The Cambridge Companion to Einstein

The Cambridge Companion to Einstein

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Description

This volume is the first systematic presentation of the work of Albert Einstein, comprising fourteen essays by leading historians and philosophers of science that introduce readers to his work. Following an introduction that places Einstein's work in the context of his life and times, the book opens with essays on the papers of Einstein's 'miracle year', 1905, covering Brownian motion, light quanta, and special relativity, as well as his contributions to early quantum theory and the opposition to his light quantum hypothesis. Further essays relate Einstein's path to the general theory of relativity (1915) and the beginnings of two fields it spawned, relativistic cosmology and gravitational waves. Essays on Einstein's later years examine his unified field theory program and his critique of quantum mechanics. The closing essays explore the relation between Einstein's work and twentieth-century philosophy, as well as his political writings.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 47 b/w illus.
  • 1139950010
  • 9781139950015

Review quote

'The Companion proves to be a landmark publication.' Isis 'The book is warmly recommended to every philosopher and historian of science, and to working scientists with an interest in Einstein.' Metascience '... this is a very good presentation of Einstein's contributions to science, philosophy and politics. Personal anecdotes are intermixed with his theories, providing a foundation for understanding the factors that affected his work. Although written to be accessible to a wide audience, Einstein's theories require higher-level thinking and reasoning skills if one is to fully understand the principals discussed.' Reference Reviews 'An integrated history and philosophy of science approach, as exemplified in The Cambridge Companion to Einstein, points to a fruitful future for Einstein scholarship, as its subject is well placed to give us a uniquely insightful perspective on the history and philosophy of twentieth-century science.' Jeroen van Dongen, Isisshow more

Table of contents

Introduction Michel Janssen and Christoph Lehner; 1. Einstein's Copernican revolution Jurgen Renn and Robert Rynasiewicz; 2. Einstein's special theory of relativity and the problems in the electrodynamics of moving bodies that led him to it John D. Norton; 3. Einstein on statistical physics: fluctuations and atomism A. J. Kox; 4. The quantum enigma Olivier Darrigol; 5. The experimental challenge of light quanta Roger H. Stuewer; 6. 'No success like failure ...': Einstein's quest for general relativity, 1907-20 Michel Janssen; 7. Einstein's role in the creation of relativistic cosmology Christopher Smeenk; 8. Einstein, gravitational waves, and the theoretician's regress Daniel J. Kennefick; 9. Einstein's unified field theory program Tilman Sauer; 10. Einstein's realism and his critique of quantum mechanics Christoph Lehner; 11. Einstein and the development of twentieth-century philosophy of science Don Howard; 12. 'A believing rationalist': Einstein and 'the truly valuable' in Kant Thomas Ryckman; 13. Space, time, and geometry Michael Friedman; 14. Einstein's politics Robert Schulmann; Appendix. Special relativity Michel Janssen.show more

About Michel Janssen

Michel Janssen is a professor in the Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Before coming to Minnesota, he was a member of the editorial team of the Einstein Papers Project, then at Boston University. He has published extensively on the relativity and quantum revolutions of the early twentieth century. Christoph Lehner is a research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the coordinator of its project on the History and Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. He has been an editor at the Einstein Papers Project at Boston University and at the California Institute of Technology, and has been a scientific advisor for the 2005 exhibit 'Einstein, Chief Engineer of the Universe' in Berlin. The focus of his research is the history and philosophy of quantum theory.show more

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