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Our understanding of the physical universe underwent a revolution in the early twentieth century - evolving from the classical physics of Newton, Galileo, and Maxwell to the modern physics of relativity and quantum mechanics.
The dominant figure in this revolutionary change was Albert Einstein. In a single year, 1905, Einstein produced breakthrough works in three areas of physics: on the size and the effects of atoms; on the quantization of the electromagnetic field; and on the special theory of relativity. In 1916 he produced a fourth breakthrough work, the general theory of relativity.
"A Student's Guide to Einstein's Major Papers" focuses on Einstein's contributions, setting his major works into their historical context, and then takes the reader through the details of each paper, including the mathematics.
This book helps the reader appreciate the simplicity and insightfulness of Einstein's ideas and how revolutionary his work was, and locate it in the evolution of scientific thought begun by the ancient Greek natural philosophers.
1: Setting the Stage for 1905
2: Radiation and the Quanta
3: The Atom and Brownian Motion
4: The Special Theory of Relativity
5: The General Theory of Relativity
6: Einstein and the Evolution of Quantum Mechanics
Dr. Kennedy received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Notre Dame in 1966, and since 1966 has been a professor in the Department of Physics at Creighton University. Dr. Kennedy has taught physics at Creighton University for over forty years, and has developed a number of courses based on the works of Albert Einstein, beginning in the 1970s with a request from the college to develop a "non-threatening" science course for the non-science majors. In 2008 Creighton University awarded to Dr. Kennedy the designation of Professor Emeritus and of Dean Emeritus.
Einstein's papers have revolutionized our understanding of the world. Kennedy guides the reader patiently and pedagogically to his major contributions, making them accessible for both students and scientists.
- Claus Kiefer, University of Cologne, Germany
"Kennedy turns Einstein's famous papers into a physics textbook for ambitious students. Want to understand what Einstein really did in 1905? Here is a book that will guide you in your efforts to master the physics of Einstein's legacy. Not an easy read, but a rewarding one!"
- Tilman Sauer, California Institute of Technology, USA