Abraham Pais Subtle is the lord Free eBook Download

Abraham Pais Subtle is the lord

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Abraham Pais Subtle is the lord ‘Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.’ So Einstein once wrote to explain his personal creed: ‘A religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance of those super-personal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation.’ His was not a life of prayer and worship. Yet he lived by a deep faith—a faith not capable of rational foundation—that there are laws of Nature to be discovered.

Abraham Pais Subtle is the lord

Abraham Pais Subtle is the lord Free eBook Download



1. Purpose and plan 

2. Relativity theory and quantum theory

  • Orderly transitions and revolutionary periods
  • A time capsule

3. Portrait of the physicist as a young man

An addendum on Einstein biographies


4. Entropy and probability

  • Einstein’s contributions at a glance
  • Maxwell and Boltzmann
  • Preludes to 1905
  • Einstein and Boltzmann’s principle

5. The reality of molecules 

  • About the nineteenth century, briefly 

1. Chemistry. 2. Kinetic theory. 3. The end of indivisibility. 4. The end of invisibility

  • The pots of Pfeffer and the laws of van Hoff 
  • The doctoral thesis 
  • Eleven days later: Brownian motion 

1. Another bit of nineteenth-century history.  2. The overdetermination of N. 3. Einstein’s first paper on Brownian motion.  4. Diffusion as a Markov process. 5. The later papers

  • Einstein and Smoluchowski; critical opalescence


6. ‘Subtle is the Lord …’

  • The Michelson-Morley experiment 
  • The precursors 

1. What Einstein knew. 2. Voigt. 3. FitzGerald. 4. Lorentz. 5. Larmor. 6. Poincare.

  • Poincare in 1905
  • Einstein before 1905

1. The Pavia essay. 2. The Aarau question. 3. The ETH student. 4. The Winterthur letter. 5. The Bern lecture. 6. The Kyoto address. 7. Summary.

7. The new kinematics

  • June 1905: special relativity defined, Lorentz transformations derived

1. Relativity’s aesthetic origins. 2. The new postulates. 3. From the postulates to the Lorentz transformations.             4. Applications. 5. Relativity theory and quantum theory. 6. ‘I could have said that more simply.’

  • September 1905; about E = mc2
  • Early responses
  • Einstein and the special theory after 1905
  • Electromagnetic mass: the first century

8. The edge of history 

1. A new way of thinking. 2. Einstein and the literature. 3. Lorentz and the aether. 4. Poincare and the third hypothesis. 5. Whittaker and the history of relativity. 6. Lorentz and Poincare. 7. Lorentz and Einstein. 8. Poincare and Einstein. 9. Coda: the Michelson-Morley experiment.


9. ‘The happiest thought of my life’

10. Herr Professor Einstein 

  • From Bern to Zurich 
  •  Three and a half years of silence 

11. The Prague papers 

  • From Zurich to Prague 
  • 1911. The bending of light is detectable
  • 1912. Einstein in no man’s land

12. The Einstein-Grossmann collaboration 

  • From Prague to Zurich 
  • From scalar to tensor 
  • The collaboration 
  • The stumbling block 
  • The aftermath

13. Field theories of gravitation: the first fifty years 

  • Einstein in Vienna 
  • The Einstein-Fokker paper

14. The field equations of gravitation

  • From Zurich to Berlin
  • Interlude. Rotation by magnetization 
  • The final steps 

1. The crisis. 2. November the fourth. 3. November the eleventh. 4. November the eighteenth. 5. November the twenty-fifth,

  • Einstein and Hilbert

15. The new dynamics

  • From 1915 to 1980
  • The three successes 
  • Energy and momentum conservation; the Bianchi identities 
  • Gravitational waves 
  • Cosmology. 
  • Singularities; the problem of motion 
  • What else was new at GR9? 


16. ‘The suddenly famous Doctor Einstein ‘ 

  • Illness. Remarriage. Death of Mother
  • Einstein canonized 
  • The birth of the legend 
  • Einstein and Germany
  • The later writings 

1. The man of culture. 2. The man of science.

17. Unified Field Theory

  • Particles and fields around 1920
  • Another decade of gestation

To the Reader

    Turn to the table of contents, follow the entries in italics, and you will find an almost entirely nonscientific biography of Einstein. Turn to the first chapter and you will find a nontechnical tour through this book, some personal reminiscences, and an attempt at a general assessment.

   The principal aim of this work is to present a scientific biography of Albert Einstein. I shall attempt to sketch the concepts of the physical world as they were when Einstein became a physicist, how he changed them, and what scientific inheritance he left. This book is an essay in open history, open because Einstein’s oeuvre left us with unresolved questions of principle.

   The search for their answers is a central quest of physics today. Some issues cannot be discussed without entering into mathematical details, but I have tried to hold these to a minimum by directing the reader to standard texts wherever possible. Science, more than anything else, was Einstein’s life, his devotion, his refuge, and his source of detachment.

   In order to understand the man, it is necessary to follow his scientific ways of thinking and doing. But that is not sufficient. He was also a highly gifted stylist of the German language, a lover of music, a student of philosophy. He was deeply concerned about the human condition. (In his later years, he used to refer to his daily reading of The New York Times as his adrenaline treatment.) He was a husband, a father, a stepfather. He was a Jew. And he is a legend. All these elements are touched on in this story; follow the entries in italics.


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