Although Einstein was the greatest genius
of the twentieth century, many of his ground-breaking discoveries were
blighted by mistakes, ranging from serious errors in mathematics to bad
misconceptions in physics and failures to grasp the subtleties of his own
creations. This forensic biography dissects Einstein’s scientific mistakes and
places them in the context of his turbulent life and times. In lively,
accessible prose, the book paints a fresh, insightful portrait of the real
Einstein at work, in contrast the the uncritical celebrity worship often
inflicted on geniuses.
the approximately 180 original scientific papers that Einstein published in his
lifetime, about 40 are infested with mistakes. For instance, Einstein’s first
mathematical proof of the famous formula E = mc2 was
incomplete and only approximately valid; he struggled with this problem for
many years, but he never found a complete proof (better mathematicians did).
Einstein was often in the grip of irrational and mystical inspirations,
but his profound intuition about physics permitted him to discover profound
truths despite —and sometimes because of—the mistakes he made along the way. He
was a sleepwalker: his intuition told him were he needed to go, and he somehow
managed to get there without quite knowing how.
this book persuasively argues, the defining hallmark of Einstein’s genius was
not any special mathematical ability, but his uncanny talent to use his
mistakes as stepping stones to formulate his revolutionary theories.
THE BOOK is available in bookstores and it can be ordered over the internet, at