Once Upon Einstein

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Taylor & Francis, Mar 7, 2006 - Mathematics - 199 pages
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It is well known that Einstein founded twentieth-century physics with his work on relativity and quanta, but what do we really know about these ground breaking ideas? How were they discovered? What should we retain today from the conceptual upheavals he initiated? Through a selection of concrete scenes taken from Einstein's life, the author offers a view into the formation of his theories, as well as reminders of the day-to-day applications of his ideas. Simultaneously the reader is lead through a reflection on their philosophical impact: How should we think of time according to the theory of relativity, which removes any meaningful "now" and shows that twins can have different ages? How should we think of reality when quantum theory predicts that spatially separated objects nevertheless remain connected through Einstein's notion of "entanglement," which has recently been verified through scientific observation? This book puts readers in Einstein's place, allowing them to share some of those particular moments when he succeeded in "lifting a corner of the great veil."

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About the author (2006)

Thibault Damour is a permanent member of the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques (Institute of Advanced Studies) in France and a member of the French Academy of Science. A theoretical physicist, he is known worldwide for his innovative work on black holes, pulsars, gravitational waves, and string theory. He has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Einstein medal.

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