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Einstein and the Quantum:
The Quest of the Valiant Swabian
A. Douglas Stone

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"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.)

"Stone is a talented writer. Employing a sharp, clean and ironic prose, he translates into intuitive images and limpid reasoning a set of complex physics arguments, which might appear at first sight incomprehensible without a clear understanding of the technical terms. It is remarkable that the author manages to do this by employing just a handful of elementary equations. Even the uninitiated reader can grasp the essential features of Einstein's groundbreaking proposals as well as of the theoretical problems he was facing. In my opinion, this is the major strength of Stone's book, which makes it much more accessible than other scholarly works that present Einstein's involvement in the development of quantum theory in a more technical fashion."--Roberto Lalli, Metascience


"Common lore holds that Einstein's essential contribution to physics is relativity. But in this scholarly and accessible book, A. Douglas Stone argues convincingly that Einstein had a profound impact on the development of quantum theory. With lively, engaging, and thoroughly enjoyable prose, Stone's account is bound to be a definitive history of the subject, vividly establishing that Einstein's genius permeates one of the most startling advances in twentieth-century science."--Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe

"With his lucid and engaging style, A. Douglas Stone has captured one of the most interesting tales in the history of science. Despite Einstein's later discomfort with quantum theory, Stone shows how absolutely instrumental Einstein was in its development. It's a wonderful story that reveals the essence of Einstein's genius and creativity, and Stone is exactly the right person to tell it. I can hear Einstein chuckling in anticipation."--Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe and Steve Jobs

"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

"A. Douglas Stone, a physicist who has spent his life using quantum mechanics to explore striking new phenomena, has turned his considerable writing skills to thinking about Einstein and the quantum. What he finds and makes broadly understandable are the riches of Einstein's thinking not about relativity, not about his arguments with Bohr, but about Einstein's deep insights into the quantum world, insights that Stone shows speak to us now with all the vividness and depth they had a century ago. This is a fascinating book, lively, engaging, and strong in physical intuition."--Peter Galison, author of Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps

"Max Born said, 'Einstein is . . . clearly involved in the foundation of wave mechanics and no alibi can disprove it.' In this informative and engaging book, A. Douglas Stone cracks the case and reveals Einstein's fingerprints all over the subject."--Richard L. Garwin, physicist, recipient of the Enrico Fermi Award and the National Medal of Science

"There's a lot of really good stuff in this book. I enjoyed it enormously. I know of no other book that covers Einstein's role in quantum mechanics so accessibly."--Daniel F. Styer, author of Relativity for the Questioning Mind

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File created: 9/19/2017

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