BOHR’S ATOMIC SONATA
Europe in its madness has now embarked on something incredibly preposterous. At such times one sees to what deplorable breed of brutes we belong. I am musing serenely along in my peaceful meditations and feel only a mixture of pity and disgust.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN, AUGUST 19, 1914
Einstein had not only changed his domestic situation by moving to Berlin; he had radically changed his social and political environment. Within a month of his inaugural address at the Prussian Academy of Sciences he found himself surrounded by a flood of militaristic German nationalism, alone on a tiny island of pacifist universalism. The Great War had begun, and his admired German colleagues—Nernst, Haber, and even the mild-mannered Planck—rushed ...