Author(s): Michel Janssen
This volume is the first systematic presentation of the work of Albert Einstein, comprising fourteen essays by leading historians and philosophers of science that introduce readers to his work. Following an introduction that places Einstein's work in the context of his life and times, the book opens with essays on the papers of Einstein's 'miracle year', 1905, covering Brownian motion, light quanta, and special relativity, as well as his contributions to early quantum theory and the opposition to his light quantum hypothesis. Further essays relate Einstein's path to the general theory of relativity (1915) and the beginnings of two fields it spawned, relativistic cosmology and gravitational waves. Essays on Einstein's later years examine his unified field theory program and his critique of quantum mechanics. The closing essays explore the relation between Einstein's work and twentieth-century philosophy, as well as his political writings.
Michel Janssen is a professor in the Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Before coming to Minnesota, he was a member of the editorial team of the Einstein Papers Project, then at Boston University. He has published extensively on the relativity and quantum revolutions of the early twentieth century. Christoph Lehner is a research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the coordinator of its project on the History and Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. He has been an editor at the Einstein Papers Project at Boston University and at the California Institute of Technology, and has been a scientific advisor for the 2005 exhibit 'Einstein, Chief Engineer of the Universe' in Berlin. The focus of his research is the history and philosophy of quantum theory.
Introduction Michel Janssen and Christoph Lehner; 1. Einstein's Copernican revolution Jurgen Renn and Robert Rynasiewicz; 2. Einstein's special theory of relativity and the problems in the electrodynamics of moving bodies that led him to it John D. Norton; 3. Einstein on statistical physics: fluctuations and atomism A. J. Kox; 4. The quantum enigma Olivier Darrigol; 5. The experimental challenge of light quanta Roger H. Stuewer; 6. 'No success like failure ...': Einstein's quest for general relativity, 1907-20 Michel Janssen; 7. Einstein's role in the creation of relativistic cosmology Christopher Smeenk; 8. Einstein, gravitational waves, and the theoretician's regress Daniel J. Kennefick; 9. Einstein's unified field theory program Tilman Sauer; 10. Einstein's realism and his critique of quantum mechanics Christoph Lehner; 11. Einstein and the development of twentieth-century philosophy of science Don Howard; 12. 'A believing rationalist': Einstein and 'the truly valuable' in Kant Thomas Ryckman; 13. Space, time, and geometry Michael Friedman; 14. Einstein's politics Robert Schulmann; Appendix. Special relativity Michel Janssen.