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Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius
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Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Although Einstein was the greatest genius of the twentieth century, many of his groundbreaking discoveries were blighted by mistakes, ranging from serious errors in mathematics to bad misconceptions in physics and failures to grasp the subtleties of his own creations. This forensic biography dissects Einstein’s scientific mistakes and places them in the context of his turb ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published November 9th 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published September 8th 2008)
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Albert Einstein was a genius. Time after time, he made theoretical leaps and discoveries that were decades ahead of the work his contemporaries were doing. He also made some colossal, amazingly bone-headed errors. In fact, according to Dr. Ohanian, a physicist himself, out of 180 scientific papers published by Einstein over his lifetime, a full 40 of them had mistakes, some of which were trifling, but many of which were significant. 40 out of 180 - that's almost a quarter of his output! Not only ...more
Based on the description, I was excited to read this book because I thought it was going to focus on Einstein's thought process. Wouldn't that be great -- not just a description of the final form of Einstein's discovery but a in-depth description of the path he took to get there, describing both the insights and the wrong turns along the way. The book does do some of that, which is why I'm giving it a positive rating. However the author also spends a lot of time delving into Einstein's failings ...more
Georgia Hedrick
Someone else, read this and tell me if you love it as much as I do.

Einstein succeeded not merely in spite of, but sometimes because of his mistakes. The fruitful mistakes were mainly conceptual rather than mathematical ones. For example, in formulating special relativity he decreed, rather than demonstrated, that light travels at a constant speed in a vacum regardless of how fast you are moving relative to a light source. In general relativity he started with the idea that it is impossible to distinguish in certain circumstances between acceleration due to gra

Greg Springer
I was leery of reading the book because of its title, but very much enjoyed the book. Wasn't what I expected and has a positive theme.
Captain Nemo
I enjoyed it, but bogged down around page 300.

Its still on my pile to be finished, but now on those nights when I can't sleep because of some problem of the day which I keep replaying, then I turn on the light and let Einstein's problems put me to sleep.

It may be too long.
J. D.
A very interesting history of Einsteins intellectual endeavors. I came away appreciating that an important source of his genius was his intuition. His mathematical talent was apparently good, but not exceptional; or perhaps he was lazy.
Eric Pitre
Very easy to read plus you dont need a Ph.D in physics to understand the content. Simply loved it!
Probably deserves zero stars. Stay away.
I didn't read the jacket. Not my cup of tea.
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