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József Illy

The Practical Einstein

This unique biography of the famous theoretical physicist explores his work in the practical worlds of technology, engineering and experimental physics.
Albert Einstein is known as the whacky genius behind the theory of relativity, but that’s just one facet of his contribution to modern science and human knowledge. As József Illy demonstrates in this book, Einstein had an eminently practical side as well.
As a youth, Einstein was an inveterate tinkerer in the electrical supply factory owned by his father and uncle. His first paid job was as a patent examiner. He consulted on industrial patent cases and worked on technological innovations, most notably the gyrocompass. Later in life, Einstein contributed to many inventions, including refrigerators, microphones, and instruments for aviation. His published papers often provided ways to test his theories, and he also wrote explanations for common natural phenomena, such as the meandering of rivers.
In these and other hands-on examples culled from the Einstein Papers, Illy demonstrates how Einstein enjoyed leaving the abstract world of theories to wrestle with the problems of everyday life.
A Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title
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Johns Hopkins University Press
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