Einstein's War: How Relativity Conquered Nationalism and Shook the World (Hardback)Matthew Stanley (author)
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Matthew Stanley’s enlightening book finds a new way in to the genius of Albert Einstein and the ground-breaking importance of the theory of relativity. By focusing on the historical context of Einstein’s discoveries, Stanley unearths a surprising - and, ultimately uplifting - story of perseverance in the face of ignorance and brutality, not to mention a hymn to international collaboration and a defiant denunciation of nationalism and xenophobia.
How an unknown German and an Englishman on opposite sides of WWI created a scientific revolution
In 1916, Arthur Eddington, a war-weary British astronomer, opened a letter written by an obscure German professor named Einstein. The neatly printed equations on the scrap of paper outlined his world-changing theory of general relativity, the first complete revision of our conception of the universe since Isaac Newton.
Until then, Einstein's masterpiece of time and space had been trapped behind the physical and ideological lines of battle, unknown. Many Britons were rejecting anything German, but Eddington realized the importance of the letter: perhaps Einstein's esoteric theory could not only change the foundations of science but also lead to international co-operation in a time of brutal war.
Few recognize how the Great War, the industrialized slaughter that bled Europe from 1914 to 1918, shaped Einstein's life and work. While Einstein never held a rifle, he formulated general relativity blockaded in Berlin, literally starving. His name is now synonymous with 'genius', but it was not an easy road.
Einstein spent a decade creating relativity and his ascent to global celebrity owed much to against-the-odds international collaboration, including Eddington's globe-spanning expedition of 1919 - two years before they finally met - to catch a fleeting solar eclipse for a rare opportunity to confirm Einstein's bold prediction that light has weight.
We usually think of scientific discovery as a flash of individual inspiration, but here we see it is the result of hard work, gambles and wrong turns. Einstein's War is a celebration of what science can offer when bigotry and nationalism are defeated. Using previously unknown sources and written like a thriller, it shows relativity being built brick-by-brick in front of us, as it happened 100 years ago.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 514 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 36 mm
'Riveting... Stanley lets us share the excitement a hundred years later in this entertaining and gripping book. It's a must read if you ever wondered how Einstein became 'Einstein' - Manjit Kumar, author of Quantum
'Detailed and readable... It is especially revealing about Einstein's scientific work and private life leading up to the momentous events of 1919' - Peter Coles, Nature
'He succeeds in wrapping up the global, national and scientific politics of an era in a compelling story of one man's wild theory, lucidly sketched, and its experimental confirmation in the unlikeliest and most exotic circumstances' - Simon Ings, The Spectator