Einstein
Einstein was a rebel and nonconformist from boyhood days, and these character traits drove both his life and his science. In this narrative, Walter Isaacson explains how his mind worked and the mysteries of the universe that he discovered.

Einstein Details

TitleEinstein
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 10th, 2007
PublisherSimon Schuster
ISBN-139780743264730
Rating
GenreBiography, Nonfiction, Science, History

Einstein Review

  • Laurel
    January 1, 1970
    I decided to read this book primarily because of my fiance's interest in Einstein's life and theories. I thought it might help me to actually have a somewhat intelligent reply on the rare occasion he starts talking physics (don't tell him I said so, but he is much smarter than I am). :)I felt a bit daunted by the length of it at first (700 pages, or 22 hours on 18 CDs), but the book is engrossing from the start. The periodic and quite detailed descriptions of Einstein's theories and research wer I decided to read this book primarily because of my fiance's interest in Einstein's life and theories. I thought it might help me to actually have a somewhat intelligent reply on the rare occasion he starts talking physics (don't tell him I said so, but he is much smarter than I am). :)I felt a bit daunted by the length of it at first (700 pages, or 22 hours on 18 CDs), but the book is engrossing from the start. The periodic and quite detailed descriptions of Einstein's theories and research were a bit (okay, maybe way) 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 -- and gives 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.
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  • Luís C.
    January 1, 1970
    Einstein and Nuclear EnergyAlbert Einstein's Theory of RelativityAlbert Einstein regarded as the scientific history of the twentieth century. Einstein proposed the famous equation E = mc2. This equation proved to be revolutionary for future studies in nuclear physics, but in those days the means to prove experimentally were not available. Thus, the energy E m represents the mass, both interconnected by the speed of light c. This equation related to mass conversions of energy, therefore, it could Einstein and Nuclear EnergyAlbert Einstein's Theory of RelativityAlbert Einstein regarded as the scientific history of the twentieth century. Einstein proposed the famous equation E = mc2. This equation proved to be revolutionary for future studies in nuclear physics, but in those days the means to prove experimentally were not available. Thus, the energy E m represents the mass, both interconnected by the speed of light c. This equation related to mass conversions of energy, therefore, it could be assumed that the two entities were different manifestations of the same thing.Bohr atomic modelThe Danish physicist Niels Bohr developed a hypothesis in 1913 according to which electrons were distributed in distinct layers (or quantum levels) some distance from the nucleus. Thus, the electronic configuration of the various elements was constituted.For Bohr electrons spun in fixed orbits from which no radiation is emitted. Thus the old concept of the atom as indivisible, inert, and simply buried, and the hypothesis of a complex structure later would appear to be complicated to generate manifestations of energy.The Manhattan ProjectIn 1939, at the beginning of World War II, Albert Einstein recommended that US President FD Roosevelt go ahead with the atomic bomb development project. Einstein explained that, thanks to the research conducted by Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard in the United States, and Frédéric Joliot and his wife Irene Joliot-Curie in France, it was almost certainly faster to unleash a nuclear chain reaction that would unleash a large amount of energy. This will also allow the construction of a new class of pumps.Einstein also mentioned the scarcity of uranium reserves in the United States and that this mine-mineral was in former Czechoslovakia and the Belgian Congo. A collaboration between scientists and industry was proposed to develop the atomic bomb mentioned above as soon as possible.He reported that Germany had suspended the sale of uranium from the Czech mines, which the Reich had resumed. This could mean that scientists at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute would approach experiments in the field of nuclear fission, too.Albert Einstein's fear of nuclear war was the result of his in-depth knowledge of the progress of research in this field. He had to emigrate to the United States in 1933 from Germany at the beginning of the persecution of the Jews.Full Article Here: read:http://pt.energia-nuclear.net/que-e-a...
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    One of my favorite picture books that I saved from childhood is called Albert Einstein by Ibi Lepscky. It's the story of Albert as a child, showing him as quiet and absentminded, and preferring to play the violin rather than roughhouse 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 questions about the magnetic fields and the poles of One of my favorite picture books that I saved from childhood is called Albert Einstein by Ibi Lepscky. It's the story of Albert as a child, showing him as quiet and absentminded, and preferring to play the violin rather than roughhouse 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 questions about the magnetic fields and the poles of the earth that his father, who could not answer them all, realized how smart his son was. "Albert was indeed a child different from all others. 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 a genius." My mother, who was a mathematics professor and who was quite smart herself, gave me this book and frequently read it with me. 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. "His tale encompasses the vast sweep of modern science, from the infinitesimal to the infinite, from the emission of photons to the expansion of the cosmos. 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 power and 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 relating energy to mass hover in our minds when we picture the resulting mushroom cloud."At more than 600 pages, the book covers Einstein's entire life, with an emphasis on his "miracle year" of 1905, and his activities during both world wars. There isn't a lot about his childhood in Germany, but I was happy to see there was 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 familiar mechanical method involving touch or contact, produced a sense of wonder that motivated him throughout his life. "I can still remember that this experience made a deep and lasting impression on me ... Something deeply hidden had to be behind things."After being mesmerized by the compass needle's fealty to an unseen field, Einstein would develop a lifelong devotion to field theories as a way to describe nature. 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 that discussed 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 my favorites: "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 1900 — and four years 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."Einstein and his first wife, Mileva Maric, had a daughter named Lieserl, who was born out of wedlock and was purportedly given up for adoption. "Einstein did not tell his mother, sister, or any of his friends about the birth of Lieserl. 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 few letters between Einstein and Maric, and these were suppressed and hidden until 1986, when scholars and the editors of his papers were completely surprised to learn of Lieserl's existence." [It is not known what happened to Lieserl.]The old line that Einstein did his best work when he was working as a Swiss patent clerk is true. "He soon learned that he could work on the patent applications so quickly that it left time for him to sneak in his own scientific thinking during the day. 'I was able to do a full day's work in only two or three hours ... 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 and pretend to work on my office work.'""Einstein's 1905 burst of creativity was astonishing. 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 what would 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 a third-class patent examiner and provide some academic recognition, perhaps even an academic job. 'But he was bitterly disappointed,' she noted. 'Icy silence followed the publication.'" [He soon got his fame and recognition.]With the outbreak of war, Einstein had become, for the first time, an outspoken public figure, advocating internationalism, European federalism, and resistance to militarism ... The chain reaction that pushed Europe into war in August 1914 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. "Europe in its madness has now embarked on something incredibly preposterous ... At such times one sees to what deplorable breed of brutes we belong."Throughout his life, Einstein would sometimes appear aloof toward his sons, especially Eduard, who suffered from increasingly severe mental illness as he grew older. But when they were young, he tended to be a good father. "When my mother was busy around the house, father would put aside his work and watch over us for hours, bouncing us on his knee," Hans Albert later recalled. "I remember he would tell us stories — and he often played the violin in an effort to keep us quiet."Einstein's first marriage was an unhappy one, and to convince Mileva to divorce him, he promised her his money from the Nobel Prize, which he was convinced he would someday win. She finally agreed to a divorce settlement, and Einstein was awarded the Nobel in 1921.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 announcement that the theory of a German Jew had been proven correct by an English Quaker [Arthur Eddington]. "Scientists belonging to two warring nations had collaborated again!" exulted the physicist Leopold Infeld. "It seemed the beginning of a new era."Einstein's second wife was a cousin he had known since childhood, Elsa Einstein. He wrote her passionate letters, saying: "I have to have someone to love, otherwise life is miserable. And this someone is you."The rise of German anti-Semitism after World War I produced a counterreaction in Einstein: it made him identify more strongly with his Jewish heritage and community ... Eventually, Einstein came around to the cause [of Zionism]. "I am, as a human being, an opponent of nationalism," he declared. "But as a Jew, I am from today a supporter of the Zionist effort."Einstein was visiting the United States when Hitler took power, and he realized he could not return to his home country. "Because of Hitler, I don't dare step on German soil." What happened in Germany in 1933 was not just a brutality perpetrated by thuggish leaders and abetted by ignorant mobs. It was also, as Einstein described, "the utter failure of the so-called intellectual aristocracy." Einstein and other Jews were ousted from what had been among the world's greatest citadels of open-minded inquiry, and those who remained did little to resist.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. "A desk or table, a chair, paper and pencils. Oh yes, and a large wastebasket, so I can throw away all my mistakes."[At Princeton] Einstein soon acquired an image, which grew into a near legend but was nevertheless based on reality, of being a kindly and gentle professor, distracted at times but unfailingly sweet, who wandered about lost in thought, helped children with their homework, and rarely combed his hair or wore socks. "I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don't have to," he told a neighbor.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 hesitantly asked for Einstein's home address. That was not possible to give out, he was informed. The caller's voice then dropped to a whisper. "Please don't tell anybody," he said, "but I am Dr. Einstein, I'm on my way home, and I've forgotten where my house is."When he first arrived in Princeton, Einstein had been impressed that America was, or could be, a land free of the rigid class hierarchies and servility in Europe. But what grew to impress him more — and what made him fundamentally such 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."[After learning that the Nazis has raided his house in Germany, he made a prescient comment.] "If and when war comes, Hitler will realize the harm he has done Germany by driving out the Jewish scientists."Einstein later regretted his role in the development of nuclear weapons. "Had I known that the Germans would not have succeeded in producing an atomic bomb, I never would have lifted a finger."At the end of the 1940s, when it was becoming clear to him that the effort to control nuclear weaponry would fail, Einstein was asked what the next war would look like. "I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth — rocks." Einstein walking on Princeton's campusThere are so many more interesting stories and details in this book, and I went through dozens of Post-Its to mark passages. This is the second book by Walter Isaacson I've read, the other being Steve Jobs, and he is a talented writer 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. Understanding relativity, she later said, "is not necessary for my happiness." Even though I listened to an audiobook, I was happy I had requested a print copy from the library to peruse, because the book is filled with charming photographs of Einstein. His eyes could positively twinkle, and that shock of hair was 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 and not the sciences, and I shall continue to admire Mr. Einstein's work from a distance.Favorite Quotes:"When I am judging a theory, I ask myself whether, if I were God, I would have arranged the world in such a way.""I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious."
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  • brian
    January 1, 1970
    here's a letter a young einstein wrote to his pal. the 1st paragraph: more waugh than egghead, eh? and that 2nd paragraph? those 'papers'? "a modification of the theory of space and time"?holy shit.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 piece of soul? Why have you still not sent me your dissertat here's a letter a young einstein wrote to his pal. the 1st paragraph: more waugh than egghead, eh? and that 2nd paragraph? those 'papers'? "a modification of the theory of space and time"?holy shit.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 piece of soul? Why have you still not sent me your dissertation? Don't you know that I am one of the 1.5 fellows who would read it with interest and pleasure, you wretched man? 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 third proves that bodies on the order of magnitude 1/1000 mm, suspended in liquids, must already perform an observable random motion that is produced by thermal motion. The fourth paper is only a rough draft at this point, and is an electrodynamics of moving bodies which employs a modification of the theory of space and time.and later in life he wrote this gorgeousness: The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. 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 in awe, 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 this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.just for fun, let's compare/contrast with:I very seriously doubt that Einstein himself really knows what he is driving at. The outcome of this doubt and befogged speculation about time and space is a cloak beneath which hides the ghastly apparition of atheism. - Cardinal William Henry O'Connelland later, witnessing the rise of hitler, albert shot off this email to FDR: Hey Frank,c-squared ya dipshit, c-squared! That's a whole lotta motherfuckin' bango django. so we should figure out how to bake that cake before the other guys do and blow out our candles, yo!LoveBertiethe last one, not really. but it's a close approximation.
