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  3. But, I think that Mileva became hausfrau for Albert with years.
  4. Yesterday
  5. I read it at the beach and loved it.
  6. I am grateful to be able to participate in the Big Read by reading "The Other Einstein". Having enjoyed the National Geographic series, "Genius", I already had a curiosity about Mileva as an individual with her own unrecognized genius. This book showed the accepted practice of belittling women and selected ethnicities of the time within the places where they lived. I'm glad to know more about this bright woman, and about the ego of Albert Einstein.
  7. Love ❤️ historical fiction and science 🔬 and read quick the first chapter which kept my interest- hope it's a beach read! Headed there tomorrow and I didn't read the spoiler post! If it's not worth the read let me know so I put something else on the kindle !!!!
  8. The problem with assessing Mileva Maric's ability is a paucity of evidence, and the ambiguity of what evidence there is. Even Allen Esterson concludes a critical essay by saying Scientists (and most high school students) are familiar with the idea of error bars. For example, the age of the universe is currently given as 13.73 +/- 0.12 billion years. A few decades ago, the range was 5 to 18 billion years! When it comes to Mileva Maric's scientific abilities, I think the error bars have to cover a rather wide range.
  9. Well, I for one had to take breaks from reading The Other Einstein because I felt so angry thinking about Mileva's ultimate fate which in many ways was tragic given her potential. Like Michael Weiss I started doing some online research to try and get a sense of how realistic the novel was. The one aspect which I wish had been done otherwise was her failing the final exams twice. The mark of 4.0 seemed so cruel when 4.1, at least I think so, would have meant a pass. I felt it was no coincidence and found it almost maddening that her failure was attributed to pregnancy illness. Could she not have been failed on purpose? I read that those sitting the exam for a second time were usually treated quite compassionately and thus usually passed. Again the same almost pass mark? That interlude could have been fleshed out to focus on her treatment by others at the polytechnic. Blaming her failure on the pregnancy once put her downfall at Albert's door which almost seemed like overkill. Did others think that too? Otherwise, I 'enjoyed' the book and I am curious about Carnegie's Maid. Wasn't there something similar with Mozart's sister? That she was a musical genius too but no one wasted time on girls.
  10. I enjoyed the novel very much. I know more now about both Einsteins. The novel had important themes that are relevant today. I empathized with Mileva, and enjoyed following her story. I see it, in some ways, as a cautionary tale about hero worship. There is a public persona of Albert Einstein. This novel throughs light on his personal persona. He was not perfect as a young man. Many men put work before family and are not good husbands or fathers. And we are all more of our time in history than we would care to admit.
  11. Gender played a huge role. Many things are different now, though not yet truly equal. Some of my favorite scenes involve the other women that Mileva meets and befriends at the pension. This, of course, is contrasted with the presence and influence of Mrs. Engelbrecht. Albert, tragically, does not understand what it is to be pregnant, to carry a child, and give birth to one. That he thinks Mileva is carrying a boy is telling. That she gives birth to a girl, Lieserl, only adds to the irony. Would Albert have behaved differently towards his first born if she had been a boy?
  12. It certainly makes me want to do more research! While I love fiction based on fact, good writing makes it hard to remember that everything in the story may not be true!! If the story really has truth to it, then his character does take a hit in my opinion. I got so angry that he would take credit for projects and successes that weren't truly his alone!
  13. About that Nobel prize... Isaacson's biography paints a very different picture of what happened. Here's his first quick summary: Later in the book he goes into much more detail. Under the terms of the divorce agreement, the money went into a trust for their sons, with Mileva able to draw on the interest for her own use. The medal itself stayed with Albert. Isaacson makes clear elsewhere that Elsa was pressuring Albert to get a divorce so they could get married. Mileva resisted getting a divorce, a pretty common situation even today. But in those days, divorce carried a much bigger stigma.
  14. Always listen to your parents! It occurred to me that Albert's mother and Mileva's father were both right about the budding relationship, even though neither Albert nor Mileva wanted to hear it. Albert's mother knew he would (sooner or later) want a traditional hausfrau for a wife. That's what he got with his second marriage. Mileva's father knew that her involvement with Albert would derail her career. Alas, he was right too.
