The enormous fame of Albert Einstein, while not undeserved, has overshadowed his debt to the contributions of many other scientists. In Einstein’s Generation, Richard Staley describes the work of physicists, mathematicians, astronomers, and instrument-makers who helped make possible the establishment of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. This means, first, providing the experimental and theoretical resources needed to develop the theory and then giving the expert approval needed to persuade the rest of the scientific community to accept it. Einstein himself gets less space than Albert A. Michelson, whose career, especially his development and application of the interferometer, occupies two of the ten chapters in the book. Then the author introduces us to the work of other experimenters—especially Walter Kaufmann and Alfred Bucherer—and theorists, including H. A. Lorentz, Hermann Minkowski, Max Planck, and Henri Poincaré. Along the way he shows how two younger physicists, Paul Ehrenfest and Arnold Sommerfeld, gave...
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November 01 2009
Einstein’s Generation: The Origins of the Relativity Revolution
Einstein’s Generation: The Origins of the Relativity Revolution.
. 504 pp.
U. of Chicago Press, IL, 2009. Price: $38.00(paper) ISBN 978-0-226-77057-4.
Am. J. Phys. 77, 1086–1087 (2009)
Stephen G. Brush; Einstein’s Generation: The Origins of the Relativity Revolution. Am. J. Phys. 1 November 2009; 77 (11): 1086–1087. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.3191687
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