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Einstein and the Quantum by A. Douglas Stone

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CHAPTER 8

THOSE FABULOUS MOLECULES

One of the great open questions in the history of science is how Einstein came to the core idea of his paradigm-shifting paper of 1905. No, not his paper on special relativity or his paper proposing the famous equation E = mc2. Einstein was asked over and over again how he had developed the key insights leading to the special and general theories of relativity, and he answered with various charming anecdotes that have become part of his legend. As far as we know, he never went on record as to how he came up with the basic conception for his first paper of the annus mirabilis, a radical alternative to Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetic waves, which is the only one of his discoveries that he himself labeled as ...

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