Remembering Einstein: Lectures on Physics and Astrophysics

Publication Type:




Oxford University Press, New Delhi (2010)



In 1905, Albert Einstein wrote five papers which marked a watershed between classical and modern physics. These papers dealt with the problem of 'Reality of Atoms'; 'Theory of Special Relativity', which overthrew Newtonian conceptions of space and time; and his most revolutionary 'Light-Quantum Hypothesis', which together with Planck's work on black body radiation started the Quantum Revolution. The year 2005 was celebrated by UNESCO as 'International Year of Physics' commemorating the centenary of the Relativity Principle. To celebrate this landmark, Nehru Centre, Mumbai organized a Lecture Series. Projecting the influence that Einstein's work has had on fundamental issues in physics, these lectures were delivered by eminent scientists and researchers. This volume includes the nine lectures delivered on the occasion. The first lecture by Virendra Singh highlights Einstein's novel contribution in 1905. Then Arvind Kumar elaborates on the route that Einstein took to resolve the problems of black body radiation. While Jayant Narlikar presents a historical account of how cosmology has developed since Einstein's 1917 paper, S.M. Chitre elaborates on how relativity has played a crucial role in solving the central problem concerning the source of energy for stars. While T. Padmanabhan writes on Einstein's role in shaping our understanding of astronomy and cosmology, Sandip Trivedi shows that Einstein had a quest, a central focus that increasingly dominated his scientific life after 1915. Abhay Ashtekar writes on how, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Einstein revolutionized the notions of space and time, and Naresh Dadhich narrates that in his monumental discoveries, the driving force for Einstein was consistency of concept and principle rather than conflict with experiment. The final lecture by B.N. Jagtap discusses one of the most fascinating topics associated with two great scientists of the twentieth century, Albert Einstein and Sathyendra Nath Bose.