Einstein's War ― How Relativity Triumphed Amid the Vicious Nationalism of World War I
  • Einstein's War ― How Relativity Triumphed Amid the Vicious Nationalism of World War I

  • ISBN13:9781524745417
  • 出版社:E P Dutton
  • 作者:Matthew Stanley
  • 裝訂/頁數:精裝/384頁
  • 規格:22.9cm*15.2cm (高/寬)
  • 出版日:2019/05/21
定  價:NT$980元
優惠價: 79774
可得紅利積點:23 點

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The birth of a world-changing idea, relativity, and how it was shaped by the social upheaval and bloody horror of the First World War

Einstein's ascent to worldwide celebrity was, in large part, not his own doing. It was because of two wars. The first was the Great War, the industrialized slaughter that bled Europe from 1914 to 1918. While Einstein never held a rifle, the war shaped his life and work for years: falling ill from wartime starvation, unable to send simple letters to his most important colleagues. Simply being a scientist became deeply enmeshed in politics and empire. The second conflict was Einstein's struggle to craft relativity and persuade the world that it was correct. We usually think of scientific discovery as a flash of insight--actually, it is the result of hard work, wrong turns, and difficult conversations with trusted friends. Einstein's magnum opus--the general theory of relativity--needed all of these.

Scientists seeking to confirm Einstein's ideas were arrested as spies. Technical journals were banned as enemy propaganda. Colleagues died in the trenches. And, most frustratingly, Einstein was separated from his most crucial ally by barbed wire and U-boats. This ally was the Quaker astronomer A. S. Eddington, who would go on to convince the world of the truth of relativity and the greatness of Einstein. Eddington took up the cause of that German physicist--whom he had never met--to show how science could triumph over nationalism and hatred.

In May of 1919, when Europe was still in chaos from the war, Eddington led a globe-spanning expedition to catch a fleeting solar eclipse for a rare opportunity to confirm Einstein's bold prediction that light has weight. It was the results of this expedition--the proof of relativity, as many saw it--that put Einstein on front pages around the world. His scientific revolution depended on battles both intellectual and political, fought from Berlin to London to the very edge of the universe.
Matthew Stanley is a professor of the history of science at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. He holds degrees in history, astronomy, physics, and religion. He has published two academic books and has written for Physics Today, Physics World, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He explains physics to non-scientists in his podcast What the If?!? and has appeared in documentaries on the History Channel, BBC, and NPR. Einstein's War is his first trade book.