Though we might not know what it means (we are wordsmiths and bookish types after all), we’ve all heard of “E = mc2”.
Albert Einstein’s famous equation proposed that energy and matter were interchangeable, and re-defined mankind’s ideas about the Universe.
And precisely 100 years ago this week, Einstein presented his Theory of General Relativity to the Prussian Academy. It described how mass and space were related to each other, and explained how, due to the effects of gravity, matter can bend and warp the fabric of space and time.
Souvenir Press publishes Einstein’s Ideas and Opinions, the definitive collection of his writing. Drawn from his books and letters, speeches and articles, it reveals the thinking, personality and philosophy behind the world’s most famous scientist.
Einstein was unique among scientists in the affection the public felt for him, as famous for his personality as for the theories that helped to create the modern world.
“He was unfathomably profound – the genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.”
Ideas and Opinions is as close to Einstein’s autobiography as we will get, and captures his witty, anarchic, but thoughtful personality.
“How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people – first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.”
Albert Einstein, from ‘The World As I See It’, included in Ideas and Opinions.
Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein is available in paperback (ISBN: 9780285647251), £14.99.