My Einstein : Essays by the World's Leading Thinkers on the Man, His Work, and His Legacy
Albert Einstein's bold mark on our understanding of the world, which has persisted now for more than a century, shows no sign of fading. On the contrary, Einstein and his work promise to inspire, enlighten, and confound us for decades-indeed, for centuries-to come. In this fascinating volume, today's foremost scientists discuss their own versions and visions of Einstein: how he has influenced their worldviews, their ideas, their science, and their professional and personal lives.
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August 14, 2007
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Excerpt from My Einstein by John Brockman
ROGER HIGHFIELD is the science editor of the Daily Telegraph in London. He has carried out research at Oxford University and the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, where he became the first to bounce a neutron off a soap bubble. He is the author of Can Reindeer Fly : The Science of Christmas; The Science of Harry Potter: How Magic Really Works; and coauthor (with Paul Carter) of The Private Lives of Albert Einstein and (with Peter Coveney) of Frontiers of Complexity and The Arrow of Time.
Here is the canonical Einstein: He begins life as a dullard and a dyslexic, yet he overcomes these obstacles to help lay the foundations of quantum theory, to change our view of space, and to transform time. Despite his towering achievements, he shows great humility. He pokes his tongue out for the cameras. He is disheveled. He hates socks. He is an eccentric genius with a warm heart. He is a pacifist (except when it comes to the Nazis). His face is wise and lined, his hair is white and wild; some call it a mane or even a halo. When describing the universe, Einstein resorts to religious terms. He has the aura of a saint. But he also has a dark secret: he invented the atomic bomb.