Einstein, History, and Other Passions (Masters of Modern Physics)

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9781563963339: Einstein, History, and Other Passions (Masters of Modern Physics)

Physicist, historian, and cultural critic Holton (physics and history of science, Harvard U.) begins with an exploration of Albert Einstein's life and work, including his contributions to fields besides science and his romantic but ultimately tragic relationship with Mileva Marfc; moves into how scientific knowledge is created, the public's expectations of science, and the development of standards against which to judge scientific results; and ends with his own insights into teaching, and profiles of notable physicists and their roles in history. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

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Review:

In Einstein, History, and Other Passions, Gerald Holton, a professor of physics and the history of science at Harvard University, dispels the idea that science is creatively inferior to the arts. By focusing on the life and work of Albert Einstein, Holton illustrates that the practical nature of science flows from the creative pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake. Holton reminds us that some of Einstein's greatest work was conducted at a time when he was madly in love and argues that scientists, like artists, are driven by a passion to explore and create. They do science, he says, not for prestige, but simply because they find it impossible not to.

From the Back Cover:

Gerald Holton uses the life and work of our century's greatest scientist to warn against today's gathering Romantic rebellion, one in which science is blamed for all our social ills, and in which reason is being replaced by New Age 'ways of knowing.' Through his rich exploration of Einstein's thought, the author shows how the best science depends on great intuitive leaps of imagination, and how science is indeed the creative expression of the traditions of Western civilization. Wide-ranging and forceful, this book is a must reading for anyone interested in the place of science in our world.

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