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  • Bonnie
    January 1, 1970
    My brother-in-law recommended this biography in 2007. It is one of the most incredible books I’ve read in a long time. There are eleven pages of sources alone! This book is meticulously researched, beautifully written, fascinating, inspiring, and wonderful on every level. It’s 551 pages long, and I so did not want this book to end!Isaacson immerses us in a detailed, in depth probing of Einstein’s life – personal, intellectual, scientific, political, and cultural - against a backdrop of the histo My brother-in-law recommended this biography in 2007. It is one of the most incredible books I’ve read in a long time. There are eleven pages of sources alone! This book is meticulously researched, beautifully written, fascinating, inspiring, and wonderful on every level. It’s 551 pages long, and I so did not want this book to end!Isaacson immerses us in a detailed, in depth probing of Einstein’s life – personal, intellectual, scientific, political, and cultural - against a backdrop of the history of the time – 1879-1955. Extensive quotations from Einstein’s correspondence, essays, and personal papers lend the richness of authenticity. Explanations of scientific theories are clear and restated many, many times in different ways. They seem comprehensible as one reads them, though I would be hard-pressed to explain any of Einstein’s “thought experiments,” theories, or the revolutionary nature of theoretical physics in my own words now.Einstein believed deeply in intellectual freedom and he was a nonconformist first and foremost.The author’s words speak for themselves: "For the remaining ten years of his life, his passion for advocating a unified governing structure for the globe would rival that for finding a unified field theory that could govern all the forces of nature. Although distinct in most ways, both quests reflected his instincts for transcendent order. In addition, both would display Einstein’s willingness to be a nonconformist, to be serenely secure in challenging prevailing attitudes." (p. 488) "Admittedly, he was a somewhat contrarian citizen. But in that regard he was in the tradition of some venerable strands in the fabric of American character: fiercely protective of individual liberties, often cranky about government interference, distrustful of great concentrations of wealth, and a believer in the idealistic internationalism that gained favor among American intellectuals after both of the great wars of twentieth century." (p. 506)I feel as if I should re-read this book in order to copy down the many brilliant quotes from Albert Einstein’s letters and talks.In a letter to his son, Eduard, in 1930 he wrote, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” I LOVE that!Advice offered to his step-daughters in 1922 on how to live a moral life: “Use for yourself little, but give to others much.” (p. 393)In response to an interviewer’s question about how Einstein got his ideas he said, “I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” (p. 387)When asked if he believed in immortality he stated, “No. And one life is enough for me.” (p. 387) !From his credo “What I Believe” written in 1930: "….The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. 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 in awe, 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 this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man." (p. 387)Read this book and fall in love with this extraordinarily inspiring mensch!
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  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    January 1, 1970
    Einstein : his life and universe, Walter IsaacsonHow did Einstein's mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson's biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. ...تاریخ نخستین خوانش: نهم ماه ژوئن سال 2011 میلادیعنوان: زندگی و جهان اینشتین؛ نویسنده: والتر ایساکسن؛ برگردان: علی بهفروز؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، دانشگاه تهران، 1389، در 700 ص، فروست: انتشارات دانشگاه تهران، شماره 3084، شابک: 9789640360514، موضوع: اینشتین، آلبرت، 1879 تا 1955 م.؛ فیزیکد Einstein : his life and universe, Walter IsaacsonHow did Einstein's mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson's biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. ...تاریخ نخستین خوانش: نهم ماه ژوئن سال 2011 میلادیعنوان: زندگی و جهان اینشتین؛ نویسنده: والتر ایساکسن؛ برگردان: علی بهفروز؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، دانشگاه تهران، 1389، در 700 ص، فروست: انتشارات دانشگاه تهران، شماره 3084، شابک: 9789640360514، موضوع: اینشتین، آلبرت، 1879 تا 1955 م.؛ فیزیکدانان، سرگذشتنامه، نسبیت، نظریه میدان واحد - سده 20 منظریه‌ پرداز بزرگ نسبیت بودند و تئوری E = mc2را ارائه دادند که پیامد آن دانشمندان فیزیک، به انرژی هسته ای دست یافتند. ا. شربیانی
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  • نورة عبدالملك
    January 1, 1970
    لدي عادة سيئة مع قراءة السير :( أنني سرعان ما أألفها وأعيش معها حتى تكون جزءا من يومي وصديقا لا أستطيع الفكاك منه :(حتى إذا وصلت لمرحلة النهاية أصابني الحزن على فقد صاحب السيرة وكأنني فقدت حبيبا أو قريبا، ولعل أكثر بيت ينطبق علي في سرعة الألفة والتمسك الشديد بالمألوف قول المتنبي: خلقت ألوفا لو رجعت إلى الصبا .. لفارقت شيبي موجع القلب باكيا!حسنا سأحاول تجاوز مرحلة الحزن الآن إلى مرحلة رثاء صاحبنا العبقري "آينشتاين" ولعل سر سيرته الذاتية التي همست لنا به هو أن اينشتاين لم يكن شخصا عظيما أو كاملا أ لدي عادة سيئة مع قراءة السير :( أنني سرعان ما أألفها وأعيش معها حتى تكون جزءا من يومي وصديقا لا أستطيع الفكاك منه :(حتى إذا وصلت لمرحلة النهاية أصابني الحزن على فقد صاحب السيرة وكأنني فقدت حبيبا أو قريبا، ولعل أكثر بيت ينطبق علي في سرعة الألفة والتمسك الشديد بالمألوف قول المتنبي: خلقت ألوفا لو رجعت إلى الصبا .. لفارقت شيبي موجع القلب باكيا!حسنا سأحاول تجاوز مرحلة الحزن الآن إلى مرحلة رثاء صاحبنا العبقري "آينشتاين" ولعل سر سيرته الذاتية التي همست لنا به هو أن اينشتاين لم يكن شخصا عظيما أو كاملا أو إنسانا خاليا من العيوب، لقد كان إنسانا فحسب .. يأكل الطعام ويحب ويكره وينام ويعتقد وينتمي، يحمل أخلاقيات الناس العامة الود ، التواضع ، الخوف ..إلخلم يكن أسطورة على صعيد حياته الشخصية فهو قد عشق أكثر من امرأة كالكثير من الرجال :) ومارس الأبوة بشكل تقليدي عارض ابنه في زواجه من امرأة تكبره ، وتعامل معه كأي أب ترك مهمة التربية لأمه حتى إذا كبر الولد وأراد الاستقلال حان وقت أبيه للتدخل :)، ومارس حياته كسائر الناس، بل إنه كان أبطأ قليلا في مرحلة طفولته ففي تعلمه الكلام كان أبطأ من أقرانه حينها، إذن يا سادة ما النقطة الجوهرية التي جعلت اينشتاين يفوق أقرانه؟ ما العلامة الفارقة التي جعلته ينال جائزة نوبل ويكتشف أخطر الاكتشافات الفيزيائية ويحدث ثورة في علم الفيزياء؟ببساطة إنها عدة نقاط كان اينشتاين يعطيها اهتمامه سأضعها في مراجعتي بين قوسين : (الخيال) حيث كان الخيال مسرحه لإجراء تجاربه ومعين أفكاره الذي لا ينضب، (الفضول) وقد أجاب حينما سئل عن كيف يعمل عقله: لست موهوبا، إنما أنا فضولي متحمس :)! ، (الثورية) تجربة الخروج عن المألوف واستخدام طرق جديدة، وهذه الأخيرة التي جعلته يصل لنظرية النسبية هي التي بمعارضتها فيما بعد جعلته يقف أمام نظرية الكم! وهذه المرحلة بالفعل تستحق الدراسة ، في هذه المرحلة تغير اينشتاين من اينشتاين الثوري الذي لم يبال بالتقاليد والطرق الكلاسيكية إلى اينشتاين الذي يعارض مبدأ الخروج عن القواعد والطرق التقليدية ، ولا أدري هل السر كما ذكره الباحث هو تغير الظروف الخارجية له ساهمت في تغير طرق تفكيره؟ ففي مرحلة النسبية كان شابا لا يخشى شيئا لا تهمه الأنظمة آنذاك يكره المدارس النظامية، والآن أصبح رجلا له شأن يدرس النظريات له منصب مرموق في بيئة تحترمه فأصبح الخروج عن المألوف يخيفه؟؟ إنها مرحلة بالفعل تستحق الدراسة ويمكن أن تعمم على كل أحد ليس فقط اينشتاين فدور الظروف في اللعب في طرق معرفتنا للحقائق دور خطير!(العزلة) وإن كان ضمن مجموعة من الناس ! وهي صفة مهمة جدا لم يكد يعرف رجل نال مجدا في أمر ما إلا وللعزلة في حياته مكان! والعزلة أقصدها بنوعيها العزلة مع الذات، أو مع من يشاطرونك الهم والفكر حتى تكاد تكون باجتماعك معهم وكأنك تحادث نفسك! وكلاهما مهمتان وكلاهما مما أغبط عليه العلماء حين يرزقون به، فالانغماس في الاحتفالات الاجتماعية واللقاءات والمجاملات التي تفرضها تلك الاجتماعات تستنزف طاقتك، والعزلة ضرورية لشحن هذه الطاقة بالضبط كحاجة الأجهزة الالكترونية لذلك، ومن حق أي إنسان الحصول عليها، كما أنها الوسيلة المثلى للمراجعة والتمحيص، للخيال والاستكشاف..وعلى ذكر الغبطة هنالك أوقات بالفعل غبطت اينشتاين لحصوله عليها، لحظات تشترى بماء العينين، منها تلك اللحظة التي يحق لي أن أدعوها بالنشوة بل بذروة النشوة حينما وصل إلى معرفة النظرية النسبية قائلا : وجدتها وجدتها!إنها لحظة للتاريخ! لحظة فرح طفولية لا يضاهيها أي شعور!ومن أبرز الصفات التي تميز بها هو ذلك الشعور بأنه لم يكبر، شعور الطفل الذي رعاه في داخله بينما نحن قتلناه ظانين بأنه يجب أن يموت لأننا نضجنا! صفة بعد قراءتي لسيرة اينشتاين سأسعى لغرسها وريها في داخلي، شعور (الدهشة الطفولية) الذي يجعلك تنظر للكون من حولك باستعظام، الشمس، النجوم، الكواكب، أنت نفسك، كل شيء هنا يدعوك للدهشة والتعجب، يجب أن لا تتوقف عن ذلك! لأن اينشتاين لم يتوقف عنه! ولأن نيوتن قبله بتساؤله البسيط: لماذا سقطت التفاحة؟ ساهم في بناء سلم عظيم لا زال العلماء يتسلقون عليه . دع عنك استخفاف من حولك بسخافة أسئلتك و(لا تتوقف عن التساؤل ، الدهشة ، الفضول .. لا تتوقف)!وعلى ذكر من توقفوا هنا أذكر مثالا بسيطا على رجل سبق اينشتاين في محاولة فهم النظرية النسبية هو "بوانكاريه" لكن تمسكه الشديد بالتقاليد في الفيزياء جعله يتوقف حين كان على شفا الوصول لفهم النتائج الكاملة للنظرية، (الجرأة) يا سادة هي من جعلت اينشتاين علما وبوانكاريه نكرة حينما ورد على مسامعك قطبت جبينك محاولا معرفة من يكون ؟!لفت نظري جدا الجانب الرقيق من اينشتاين، كان مسالما متواضعا لم يكن غريبا كغيره من العلماء، توقعت أن يكون كغيره من العلماء الذين غالبا ما تجد لديهم صفات غريبة أو طرق عيش عجيبة، نعم كان يميل للفوضوية وكان يميل للبساطة ولا يحب التمسك بالتقاليد في لبسه وطريقة عيشه ولكن كم منا يشارك اينشتاين في هذه الصفات ؟