ENG 111

Fall 2002


READING GUIDE:  Einstein:  A Life in Science, chapters 10-11


Vocabulary . . .


In-/extricable (p. 169)

Fruition (p. 172)

Acronym (p. 172)

Alienate (p. 179)

Cajole (p. 189)

Plethora (p. 189)

Surreptitious (p. 195)

Advent (p. 197)

Espouse (p. 203)


Disseminate (p. 204)



Notes . . .


Chapter 10:  Quantum Pioneer


The pattern of this book that we are now well familiar with—of alternating chapters about Einstein’s scientific achievements with the other events of his life—continues here.  This strategy is certainly inelegant.  Notice how, on p. 174, p. 179, and p. 183 the authors refer us to upcoming chapters.  Again I must ask:  is this unavoidable?


p. 172-3  Did you know that you can thank Einstein for your CD player?


p. 175      Einstein’s relationship with the Indian physicist Satyendra Bose.  I hope we will spend some time talking about this in class.


p. 183      The final paragraph.  Note how our authors finesse the point of Einstein’s scientific breakthroughs ending by his 45th birthday.


Chapter 11:  Exiled from Europe.


p. 186      The authors spend quite a lot of time on Einstein’s involvement in the Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.  I’m wondering:  was this a big theme in his life at this point?  Or is Einstein’s participation in the CIC indicative of his personality?


p. 189      The role of Elsa in Einstein’s life.  This is developed a lot more in the section beginning at the bottom of p. 190.


p. 190      Bertrand Russell assumed that the theory of relativity would change how everyone thought about the world.  But, as our authors say, “very few people have got[ten] used to relativity or understand it in the least.”  We should maybe talk about the implication of our ignorance of the greatest breakthrough in physics for hundreds of years—a breakthrough that provides electrical energy to entire cities, that powers ships and submarines, and that split every atom in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


p. 203      Beginning with “30 January 1933, Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany” to the end of the chapter, note how Nazism affected Einstein:  where he will live and work, how he rethinks his longstanding position on pacifism.