He believed that in any given physical situation, a theory must allow a precise calculation of the future.And yet, wonder of wonders, an examination of Einstein’s writings, particularly those in this volume, reveals that he was the living spirit and the brain behind the making of quantum mechanics.It explains their colors they have when they are cold or hot, why blood is red and leaves are green.
Einstein (1879-1955) famously was one of quantum mechanics’ harshest critics.
Indeed, on December 4, 1926, he wrote Max Born, one of the fathers of quantum theory, a letter that shocked his close friend.
Max Planck was among his most bitter critics, even though he was the one who proposed in his 1900 article the foundation for Einstein’s discoveries in this area, as was Niels Bohr, the father of the quantum atom model.
It would be another 18 years, and only in the wake of persuasive experiments, that the two were forced to admit that Einstein was right.
The volume is especially fascinating because it reveals Einstein’s central place in the creation of all modern physics.
The emphasis is on “all,” meaning not only relativity theory – about which there is no dispute – but also quantum mechanics, too.None of modern technology would be possible without quantum mechanics.Computers, smartphones, satellites, lasers and medical equipment, cyber communications, LED lights and television screens, as well as the science of producing new materials (such as plastic) are all based on quantum mechanics.Thus was created the popular perception of Einstein as the great opponent of quantum mechanics.Nonetheless, as noted, he laid the foundation for the quantum physics of light and electromagnetic radiation in the articles he wrote between 19.Quantum mechanics is a wonderful tool that enables us to explain the existence of all natural matter and its traits in precise detail.It explains the existence of 92 (no more, no less) chemical elements in nature and the hundreds of thousands of chemical compounds derived from them.“Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing,” Einstein wrote in the now famous and widely quoted missive.“But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing.This month marks the publication of volume 15 of “The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein” (Princeton University Press, in collaboration with the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology, and the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem).This volume, for which Diana Kormos Buchwald is the general editor, includes nearly 100 writings and over 1,300 letters written between June 1925 and May 1927, the period during which modern quantum theory was becoming established.