كان رقيقا جدا لكنه يحاول أن يحيط نفسه بالشوك عن طريق مزحاته وشخصيته المرحة، بينما تخفي هذه الشخصية المرحة في داخلها شخصا رقيقا يكره العنف والصراع حتى أنه كان يكره لعبة الشطرنج لقيامها على هذا المبدأ! وإني لأضحك الآن كيف لرجل بهذه الرقة ساهم -دون أن يخطط لذلك- في القضاء على ملايين الناس عن طريق قنبلة ذرية كانت مبنية على نظرياته! إنها الحياة يا سادة يتجلى سرها في أن إرادتك مقيدة محدودة، تظن أنك بعلمك ستملك الكون وعلمك هذا قد يسيطر عليك، يتلاعب بك، يسير هو إلى حيث شاء رغما عن إرادتك، فلا أنت تملكه ولا أحد يملكه سوى الواحد القهار!شرود اينشتاين كان أبرز خصائصه، ولا عجب فأنا فقط لأني قمت بقراءة سيرته لعدة أيام أصبت بالشرود! أن أصاحب هذا العبقري بتساؤلاته ونظرياته هذا لا يجعل عقلي يهدأ، أصبحت لا أرى الأشياء كما هي، والمصيبة وهذه مصيبة تحل على القراء حينما يكونون مستغرقين في قراءة كتاب ما فيحل عليهم ضيف طارئ ، أو ظرف عاجل يقطعهم عن قراءة الكتاب، وهذا ما حدث لي -وليته حدث معي وأنا بصحبة أحد غير اينشتاين :)- أن جسدي كان بين الضيوف وعقلي هائم ما بين نظرية الكم وتعقيداتها ، والنظرية النسبية وفرضياتها، أصبحت أرى كل ما في المجلس ذرات وأوتار وموجات وأرقام !:) أصابني الذهول والتشتت وعدم التركيز فيما يقولون، فعلا لأن عالم الفيزياء عالم مدهش يسحرك فيجعلك لا تعود ترى الدنيا كما يراها الناس، وهذا هو سرها وهو السر الذي جعل اينشتاين لا يتوقف عن (التشتت والشرود)، فهي الحالة الأبدية الطبيعية التي ينبغي أن تصاحب عالم الفيزياء!هنالك نقطة مهمة يجب أن أشير إليها قبل أن تقرر اقتناء الكتاب، وهي أن الكتاب نعم هو سيرة ذاتية لاينشتاين، لكن مادامت السيرة سيرة اينشتاين فيجب أن تضع في حسبانك أنها سيرة ذاتية للفيزياء نفسه! حيث أبو الفيزياء -اينشتاين- كان أحد أوجه عملة الفيزياء فما حدث من ثورات وتغيرات في مجال الفيزياء صاحبت حياته أيضا، فإن كان غرضك من الاستمتاع بسيرته الذاتية هو التركيز على حياته الحياة الخاصة فقط دون التعمق في النظريات الفيزيائية والعلمية فليس هذا الكتاب بغيتك، في الحقيقة الكتاب كما استعرض لنا حياة اينشتاين فهو كذلك مر على مراحل وصوله لنظرياته ومراحل تطورها والنقاشات التي حصلت عقبها والمؤتمرات والندوات حولها لذا فسيرة اينشتاين هنا مربوطة ربطا لا ينفك بعلم الفيزياء .في الختام يجب أن أختم بهذا الحوار الأسطوري، إن قيل لي إذن ما الغاية العظمى؟ ما الهدف الأسمى الذي يكفيني الوصول إليه وإن كان بغير المرور على ما مر عليه العظماء مثل اينشتاين فسأقول لك أن اينشتاين بعد ما توصل إليه لم يزدد إلا يقينا بحقيقة راسخة، إيمانك بها يكفيك، أوردها كما أوردها الصحفي كالتالي:- هل تؤمن بالله؟-"أنا لست ملحداً" "المشكلة هنا كبيرة جدّاً على عقولنا المحدودة. إننا في موقف طفل صغير يواجه مكتبة ضخمة مليئة بالكتب بالعديد من اللغات. يعرف الطفل أنّ أحداً -ولا بدّ- قد قام بكتابة تلك الكتب. إنه لا يعرف كيف. إنه لا يعرف اللغات التي كتبت بها. يشتبه الطفل بشكل ما بنظام غامض في ترتيب هذه الكتب لكنه لا يعرف ما هو. هذا، كما يبدو لي، هو موقف أكثر الكائنات البشرية حتى تجاه الله. نرى الكون مرتباً بشكل رائع ونطيع قوانين محددة لكننا لا نكاد نفهم هذه القوانين."-هل هذا مفهوم يهودي عن الله؟-"أنا من المؤمنين بالقضاء والقدر ، ولا أؤمن بالإرادة الحرة في حين يؤمن بها اليهود مثلما يؤمنون بأن الإنسان يشكل حياته ، وأنا أرفض هذه العقيدة ، وأنا لست يهوديا فيما يتعلق بهذا الأمر"إنه لمن المضحك يا سادة أن يأتي صعلوك يدعي العلم وباسم العلم ينفي الإله! كلما ازددت علما كلما ازددت يقينا بوجود الله، وكلما تعرفت على إبداعات الخالق أكثر كلما توصلت إلى أن مفاهيم شريعته لا مفر منها، القضاء والقدر ، توحيد الربوبية ... إلخ كلها حقائق والعلم لا يزيدك إلا إيمانا بحقيقتها!إذن كما يقولون : كل الطرق تؤدي إلى روما، نقول:كل الطرق تؤدي إلى الخالق !فسبحان من سوى الكون ، وسبحان من برأ مخلوقات أعطاها العلم ، وسبحان من خص أحد خلقه الذي يدعى "اينشتاين" بهذا القدر من العبقرية ! فإذا كان ذلك كله ما هو إلا بعض إبداعاته فكيف به هو وأي عظمة يتجلى بها سبحانه؟!
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  • أبو يوسف
    January 1, 1970
    من أجمل وأروع السير الذاتية التي قرأتها , تعلمت واستفدت منها الكثير.على الرغم من حجم الكتاب الكبير واسترساله في المسائل الفيزيائية إلا أن الكاتب نجح في شد انتباهي حتى النهاية.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------العبقرية.. وقيود المجتمعفهد عامر الاحمدي * حين نصف شخصاً بانه مبدع فماذا نعني بذلك!؟في الغالب نقصد انه خرج بشيء جديد وغريب لم يستطرق من قبل. وحين يخرج المرء بشيء جديد فانه في الغالب يخالف واقعاً معتاداً وطريقة اعترف من أجمل وأروع السير الذاتية التي قرأتها , تعلمت واستفدت منها الكثير.على الرغم من حجم الكتاب الكبير واسترساله في المسائل الفيزيائية إلا أن الكاتب نجح في شد انتباهي حتى النهاية.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------العبقرية.. وقيود المجتمعفهد عامر الاحمدي * حين نصف شخصاً بانه مبدع فماذا نعني بذلك!؟في الغالب نقصد انه خرج بشيء جديد وغريب لم يستطرق من قبل. وحين يخرج المرء بشيء جديد فانه في الغالب يخالف واقعاً معتاداً وطريقة اعترف بها الجميع.والابداع ليس صعبا لدرجة ان اجيالا تولد وتموت ولم يظهر فيها مبدع واحد.. ولكن المشكلة ان معظمنا يخشى الخروج على عادات المجتمع ومخالفة المألوف والصراخ بأعلى صوته "أنا لدي طريقة جديدة"!!لا يوجد شعب اذكى من شعب ولا أمة أفضل من أمة، ولكن تتفاوت المجتمعات في تشجيع او كبت الافكار الجديدة. في المجتمعات العربية يسيطر "المعتاد" و"المفروض" على 99.999من تصرفات الافراد، اما في الغرب فيمكن لاي شخص مخالفة الواقع والخروج عن المألوف بدون ان يثير حفيظة احد.المجتمع بطبعه يتصرف بروح القطيع فيعارض غير المألوف ويثور ضد الافكار الجديدة.. اما ردود فعله فتنطلق من (وجدنا آباءنا كذلك يفعلون) بدون اي تحليل او تقييم منطقي للأفكار المطروحة. المجتمعات البشرية لا تعترف بالعبقرية والابداع بقدر ما تعترف بالسحر والجنون (ما اتى الذين من قبلهم من رسول الا قالوا ساحر او مجنون)!!* ولكن رغم كل هذه القيود قد يبرز (مجنون ما) يخالف المألوف ويكسر المعتاد ولا يخشى المواجهة، شخص بهذه الصفات يكون مهيأ بنسبة 99% لبلوغ قمة العبقرية فما تبقى ليس اكثر من تشغيل جمجمة نملك مثلها!وقد يتمرد المرء على قيود مجتمعه لاسباب كثيرة.. فقد يكون مضطهدا ، وقد يكون ضمن اقلية (وهو السر في تفوق الاقليات اليهودية ضمن المجتمعات الكبيرة) وقد تكون لتربيته دور في تمرده، وقد يكون غير سوي نفسيا، وقد يكون غيورا ومتألما لما يراه، وقد يكون ببساطة مريضا ويعاني باستمرار!.. فالمرض (كمثال) ظرف قهري يتطلب استحداث اساليب جديدة في العيش والتعامل والتفكير.. وحين يصاب المرء بمرض دائم يفكر بشكل اعمق ولا يعبأ كثيرا لما يفرضه المجتمع ويقوله الناس. المريض مهيأ اكثر لالتقاط الالهام في الخلوة وبلورة الابداع من المعاناة.. هنري ماتيس مثلا بدأ حياته كمحام متواضع في باريس. ولكنه اصيب بالتهاب دائم في الزائدة جعله طريح الفراش. وفي ظل معاناته ووحدته اكتشف موهبته في الرسم فأصبحت الفرشاة رفيق حياته.. الطريف ان الزائدة الدودية يمكن حاليا ازالتها بعملية لا تستغرق نصف ساعة. ولكنها لو اتيحت لماتيس لكسبنا محاميا وخسرنا مدرسة جديدة في الفن المعاصر!!* قد يكون الخلط بين العبقرية والجنون له اساس من الصحة، فالمعاناة النفسية والجسدية تنقلب في الافراد العاديين الى دافع للتفوق واثبات الذات (وهو ما قالت عنه العرب: كل ذي عاهة جبار!!).بيتهوفن مثلا، رغم انه اعظم موسيقي في التاريخ الا انه كان يعاني من الصمم، وشومان (اعظم عازف بيانو) كانت يده اليمنى مشلولة، والمعري كان اعمى، ومليير كان مصابا بالسل، واديسون بالصمم، ودستويفسكي بالصرع، وسيزان بالسكر.. اما هذه الايام فاعظم مثال هو عالم الفيزياء البريطاني ستيفن كنج الذي اصيب بانحلال تدريجي في العضلات حتى اصبح مجرد كتلة لحم رخوة.. ومع هذا يعد كنج حاليا اعظم عالم في الفيزياء والفلك وكتب بالصوت واحدا من اكثر الكتب مبيعا في التاريخ (موجز تاريخ الكون)!!.. حين نتأمل الرابطة القوية بين المعاناة والعبقرية نقدم العذر للاصحاء والمحظوظين.. فالمحظوظ لا يتمرد على مجتمع أعطاه كل شيء، وصحيح الجسم لا يملك دافعاً للابداع او وقتا للتأمل
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  • Brendon Schrodinger
    January 1, 1970
    So I 've had a love/hate with Einstein for a few years now. I recognised the great work that he did regarding General and Special Relativity, the Photoelectric Effect and Brownian Motion - brilliant stuff. But why does Einstein get wheeled out for every portrayal of a great scientist? Why does everyone feel the need to quote the guy regarding religion, education, happiness, sociology....everything? This really annoyed me - and I guess it still does.In an education lecture a few weeks ago the lec So I 've had a love/hate with Einstein for a few years now. I recognised the great work that he did regarding General and Special Relativity, the Photoelectric Effect and Brownian Motion - brilliant stuff. But why does Einstein get wheeled out for every portrayal of a great scientist? Why does everyone feel the need to quote the guy regarding religion, education, happiness, sociology....everything? This really annoyed me - and I guess it still does.In an education lecture a few weeks ago the lecturer gave an Einstein quote on learning. And it immediately got my hackles up. Did Einstein even teach? I guess as an academic he must have taught someone. And I had to look it up. It seems his undergrad degree was in physics and education. Ok, maybe an education quote might be legit from this guy.So this prompted my to pull this volume from my to-read bookshelf (might be bigger than this, shhhhh) and open it up. And damn did I learn a lot about the details of his life. The book was for most part engaging and fascinating. It helped fill in a lot of details on what I already knew about the events in physics and chemistry from the late 19th to mid 20th century.Non-science people: I found this very accessible - not too much jargon at all. But the wonderful Diane said there was a bit of ultra-tough physics in here, however nothing you couldn't skip.So, how do I stand on Einstein quotes now? Well I'm more open to appropriate ones. The guy was very intelligent in matters of physics and math. So make it rain with equations and thought experiments. Teaching quotes: although he did undergrad education, he was later renowned for being a shit boring teacher. No- fail on the education front.Any other quotes: although he was intelligent in other subjects, he was no genius in them. Quit it with the psychology, sociology quotes.Actually, the guy spent most of his life trying to refute quantum mechanics. And look at it now. God plays so much dice that Las Vegas is embarrassed.
