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An acclaimed science writer’s insightful and revelatory biography of young Einstein—teenager in love, draft dodger, bohemian, poet, and scientist—drawing upon many unpublished letters and years of research
During the first two decades of the twentieth century, the world stood on the verge of upheaval as all the familiar political, cultural, and scientific truths were challenged by new discoveries and philosophies. It was a period when young Albert Einstein was in love—with physics and the secret order of the universe; with his brilliant, tormented first wife, Mileva; and with a series of comely young women who were distractions from his gradually failing marriage. While that marriage worked, though, the Einsteins were a truly modern couple, a couple who had relativity and quantum mysticism as their pillow talk, a couple who were as often colleagues as they were fierce adversaries. …[more]
In southern California, nearly a half-century ago, a small band of researchers-equipped with a new 200-inch telescope and a faith born of scientific optimism-embarked on the greatest intellectual adventure in the history of humankind: the search for the origin and fate of the universe. Their quest would eventually engulf all of physics and astronomy, leading not only to the discovery of quasars, black holes, and shadow matter but also to fame, controversy, and Nobel Prizes. Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos tells the story of the men and women who have taken eternity on their shoulders and stormed nature in search of answers to the deepest questions we know to ask.