Einstein’s miraculous year. Five papers that changed the face of physics.

*(English)*Zbl 0922.01023
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. xv, 198 p. (1998).

The editor, John Stachel, is one of the best experts on Einstein, his name guarantees excellent quality. The volume begins with a short foreword by Roger Penrose (p. VII–XIX), the publisher’s foreword and a detailed introduction (p. 3-27) due to the editor.

In the following there are presented 5 papers of Einstein:

1. A new determination of molecular dimensions (dissertation) (commentary p. 31-43, text p. 45-69),

2. On the motion of small particles suspended in liquids at rest required by the molecular-kinetic theory of heat (commentary p. 73-84, text p. 85-98),

3. and 4. On the electrodynamics of moving bodies. Does the inertia of a body depend on its energy content? (commentary p. 101-121, texts p. 123-159, 161-164),

5. On a heuristic point of view concerning the production and transformation of light. (commentary p. 167-176, text p. 177-198).

All these papers were published in the original version and in an English translation in Vol. 2 of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein: The Swiss years: Writings, 1900-1909. (Princeton 1989; Zbl 0716.01035). The above mentioned commentaries are abridged versions of the collected papers. In the edition of J. Stachel it was important that these commentaries are easy to understand and easy to read. The translation, however, is not identical with the one given in the collected papers. The translations given in J. Stachel’s booklet are totally new.

The small book will be very useful for everybody who wants to get a first class information on Einstein’s main papers of 1905 but does not want to consult the extensive Vol. 2 of the collected papers and its translation.

In the following there are presented 5 papers of Einstein:

1. A new determination of molecular dimensions (dissertation) (commentary p. 31-43, text p. 45-69),

2. On the motion of small particles suspended in liquids at rest required by the molecular-kinetic theory of heat (commentary p. 73-84, text p. 85-98),

3. and 4. On the electrodynamics of moving bodies. Does the inertia of a body depend on its energy content? (commentary p. 101-121, texts p. 123-159, 161-164),

5. On a heuristic point of view concerning the production and transformation of light. (commentary p. 167-176, text p. 177-198).

All these papers were published in the original version and in an English translation in Vol. 2 of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein: The Swiss years: Writings, 1900-1909. (Princeton 1989; Zbl 0716.01035). The above mentioned commentaries are abridged versions of the collected papers. In the edition of J. Stachel it was important that these commentaries are easy to understand and easy to read. The translation, however, is not identical with the one given in the collected papers. The translations given in J. Stachel’s booklet are totally new.

The small book will be very useful for everybody who wants to get a first class information on Einstein’s main papers of 1905 but does not want to consult the extensive Vol. 2 of the collected papers and its translation.

Reviewer: K.Reich (Wentorf)

##### MSC:

01A60 | History of mathematics in the 20th century |

01A70 | Biographies, obituaries, personalia, bibliographies |

01A75 | Collected or selected works; reprintings or translations of classics |