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Einstein For Dummies

Einstein For Dummies

Carlos I. Calle

ISBN: 978-1-118-05448-2

Mar 2011

384 pages



Genius demystified, the Dummies way!

In 1905, Albert Einstein revolutionized modern physics with his theory of relativity. He went on to become a twentieth-century icon-a man whose name and face are synonymous with "genius." Now, at last, ordinary readers can explore Einstein's life and work in this new For Dummies guide. Physicist Carlos Calle chronicles Einstein's career and explains his work-including the theories of special and general relativity-in language that anyone can understand. He shows how Einstein's discoveries affected everything from the development of the atom bomb to the theory of quantum mechanics. He sheds light on Einstein's personal life and beliefs, including his views on religion and politics. And he shows how Einstein's work continues to affect our world today, from nuclear power to space travel to artificial intelligence.

Introduction 1

Part I: A Genius Awakens 5

Chapter 1: Who Was Einstein? 7

Chapter 2: Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Man 17

Chapter 3: 1905: Einstein's Miracle Year 37

Part II: On the Shoulders of Giants: What Einstein Learned in School 47

Chapter 4: A Clockwork Universe 49

Chapter 5: The Arrow of Time 69

Chapter 6: Einstein's Most Fascinating Subject 81

Chapter 7: And There Was Light 97

Part III: The Special Theory of Relativity 111

Chapter 8: Relativity Before Einstein 113

Chapter 9: Riding on a Beam of Light 123

Chapter 10: Clocks, Trains, and Automobiles: Exploring Space and Time 135

Chapter 11: The Equation 147

Part IV: The General Theory of Relativity 161

Chapter 12: Einstein's Second Theory of Relativity 163

Chapter 13: "Black Holes Ain't So Black" 187

Chapter 14: Was Einstein Right about Relativity? 211

Part V: The Quantum and the Universe 229

Chapter 15: Atoms Before Einstein 231

Chapter 16: Quantum Leap: God Plays Dice 247

Chapter 17: Einstein and the Bomb 269

Chapter 18: Einstein's Greatest Blunder 289

Chapter 19: Not a Blunder After All 303

Part VI: The Part of Tens 319

Chapter 20: Ten Insights into Einstein's Beliefs on Religion and Philosophy 321

Chapter 21: Ten Women Who Influenced Einstein 329

Appendix A: Glossary 339

Appendix B: Einstein Timeline 343

Index 349