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How Einstein Did Not Discover

Norton, John D. (2016) How Einstein Did Not Discover. [Preprint]

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Abstract

What powered Einstein’s discoveries? Was it asking naïve questions, stubbornly? Was it a mischievous urge to break rules? Was it the destructive power of operational thinking? It was none of these. Rather, Einstein made his discoveries through lengthy, mundane investigations, pursued with tenacity and discipline. We have been led to think otherwise in part through Einstein’s brilliance at recounting in beguilingly simple terms a few brief moments of transcendent insight; and in part through our need to find a simple trick underlying his achievements. These ideas are illustrated with the examples of Einstein’s 1905 discoveries of special relativity and the light quantum.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Norton, John D.
Keywords: Einstein Discover Light Quantum Special Relativity
Subjects: General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Depositing User: John Norton
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2016 17:22
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2016 17:22
Item ID: 12289
Subjects: General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Date: 14 April 2016
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12289

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