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Edition: 00

Copyright: 2000

Publisher: Walker & Company

Published: 2000

International: No

Copyright: 2000

Publisher: Walker & Company

Published: 2000

International: No

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In 1905, Albert Einstein, a promising young scientist working full time as a patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, had what historians have come to call a ''miracle year:'' he produced five historic papers that shattered many cherished scientific beliefs & established him as the world's leading physicist. One of those papers introduced the theory of special relativity & presented his legendary equation: E=mc2. Generations have grown up knowing the equation changed the shape of our world, but never understanding what it actually means & why it was so significant. In his new book, David Bodanis writes the ''biography'' of one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history, and, through his skill as a writer & teacher, he turns a seemingly impenetrable theory into a dramatic & accessible human achievement. Bodanis begins by devoting elegant chapters to each of the equation's letters & symbols, introducing the science & scientists forming the backdrop to Einstein's discovery. Having demystified the equation, Bodanis explains it mathematically & brings it to life scientifically & historically, detailing the astonishing array of discoveries & consequences it made possible. It would prove to be a beacon for physicists throughout the 20th century, guiding Ernest Rutherford, who discovered the structure of the atom, Enrico Fermi, who probed its nucleus, & Lise Meitner, who finally understood how it could be split wide open. And it has come to inform our daily lives, governing everything from the atomic bomb to a television's cathode ray tube to the carbon dating of prehistoric paintings. Einstein opened the door to the inner structure of the universe. In David Bodanis's skilled hands, that achievement is an uncommonly good story.

David Bodanis taught for many years a survey of intellectual history at the University of Oxford.

Summary

In 1905, Albert Einstein, a promising young scientist working full time as a patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, had what historians have come to call a ''miracle year:'' he produced five historic papers that shattered many cherished scientific beliefs & established him as the world's leading physicist. One of those papers introduced the theory of special relativity & presented his legendary equation: E=mc2. Generations have grown up knowing the equation changed the shape of our world, but never understanding what it actually means & why it was so significant. In his new book, David Bodanis writes the ''biography'' of one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history, and, through his skill as a writer & teacher, he turns a seemingly impenetrable theory into a dramatic & accessible human achievement. Bodanis begins by devoting elegant chapters to each of the equation's letters & symbols, introducing the science & scientists forming the backdrop to Einstein's discovery. Having demystified the equation, Bodanis explains it mathematically & brings it to life scientifically & historically, detailing the astonishing array of discoveries & consequences it made possible. It would prove to be a beacon for physicists throughout the 20th century, guiding Ernest Rutherford, who discovered the structure of the atom, Enrico Fermi, who probed its nucleus, & Lise Meitner, who finally understood how it could be split wide open. And it has come to inform our daily lives, governing everything from the atomic bomb to a television's cathode ray tube to the carbon dating of prehistoric paintings. Einstein opened the door to the inner structure of the universe. In David Bodanis's skilled hands, that achievement is an uncommonly good story.

Author Bio

David Bodanis taught for many years a survey of intellectual history at the University of Oxford.

Publisher Info

Publisher: Walker & Company

Published: 2000

International: No

Published: 2000

International: No

David Bodanis taught for many years a survey of intellectual history at the University of Oxford.