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  • Alyazi
    January 1, 1970
    أينشتاين أينشتاين .. لقد أضحكتني ، أمتعتني ، أغضبتني ، أبكيتني .. وأشعلتَ في داخلي عوالماً فيزيائية كونية .. ورغبات جديدة كُلياً على رُوح . كنت سعيدة بي لأنني أقرأك ، وغاضبة مني لأنني أبدو أحياناً متعاطفة معكَ كُلياً وكم يبدو هذا سيئاً ! فأنتَ لم تكن عالماً فحسب ، لم تكن ألمانياً تخليت عن جنسيتك ، لم تكن يهودياً فقط بل صهيونياً أيضاً تحاول الإنصاف .. أترى ها أنا أحاول أن أبرر لكْ مع أنه لا يجب أن يحدثَ ذلك .. أنتَ ساهمت في بناء إسرائيل في أرض فلسطين ، أنتَ رغبتَ بهذا مع أنكَ لم كنت بادئ ذي بدء ت أينشتاين أينشتاين .. لقد أضحكتني ، أمتعتني ، أغضبتني ، أبكيتني .. وأشعلتَ في داخلي عوالماً فيزيائية كونية .. ورغبات جديدة كُلياً على رُوح . كنت سعيدة بي لأنني أقرأك ، وغاضبة مني لأنني أبدو أحياناً متعاطفة معكَ كُلياً وكم يبدو هذا سيئاً ! فأنتَ لم تكن عالماً فحسب ، لم تكن ألمانياً تخليت عن جنسيتك ، لم تكن يهودياً فقط بل صهيونياً أيضاً تحاول الإنصاف .. أترى ها أنا أحاول أن أبرر لكْ مع أنه لا يجب أن يحدثَ ذلك .. أنتَ ساهمت في بناء إسرائيل في أرض فلسطين ، أنتَ رغبتَ بهذا مع أنكَ لم كنت بادئ ذي بدء تقول :" إن فكرة دولة إسرائيل لا تتوافق مع رغبات قلبي ، وإنني لا أفهم لماذا نحن بحاجة إلى دولة كهذه " . وبعد الإعلان عنها قلتَ بأنكَ سعيد بها ، رفضتَ الرئاسة فيها لأنكَ تظن بأنكَ لم تخلق لتكون سياسياً أو ذا منصب . لم أفهمك إلى حدٍ ما ، لكنني أحترمك بعد كُل شيء ، أظنكَ جديراً بالإحترام . مستاءة لأنني مضطرة لحسم نجمة عن كِتابتك ، ففي بعض أجزاءك الصغيرة المتناثرة بين الفصول توجد مواضيع علمية تبعث النفور والملل لمن لم يكن لديه خلفية علمية عنها . لكنني قارئة ذكية أينشتاين ، لقد تجاوزتها واستمتعت بالوثب القرائي معرفةُ أينشتاين : إنساناً .. فيزيائياً .. مفكراً .. أو حتي يهودياً .. ألمانياً . متأمركاً .. مسالماً .. لعوباً كان كُل هذا ممتعاً ، مغرياً لكُل الراغبين في قراءتك أيضاً
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  • Michael Finocchiaro
    January 1, 1970
    On the suggestion of my friend Al, I acquired and recently finished the recent Einstein biography by Walter Isaacson. He also wrote one on Franklin which I will read soon as well. As for the Einstein biography, it is about 550 pages long follow by 90 pages of footnotes and references and 50 pages of index. It covers his life and attempts to explain some of his theories. I found that the first half about his childhood and momentous discoveries in 1905 was exciting. I hadn’t realized that most of On the suggestion of my friend Al, I acquired and recently finished the recent Einstein biography by Walter Isaacson. He also wrote one on Franklin which I will read soon as well. As for the Einstein biography, it is about 550 pages long follow by 90 pages of footnotes and references and 50 pages of index. It covers his life and attempts to explain some of his theories. I found that the first half about his childhood and momentous discoveries in 1905 was exciting. I hadn’t realized that most of his most critical insights came within months of each other and several years before they could be fully understood or exploited. The photoelectric effect (proving the existence of atoms) Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of matter and energy were all there. It took him another 10 years to get from the special theory to the general theory of relativity. Interesting to note as well was the innate marketing in Einstein to simplify formulas to their more palatable essence: the five symbols in E=mc2 being so incredibly benign looking but in fact harboring atom-shattering power. Isaacson often takes time to demonstrate how Einstein was constantly in wonder at the universe around him and convinced that there was some relatively simple rules hiding there waiting to be discovered by some distant omniscient deity. His further quest for general relatively was similarly passionate reading particularly in the race with a Swedish mathematician David Hildbert to find the final formula. It is a bit harder to remember and understand than the special theory but contains the famous cosmological constant that bugged him ever after.The book kind of slows down and loses a little focus after this initial rush. It drifts from Eintein’s Zionism, to his peace activism, events in his personal life, his emigration to the US, etc. The author organized the books on common themes rather than using a chronological account. I am more a fan of the latter (such as the 2-volume Faulkner biography by Blotner that remains my favorite) so this one left me a little wanting. As for the math, I would have appreciated a few more details on Einstein’s derivations and so forth but perhaps that’s just the nerd in me. I’ll need to get Hawking’s “On the Shoulders Of Giants” for that approach I think.Overall, it is an interesting introduction to Einstein’s life and highly readable. Certainly not the best biography I ever read but not the worst either.
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  • Chrissie
    January 1, 1970
    The book wasn’t amazing, but the man certainly was. Don’t get me wrong; I really liked the book, and it is one I would recommend to all those readers who want to meet an intelligent, wonderful, honest, humble person. I am not calling him great for what he did for science, but for the kind of person he was. He will appeal to those of you who like non-conformists, people with imagination and curiosity. He is one of those few adults who manage to keep alive a child’s delight in the world around the The book wasn’t amazing, but the man certainly was. Don’t get me wrong; I really liked the book, and it is one I would recommend to all those readers who want to meet an intelligent, wonderful, honest, humble person. I am not calling him great for what he did for science, but for the kind of person he was. He will appeal to those of you who like non-conformists, people with imagination and curiosity. He is one of those few adults who manage to keep alive a child’s delight in the world around them.Now there is a lot of physics in this book, and there are sections that went over my head. This annoyed me. Although it is not a criticism of the author, but rather a criticism of myself, IF the author had managed to make clear for me more of the scientific theories, I would have to call the book amazing. General and special relativity, gravitation and quantum mechanics they do all belong in this book, they should not be removed. I understand more than when I began, but I have far to go. Einstein saw and figured out his answers to the questions he was trying to solve through “thought experiments“. He would imagine a physical happening in his head, be it an elevator in free-fall or a bug crawling around a branch, and he would ask himself what would happen and how does the bug see the world around him. These thought experiments are Einstein’s, not the author's, and they are the easiest way to understand the laws of physics which Einstein discovered. Others criticize how Einstein treated his family. He was who he was, and I don’t see him as worse than anybody else. He did love his family. All people do not express love in the same way. Is there humor in the book? Yes, mostly in some of the things Einstein said.You get history too. McCarthyism and Stalinism and Nazism. What role did he play? What was his role exactly in the development of atomic weapons, and more importantly how did he see the world afterwards. He thought there should be a world organization that controlled all atomic weapons. Was he naïve? Could this have ever worked? All of this is discussed.Religion is discussed too. According to Einstein, it is the absence of miracles that proves the existence of divine providence. It is the laws of nature that so magnificently explain the world around us and that inspire awe. His belief in science was very close to his religiosity. They are one and the same thing.Einstein in a nutshell: creativity and imagination and curiosity require non-conformity which requires the nurturing of free minds which requires tolerance and finally humility. Einstein was a kind, unpretentious, humble man. I really, really liked this book. I wish I could speak with Einstein himself. Even though he was great he would have talked to me. He was never showy or saw himself as the extraordinary person that he was.Another interesting question: was he in his soul German or Swiss or American? I mean, in spirit. Or was he a citizen of the world? I listened to the audiobook narrated by Edward Herrmann. The narration was clear and at a perfect speed. The science sections were hard. For those of you who are reading this to better understand physics, maybe it is better to read the paper book, where it is easier to stop and THINK! Oh, I forgot to say this – when Einstein got the Nobel Prize, which by the way was not for relativity, he explained his scientific theories over and over. When asked if others understood, most admitted they didn’t. This made me feel a lot better when I found myself becoming confused. I read the book to meet the man, and I really enjoyed it.
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  • Jason Koivu
    January 1, 1970
    Einstein: His Life and Universe is but a mere pinch of Einstein's theories mixed in with a modest helping of his life. The brevity was too my taste as I was only in the mood for a tiny taste of Einstein bio. Too much of the genuis' theory is liable to give me brain-freeze, so this was perfect. And done just the way I like it, tight and to the point.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    A while back I had tried to read Walter Isaacson's biography on Benjamin Franklin, but just couldn't get through it because the author mired everything down in pointless details. Despite that, I decided to give his more recent book about famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein a try. If it turned out to be boring, I'd just drop it. Turned out, I loved it.What I loved about Isaacon's book here is the way it delicately balances three aspects: the life of Einstein from a strictly biographical a A while back I had tried to read Walter Isaacson's biography on Benjamin Franklin, but just couldn't get through it because the author mired everything down in pointless details. Despite that, I decided to give his more recent book about famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein a try. If it turned out to be boring, I'd just drop it. Turned out, I loved it.What I loved about Isaacon's book here is the way it delicately balances three aspects: the life of Einstein from a strictly biographical angle, the examination of his scientific works like special and general relativity, and the discussion of how Einstein impacted and viewed the scientific zeitgeist of the early 20th century --particularly within the field of physics. I could see how someone setting out to write this book might want to focus on just one or two of these facets, but that would really be missing a huge opportunity. Each member of this trio of topics interacts with each other, and Isaacson finds ways to discuss two or more of them within the same passage. We get interesting little tidbits about Einstein's personal life and character, but we see how those things impacted the way he pursued his scientific work and thinking, and how that body of work turn defined (or, later, ran counter to) the entire field of physics. Seeing how all these pieces intersected and linked was fascinating.It's all pretty well written, too. We get neat little anecdotes about Einstein like how contrary to popular belief he never failed math, or how he married his cousin, had four citizenships, or how --SPOILER ALERT-- the coroner who performed his autopsy stole his fricking brain and kept it in a jar for years while periodically giving out pieces of it to friends. I'll admit that when Isaacson would go off on a lecture about special or general relativity my eyes would glaze over while trying to follow his discussion of say four-sided triangles in non-Euclidean space or whatever, but at least some of the time it was written at a level I could follow, at least conceptually. Enough to understand the impact it had on the field, at least until Einstein's own theories were supplanted by quantum theory. If I have any criticism of the book, it's that while Isaacson does an admirable job of placing Einstein's achievements within the context of scientific discoveries at that time, what he fails to do is give us much perspective on how much --if anything-- the modern science of today owes to Einstein and his theories. What did Einstein get wrong, and what parts of his theories have been crowded out by the inevitable march of scientific progress? Dunno. Didn't say.All in all, though, I found the book fascinating and would recommend it. I think I may go back and give the Ben Franklin book another shot.
