SpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology

Establishing Quantum Physics in Berlin

Einstein and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, 1917–1922

Authors: Goenner, Hubert, Castagnetti, Giuseppe

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  • Shows the rationale behind the foundation of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics
  • Explains why Berlin may have failed to develop as well as other research centers for quantum physics 
  • Examines the impact of networking and funding programmes on the success of the Institute
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eBook 42,79 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-63122-2
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Softcover 51,99 €
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About this book

This book explores Albert Einstein’s move to Berlin and the establishment of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics under his directorship. Einstein’s call to Berlin was supported by a group of prominent physicists, including Fritz Haber, Walter Nernst, Max Planck, Heinrich Rubens, Emil Warburg, and the young astronomer Erwin Freundlich, in the expectation that Einstein and the institute would take the lead in advancing quantum physics in its early phase. Examining both the abortive attempt and the successful opening of the institute in 1917, it also discusses in detail the institute’s activities up to 1922, when Einstein relinquished the directorship, as well as his reasons for stepping down. The final chapter evaluates the institute’s activities and its role in the advancement of physics. In the end, the institute only partially fulfilled the expectations of its promoters because of the waning interest in quantum physics on the part of its director and board, and also because of Einstein’s refusal to exert scientific leadership. The book is part of a series of publications in the SpringerBriefs series on the early network of quantum physics.

About the authors

Hubert Goenner is professor emeritus at the Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Göttingen. He studied mathematics and physics at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (1962), receiving his doctorate there (after one year at Yeshiva University under Arthur Komar) in 1966 under Helmut Hönl and K. Westpfahl on contributions to the general-relativistic motion problem of fast, interacting, and self-interacting pole-dipole particles. As a post-doctoral researcher, he was an assistant to Peter Havas at Temple University in Philadelphia, and from 1969 to M. Kohler at the University of Göttingen, where he habilitated in 1973 (local isometric embedding of Riemannian manifolds and Einstein’s theory of gravitation). From 1975, he was a lecturer in Göttingen and from 1980 professor. He retired in 2002, but continued to be active in research. He has been a guest researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

Giuseppe Castagnetti studied philosophy of science at the University of Milan. He was an early collaborator of the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein in Boston, and a former fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. He was a respected member of the international family of Einstein scholars, making important contributions to the understanding of Einstein’s call to Berlin, his early relations with astronomers, and his forced emigration by the Nazis. Castagnetti was a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin from its foundation in 1994 until his untimely death in 2016.

Table of contents (4 chapters)

Table of contents (4 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 42,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-63122-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 51,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-63121-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Establishing Quantum Physics in Berlin
Book Subtitle
Einstein and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, 1917–1922
Authors
Series Title
SpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-63122-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-63122-2
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-63121-5
Series ISSN
2211-4564
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VI, 127
Number of Illustrations
2 b/w illustrations
Topics