  15. With all the controversy swirling around Mileva Maric, I thought I'd mention some women mathematicians and physicists whose brilliance and accomplishments no one questions. Émilie du Châtelet (1706--1749) played a pivotal role in developing the concept of kinetic energy. She also did what is still the standard French translation of Newton's Principia, plus a bunch of other stuff. (Wikipedia does a good run-down, although it gets some of the technical details wrong.) She and Voltaire were lovers; she died a week after giving birth, at 42, and her newborn daughter died less than two years later. I saw a play about her, Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight. Quite good! (Also it seems there's been a TV movie, in French.) Marie-Sophie Germain (1776--1831) did important work on elasticity and Fermat's Last Theorem. Evelyn Lamb's blog on Scientific American has a nice entry about her. (I can't recommend this blog highly enough to math/physics fans.) Lise Meitner (1878--1968), in collaboration with her nephew Otto Frisch, was the first to truly understand nuclear fission. (Einstein gets blamed for the atomic bomb because of E=mc2, but Meitner's discovery had far more to do with it.) Meitner had been the first full professor of physics in Germany, but had to flee because of the Nazis. I think most historians today agree that she and Frisch should have shared the 1944 Nobel Prize in chemistry, which went exclusively to Otto Hahn. Richard Rhodes' mammoth The Making of the Atomic Bomb has an excellent account of Meitner's work. Not just Marie Curie, but her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie (1897--1956) also won the Nobel Prize! Julia Robinson (1919--1975). Her older sister Constance Reid wrote “The Autobiography of Julia Robinson”; Reid's talk Being Julia Robinson’s Sister explains why, and is one of the most moving essays I've ever read. And my favorite: Emmy Noether (1882--1935), a genius by anyone's standards. Any list of the dozen greatest mathematicians of the 20th century would include her. Her approach to abstract algebra took over the field. Her one foray into physics produced Noether's theorem. Initially a little too mathematical for the physicists, it now occupies a central role. To quote two physicists: "certainly one of the most important mathematical theorems ever proved in guiding the development of modern physics, possibly on a par with the Pythagorean theorem." If you've seen Genius, you know about Hilbert's friendly rivarly with Einstein to find the correct equations for general relativity. Even after Einstein and Hilbert independently found them, puzzles remained. The conservation of energy seemed to go kaput! As you can imagine, physicists regarded this as a BIG issue. Hilbert asked Noether to look into it. Noether's theorem was the result. To quote one recent historian, "With her characteristically deep insight and thorough analysis, in solving that problem she discovered very general theorems that have profoundly influenced modern physics." I can't end this without mentioning Hypatia! We don't even know her dates exactly, but the MacTutor website (history of math) says "about 370 to 415". Not one of her mathematical works has survived. That's a problem with ancient history: fragmentary records. Anyway, the 2009 movie Agora was all about her. I liked it, but it plays pretty fast and loose with the historical facts. Moral: don't go to the movies (or TV, or novels) to learn history; go for the stories and insight into the human condition.
  16. It did change my view of him. I, like someone else stated, had him on some sort of pedestal. This book definitely took him down several notches and made him more of a person. I often had to put it down because my anger towards him was becoming too great.
  17. I think it is a sad reflection on how a highly intelligent woman felt she needed to take a backseat to a man in order to be validated. It makes me wonder how many other important contributions women have made that we may be unaware of. It has totally changed my opinion of the man. His own insecurities did not allow him to give her the credit she deserved. He comes off as a horrible manipulator, first courting her and showering her with promises, then using it all to his advantage. I wonder what great things she could have done in different circumstances.
  18. "What is not socially appreciated does not develop, even gifted individuals." This speaks so clearly to me, as a woman and as a teacher in Milwaukee. Even the fashions of the day would have been against these women. Long heavy hair, corsets, long dresses, all worn while while working in classrooms and laboratories. Add to that the supervisory role that everyone in society seemed to claim in order to control women's sexual behavior.
  19. Mileva had three strikes against her-race, sex, and disability. While her sex would be less of a factor today, her disability and her race might still be overriding factors. Also the number of women in the STEM field is still less than 10% so if we assume woman are as smart as men, there is still some sex based factor that keep women out of the scientific arena.