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  • Lee
    January 1, 1970
    You'll know Albert like your own grandfather after reading this. This book covers the complete life of Albert Einstein, from his childhood (he never did fail a math test) and early attraction to science and math to his love life, his children, his education, his employment, his many great theories and discoveries, his relationship with all of his famous peers, his rise to public fame, his sincere beliefs in freedom from oppression, 2 world wars, his role with the bomb, and his life in the US. An You'll know Albert like your own grandfather after reading this. This book covers the complete life of Albert Einstein, from his childhood (he never did fail a math test) and early attraction to science and math to his love life, his children, his education, his employment, his many great theories and discoveries, his relationship with all of his famous peers, his rise to public fame, his sincere beliefs in freedom from oppression, 2 world wars, his role with the bomb, and his life in the US. And through it all is modest, humble private life. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
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  • Alex Telander
    January 1, 1970
    EINSTEIN: HIS LIFE AND UNIVERSE BY WALTER ISAACSON: Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, takes biography writing to a whole new level with Einstein: His Life and Universe. This isn’t just the story of Albert Einstein from birth until death; Isaacson escorts the reader on a unique journey through the mind of Einstein, as well as through the eyes of his friends and family; along the way one becomes so close and understanding of the man of the twentieth century it is as i EINSTEIN: HIS LIFE AND UNIVERSE BY WALTER ISAACSON: Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, takes biography writing to a whole new level with Einstein: His Life and Universe. This isn’t just the story of Albert Einstein from birth until death; Isaacson escorts the reader on a unique journey through the mind of Einstein, as well as through the eyes of his friends and family; along the way one becomes so close and understanding of the man of the twentieth century it is as if he were still alive and conversing with you. This book shows you the man and human being behind the genius of physics and astronomy, the creator of the theory of relativity.Do not be fooled by the sheer girth of this 700-page book, Isaacson has a writing style that immediately makes the reader feel calm and at home, sitting in a comfortable chair doing what they love to do. Coupled with this is the knowledge – since the book is so large – that you will experience every important moment in Einstein’s life and you will be able to put to rest the urban legends that have developed over the decades. And no, Einstein did not flunk math.Isaacson has done an incredible job in researching the math and physics so that the theories and ideas are presented in their entirety and laid out plainly so that if the reader wishes to truly understand Einstein’s ideas behind relativity, magnetic fields, quantum mechanics, and his never ending search for the unified field theory, they can. But unlike most Einstein biographies, this is only part of the book; another part is the human being behind the incredible brain. While being a very kind man throughout his life, Einstein also had a thing for the ladies, divorcing his first wife, Maric, of many years due to his infidelity with his second wife and cousin, Elsa, who he would outlive. Nevertheless, throughout his life Einstein always loved and cared for his children, even his first daughter with Maric who was given up for adoption and remains an obscure detail to history. There was a time when he held little respect for Hans Albert, his son, who pursued a career in engineering; Einstein’s love belonged to the world of theory and contemplation and despised the more manual sciences. Later in life, Hans and Albert became close once again and his son was by his side when Einstein died.While not in the table of contents, the book can be divided into two parts, two worlds essentially for Einstein’s life. The first is his growing up in Germany and then moving to Switzerland, Prague and Berlin. His genius was there from the beginning, as he mastered calculus at the age of 15, and while working at a patent office began his work on relativity. It took some years before Einstein was granted a professorship in Berlin among his colleagues. It is during this time that Einstein was at his height and achieved a celebrity status that was very uncommon for a scientist, and where Hitler began his steady rise to power. While Einstein adamantly declared himself without religion, he never considered himself an atheist but a scientist; however he always considered himself a member of the Jewish culture and with the changes taking place in Germany, he became a prominent spokesmen for the Zionist movement. Sadly it came to the point where it simply wasn’t safe for Einstein to live in Germany anymore, as well as being forced out of his professorship, he made the decision to immigrate to the United States. He had visited the country a number of times during his tours around the world as a proponent of relativity and to meet other scientists at conferences, and was a big supporter of the rights and freedoms inherent in the country.This is where the second part of the book begins, pursuing Einstein’s life in the United States. Read the rest of the review at www.alexctelander.com
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Einstein was a great read - I gained a new appreciation for Einstein as a person and his scientific world. In the beginning of the book, I didn't know quite what to think of Einstein. I couldn't tell if he possessed great confidence or if he crossed over to being arrogant, and I wasn't impressed with how he handled his personal relationships. However, as the book went on, I gained an appreciation for his thirst for knowledge, his independent thinking, confidence, determination, and even kindness Einstein was a great read - I gained a new appreciation for Einstein as a person and his scientific world. In the beginning of the book, I didn't know quite what to think of Einstein. I couldn't tell if he possessed great confidence or if he crossed over to being arrogant, and I wasn't impressed with how he handled his personal relationships. However, as the book went on, I gained an appreciation for his thirst for knowledge, his independent thinking, confidence, determination, and even kindness. I've decided based on comments by Einstein's friends, that he wasn't an arrogant person, but he was a confident, independent thinker who wasn't swayed by the prevailing thoughts in physics and political culture. Further, Einstein seemed to possess a humility that resulted from his awe of the beauty and order of the universe which he believed was created by God. As he aged, he seemed to develop more of a softness and kindness I didn't see perceive earlier in his life. Near the end of the book, I also became impressed with his political activism and desire to help humanity.Some of the chapters in the book delve quite a bit into Einstein's physics. These chapters were harder for me to get through, but they did help me gain more of an apprecation for Einstein's work and made me roughly familiar with his world.Like most biographies, I was familiarized with Einstein's mistakes and flaws, but I also gained a deep respect for his brilliance and character. Overall, I think this was a well-written biography that was a great read.
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  • Robert
    January 1, 1970
    This is an incredibly well researched, detailed account of all aspects of Einstein's life, personal, scientific and political that I can highly recommend to anybody interested. I learned heaps I didn't know and had the record set straight on a number of points, mainly regarding Einstein's political views, how they changed over time and his level of support for setting up the Manhattan Project.I read the book with a specific research agenda, which was to independently form an opinion as to whethe This is an incredibly well researched, detailed account of all aspects of Einstein's life, personal, scientific and political that I can highly recommend to anybody interested. I learned heaps I didn't know and had the record set straight on a number of points, mainly regarding Einstein's political views, how they changed over time and his level of support for setting up the Manhattan Project.I read the book with a specific research agenda, which was to independently form an opinion as to whether Einstein was autistic, an idea not first suggested by me and not on the author's mind either. Conclusion: Yep, autisticker than an autistic person with autism.Towards the end there is an account of how Einstein was affected by and responded to McCarthyism. He was opposed, seeing in it the oppression of free speech and free thought characteristic of both Fascism and Communism. The author takes the view that McCarthyism was a passing fad, doomed to fail in the long term because of the greatness of the American Constitution. I found this level of complacency offensive to all the victims of McCarthy, all the people who spoke up in defense of freedoms and all the people who defended the constitution legally.On it's own the constitution is nothing; without those people willing to risk reputation, career, even liberty, would McCarthyism have been a "passing fad"? Given the current political situation, we need such people more than ever. You disappoint me in this, Isaacson. Einstein, who used his world famous name to stand up for moderation, tolerance and freedom of thought and speech, does not.Still, overall an excellent book.
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  • Mohamed IBrahim
    January 1, 1970
    حسناً أنوي الكتابة عن الكتاب نفسه ، لا أقصد المحتوي بالطبع ، رغم أناقة الحديث عن هذا العبقري المغرور الذي غير وجه فهمنا للعالم وكان للأسف من أعظم علماء الفيزياء . حسناً بالطبع بول ديراك {{برقبته}}ولكن علي كل فهو قدير بأن يكتب عنه الكثير فهي صدفة سعيدة جعلته يسبق هيلبرت فى الوصول لحقائق النظرية النسبية الخاصة (سعيدة بالنسبة له علي الأقل) وهذه الحقائق لن تنكر حقيقة أنه عبقري ومتمرد حقيقي.أكتب لان الكتاب نفسه لديه قصة طويلة لدى ، إنه يؤرخ لأسعد ذكريات حياتى علي الاطلاق ، فبعض كلمات هذا الكتاب تحتوي حسناً أنوي الكتابة عن الكتاب نفسه ، لا أقصد المحتوي بالطبع ، رغم أناقة الحديث عن هذا العبقري المغرور الذي غير وجه فهمنا للعالم وكان للأسف من أعظم علماء الفيزياء . حسناً بالطبع بول ديراك {{برقبته}}ولكن علي كل فهو قدير بأن يكتب عنه الكثير فهي صدفة سعيدة جعلته يسبق هيلبرت فى الوصول لحقائق النظرية النسبية الخاصة (سعيدة بالنسبة له علي الأقل) وهذه الحقائق لن تنكر حقيقة أنه عبقري ومتمرد حقيقي.أكتب لان الكتاب نفسه لديه قصة طويلة لدى ، إنه يؤرخ لأسعد ذكريات حياتى علي الاطلاق ، فبعض كلمات هذا الكتاب تحتوي علي أسعد ما يمكنني قراءته فى كل ما كتب علي ورق يوماً ما . ربما يكون الكتاب سيرة ذاتية عن متحذلق ما من المتحذلقين الذين غيروا وجه العالم لأنهم تحلوا ببعض الشجاعة للتفكير فى مدي ما قد تحدثه تحذلاقاتهم اذا تم التعبير عنها بلغة الرياضيات ، ثاني أصدق اللغات فى التعبير بعد لغة المحبين فى لحظة الفراق .نسخة مكتبة الاسرة ظريفة ولكن نسختي كانت هدية وهي أغلي هدية عيد مولد قدمت لي ، لا يعود هذا بالطبع إلي كونها أول هدية مولد حقيقية لي . بل يعود لكونها مميزة للغاية . لن تكون مميزة لأنني معتوه يشبه فى تمرده المعتوه الكبير الذي يتحدث عنه الكتاب فى بدايات حياته مع فارق أنه كان اكثر تفوقاً مني قليلاً وأنني لن أقوم بتغيير العالم بالطبع كما فعل هو .قرأت الكتاب عدة مرات ، لأكن صادقاً فليست قراءة كاملة ، لكن بالأمس قراءته كاملاً طوال الليل , حسناً ساكون صادقاً أنني لم أكن اقرأ طوال الليل فقد مرضت فى نفس هذا الليل وغطيت فى نوم طويل إلي الصباح ، نوم طويل مثلما شعرت ولكن يبدو أن ساعة بيتنا قد سافرت بعيداً فهي لم تشر سوي أنني نمت سوي الساعتين فقط . (حسناً يبدو أن تباطؤ الزمن يأتي أحيانا بالايحاء ) , حسناً ما بين القوسين هو جملة حمقاء للغاية ولا تأخذوها محمل الجد ولست أدعي أنها اكتشاف حصري سيغير العالم خصوصاً عندما ياتي من شخص لم يقبلوا نشر ورقته البحثية رغم انها كانت مجرد مراجعة وليست شيئاً جديداً .