Einstein: The Formative Years, 1879 - 1909 (Einstein Studies)

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9780817640309: Einstein: The Formative Years, 1879 - 1909 (Einstein Studies)
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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upon much of the interesting new documentation, such as personal letters, including love letters to his fiancee, and unpublished manuscripts, that has come to light in the course of work on the first several volumes of {\it The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein}.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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"What was Einstein like for the first thirty years of his life? Who were the personalities who guided him? What did he read? This book, which hopes to shed light on these questions, is a sequence of academic articles written by Einstein specialists for the Birkhäuser Einstein Studies series. ...The [book] is remarkably readable and informative. ...Indispensable for Einstein disciples, the book is also accessible to the general reader. The presentation is excellent and the editing conducted to a high standard. ...Extensive references are given after each essay and an index of names is provided."

--The Mathematical Gazette

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