Posts Tagged ‘Einstein’

Einstein on Gibbs

December 20, 2012

Of Gibbs he wrote:`[His] book is … a masterpiece, even though it is hard to read and the main points are found between the lines’. A year before his death, Einstein paid Gibbs the highest compliment. When asked who were the greatest men, the most powerful thinkers he had known, he replied ‘Lorentz,’ and added, ‘I never met Willard Gibbs; perhaps, had I done so,  I might have placed him beside Lorentz’

From Abraham Pais’ Subtle is the Lord…: The science and life of Albert Einstein. I first read the book sometime in 1991-1992. I am reading it again and my comprehension of the details is much better this time around. Enjoyable and strongly recommended by the way (and, an Oxford lives paperback is available for about 400 rupees)!

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Revenge of the heirs of Bohr

October 15, 2007

Against those of Einstein, and the revenge of the heirs of Einstein against those of Bohr:

Theoretical physicists are now divided into two main factions. Those who look forward to another revolution mostly believe that it will grow out of a grand mathematical scheme known as string theory. Those who are content with the outcome of the old revolution are mostly studying more mundane subjects such as high-temperature superconductors and quantum computers. String theory may be considered to be the counterattack of those who lost the debate over complementarity in physics in Copenhagen in 1932. It is the revenge of the heirs of Einstein against the heirs of Bohr. The new discipline of systems biology, describing living creatures as emergent dynamic organizations rather than as collections of molecules, is the counterattack of those who lost the debate over complementarity in biology in 1953. It is the revenge of the heirs of Bohr against the heirs of Einstein.

Mundane subjects such as high-temperature superconductors and quantum computersMundane, did he say? Ouch! That hurts!

The New York Review of Books piece of Freeman Dyson from which Jenny Davidson quotes is, alas, not available online to non-subscribers, I was given to understand — though, I could get it on my computer. So, dear readers, keep you fingers crossed and click! If the Lord of Open Access is in a benevolent mood, you might get to read it.