فى أول كتاب قرأته وانهيته فى حياتي كتبت فى نهايته لغة تشفير بسيطة من ابتكاري ، الكتاب عن سيرة صلاح الدين الأيوبي ، كانت اللغة عبارة عن مزيج من اسماء الحيوانات واسماء أشياء اخري احبها . للكتاب ذكريات كبيرة وعديدة معي وكنت أخال أنني لن احب كتاباً ابداً أكثر منه ولكن هذا الكتاب أحببته أكثر منه بكثير ، حسناً أكرر أن هذا ليس لسواد عيون اينشتاين ، ربما لو كان كتاباً عن ديراك لأصبح الأمر أكثر معقولية ولكن البتة . لما أكتب كل هذا هنا ولم كل هذا الكلام الغريب الذي لا علاقة للكتاب به ولا توجد علاقة وثيقة بين الكلام نفسه وبعضه ، لا أعرف ربما لو كانت لدي مدونة او مكان لا يصيب المرء من وراءه كلمات المعارف من قبيل ماذا تقصد بهذا وهذا لكنت صببت كل هذا الهراء هناك .لكنني لا امتلك سوي هنا ، وأنا اقوم هنا بمراجعة علي أثمن ما أمتلك فى حياتي .قبل إهداء الكتاب ، كنت أتحدث انا والحياة لغتان مختلفتان تماماً , كنت أتحدث لغة من الخيال وفانتازيا الأحلام بينما كانت تتحدث الحياة لغة واقعية بكل شاعريتها وسخريتها وأقدارها . أما بعد الكتاب فقد اقتربت اللغتان من بعضهما البعض , وجدت الحياة طريقها إلي لغتي ووجدت طريقي إلي لغة الحياة كما لم أكن فيها من قبل . إهداءات الكتاب خالية من عبثية المصحح اللغوي وأعباء التكنولوجيا ، لم يخط شيئاً من أجل إيجاد طريق ماً ، بل من أجل العودة الي هذا الطريق الذي كان من المفترض أن تكونه سعادة ، تلك السعادة الغائبة التي مرقت فينا يوماً .لا أدري كيف ما يزال "قبلك" حاضراً في اللغة. لولا أنها كلمة حقيقية ، لما شعرت أن لهذا الشئ وجودا. لذلك فأنا أكتب لعل هذا يكون سر تنشيط الأثر الذي أحدثه يوماً هذا .فهذا الوجود الكامل كثيق إلى حد الرعب. هذا الوجود الكامل أثقل من أن يحتمل نفسه. هذا الوجود الكامل يبدو اللقاء المُحتم مع العدم بعد أن يمضي كل منهما في اتجاه، فيتحدان حين تكتمل دورة المطلق . الوجود المعتم بحاجة لضياء نور يعيد الحياة بعيداً عن ثقل هذا الوجود الفارغ .أكثر ما يرهقني أنك كل ما أري . ليس لأن ثمةَ ما هو أجمل منك ، فهذا لا يوجد ، بل لأني أرى أجمل ما في الوجود فأشعر أني كائن خطِر.تخيلي أني أعرف أكثر ما في الوجودِ خطورة وسرية. فكيف لي أن أعيش بعد ذلك مطمئناً ولو لإغفالة عين وجِلة خاشعة ! فإلي متى سيأتمنني الوجود على هذا السر ؟ وإلى متى سيثق في طاقة كتماني؟ و إلى متى ستمر الرياح بجواري وتحجم عن اقتلاعي في آخر لحظة؟ولماذا لا أستطيع الفكاك بعيداً ؟؟وأخيراً لما لا تسير الساعات بطيئة إلا عندما لا نريدها كذلك ؟ولماذا لم يرسب اينشتاين فى التفاضل والتكامل فقد أحرزت فيها علامة مقبول ؟
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  • Andrej Karpathy
    January 1, 1970
    This was my second read of an Einstein biography, this time by Isaacson. Coming from Isaacson, the book is well-written and seemed very thoroughly researched. Overall a great read, but if I had to complain my biggest issue is that the emphasis was not allocated very well. For instance, a huge portion of the book is devoted to Einstein’s personal life, reading through his correspondence with his love interests. It’s interesting for a while, but after some point I thought we were intruding a littl This was my second read of an Einstein biography, this time by Isaacson. Coming from Isaacson, the book is well-written and seemed very thoroughly researched. Overall a great read, but if I had to complain my biggest issue is that the emphasis was not allocated very well. For instance, a huge portion of the book is devoted to Einstein’s personal life, reading through his correspondence with his love interests. It’s interesting for a while, but after some point I thought we were intruding a little too much, and that it was stretched out and uninformative. Conversely, some very interesting portions of his life are under-represented. In one chapter he publishes his streak of 1905 papers, and in what feels like a few pages later he is a scientific celebrity. This period, where the community is discovering and processing him as a person from nowhere who made sudden and large contributions is among the most interesting, and very sparsely covered. There could have also been much more space for his works’ retrospectives - how do scientists today see his theories, in what ways was he right or wrong based on our current understanding of physics? This book was written in 2007 but so few of these interesting retrospectives are present that it may have as well been published in 1955. I thought this was a huge missed opportunity.A few more fun parts of the book I enjoyed:- Einstein did not describe himself as atheist and in fact frowned on them. Instead, he subscribed to something similar to Spinoza’s god - an abstract, pantheistic, impersonal god. I think I mostly self-identified as an atheist until now but I’ve been swayed to Einstein’s view by this book, as it was nicely presented by Walter Isaacson with help of original texts by Einstein.- Einstein strongly disliked nationalism, and thought of himself as a citizen of the world. An interesting view, expanded on nicely in the book.- I liked the anecdotes surrounding Einstein’s Nobel prize. Most people felt strongly that he should get one, but the situation was more politically charged than may seem at a first glance. In the end, Einstein received the Nobel for photoelectric effect, not for his much more impactful theory of general relativity.- The book goes into quite a lot of detail on how Einstein was rejected by almost every single academic institution prior to his 1905 papers. Luckily, it turns out that a patent office is not a bad place for an academic tenure.- The book goes into quite a bit of fun details about the massive Einstein hysteria in the public. A scientific celebrity of that scale is quite singular in our history - it was relatively unprecedented back then, and we also haven’t seen quite the same phenomenon since. I wish we did.- It was also fun to think about Einstein’s stubborn refusal to accept Quantum Mechanics despite mounting evidence throughout his life (“He does not play dice”). The irony is that many established senior scientists were on the defense of the old order when Einstein first formulated GR, and now here he was much later (as an established senior scientist) stubbornly defending the old order in face of attacks from QM. This irony was not lost on Einstein at all either, but he still refused to correct for this persistently observed bias across history. As a scientist, I hereby resolve to overcompensate in accepting new paradigms once I’m older :)I developed a new appreciation for Einstein after reading the book, and there were plenty of fun parts and anecdotes that made this quite worth the read.
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  • محمد وفيق زين العابدين
    January 1, 1970
    كتاب جيد عن حياة [ألبرت أينشتاين] وأعماله، وأهميته من جهة كونه من أكثر الكُتب توثيقًا لحياة أينشتاين، فالكُتب التي أُلفت حول المُترجم له والمعلومات التي نُقلت عنه كثيرة جدًا لكنها مليئة بالمُغالطات لاسيما من اليهود الذين يُفاخرون بيهودية أينشتاين ودعمه لمشروعهم القومي، فالمُؤلف ينفي الشائعة الشهيرة عن المُترجم له بأنه رسب في بداية حياته في المدرسة في الرياضيات، بل يُثبت أنه أتقن التفاضل والتكامل وفاق مُدرسيه قبل سن الخامسة عشر من عمره، كما ذكر أن العبقري الذي كان في بداية حياته مُتحمسًا للمشروع كتاب جيد عن حياة [ألبرت أينشتاين] وأعماله، وأهميته من جهة كونه من أكثر الكُتب توثيقًا لحياة أينشتاين، فالكُتب التي أُلفت حول المُترجم له والمعلومات التي نُقلت عنه كثيرة جدًا لكنها مليئة بالمُغالطات لاسيما من اليهود الذين يُفاخرون بيهودية أينشتاين ودعمه لمشروعهم القومي، فالمُؤلف ينفي الشائعة الشهيرة عن المُترجم له بأنه رسب في بداية حياته في المدرسة في الرياضيات، بل يُثبت أنه أتقن التفاضل والتكامل وفاق مُدرسيه قبل سن الخامسة عشر من عمره، كما ذكر أن العبقري الذي كان في بداية حياته مُتحمسًا للمشروع الصهيوني على الرغم من عدم التزامه الديني [اليهودي] تحول بشكل عجيب إلى رافض لهذا المشروع مُصرحًا بأن القومية [مرض طفولي] وبأنه عارض فكرة إنشاء دولة يهودية ذات حدود وسلطة دنيوية، وكان لتمرده على العقيدة الدينية أثر عميق في نظرته العامة تجاه الآراء والأفكار السائدة على حد زعم المُؤلفالكتاب له أهمية أخرى من جهة تغطيته لكافة جوانب حياة أينشتاين وعالمه، وهو يمزج بين النواحي الشخصية والنواحي العلمية في حياته، وهو ينقل لنا بعض الفوائد والأشياء المميزة في حياة هذا العبقري منها على سبيل المثال؛ أن البدايات الأولى للطفل العبقري كانت متعثرة جدًا، حيث كان بطيئًا في تعلم الكلام، وحتى بعد أن بدأ يستخدم الكلمات ظهرت عليه غرابة في الأطوار جعلته محلًا للسخرية، حتى أن خادمته كانت تطلق عليه [المُغفل] وكان آخرون من أسرته يلقبونه بـ [المُتخلف]، لكنه بإرداته التي ملكها منذ طفولته استطاع التغلب على تلك المشكلة فكان إذا أراد أن يقول شيئًا جربه على نفسه وهمس به بصوت منخفض حتى يُحسن نطقه ثم ينطقه بصوت عال، كما يذكر المؤلف أن بُغض أينشتاين للظُلم كان أقوى من طمعه في نيل المكانة العلمية التي يستحقها عن جدارة، الأمر الذي كلفه معاناة الفرار من بيئة الاجتماعية مُبكرًا والتخلي عن جنسيته الألمانية ليعيش لعدة سنوات بلا دولة ويُضيع بعض عمره لتوفير مقابل الرسوم التي يحتاجها ليصبح مواطنًا سويسريًا، وعلى الرغم من أنه اشتهر بأنه يميل إلى العُزلة فقد كان في الواقع حار العاطفة في الجانب الشخصي، مما دفعه للوقوع في حالة حب عنفوانية تخلص منها بصعوبة شديدة كلفته جائزة نوبل الماليةومن ألطف وأغرب الأشياء التي ذكرها المُؤلف ما ختم به كتابه من أن أينشتاين وصى قبل وفاته أن يُحرق ويُبعثر رماده بحيث لا يصبح قبره موضع تبجيل وتقديس، وبرغم ذلك فقد حُرق جسده كله عدا مُخه فقد اُحتفظ به لأكثر من 40 سنة في قصة طويلة خلاصتها أن مُخه قسم لأجزاء صغيرة وُزعت على العشرات لإجراء دراسات عليه لاكتشاف سر عبقريته، نُشر بعضها في الولايات المتحدة وكندا وغيرها.. لكن المُؤلف يرفض نتائج كل هذه الدراسات ليُقرر أن سر عبقرية المُترجم له تكمن في كلمته [لستُ موهوبًا إنما أنا فضولي مُتحمس] لكن ما يعيب الكتاب إسهابه وإغراقه الشديد في التفصيلات وفي الجوانب العلمية البحتة حتى أن القارئ ليمل قبل إتمام قراءة الكتاب، وكان يُمكن أن يكون أكثر اختصارًا ولا شك كان ليكون أكثر إمتاعًاالكتاب مُترجم إلى اللغة العربية ترجمة جيدة جدًا من قِبل هيئة أبو ظبي للثقافة والتُراث (كلمة) عام 2010
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  • TS Chan
    January 1, 1970
    While this did take me quite a while to finish, I do like it a lot. I just dragged through this over a period as at some point it started to feel a bit dry, but that was more from my state of mind as this was not an easy book to digest. A bit of history about me and Einstein, not that I know him personally of course! Back in high school, I loved books so much that I was a school librarian. I also had a very early interest in science which was instilled by my father who actually bought me a set o While this did take me quite a while to finish, I do like it a lot. I just dragged through this over a period as at some point it started to feel a bit dry, but that was more from my state of mind as this was not an easy book to digest. A bit of history about me and Einstein, not that I know him personally of course! Back in high school, I loved books so much that I was a school librarian. I also had a very early interest in science which was instilled by my father who actually bought me a set of Science Encyclopedia for kids. And so it happens came across a rather old biography of Albert Einstein in the school library and being intrigued with what made this dude so famous, I proceeded to read it. It was really dry, especially for a teenager, and all I can remember about Einstein was that he was a brilliant non-conformist who didn't shine in school as his thoughts were way ahead of everyone else. This version of his biography is immensely in-depth. I suppose the length of the audiobook at over 21hrs was probably a good indicator that I was about to embark on quite a journey about the life and universe of Albert Einstein. The comprehensiveness of this book extends to a simplified understanding of special theory and general theory of relativity, the photoelectric effect and even quantum physics, just to name a few. While most people are aware of his contribution to the scientific field of physics, I am not sure if the same knowledge applies to the majority about his vocality on governments and politics. And he was also quite an accomplished amateur player of the piano and the violin, with the latter being his instrument of choice. Einstein's personal life was as complex as his scientific thought experiments. He was in equal measures passionate and yet detached especially when he felt restricted by bonds of relationships.If you have the patience coupled with a keen interest in gleaning into the greatest scientific mind of the 20th century, I definitely recommend this version of Einstein's biography. And I'll close with the following which encapsulated who this amazing man was. He was a loner with an intimate bond to humanity, a rebel who was suffused with reverence. And thus it was that an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the universe.
