June 7, 2020

Review: Einstein for the 21st Century.

No 20th century icon is as instantly recognizable as Albert Einstein. Folks who know nothing of General, let alone Special Relativity can identify his lovable mad scientist visage, and his famous equation E=MC^2 adorns everything from t-shirts to bumper stickers. Einstein even beat out such notables as Gandhi (whom he admired) for Time magazine’s Man of the Century. Einstein for the 21st century: His legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture, by Peter Galison, Gerald Holton, and Silvan S. Schweber and out from Princeton Press explores the far reaching effects the man has had on modern culture and science.

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Astronomy is often a solitary, contemplative activity. Sure, our passion for the night sky can have some communal facets, such as star parties and the like, but ultimately, we all find ourselves at one time or another alone under the skies. I believe this type of outward reflection is vital to a well rounded perspective, and necessary in today’s fast paced world. For this reason some astronomers I know abhor the idea of bringing any background music at all into the field, preferring instead to let the “music of the spheres” do the talking.

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