A COSMIC INTERLUDE
Scientific endeavors are quite extraordinary; often nothing is more important than seeing where it is not advisable to expend time and effort…. an instinct must be developed for what is just barely attainable upon the exertion of the utmost effort. [My recent] magnetic experiment, for example, could have been done by any old lout. But general relativity is of another kind. Having actually arrived at this goal gives me the greatest satisfaction of my life, even though up to now not a single colleague in the field has recognized the depth and necessity of this path.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, MAY 31, 1915
Having decided that a true quantum theory was not yet attainable in 1911, even with his utmost exertion, Einstein devoted ...