The Born - Einstein Letters: Friendship, Politics and Physics in Uncertain Times / Edition 2

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Albert Einstein and Max Born were great friends. Their letters span 40 years and two world wars. In them they argue about quantum theory, agree about Beethoven's heavenly violin and piano duets (that they played together when they met) and chat about their families. Equally important, the men commiserate over the tragic plight of European Jewry and discuss what part they should play in the tumultuous politics of the time.

Fascinating historically, The Born-Einstein Letters is also highly topical: scientists continue to struggle with quantum physics, their role in wartime and the public's misunderstanding. First published by Macmillan in 1971, this book is re-issued, with a substantial new preface by leading US physicists Kip Thorne and Diana Buchwald, as part of 2005's Relativity Centenary celebrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In an age of mediocrity and moral pygmies, their lives shine with an intense beauty. Something of this is reflected in their correspondence and the world is richer for its publication."—Bertrand Russel, from original Foreword

"Inspiring bedtime reading for the Year of Physics." —Dennis Weaire FRS, Chair of History of Physics Division, European Physical Society

"Behind every icon lies a human being. Einstein the man emerges from this correspondence with Max Born as thoughtful, engaged and witty, charting the ebb and flow of fortune as he grapples with the scientific and social tumult of the early 20th-century. This record is a priceless resource for historians, and a fascinating read for scholars of all disciplines." —Professor Paul Davies, The Australian Centre for Astrobiology

"These letters display an engaging intimacy, wit, erudition and humanity. They reveal two powerful minds tackling revolutionary ideas while confronted by unprecedented challenges of academic and public life, in an era of profound intellectual and political upheaval. They are vivid reflections of their times, but also timeless." —Philip Campbell, Editor-In-Chief, Nature

"A wonderful insight into the ethos of a unique period in history, as well as into the thinking of these remarkable individuals." —Roger Penrose

"A priceless resource for historians, and a fascinating read for scholars of all disciplines." —Paul Davies, author of How to Build a Time Machine

"Diana Buchwald and Kip Thorne have added a preface that helps the modern reader understand some of the implications of what they come across...Great stuff!" —

"The new preface contains valuable brief accounts of the way that physics, after the death of these two great minds, continued along lines they had pursued." —Nature

"This fascinating correspondence between two of the great and subtle figures of 20th-century physics provides a wonderful insight into the ethos of this unique period in history, as well as into the thinking of these remarkable individuals." —Professor Sir Roger Penrose FRS

"A new edition of The Born-Einstein Letters charts the fascinating story of their friendship. A preface by Kip Thorne and Diana Buchwald provides and excellent survey of the conceptual and philosophical issues that came to divide the two men." —Guardian

"With a well-informed introductory essay by Buchwald and Thorne, the correspondence is a delight, enabling us to trace the development of the intriguing friendship between the two physicists and to read their views on the great themes of physics and politics of their time." —Times Higher Educational Supplement

"An immensely readable personal account of Einstein's struggles with other physicists." —David Bodanis, author of E=mc2 in Washington Post

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403944962
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/15/2005
  • Series: MacSci Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,022,800
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) is one of the most influential figures of the modern era. Working in Germany, Switzerland and US, he radically transformed our understanding of the universe and took an outspoken stance on the significant political and social issues of his time. He was the father of the theory of relativity and a major contributor to quantum theory yet always found time for the political causes close to his heart.

Max Born (1882-1970) won the Nobel prize for Physics in 1954 for his fundamental research in quantum mechanics. He worked at the Universities of Breslau and G"ttingen before Nazism forced his family to flee to the UK, where he held chairs first at Cambridge and later at Edinburgh University. He collaborated with Pauli, Heisenberg, Fermi, Dirac, Raman, and Oppenheimer among others, while also writing and speaking frequently on the social responsibility of scientists.

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Table of Contents

Introduction by Werner Heisenberg Foreword by Betrand Russell New Preface by Kip Thorne and Diana Buchwald Correspondence between Max and Hedwig Born and Albert Einstein 1916-1955 with Commentaries by Max Born

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