The whole thing started with a kind of interpolation formula by Planck. Nobody wanted to accept it because it did not appear logical … half the argument was continuous and the other half was based … on quanta of energy. The only man who appeared sensible was Einstein. He had the feeling that if there was anything to Planck’s idea it must appear in other parts of physics.
—NOBEL LAUREATE PETER DEBYE, 1964
Einstein’s nemesis in his student days, Professor Heinrich Weber, may have come close to depriving posterity of Einstein’s historic genius, but now Herr Weber would indirectly play a crucial role in the flowering of that genius. In 1875 the young Weber, then an assistant to Helmholtz in Berlin, had just completed ...