Einstein: The Formative Years, 1879-1909

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Springer Science & Business Media, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 258 pages
This volume brings together some of the best recent scholarship on what might be termed Einstein's formative period, that is, the thirty years before he obtained his first academic position in 1909. Topics covered include Einstein's early reading and his university education, his early views on scientific method and some of the crucial philosophical influences shaping those views, his early work on statistical mechanics, Brownian motion, quantum theory, relativity theory, and his youthful vision of a unified foundation for physics. Seven of the eight papers appear here in print for the first time. The contributors draw extensively upon much of the interesting new documentation, such as personal letters, including love letters to his fiancee, and unpublished manuscripts, that has come to light in the course of work on the first several volumes of {\it The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein}. This engaging book examining the young Einstein from a variety of perspectives---personal, scientific, historical, and philosophical--- will be accessible to a broad general readership.
 

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Contents

Introduction to Einstein The Formative Years
1
The Mysteries and Wonders of Natural Science Aaron Bernsteins Naturwissenschaftliche Volksbücher and the Adolescent Einstein
23
The Young Einsteins Physics Education HF Weber Hermann von Helmholtz and the Zurich Polytechnic Physics Institute
43
Kants Impact on Einsteins Thought
83
Einsteins Controversy with Drude and the Origin of Statistical Mechanics A New Glimpse from the Love Letters
107
The Construction of the Special Theory Some Queries and Considerations
159
Physical Approximations and Stochastic Processes in Einsteins 1905 Paper on Brownian Motion
203
Einsteins LightQuantum Hypothesis or Why Didnt Einstein Propose a Quantum Gas a DecadeandaHalf Earlier?
231
Index
253
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