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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
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ebook, 416 pages

Published
November 9th 2009
by W. W. Norton & Company
(first published September 8th 2008)

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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

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Dec 07, 2010 11:24AM