At 10:49 PM 13/01/01 -0800, our trollish pal wrote:
>**Einstein is generally acknowledged to have been,
>primarily, a mathematician. He had little professional
>contact or acces to the literature of physics
This is so preposterous I wonder why the man bothers. I suppose somebody
needs to spell out exactly how dumb this claim is. Let's turn to the
authoritative scientific biography by Abraham Pais, SUBTLE IS THE LORD.
p. 44: `... on the whole Einstein did not excel in regular course
attendance. He relied far more on self-study. As a student he read the
works of Kirchoff, Hertz and Helmholtz; learned Maxwell theory from the
first edition... by August Foppl... read Mach's book on mechanics, `a book
which, with its critical attitudes toward the basic concepts and basic
laws, made a deep and lasting impression on me'; and studied papers by
Lorentz and Boltzmann. Among other subjects which drew his attention was
the work of Darwin.'
p. 46: ` "Since September 15, 1901.. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on a
topic in the kinetic theory of gases..." This work was not accepted as a
thesis, however. This setback was the last one in Einstein's career, however.'
58: following work on the foundations of statistic mechanics, and his
epochal paper on the light-quantum hypothesis, `Completion of the PhD
thesis on a new determination of molecular dimensions.'
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