Einstein's 1912 Manuscript on the Special Theory of Relativity

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George Braziller, 2003 - Science - 174 pages
"The influence of Einstein's contributions on so many branches of physics is such that if one wanted to describe its full extent, it would be hard to know where to begin. His work and discoveries...are so fundamental that each achievement alone would have guaranteed him a prominent place in the history of physics. But what brought him unprecedented fame outside his own discipline is undoubtedly his theory of relativity, which revolutionized the old, established Newtonian picture of space, time, and gravitation."Professor Hanoch Gutfreund, from the Introduction This volume, an abridged version of our cloth, slipcased edition, presents one of the most influential scientific documents of the twentieth century: Albert Einstein's exposition of the theory of relativity. Each of the seventy-two handwritten pages are reproduced and are accompanied by an English translation of the original German text. A tribute to Einstein's genius, Einstein's 1912 Manuscript on the Special Theory of Relativity opens with a brief essay by Hanoch Gutfreund, a chronology of Einstein's life, a selection of quotes by Einstein, and, to introduce the manuscript, a detailed description of the manuscript, its contents, publication history, and provenance. The manuscript pages themselves then follow, reproduced in full color, with the English translation facing each page. Subtle variations in paper and ink are clearly visible in the excellent reproductions, indicating where and when Einstein drafted certain parts. Because the manuscript shows extensive reworking, it reveals Einstein's thought processes more than any other of his handwritten works. Providing a glimpse into one of the greatest minds of the last century, Einstein's 1912 Manuscript is for anyone fascinated by Einstein and the impact of his revolutionary theory. 72 color pages.

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Einstein's 1912 manuscript on the special theory of relativity: a facsimile

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An interesting specialty item: Braziller here offers a facsimile of Einstein's original, handwritten manuscript of his famous theory, which altered the state of physics and changed history. The book ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm. He spent his childhood in Munich where his family owned a small machine shop. By the age of twelve, Einstein had taught himself Euclidean Geometry. His family moved to Milan, where he stayed for a year, and he used it as an excuse to drop out of school, which bored him. He finished secondary school in Aarau, Switzerland and entered the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Einstein graduated in 1900, by studying the notes of a classmate since he did not attend his classes out of boredom, again. His teachers did not like him and would not recomend him for a position in the University. For two years, Einstein worked as a substitute teacher and a tutor before getting a job, in 1902, as an examiner for a Swiss patent office in Bern. In 1905, he received his doctorate from the University of Zurich for a theoretical dissertation on the dimension of molecules. Einstein also published three theoretical papers of central importance to the development of 20th Century physics. The first was entitled "Brownian Motion," and the second "Photoelectric Effort," which was a revolutionary way of thinking and contradicted tradition. No one accepted the proposals of the first two papers. Then the third one was published in 1905 and called "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies." Einstein's words became what is known today as the special theory of relativity and said that the physical laws are the same in all inertial reference systems and that the speed of light in a vacuum is a universal constant. Virtually no one understood or supported Einstein's argument. Einstein left the patent office in 1907 and received his first academic appointment at the University of Zurich in 1909. In 1911, he moved to a German speaking university in Prague, but returned to Swiss National Polytechnic in Zurich in 1912. By 1914, Einstein was appointed director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics in Berlin. His chief patron in those early days was German physicist Max Planck and lent much credibility to Einstein's work. Einstein began working on generalizing and extending his theory of relativity, but the full general theory was not published until 1916. In 1919, he predicted that starlight would bend in the vicinity of a massive body, such as the sun. This theory was confirmed during a solar eclipse and cause Einstein to become world renowned after the phenomenon. Einstein received be Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. With his new fame, Einstein attempted to further his own political and social views. He supported pacifism and Zionism and opposed Germany's involvement in World War I. His support of Zionism earned him attacks from both Anti-Semitic and right wing groups in Germany. Einstein left Germany for the United States when Hitler came into power, taking a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Once there, he renounced his stand on pacifism in the face of Nazi rising power. In 1939 he collaborated with other physicists in writing a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt informing him of the possibility that the Nazis may in fact be attempting to create an atomic bomb. The letter bore only Einstein's signature but lent credence to the letter and spurred the U.S. race to create the bomb first. Einstein became an American citizen in 1940. After the war, Einstein was active in international disarmament as well as world government. He was offered the position of President of Israel but turned the honor down. Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey.

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