Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian

A. Douglas Stone

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Beschreibung

The untold story of Albert Einstein's role as the father of quantum theory

Einstein and the Quantum reveals for the first time the full significance of Albert Einstein's contributions to quantum theory. Einstein famously rejected quantum mechanics, observing that God does not play dice. But, in fact, he thought more about the nature of atoms, molecules, and the emission and absorption of light—the core of what we now know as quantum theory—than he did about relativity.

A compelling blend of physics, biography, and the history of science, Einstein and the Quantum shares the untold story of how Einstein—not Max Planck or Niels Bohr—was the driving force behind early quantum theory. It paints a vivid portrait of the iconic physicist as he grappled with the apparently contradictory nature of the atomic world, in which its invisible constituents defy the categories of classical physics, behaving simultaneously as both particle and wave. And it demonstrates how Einstein's later work on the emission and absorption of light, and on atomic gases, led directly to Erwin Schrödinger's breakthrough to the modern form of quantum mechanics. The book sheds light on why Einstein ultimately renounced his own brilliant work on quantum theory, due to his deep belief in science as something objective and eternal.

A book unlike any other, Einstein and the Quantum offers a completely new perspective on the scientific achievements of the greatest intellect of the twentieth century, showing how Einstein's contributions to the development of quantum theory are more significant, perhaps, than even his legendary work on relativity.

A. Douglas Stone is the Carl A. Morse Professor of Applied Physics and Physics at Yale University.

"A. Douglas Stone argues that the scientist best known as the creator of relativity theory was also the originator and substantial developer of almost every concept in the quantum mechanics that dominates today's physics. In this scholarly, convincing, and eloquently presented account, Einstein's personal and cultural lives are seamlessly interwoven with his science. I learned a great deal from Einstein and the Quantum, and recommend it to working physicists as well as students and nonscientists wishing to understand a central aspect of the cultural history of the twentieth century."--Michael Berry, University of Bristol

Produktdetails

Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 332
Erscheinungsdatum 06.10.2013
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-691-13968-5
Verlag Princeton University Press
Maße (L/B/H) 24.1/16.1/3 cm
Gewicht 610 g

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  • Acknowledgments ix Introduction A Hundred Times More Than Relativity Theory 1 Chapter 1 "An Act of Desperation" 5 Chapter 2 The Impudent Swabian 15 Chapter 3 The Gypsy Life 21 Chapter 4 Two Pillars of Wisdom 26 Chapter 5 The Perfect Instruments of the Creator 36 Chapter 6 More Heat Than Light 44 Chapter 7 Difficult Counting 51 Chapter 8 Those Fabulous Molecules 62 Chapter 9 Tripping the Light Heuristic 70 Chapter 10 Entertaining the Contradiction 80 Chapter 11 Stalking the Planck 86 Chapter 12 Calamity Jeans 94 Chapter 13 Frozen Vibrations 103 Chapter 14 Planck's Nobel Nightmare 111 Chapter 15 Joining the Union 122 Chapter 16 Creative Fusion 129 Chapter 17 The Importance of Being Nernst 141 Chapter 18 Lamenting the Ruins 149 Chapter 19 A Cosmic Interlude 160 Chapter 20 Bohr's Atomic Sonata 168 Chapter 21 Relying on Chance 181 Chapter 22 Chaotic Ghosts 193 Chapter 23 Fifteen Million Minutes of Fame 204 Chapter 24 The Indian Comet 215 Chapter 25 Quantum Dice 228 Chapter 26 The Royal Marriage: E = mc2 = hnu 241 Chapter 27 The Viennese Polymath 254 Chapter 28 Confusion and Then Uncertainty 268 Chapter 29 Nicht diese Tone 279 Appendix 1: The Physicists 287 Appendix 2: The Three Thermal Radiation Laws 291 Notes 295 References 319 Index 325