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# Einstein's Greatest Mistake: A Biography

by

**From the best-selling author of**

*E=mc2*, a brisk, accessible biography of Albert Einstein that reveals the genius and hubris of the titan of modern physicsWidely considered the greatest genius of all time, Albert Einstein revolutionized our understanding of the cosmos with his general theory of relativity and helped lead us into the atomic age. Yet in the final decades of ...more

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Hardcover, 304 pages

Published
October 18th 2016
by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
(first published 2016)

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Popular Answered Questions

Hk
He hated the idea that there was a chaotic and unpredictable element in quantum physics.

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Sep 27, 2017
Chrissie
rated it
really liked it

Shelves:
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history,
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ETA: So I have been asked what was Einstein's greatest mistake. Are you wondering too? The answer I gave in message five below is the following:

Einstein could not accept the randomness central to quantum mechanics. This separated him from the research community. The reader does come to understand why he was so stubborn. He had previously erred in thinking that G=T had to have a lambda factor added. When it was discovered that the universe was expanding, the lambda factor was no longer ...more

Einstein could not accept the randomness central to quantum mechanics. This separated him from the research community. The reader does come to understand why he was so stubborn. He had previously erred in thinking that G=T had to have a lambda factor added. When it was discovered that the universe was expanding, the lambda factor was no longer ...more

It was written in a very approachable manner. The science, despite being Einstein and completely over my head, was introduced in ways even I could follow and understand.

Einstein was, to my surprise, a bit of a lady's man. No offense, but that hair! I just couldn't, but many women were attracted to him. Even though he was married. For SHAME ladies!

Also, being a product ...more

*Einstein was growing in confidence but still far from smug. When he first came up with the idea for his final paper linking E and M, he had written a friend, "The idea is amusing and enticing, but whether the good Lord is laughing at me and leading me up the garden path- that I cannot know."*

The author goes on to describe Einstein's interactions and rivalries that occurred with Friedmann, with Lemaitre, with Edwin Powell Hubble.

Hubble was said to be a diligent worker but ...more

Also through most of the book Bodanis portrays Einstein to always be in search of that one genius idea that will ...more

Truthfully, I really didn’t know what I was going to make of this book. I haven’t read a biography for ages, and last time I did, it wasn’t packed full of physics. I was a bit worried it’d all go way over my head and I wouldn’t understand very much of it. I was so wrong.

The book is written in a way that helps people who have no knowledge of physics understand what’s going on. It describes every small detail of Einstein’s research and the ...more

This could be excusable if not for the horrendous attempts to discourse on science. Let's excuse the summing of general relativity into "Geometry = Things." This was the crowning gem:

"Isaac Newton had, after all, disregarded his own qualms about gravity acting instantaneously,...more

In that sense, the book succeeded. This is not a truly in-depth biography; his (apparently minimal) involvement with the development in ...more

*This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.*

One of my favorite parts of this biography was "interlude one." Interlude one was about a fictional world. Everyone was made ...more

In the ...more

I really enjoyed this ...more

I've never read a book on Einstein before, but this one left me feeling as if Einstein only achieved two things: E=mc2 and G=T, and therefore wondering what more made him so great?

It allows those who read the book to understand the very basic concepts behind Einstein's ideas, but also his huge ego, doubts and touch the human being, not only the mad genius.

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David Bodanis is the bestselling author of THE SECRET HOUSE and E=MC2, which was turned into a PBS documentary and a Southbank Award-winning ballet at Sadler's Wells. David also wrote ELECTRIC UNIVERSE, which won the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize, and PASSIONATE MINDS, a BBC Book of the Week. His newest work, EINSTEIN’S GREATEST MISTAKE, will be published in October 2016.

David has ...more

David has ...more

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