Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture

Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0691135207

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

More than fifty years after his death, Albert Einstein's vital engagement with the world continues to inspire others, spurring conversations, projects, and research, in the sciences as well as the humanities. Einstein for the 21st Century shows us why he remains a figure of fascination.

In this wide-ranging collection, eminent artists, historians, scientists, and social scientists describe Einstein's influence on their work, and consider his relevance for the future. Scientists discuss how Einstein's vision continues to motivate them, whether in their quest for a fundamental description of nature or in their investigations in chaos theory; art scholars and artists explore his ties to modern aesthetics; a music historian probes Einstein's musical tastes and relates them to his outlook in science; historians explore the interconnections between Einstein's politics, physics, and philosophy; and other contributors examine his impact on the innovations of our time. Uniquely cross-disciplinary, Einstein for the 21st Century serves as a testament to his legacy and speaks to everyone with an interest in his work.

The contributors are Leon Botstein, Lorraine Daston, E. L. Doctorow, Yehuda Elkana, Yaron Ezrahi, Michael L. Friedman, Jürg Fröhlich, Peter L. Galison, David Gross, Hanoch Gutfreund, Linda D. Henderson, Dudley Herschbach, Gerald Holton, Caroline Jones, Susan Neiman, Lisa Randall, Jürgen Renn, Matthew Ritchie, Silvan S. Schweber, and A. Douglas Stone.

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the organization of German Citizens of Jewish Faith to a meeting to discuss ways to combat anti-Semitism. In his response, Einstein was critical of the presumption in that invitation, and sarcastically critical of the very name of that organization and its implied message. For him combating anti-Semitism was first of all developing the self-respect and courage to adopt the sense of national belonging. According to Einstein, anti-Semitism is a psychological phenomenon that will always be there “as

them.52 einstein and god 47 5 E I N S T E I N ’S U N I N T E N D E D L E G A C Y : The Critique of Common-Sense Realism and Post-Modern Politics Yaron Ezrahi The history of scholarly or scientific critique of common beliefs is of course as long as the history of science. Molière captured an important aspect of this critique when a doctor in one of his plays says to a patient, who surprisingly recovered following an unorthodox treatment: “Sir, it is better to die according to the rules than to

of a world government having direct relations with the individual citizen. Attempts to maintain peace between nation-states by a league structure such as the San Francisco Organization in which sovereignty continues to reside in the individual members . . . are pitifully outdated and bound to fail. . . . There is only one way and one way alone to make the United States secure from an attack by atomic bombs. The method is the same that today makes the states of New York and California (non

substantial delay before Einstein’s ideas could be tested or used, they are alive today among active scientists around the globe, in a great variety of new work that testifies to his genetic role, in the explicit and implicit citations of new publications as well as in the rise of new technologies. Thus the so-called ether drift, which Einstein dismissed in 1905 chapter one 4 in one sentence, has now been experimentally determined to be absent, with extraordinary accuracy. The gravitational

collective form; into the bleed 159 a single dynamic entity inside which pockets of activity, like human beings, act as variable focal points, and where the hidden and the revealed information is not only embedded in but is a condition of the surface, is new and startling. And if everything is information, then information can be understood as having a direct physical effect on the universe. In effect, it is the universe; so perhaps emblems that represent pure information, like paintings, are

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