  20. Genius had two scenes about the inspiration for relativity: the scene where Albert was playing with his son, with toy trains, and the elevator scene. The first was about the inspiration for special relativity (the 1905 paper), the second for general relativity (specifically the equivalence principle). Einstein's first paper on general relativity was published in 1908, but he did not achieve the correct equations until 1915. I don't believe anyone has ever suggested that Mileva contributed to general relativity. The (emotionally moving) train station scene in The Other Einstein, unfortunately, is at odds with the physics of special relativity (SR for short). If that really had been Maric's inspiration, it would mean she didn't grasp the central point of the 1905 paper! But of course it's not fair to attribute those thoughts to the historical Mileva. Time would not "flow backwards" in SR, even if you could go faster than light. The clearest explanation comes from spacetime diagrams, invented by Hermann Minkowski shortly after the 1905 paper. (The same math is implicit in the 1905 paper, but algebraically. Minkowski had been one of Einstein's math professors.) Here is a spacetime diagram: The place where the black lines cross represents a specific time at a specific place, which is called an event in SR. For example, the train station at the time of that scene in the novel. Usually we think of all possible times as divided into the future and the past, but in SR there is a third "region", which I've called "elsewhen" (I borrowed the term from someone else, probably Eddington). Events in "elsewhen" are so far away (in space) from the X crossing that no news of them could have yet reached anyone there, and vice versa. For events in "elsewhen", there is no absolute meaning to the question, which happened first: the event at the crossing of the X, or the "elsewhen" event. That's called the relativitity of simultaneity, and this relativity is the central point in the 1905 paper. The blue line represents Mileva's life (or her so-called worldline). Special relativity doesn't allow you to affect anything in your so-called causal past (aka absolute past). In particular, anything that's already happened to you has happened, water under the bridge, can't be changed! The red line represents a Mileva that suddenly started going faster than light. She could explore "elsewhen", but she couldn't go backwards in time and undo Lieserl's death. (Special relativity also says a material object can't go faster than light, for other reasons. The point is, even if we ignore this, SR still doesn't say that time starts rolling backwards once your speed exceeds c. Algebraically, the formula for the time dilation factor becomes imaginary, not negative, for v>c.) Usually movies and TV try to dramatise scientific discoveries in everyday terms. I'm betting the scene in Genius with Einstein playing with his son was fictional --- not that he never played trains with his son, but I doubt that was when "lighting struck". (The scene in The Theory of Everything, where Stephen Hawking discovers Hawking radiation while staring into a smoldering fireplace, is definitely made up.) When I read the train station scene in The Other Einstein, I figured Marie Benedict was going for the same sort of thing. And I think that's fine---it's a novel, not a physics textbook. But I don't agree with this sentence from the author's note: "But given how Mileva saw the world and how desperately she must have loved her daughter, isn’t it possible that the loss of Lieserl could have inspired Mileva to create the theory of special relativity?"
  21. Granted, culture has improved but considering his/their friends Albert was a first class jerk!
  22. Last week
  23. Frankly, I am surprised that the library would recommend everyone read a book which accuses Albert Einstein of being an abusive aldulterer who stole his wife's work and passed it off as his own. IMHO, historical fiction should be based on fact.
  24. The big difference between the Genius series and The Other Einstein book for me is -- the first shows Albert discovering the theory of relativity (elevator scene) while the book describes it as Mileva's. I find hers much more compelling, born of such absolute grief over Liesyl and the explanation at the train station so much more understandable. I wonder which it really was?
  25. As I watched the tv show, it left me wanting to learn more about Maleva. Low and behold, up pops The Big Library Read! I found some differences between the book and the show, but an uncanny similarity in the dialog between Albert and Maleva. I assume this is because both Isaacson, who wrote the book the show is based on, and Benedict used the same references. Perhaps some of those same conversations were recorded in the letters found in 1980.
  26. More fiction than nonfiction? Than why use Einstein as the character? Why not joe made up person who never existed? It maligns einstein so badly that if there isn't a basis than it really isn't fair
  27. Mileva had the odds stacked against her: female, Serbian, born with a physical deformity. Nevertheless, she allowed her feelings to interfere with her career goals. She deferred her graduation exams and eventually failed the tests. Her early pregnancy is a good excuse, but nowadays most women continue their profession and education throughout the pregnancy. Mileva failed because of emotional imbalance and lack of peer support. She was not emotionally ready for a relationship and Albert took advantage of her insecurities. Despite his initial claims, he never treated her as his equal.
  28. Hi, I have not finished the book yet, but I did watch all of the Genius episodes. I have enjoyed the book, which matches -- for the most part -- with how she was portrayed in the TV series. There is one point that I had a LOT of trouble believing, though (even though I know this is fiction). While I can fully believe that they worked together on his papers in 1905, and that he did not give her the credit she deserved, I really cannot accept the idea that she actually thought of the concept of special relativity and presented it to Albert. That seemed too much fiction for me. The rest has been very good and fits with idea of two extraordinary, yet socially challenged, people trying to create a happy, successful life together in that time period-- and failing.
  29. Einstein writes in the last paragraph of the letter, "What astonishes me serious attempt to make the higher studies more attractive." I wonder if we do enough in this country to make "the higher studies" attractive to our intellectually gifted students.
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