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  • Patrick Zandl
    January 1, 1970
    Uf. Pro mě jednoznačně kniha poslední doby, což tak nemusí mít každý, ale já jsem na Einsteina prostě zatížený. Kniha je o životě a práci Alberta Einsteina, což asi u životopisu nepřekvapí, ale pár věcí zmíním. Za prvé mě překvapilo, odkud vlastně pochází Einsteinovy příklady s vlaky a nikdy by mě nenapadlo, jak velký vliv může mít práce kousek od hypermoderní technologie, jakou tehdy byly vlaky, na práci teoretického fyzika. Za druhé se mi líbil věčný rozpor mezi raným revolucionářem v oboru a Uf. Pro mě jednoznačně kniha poslední doby, což tak nemusí mít každý, ale já jsem na Einsteina prostě zatížený. Kniha je o životě a práci Alberta Einsteina, což asi u životopisu nepřekvapí, ale pár věcí zmíním. Za prvé mě překvapilo, odkud vlastně pochází Einsteinovy příklady s vlaky a nikdy by mě nenapadlo, jak velký vliv může mít práce kousek od hypermoderní technologie, jakou tehdy byly vlaky, na práci teoretického fyzika. Za druhé se mi líbil věčný rozpor mezi raným revolucionářem v oboru a pozdějším "reakcionářem", který hájí svoje stanovisko, je o něm zásadově přesvědčen, ale už se topí v tom, že ztrácí kontakt s nejnovějšími trendy, zatímco publikum ho žere. Každý, kdo se někdy někam vypracoval, tohle musí znát a musí z toho mít nervy a číst si, jak to řeší a neřeší takový člověk, to něco, co ve mě rezonuje jak tympány do koulí. Za třetí jsem žral postupný vývoj teorie relativity a udivovalo mě, kolik lidí a poznatků do toho zasáhlo. A taky jsem nevěděl, jak dlouho měl Einstein problémy s hledáním místa - prostě takového nýmanda nikde nechtěli. Co mi přišlo slabší, byl závěr. Ke konci, poslední čtvrtina knihy, která už byla hlavně o slepých cestách v jednotné teorii pole, jsem usínal. Číst, jakou a s kým řešil další cestu a pak se dozvědět, že je zase slepá, to už mě nebralo, i když chápu, že v životopise to být musí. Nejvíc mi ale vadilo, že životopis končí smrtí. Jo, namítnete, že to u životopisu tak bývá - pár stránek odkazu, vydavatel ještě přimastil něco o českých stopách a ohlasech, ale to je všechno. Kurva fix, jak to bylo dál? Měl teda Einstein pravdu, je přípustná nějaká jednotná teorie pole? Nebo se prosadila kvantová fyzika? Když nejste fyzik, těžko se vám chápe vztah mezi kvantovou teorií a teorií relativity, je teda sakra kvantovou teorií dílo Einsteina nahrazeno? Pokračuje to všechno nějak? Herdekhiml, za tohle by Isaacson zasloužil vykrákat za uši, tomu ještě deset stran snad věnovat mohl. Hvězdičky jsem mu za to neubral z kolegiálního soucitu, protože vím, jak naštve, když vám někdo do recenze napíše, že ubral hvězdičku kvůli konci. Takže tak. Jestli jste někdy měli rádi fyziku, životopisy, Einsteina nebo jste se někdy dostaly někam nahoru a přemýšleli jste, jaké to bude, padat odtamtud dolů nebo se tam držet, tohle si rozhodně přečtěte...
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  • Nyamka Ganni
    January 1, 1970
    Ойрд зав муутай ном сайн уншиж чадахгүй байсаар Гүүдрийдсийн бүлгээрээ уншихаар сонгосон ном болох Einstein: His life and Universe нэртэй Эйнштейний намтрыг уншихаар өмнөө бариад сууж байна. Алдарт эрдэмтний туулж өнгөрүүлсэн амьдралынх нь тухай илүү ихийг мэдэх гэж байгаадаа баярлах сэтгэл төрөн тусгайчлан цаг гарган уншиж байна.Номоо ч эхлүүллээ. Ерөнхийдөө дажгүй шүү. Түүний амьдрал ер нь бол дардан шулуун байсангүй. Төрөлхийн тэрслүү зантай, тогтсон хэвшмэл үзэлтэй санал нийлдэггүй түүн шиг Ойрд зав муутай ном сайн уншиж чадахгүй байсаар Гүүдрийдсийн бүлгээрээ уншихаар сонгосон ном болох Einstein: His life and Universe нэртэй Эйнштейний намтрыг уншихаар өмнөө бариад сууж байна. Алдарт эрдэмтний туулж өнгөрүүлсэн амьдралынх нь тухай илүү ихийг мэдэх гэж байгаадаа баярлах сэтгэл төрөн тусгайчлан цаг гарган уншиж байна.Номоо ч эхлүүллээ. Ерөнхийдөө дажгүй шүү. Түүний амьдрал ер нь бол дардан шулуун байсангүй. Төрөлхийн тэрслүү зантай, тогтсон хэвшмэл үзэлтэй санал нийлдэггүй түүн шиг хүний амьдрал амаргүй байх нь тодорхой мэт. Гэвч ухаантай хүн өөр юм байна лээ. Эйнштейний амьдралыг шинжлэх ухааны, нийгмийн, хайр дурлалын хэмээх 3 янзад хуваан авч үзвэл тэр эхний хоёртоо ихээхэн амжилтанд хүрсэн байх юм. Надад ч бас таалагдаж түүний зам мөрийг байнга санаж явбал зүгээр юм гэсэн бодол хүртэл төрж байлаа.За тэгээд шинжлэх ухааны амьдрал нь бол хэлээд байх юм алга даа. Физикийн ертөнцөд түний оруулсан хувь нэмэр магтаад баршгүй. Түүний тэрслүү зан, ертөнцийн жамыг тайлах гэсэн сониучхан зан, тогтсон хэв маягийг эвдэх гэсэн эрмэлзэл нь мөн л энд маш тод харагдаж байна лээ. Миний мэддэг ч юм шиг мэддэггүй ч юм шиг физикийн онолуудын гарч ирсэн түүхийг Эйнштейний намтраар дамжуулан бага ч гэсэн мэдэж авсан. Алдарт харьцангуйн онолын төрсөн түүх ч гэсэн багтсан байгаа. Нэг сонирхолтой зүйл гэвэл Эйнштейн залуухан эрдэмтэн байхдаа тухайн үеийн тогтсон мэдлэгийг эвдэн хаяж квантын онолын эхлэлийг нь тавьсан хэдий ч амьдралынхаа сүүл үед квантын онолоо эсэргүүцэж эхэлсэн байгаа юм.Эйнштейний нийгмийн амьдрал гэвэл мөн л их бага адал явдлуудаар дүүрэн. тэгээл нөгөө алдарт масс энергийн тэгшитгэл нь атомын бөмбөг бүтээх эхлэл нь болсон гээд л.. атомын бөмбөг бүтээх санааг өөрөө Америкийн засгийн газарт өгсөн гээд л... тэр фашист үзэл ид дэлгэрч эхлэх үеийн Германд еврэй хүн байсан гээд л... сургуулиа төгссөнийх нь дараа түүнд удаан хугацаанд ажил олдоогүй... гээд л арвин их саад тотгоруудыг туулсаар ирсэн байна. Эйнштейн буруу гэж бодсон зүйлээ харсан бол дуугүй суудаггүй байсан байна. Өөрийн зөв гэж бодсон зүйлийнхээ төлөө тэмцэж чаддаг чанар нь их таалагдлаа.Гэтэл алдарт эрдэмтний маань хайр дурлалын амьдрал нь тийм ч сайхан байгаагүй нь харамсалтай. Энэ нь магадгүй түүний хүмүүстэй жинхэнэ утгаар дотносож чаддаггүй байсантай холбоотой байж болох юм. Түүний амьдралыг уншаад харж байхад түүнд зөвхөн эрдэмтэн ч биш өөр олон салбарын олон найзуудтай байсан байгаа юм. Гэвч найзуудтайгаа харилцах харилцаа нь тодорхой хүрээнээс хальдаггүй байсан бололтой. Түүний хайр дурлалын амьдрал нэг их бүтэлтэй болохгүй байсаар хоёр ч эхнэрийн нүүрийг үзээд авсан байгаа юм. Надад бол тэр анхны эхнэртэйгээ сайхан амьдарсан бол тэгээл төгс хүн мэт санагдах байлаа. Гэвч сайн муу нийлж байж савны ам дүүрдэг гэдэг шиг яг байгаа хэвээрээ ч доктор Эйнштейний амьдралын талаар бага ч болтугай уншиж танилцсан минь их сайхан санагдлаа.Энэ номноос Эйнштейний талаар мэдэж авсан сонирхолтой баримтуудыг хуваалцвал:Эйнштэйний төрсөн өдөр: 1879.3.14Тэр энхтайвныг дэмжигч байсан (Англиар pacifist). Эхэндээ бүх төрлийн зэвсэгт тэмцлийг буруутгаж үздэг байсан ч Германчуудын үндсэрхэг үзэл дээд цэгтээ хүрэхэд тодорхой хэмжээний зэвсэгт тэмцэл хэрэгтэй юм гэж үздэг болсон байна. Эцэст нь бүх улс орнууд зэвсгээ хаяхгүй л юм бол өөр бусад орон ч зэвсгээ хаях хэрэггүй гэж үздэг болсон байна. Ер нь бол дайныг их эсэргүүцдэг хүн байсан нь их таалагдлаа.Nationalism буюу үдсэрхэг үзлийг үзэн яддаг байсан байгаа юм. Герман иргэншлээсээ татгалзаж Швейцар иргэншил авах хүртлээ хэсэг хугацаанд ямар ч иргэншилгүй байсан гэж байна.Хөгжимд маш их хайртай. түүний амьдралын салшгүй нэг хэсэг хөгжим ялангуяа түүний хийл хөгжим. Тэр хийл хөгжмөө маш сайн дардаг байсан бөгөөд хамгийн дуртай хөгжимчин нь Моцарт байсан байна.Багадаа хэл ярианы чадвар муутай байсан нь түүний төсөөлөн бодох чадварыг сайжруулсан байх магадлалтай. Түүний бодол зургаар, дүрслэлээр байдаг гэж өөрөө хэлсэн удаатай гэнэ. Түүгээр ч үл барам хоёр бодлыг нэгэн зэрэг бодох чадвартай байсан тухай зурвас дурьдагдлаа. Үнэхээр хэлэх үг алгадаа.Анхны найз охинруугаа угаах хувцсаа илгээмжээр явуулан угаалгасны дараа буцаан илгээмжээр авдаг байсан гэнэ. o_OThe Olympia Academy.. it was fun!! I want same academy for me. So, I'm unofficially looking for fellow members of my academia :DЗалуу байхдаа математикт тийм ч сайн байгаагүйгээр үл барахгүй үл тоомсорлох аястай байсан ч нас нь явах тусмаа математикийн хэрэгцээг илүү их мэдэрч ирсэн байна.Түүнд Израйлын ерөнхийлөгч болох санал тавьж байсан байна. тэр эелдэгээр татгалзсан хариу өгсөн.Эйнштейний амьдралд орж гарч байсан хүмүүс дүнд маш олон алдартай хүмүүс байсан байна. Заримыг нь дурьдвал: Marie Curie, Franz Kafka, Gauss, Planck, Freud, Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Roosevelts, Schrodinger
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  • Iman A. Saeed
    January 1, 1970
    منذ الصغر و آينشتاين يجذب انتباهي بصفته صاحب أكثر النظريات الفيزيائية غموضا -و شهرة في الوقت نفسه- على مر التاريخ،،أردت أن أجمع بين التعرف أكثر عن النسبية و عن حياة آينشتاين و أراءه الدينية و السياسية و الحقيقة أنني وجدته إنسانا في المقام الأول له ما له و عليه ما عليه.و هنا يجدر الإشارة إلى تميز المؤلف ف جمعه بين الجوانب العلمية و الجوانب الحياتية الأخرى في قالب سردي ممتع.و بعد قراءتي للكتاب ازداد احترامي لهذا العالم بقدر ما احترمت آينشتاين الإنسان الذي تعرفت عليه على صفحات ذلك الكتاب.أخيرا..أنص منذ الصغر و آينشتاين يجذب انتباهي بصفته صاحب أكثر النظريات الفيزيائية غموضا -و شهرة في الوقت نفسه- على مر التاريخ،،أردت أن أجمع بين التعرف أكثر عن النسبية و عن حياة آينشتاين و أراءه الدينية و السياسية و الحقيقة أنني وجدته إنسانا في المقام الأول له ما له و عليه ما عليه.و هنا يجدر الإشارة إلى تميز المؤلف ف جمعه بين الجوانب العلمية و الجوانب الحياتية الأخرى في قالب سردي ممتع.و بعد قراءتي للكتاب ازداد احترامي لهذا العالم بقدر ما احترمت آينشتاين الإنسان الذي تعرفت عليه على صفحات ذلك الكتاب.أخيرا..أنصح بالقراءة.
