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Albert Einstein and Max Born

The Born-Einstein Letters

Max Born, one of the founders of quantum theory, was a friend of Einstein from their time as professors at the University of Berlin , and they kept in touch for until the end of Einstein's life. This book is a collection of the letters between them together with explanatory notes by Born. Such correspondence provides an insight into some of the issues which Einstein and Born thought important. For instance in political issues the two were generally in agreement, but Born made it known that he wanted nothing to do with the atomic bomb, whilst unbeknown to him, Einstein signed a letter encouraging its development by the USA.

Another area of interest is Einstein's correspondence with Max's wife Hedi - it seems that he was never quite comfortable with her complex character. Also notable is the fact that Einstein didn't visit the family after the mid-1920's, athough he counted them as amoung his closest friends. As regards quantum theory, there is surprsingly little argument about it during its early years - presumably Einstein argued more with Niels Bohr. There is a series of letters in the mid 1940's about the localisation of particles, and it is interesting to note how Born seems determined to defend the 'official' interpretation of quantum theory in spite of its problems

Product Description
Albert Einstein and Max Born were great friends. Their letters span 40 years and two world wars. In them they argue about quantum theory, agree about Beethoven's heavenly violin and piano duets (that they played together when they met) and chat about their families. Equally important, the men commiserate over the tragic plight of European Jewry and discuss what part they should play in the tumultuous politics of the time.

Fascinating historically, The Born-Einstein Letters is also highly topical: scientists continue to struggle with quantum physics, their role in wartime and the public's misunderstanding. First published by Macmillan in 1971, this book is re-issued, with a substantial new preface by leading US physicists Kip Thorne and Diana Buchwald, as part of 2005's Relativity Centenary celebrations.