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Einstein and the Quantum by A. Douglas Stone

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CHAPTER 17

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING NERNST

I visited Prof. Einstein in Zurich. It was for me an extremely stimulating and interesting meeting. I believe that, as regards the development of physics, we can be very happy to have such an original young thinker; a “Boltzmann redivivus [reborn].”

—WALTHER NERNST, MARCH 1910

Although in Salzburg it was clear to observers such as Max Born that “Einstein’s achievement received its seal [of approval] before the assembled world of scientists,” the achievement most recognized was his theory of relativity, which by then had been well confirmed by the fast-electron experiments of Alfred Bucherer in Bonn. As just noted, Einstein’s quantum hypotheses were regarded by all the leaders present in Salzburg as perhaps ...

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