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Einstein's Clocks and Poincare's Maps Hardcover – 18 Aug 2003
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Deeply rewarding... Galisons profound scholarship is evident on every page, continually offering fresh insights and perspectives -- Sunday Telegraph, 31 August 2003
About the Author
Peter Galison was educated at Cambridge (MPhil in Philosophy of Science) and Harvard (BA, MA and PhD) universities. He has taught at Stanford Uiversity and is currently the Mallinckrodt Professor of History of Science and of Physics at Harvard.
Top Customer Reviews
My advice to readers:
Skip chapter 1 - relativity is better covered elsewhere, and this chapter is hard going (as another reviewer hinted). However, you do need to know that Poincare almost managed to develop a version of relativity before Einstein.
Read chapter 2 - the story of Poincare's non-mathematical work is very relevant, is interesting in its own right, and is presented here in a very accessible form.
Read chapters 3 and 4 - a terrific presentation on the emergence of global time and an insight into the nationalist politics from the French perspective led by Poincare (less well known - since Greenwich won the argument and this is the history we remember).
Read Chapter 5 - which highlights Einstein's non-mathematical activities (not well represented in other Einstein books), and illustrates what is perhaps one of the more surprising outcomes of the events recorded in chapters 2-5.
Skip Chapter 6, unless you are interested in the author's more usual territory in science studies.
It's astonishing how recently time was coordinated between rail companies and then around the world, and how physically difficult it was to map places like Peru and West Africa. Let alone agree how far Paris is from London.
I was inspired by the book to read some more about Einstein and time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Half way through chapter 1, I checked to see whether I was reading a translation from a foreign language text. Apparently not. So why does his prose flow so unpropitiously? Read morePublished on 30 Jan. 2013 by Silverswan
Writing about science for laypersons is a tricky business, especially with regard to the scientific accuracy of the exposition and the human dimension of the characters. Read morePublished on 6 Oct. 2007 by Ronaldo S. de Biasi
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