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  • Zorka Zamfirova
    January 1, 1970
    Obožavam ovog čoveka. Zabeležio sam sebi pokoju mudrost od njega. Vredi čitati, što zbog Alberta, što zbog knjige.
  • Patryx
    January 1, 1970
    Arrivata alla fine (la morte di Einstein) mi sono sentita triste, come se mi avesse lasciato un vecchio maestro che conosceva da tanto, il quale con le sue parole e il suo esempio mi aveva aiutato a capire il mondo, quello della fisica e quello delle persone. Ho iniziato dalla fine perché ancora non riesco a credere che non potrò più ascoltare il caro vecchio Albert: sono nella prima fase del lutto, quello dell’incredulità e del rifiuto della perdita. So benissimo che il mio Albert l’ho conosciu Arrivata alla fine (la morte di Einstein) mi sono sentita triste, come se mi avesse lasciato un vecchio maestro che conosceva da tanto, il quale con le sue parole e il suo esempio mi aveva aiutato a capire il mondo, quello della fisica e quello delle persone. Ho iniziato dalla fine perché ancora non riesco a credere che non potrò più ascoltare il caro vecchio Albert: sono nella prima fase del lutto, quello dell’incredulità e del rifiuto della perdita. So benissimo che il mio Albert l’ho conosciuto attraverso l’occhio di Walter Isaacson e quindi porta con sé qualcosa di suo com’è inevitabile, del resto, secondo il principio di indeterminazione che tanto viene usato nelle scienze sociali e psicologiche (confesso colpevolmente che io l’ho conosciuto così) ma non ha mai avuto l’approvazione di Einstein. La vita di Einstein viene ripercorsa senza tralasciare gli aspetti meno nobili sia negli affetti (il suo rapporto con la prima moglie, Mileva Marić, e con il figlio Hans) sia nella vita pubblica (l’incoerenza rispetto al pacifismo) e proprio per questo ne emerge una figura complessa, affascinante che ha avuto come valori guida il rifiuto dell’estremismo e la tolleranza. Isaacson attinge a moltissimi documenti e riporta nelle note le opinioni di studiosi e testimoni che, in alcuni casi, giungono a conclusioni diverse dalle sue. Il libro è inoltre corredato da un interessante inserto fotografico. La morte del protagonista mi ha lasciato anche un altro grande vuoto: non saprò mai cosa è successo nella fisica dal 1955 a oggi, salvo che non legga qualche altro libro divulgativo appassionante come un romanzo (allora se esiste, fatevi pure avanti!). Il baratro in cui sono precipitata è reso ancora più cupo dal rimorso di non aver studiato bene la fisica a scuola: per me era soltanto quellacosachedevistudiarequeltantochebastaperavereunvotosullapagella; a mia parziale discolpa mi dico che anche la mia insegnante era di questa opinione, ma non è sufficiente a lenire il senso di perdita.
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  • Jacqui
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone knows Albert Einstein--smart man, came up with E+MC2, helped create the atomic bomb--but I didn't know much beyond the hype. That's why I picked up Walter Isaacson's award winning book Einstein: His Life and Universe (Simon and Schuster 2007). I like to read about smart people. What's different about how they think than other people? Can they relate to ordinary people? Where do they get the amazing ideas they come up with?As often as not, brilliant people become criminals as successes l Everyone knows Albert Einstein--smart man, came up with E+MC2, helped create the atomic bomb--but I didn't know much beyond the hype. That's why I picked up Walter Isaacson's award winning book Einstein: His Life and Universe (Simon and Schuster 2007). I like to read about smart people. What's different about how they think than other people? Can they relate to ordinary people? Where do they get the amazing ideas they come up with?As often as not, brilliant people become criminals as successes like Einstein, which tells me we as a world culture don't respect intelligence as the end-all for our problems. Someone who is charismatic, friendly, likeable, with good-enough brains is more likely to succeed than an individual whose brain never shuts off.Turns out, that was true for Albert Einstein. The childhood Isaacson shares with us doesn't sound like a boy revered for his thinking skills. He had the same problems as you and I, including that he struggled in many academic classes because his brain didn't fit into the teacher's pedagogic box. When he entered the work world, he couldn't find a job and happily took one toiling in the offices of the patent department. His brain continued to chug along, thinking through problems around him, but he was a theoretician. That meant he came up with ways to solve problems that were formulaic rather than drawn from the reality of the world around him. This made their acceptance more challenging in the academic world. After all, the senses couldn't see them happening.But, Einstein couldn't turn his brain off and that tenacity is what won out in the end. Tenacity. That's a trait anyone can develop. You don't need to be a genius. How many parents rail on their kids to never give up, don't be a quitter, to the last man standing goes the spoils.Isaacson gently shares the details of Einstein's later life, when he accomplished little and seemed confused over his direction in life, adamant about his beliefs, but not sure where to take them when he could find little support for his thinking.Overall, Einstein's story is a lesson for all of us. He had a God-given talent to think better than anyone in his generation, but it was the very human traits of tenacity and perseverance that enabled his success and the inability to see the forest for the trees that mitigated it in the end. A worthy story for all, as much biography as lessons in how to live an extraordinary life. You'll have to engage your own tenacity as the book is a raucous 675 pages--not for the faint of heart.
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  • Tony
    January 1, 1970
    EINSTEIN: His Life and Universe. (2007). Walter Isaacson. *****. This was one of the most engaging biographies that I have read in years. I think that second place also goes to Isaacson and his biography of Ben Franklin. Einstein was born in Ulm (remember that – it’s often a crossword puzzle clue) in 1879. His youth and early education is covered adequately, along with those of his siblings. He was born into a non-practising Jewish family. In later years, when he was forced to list some personal EINSTEIN: His Life and Universe. (2007). Walter Isaacson. *****. This was one of the most engaging biographies that I have read in years. I think that second place also goes to Isaacson and his biography of Ben Franklin. Einstein was born in Ulm (remember that – it’s often a crossword puzzle clue) in 1879. His youth and early education is covered adequately, along with those of his siblings. He was born into a non-practising Jewish family. In later years, when he was forced to list some personal religion he practiced, he often wrote down “Mosaic.” He was fascinated with science, especially physics, from an early age. Isaacon tells the story of how he was given a compass when he was a boy. This, supposedly, led to his subsequent interest in “fields.” Many of the stories that we’ve heard about his difficulties in school were simply not true. Einstein managed to be a star pupil in most all categories. From early on, however, he was opposed to any method of teaching that forced “learning” by rote. He believed that education, to be successful, should open a student’s mind to the receipt of ideas and foster his imagination. One of Einstein’s first jobs was as a patent examiner. With his background, he was perfectly fitted for this work. He could get a day’s work done in a few hours and devote the rest of his time working on his physics problems. The year we are really interested in, however, is 1905. In that year, he published groundbreaking papers on 1) The quantum theory of light; 2) The explanation of Brownian motion, which proved the existence of atoms and molecules; 3) The development of the concept of space/time; 4) The equivalence of mass and energy. Later, in 1915, he published his paper on general relativity. He arrived at all of these breakthrough discoveries through the use of “thought experiments;” he was not an experimental physicist, but a theoretical one. We also learn a lot about his private life – much that I didn’t know before. The author had the benefit of access to all of Einstein’s papers – many of which were recently released. What it boils down to was that Einstein was as human as the rest of us. The temptation is here for long quotes from this book, but I’ll resist it. I will urge you to read this book, and hope you find it – as I did – the best of biographies should be. Highly recommended.
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    Here's a chance to become more intimately acquainted with an exceptional life that straddles both world wars, a biography that introduces the reader to the histories of England, Germany, Switzerland, England, Israel, Italy and Japan in relation to both conflicts . The pre & post war economies, businesses, and careers possible as described here seem a world away from today. Seeing them from the perspective of Einsteins life, his family's ups and downs , and the way they separate colleagues, c Here's a chance to become more intimately acquainted with an exceptional life that straddles both world wars, a biography that introduces the reader to the histories of England, Germany, Switzerland, England, Israel, Italy and Japan in relation to both conflicts . The pre & post war economies, businesses, and careers possible as described here seem a world away from today. Seeing them from the perspective of Einsteins life, his family's ups and downs , and the way they separate colleagues, couples, siblings, parents and children forces the reader to consider the wars as more than a VE Day vignette . More than a history of 20th century physics, here is also an in depth look at the personalities who shaped the way we look at today's universe and the concepts they entertained, pursued, and developed. This bio shows many of the false starts and might have beens as Einstein sought entrance at school, later tried and failed to gained teaching posts, and a gainful occupation. His romantic and family life were similarly a series of trial and error, pleasure and sorrow. But, perhaps most remarkably here too is a celebration of music, a life that intersects with politics and academia, with loves great and small for sailing, tobacco, the comforts of home. In the end it's images of small things like a knife in a lakeside cottage in Germany that I will remember about this remarkable man and his unusual life.
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