FIFTEEN MILLION MINUTES OF FAME
But now I’m just about fed up to the teeth with relativity! Even such a thing pales when one is too occupied with it.
—ALBERT EINSTEIN TO ELSA EINSTEIN, JAN. 8, 1921
While Einstein struggled to regain his vitality and refocus his efforts on understanding the atom during the years 1917 and 1918, a singular confluence of social forces was occurring that would change his life irrevocably. On November 9, 1918, the German Reich surrendered, the kaiser abdicated, and Germany was thrown into political turmoil. The Great War would leave a residue of hatred, resentment, and disillusionment, which would affect international scientific cooperation for a decade. Yet within less than a year a British scientific expedition ...