Coverart for item
The Resource Einstein's mistakes : the human failings of genius, Hans C. Ohanian

Einstein's mistakes : the human failings of genius, Hans C. Ohanian

Label
Einstein's mistakes : the human failings of genius
Title
Einstein's mistakes
Title remainder
the human failings of genius
Statement of responsibility
Hans C. Ohanian
Title variation
Einsteins mistakes
Title variation remainder
the human failings of genius
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
  • "Although Einstein was the greatest genius of the twentieth century, many of his groundbreaking discoveries were blighted by mistakes, ranging from serious errors in mathematics to bad misconceptions in physics and failures to grasp the subtleties of his own creations. This forensic biography dissects Einstein's scientific mistakes and places them in the context of his turbulent life and times. In lively, accessible prose, Hans C. Ohanian paints a fresh, insightful portrait of the real Einstein at work, in contrast to the uncritical celebrity worship found in many biographies."
  • "Of the approximately 180 original scientific papers that Einstein published in his lifetime, about 40 are infested with mistakes. For instance, Einstein's first mathematical proof of the famous formula E = mc[superscript 2] was incomplete and only approximately valid; he struggled with this problem for many years, but he never found a complete proof (better mathematicians did). Einstein was often in the grip of irrational and mystical inspirations, but his extraordinary intuition about physics nonetheless permitted him to discover profound truths despite - and sometimes because of - the mistakes he made along the way." "As this book persuasively argues the defining hallmark of Einstein's genius was not any special mathematical ability but an uncanny talent for using his mistakes as stepping stones to formulate his revolutionary theories."--BOOK JACKET
Review
A close examination of Einstein's work, emphasizing the errors and wrong turns that even colleagues overlooked.Ohanian, a former editor of the American Journal of Physics, proceeds through the years, rarely missing a paper, speech, interview or controversy. The author covers many fields, because Einstein made not one but several breakthrough discoveries; his Nobel, in fact, was for the photoelectric effect, not relativity. Einstein admitted that mathematics was not his strong suit, but beyond the torrent of errors in that area, Ohanian also finds mistakes in physical assumptions that range from oversimplification to outright nuttiness. Max Planck, working as a journal editor, read the unknown Einstein's revolutionary 1905 paper on special relativity and found a major error in the discussion of relativistic mass. Recognizing the paper's importance, Planck approved it and later worked out a correct recalculation for which he has never received credit. Because of Einstein's fame, everyone believes he discovered the equation linking mass to energy. In fact, other physicists knew of it for years, and his 1905 proof was incomplete; once Max Von Laue produced a complete proof in 1911, Einstein adopted it. Ohanian emphasizes two absolute laws of research. One: If a scientist makes a brilliant discovery, everyone forgives mistakes he made along the way. Two: If he becomes a scientific superstar, he gets credit for everything in his field. Thus Einstein gets credit for everything connected with relativity, including earlier discoveries and those of colleagues who improved his work. Dennis Overbye's Einstein in Love (2000) gives the best popular account of his science, while Walter Isaacson's bestselling Einstein (2007) is the best on his life. Ohanion's book delves more deeply into physics and into Einstein's thought processes, so readers will have to pay close attention.A sophisticated overview of modern physics, including more of Einstein's missteps than readers usually encounter. (Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2008)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
275100
Cataloging source
NHOM
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Ohanian, Hans C
Dewey number
530.09
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Einstein, Albert
  • Physics
  • Physics
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the human failings of genius
Label
Einstein's mistakes : the human failings of genius, Hans C. Ohanian
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Contents
Chronology of Einstein's mistakes -- I will resign the game -- A lovely time in Berne -- And yet it moves -- If I have seen farther -- A storm broke loose in my mind -- Motions of inanimate, small, suspended bodies -- What is the light quantum? -- The argument is jolly and beguiling -- Suddenly I had an idea -- The theory is of incomparable beauty -- The world is a madhouse -- Does God play dice? -- The graveyard of disappointed hopes -- Post-mortem
Control code
000042877011
Dimensions
25 cm.
Extent
xix, 394 p.
Isbn
9780393062939
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2008013155
Other physical details
ill.
Label
Einstein's mistakes : the human failings of genius, Hans C. Ohanian
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Contents
Chronology of Einstein's mistakes -- I will resign the game -- A lovely time in Berne -- And yet it moves -- If I have seen farther -- A storm broke loose in my mind -- Motions of inanimate, small, suspended bodies -- What is the light quantum? -- The argument is jolly and beguiling -- Suddenly I had an idea -- The theory is of incomparable beauty -- The world is a madhouse -- Does God play dice? -- The graveyard of disappointed hopes -- Post-mortem
Control code
000042877011
Dimensions
25 cm.
Extent
xix, 394 p.
Isbn
9780393062939
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2008013155
Other physical details
ill.

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