Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian [NOOK Book]

Overview

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...

See more details below
Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Course Book)
$16.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$29.95 List Price

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

One of Scientific American's Best 2013 Books for the Physics Fan, chosen by Jennifer Ouellette

One of Science Friday's Science Book Picks for 2013, chosen by Ira Flatow

"Brief, pacey and lucid. . . . The breadth and depth of Einstein's contribution in this area becomes overwhelmingly clear. . . . Worth a read because it demonstrates that there is more to Einstein's oeuvre than even most quantum physicists know. Stone concludes that Einstein's work was worthy of four Nobel prizes, and it is a measure of the book's achievement that his claim sounds quite reasonable."--Graham Farmelo, Nature

"Albert Einstein (1879-1955) is as famous for his paradigm-shifting theories of relativity as he is for his grudge against quantum mechanics, but Stone's (Physics/Yale Univ.) engaging history of Einstein's ardent search for a unifying theory tells a different story. Einstein's creative mind was behind almost every single major development in quantum mechanics. . . . The author adeptly weaves his subject's personal life and scientific fame through the tumult of world war and, in accessible and bright language, brings readers deep into Einstein's struggle with both the macroscopic reality around him and the quantum reality he was trying to unlock. . . . A wonderful reminder that Einstein's monumental role in the development of contemporary science is even more profound than history has allowed."--Kirkus Reviews

"A fascinating book, so well written lay people can easily understand this. It is full of science and personality."--Ira Flatow, Science Friday, NPR

"In Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian (Princeton University Press), a historical analysis leavened by many personal stories about Albert Einstein, A. Douglas Stone argues persuasively and engagingly that although this iconic scientist rejected quantum theory as a final theory of microscopic physics, he was responsible for most of its central concepts, including wave-particle duality, indeterminacy and the implications of identicalness."--Sir Michael Berry, Times Higher Education

"Professor Douglas Stone has written an engaging book about Einstein's contributions to early quantum theory. He makes a convincing case that these contributions, most of which were made in the 20 year period between 1905 and 1925, have been historically undervalued and that it was Einstein himself, not Planck or Bohr, who deserves most credit for the initial development of quantum theory. . . . Excellent."--Paul Edwards, Australian Physics

"This is an excellent book that I recommend without reservation. . . . Any academic library should acquire this book as should any medium-to-large public library system. It would also make a wonderful gift for the physics or science fan in your life."--John Dupuis, Confessions of a Science Librarian

"In consummate detail and with a flair for the written word, [Stone] delves into Einstein's original rationale for espousing the quantum, his use of it to account for the mysterious behavior of specific heats at low temperatures, his explanations of spontaneous and stimulated emissions, and the derivation of the statistics of integer-spin particles. Readers benefit from Stone's deep understanding of quantum physics as well as his thoroughness in citing primary Einstein documents--rather than regurgitating the opinions of others--to support his conclusions. . . . There are only a few books on the history of physics that I can heartily recommend to both scholarly historians and physicists interested in the history of their discipline. Because of Stone's extensive research and writing abilities, Einstein and the Quantum is indeed one of those books."--Michael Riordan, Forum on the History of Physics

"Einstein and the Quantum is delightful to read, with numerous historical details that were new to me and cham1ing vignettes of Einstein and his colleagues. By avoiding mathematics, Stone makes his book accessible to general readers, but even physicists who are well versed in Einstein and his physics are likely to find new insights into the most remarkable mind of the modern era."--Daniel Kleppner, Physics Today

"This engaging book shows that Einstein spent more of his career on quantum physics than on relativity theory and was deeply involved in discussions that shaped current understanding of the subject. . . . His well-written book makes often-trod history fresh, with new perspectives and unfamiliar quotations from Einstein and his peers. Anyone with an interest in the subject, from scholars to laypersons, can read and enjoy this book."--Choice
"The book is probably best suited to readers who are already familiar with the basic principles of late classical and early quantum physics. However, in many cases, Stone's explanations are better and more intuitive than those found in traditional textbooks; for this reason, Einstein and the Quantum would make excellent 'further reading' for undergraduate courses in thermodynamics, modern physics or the history of science. Stone also has a knack for summing up complex ideas in a way that even novices will understand."--Physics World

"A five star, standout book. . . . If you really want a feel for where quantum physics came from . . . it is well worth it."--Popular Science (U.K.)

Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-01
Albert Einstein (1879–1955) is as famous for his paradigm-shifting theories of relativity as he is for his grudge against quantum mechanics, but Stone's (Physics/Yale Univ.) engaging history of Einstein's ardent search for a unifying theory tells a different story. Einstein's creative mind was behind almost every single major development in quantum mechanics. From his role in identifying the quantization of energy and its role in thermodynamics to his Nobel-winning insight into the photoelectric effect and the quantum properties of light, Einstein's theories would form the major core of modern quantum mechanics. Often hailed as an outsider and an eccentric genius, Einstein's reluctance to embrace quantum theory is partly entrenched in the cultural and political upheaval of the early and mid 20th century. The author adeptly weaves his subject's personal life and scientific fame through the tumult of world war and, in accessible and bright language, brings readers deep into Einstein's struggle with both the macroscopic reality around him and the quantum reality he was trying to unlock. After the early success of his famous equation e=mc2 and his special relativity paper of 1905, which brought him relative financial stability and admission to Europe's academic inner circle, his genius flourished, and he developed esoteric theories of indistinguishable quantum particles and wave fields as probability densities. Einstein accepted these concepts as mathematical certainties but could not accept their communal link to quantum mechanics. Stone suggests that it was a combination of instinctual resistance to an indeterminate quantum realm and a suspicion of scientific epistemology that led to his rejection of the theory that would radically alter the field he pioneered. A wonderful reminder that Einstein's monumental role in the development of contemporary science is even more profound than history has allowed.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400848348
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 10/6/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 630,981
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

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

Table of Contents

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 = hν 241
Chapter 27 The Viennese Polymath 254
Chapter 28 Confusion and Then Uncertainty 268
Chapter 29 Nicht diese Töne 279
Appendix 1: The Physicists 287
Appendix 2: The Three Thermal Radiation Laws 291
Notes 295
References 319
Index 325
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 6, 2014

    Brilliantly written. Stone delves into the unwritten history of

    Brilliantly written. Stone delves into the unwritten history of Einstein's greatest accomplishment: deciphering the quantum. Einstein's genius has never been so humanized within the milieu of early 19th century physics, two world wars, and the coming and goings of eternally memorable characters. Best science-based book of the year in my opinion, 6 stars if I could.  A few editing issues are the only drawbacks butt those are easily overlooked.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    I heard Ira Phlato on NPR interview Stone, and state that this b

    I heard Ira Phlato on NPR interview Stone, and state that this book is easy to understand for the layperson.  I bought this book for my Nook, thinking I would enjoy it as I did Einstein's biography.  Not so much!  I have a degree in the health care provider field, but unfortunately I do not have much background in the "hard sciences".  I found the book difficult to understand in its explanations of physics theory, and got lost in the details.  I believe it is misinformation to say that the book is easy to understand for us folks without a background in physics.  Beware!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    So now I know what was going on with E. and quick view into his

    So now I know what was going on with E. and quick view into his personality, as well as learning the steps of his brilliant insights which I agree should have earned him 4 Noble Prizes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)