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Einstien – “A Short History of Nearly Everything” – Bill Bryson

November 28th, 2010 · No Comments · Science

This was the background against which he produced the special theory of relativity in 1905. Called “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies,” it is one of the most extraordinary scientific papers ever published, as much for how it was presented as for what it said. It had no footnotes or citations, contained almost no mathematics, made no mention of any work that had influenced or preceded it, and acknowledged the help of just one individual, a colleague at the patent office named Michele Besso. It was, wrote C. P. Snow, as if Einstein “had reached the conclusions by pure thought, unaided, without listening to the opinions of others. To a surprisingly large extent, that is precisely what he had done.”

His famous equation, E =mc2, did not appear with the paper, but came in a brief supplement that followed a few months later. As you will recall from school days, E in the equation stands for energy, m for mass, and c2 for the speed of light squared.


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