Albert Einstein: A biographical portrait by Anton Reiser, Rudolf Kayser, Albert Einstein

By Anton Reiser, Rudolf Kayser, Albert Einstein

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As a man possessed, he was carried away by these most difficult problems of theoretical physics, and talking about them helped more than silence. Going home from his duties he discussed his ideas and investigations with his friend Besso. If he felt that he was nearing a solution of his problems, he would tell his friend-his own eyes glowing-that the success of his efforts was a t hand. But the next day he would merely inform him sadly and gentIy that all his experiments of the past were wrong. Through many long years of hope and disappointment Albert carried on his experiments till he reached the final solution to his problem.

But he sensed the sharp, political air in which the town was steeped. The faculty meetings often resembled political conventions. The struggle between the Czechs and the Germans had already reached a dangerous impasse. The downfall of old Austria was the only thing that brought about the solution of these problems. In Prague, also, Einstein lived simply. The advance in his income and his position as professor ordinarius did not at all increase his need. The way of life which has always seemed the most agreeable to him is one which allows him the most rest, seclusion and leisure -for scientific work.

FORMULATION O F T H E THEORY OF RELATIVITY T HE I N T E N T I O N O F T H I S BOOK I S TO T ELL ABOUT Albert Einstein’s life. A discussion of his scientific work is, therefore, not a part of the task at hand, especially since it is rendered unnecessary by the vast literature already existing on the subject. But the work of a creative personality is bound up with its life in many ways. The work develops as an essentiaf constituent of the life of the creator and is its crowning achievement. In the case of a person like Albert Einstein, who feels the most abstract problems of his science with an overwhelming force, and is too much the universal man not to relate his scientific production to the rich world of his profoundest human experiences, a biography which does not discuss his work remains fragmentary.

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