his father bringing him a compass when he was sick in bed. He later recalled being so excited as he examined its mysterious powers that he trembled and grew cold.
The fact that the magnetic needle behaved as if influenced by some hidden force field, rather than through the more familiarmechanical method involving touch or contact, produced a sense of wonder that motivated him throughout his life.
Something deeply hidden had tobe behind things. Now before I wax too rhapsodic about this book, I need to warn my fellow readers that there is some serious physics-speak in here. I was listening to this on audio read by the wonderful actor Edward Herrmann and the chapters thatdiscussed Einstein's scientific theories were difficult to follow. Fortunately, those confusing sections did not overwhelm the book, and there were plenty of interesting biographical details to share.
Here are some of myfavorites: "Among the many surprising things about the life of Albert Einstein was the trouble he had getting an academic job. Indeed, it would be an astonishing nine years after his graduation from the Zurich Polytechnic in — and fouryears after the miracle year in which he not only upended physics but also finally got a doctoral dissertation accepted — before he would be offered a job as a junior professor.
In fact, there is no indication that he ever told them about her. Never once did he publicly speak of her or acknowledge that she even existed. No mention of her survives in any correspondence, except for a fewletters between Einstein and Maric, and these were suppressed and hidden until , when scholars and the editors of his papers were completely surprised to learn of Lieserl's existence.
The remaining part of the day, I would work on my own ideas Whenever anybody would come by, I would cram my notes into my desk drawer andpretend to work on my office work. He had devised a revolutionary quantum theory of light, helped prove the existence of atoms, explained Brownian motion, upended the concept of space and time, and produced whatwould become science's best known equation.
But many people seemed not to notice at first. According to his sister, Einstein had hoped that his flurry of essays in a preeminent journal would lift him from the obscurity of athird-class patent examiner and provide some academic recognition, perhaps even an academic job. The chain reaction that pushed Europe into war inAugust inflamed the patriotic pride of the Prussians and, in an equal and opposite reaction, the visceral pacifism of Einstein, a man so gentle and averse to conflict that he even disliked playing chess.
At such times one sees to what deplorable breed of brutes we belong. But when they were young, he tended to be a good father. She finally agreed to a divorce settlement, andEinstein was awarded the Nobel in Einstein's theory of relativity burst into the consciousness of a world that was weary of war and yearning for triumph of human transcendence.
Almost a year to the day after the end of the brutal fighting, here was an announcementthat the theory of a German Jew had been proven correct by an English Quaker [Arthur Eddington]. He wrote her passionate letters, saying: "I have to have someone to love, otherwise life is miserable. And this someone is you. Eventually, Einstein came around to the cause [of Zionism]. It was also, as Einstein described, "the utter failure of the so-called intellectual aristocracy.
Einstein eventually settled in Princeton, New Jersey, and would spend the rest of his life there. He was given a corner office in a university hall, and was asked what equipment he needed. Oh yes, and a large wastebasket, so I can throw away all my mistakes.
Occasionally, he would take rambling walks on his own, which could be dicey. One day someone called the Institute and asked to speak to a particular dean.
When his secretary said that the dean wasn't available, the caller hesitantlyasked for Einstein's home address. That was not possible to give out, he was informed. The caller's voice then dropped to a whisper.
Einstein, I'm on my way home, and I've forgottenwhere my house is. But what grew to impress him more — and what made him fundamentallysuch a good American but also a controversial one — was the country's tolerance of free thought, free speech, and nonconformist beliefs.
That had been a touchstone of his science, and now it was a touchstone of his citizenship. In one of his most revealing remarks about himself, Einstein lamented, "To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.
This is the second book by Walter Isaacson I've read, the other being Steve Jobs , and he is a talentedwriter and biographer. I especially appreciate his skill at weaving quotes and anecdotes into the narrative. For example, this is a typically elegant and amusing paragraph from Isaacson: Einstein's new marriage was different from his first.
It was not romantic or passionate. From the start, he and Elsa had separate bedrooms at opposite ends of their rambling Berlin apartment. Nor was it intellectual. Understandingrelativity, she later said, "is not necessary for my happiness.
His eyes could positively twinkle, and that shock of hairwas rarely tamed. I really enjoyed most of this book, and if I had been more studious and applied myself, I probably could have made better sense of the heavy chapters on physics. But there is a reason I ended up in the humanities andnot the sciences, and I shall continue to admire Mr.
Einstein's work from a distance. I thought it might help me to actually have a somewhat intelligent reply on the rare occasion he starts talking physics don't tellhim I said so, but he is much smarter than I am. The periodic and quite detailed descriptions of Einstein's theories and research were a bit okay, maybeway over my head at times, but that didn't in any way damper my enjoyment of the book.
When I did understand the physics, I found it all rather fascinating. I especially enjoyed learning the details of Einstein's life, relationships,struggles and philosophies. In fact, much to my surprise, there were times I had trouble putting this book down. Isaacson creates a vivid and engaging portrait of who Einstein was as a whole -- both the brilliant and the quirky -- andgives us a wonderful glimpse into how this man's amazing mind led to some of the most incredible scientific discoveries in history.
Very well-written and meticulously researched. Telesco GET. McKissack GET. Kagan GET. Palmer GET. Parker GET. Judah GET. Falender GET. Box GET. Modesitt Jr. Domar GET. Kemp GET. Webster GET. PDF Dr. Mitchell GET.
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Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson.
His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between. Isaacson explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk, a struggling father in a difficult. These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success. What made him a genius?
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