Author(s): Stanley, Matthew
In 1916, Arthur Eddington, a war-weary British astronomer, opened a letter written by an obscure German professor named Einstein. The neatly printed equations on the scrap of paper outlined his world-changing theory of general relativity. Until then Einstein's masterpiece of time and space had been trapped behind the physical and ideological lines of battle, unknown.
Einstein's name is now synonymous with 'genius', but it was not an easy road. He spent a decade creating relativity and his ascent to international celebrity, which saw him on the front of papers around the world in 1919, also owed much to Eddington - who he only met after the war - and to international collaboration. We usually think of scientific discovery as a flash of individual inspiration, whereas here we see it is the result of hard work, gambles and wrong turns and all the while subject to the petty concerns of nations, religions and individuals.
Einstein's War teaches us about science through history, and the physics is more accessible as a result - we see relativity built brick-by-brick in front of us, as it happened 100 years ago.
About the author:
Matthew Stanley is professor of the history of science at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. He has published two academic books and has written for Physics Today, Physics World and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He has a podcast, What the If?!?, and has appeared on documentaries on the History Channel, BBC and NPR. This is his first trade book.
Number of Pages: 400
Publication Date: 20190604
Publisher: Penguin UK
Product Form: Paperback / softback
Dimensions (LxWxH): 232 mm153 mm30 mm
Weight: 494 gr
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