By Albert Einstein, Leopold Infeld

From the Authors' Preface

Before you start analyzing, you rightly count on a few easy inquiries to be responded. For what objective has this ebook been written? who's the imaginary reader for whom it's meant?
It is hard to start through answering those questions truly and convincingly. this could be a lot more uncomplicated, notwithstanding really superfluous, on the finish of the ebook. we discover it less complicated to claim simply what this ebook doesn't intend to be. we've not written a textbook of physics. this is no systematic path in trouble-free actual proof and theories. Our goal was once particularly to comic strip in large define the makes an attempt of the human brain to discover a connection among the area of rules and the realm of phenomena. now we have attempted to teach the lively forces which compel technological know-how to invent principles comparable to the truth of our global. [...]
The booklet is a straightforward chat among you and us. you'll locate it dull or fascinating, boring or fascinating, yet our goal could be finished if those pages offer you a few inspiration of the everlasting fight of the artistic human brain for a fuller figuring out of the legislation governing actual phenomena.


P2P Editor Bibliographic Note

The first version of the ebook was once released in 1938 {Open Library, ID=OL5816183M).
The variation on which the resource for the current dossier relies, is undated, and marked 'Scientific booklet Club'. the following bibliographic examine exhibits the possible booklet date as 1939 (see WorldCat goods 8124880, 721210008; see Google quotation for ID=nJClngEACAAJ; see a 1940 evaluation of this specified 'Scientific ebook membership' variation at SAO/NASA Astrophysics info System).
The in simple terms photos and actual ebook description came upon for the unique 1939 booklet come from Mollan infrequent Books, Dublin, eire through AbeBooks. these photos have been used for reconstructing the canopy utilized in the current P2P electronic version.

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Sample text

In the real switchback, where friction prevents the car from again reaching as high a point as that from which it started, there is still a continuous change be­ tween kinetic and potential energy. Here, however, the sum does not remain constant, but grows smaller. Now one important and courageous step more is needed to relate the mechanical and heat aspects of motion. The wealth of consequences and generalizations from this step will be seen later. Something more than kinetic and potential energies is now involved, namely, the heat created by friction.

In simple cases the motion may be described and predicted by the aid of mathematics. In remote and extremely complicated cases, involving the action o f many bodies on each other, a mathematical descrip­ tion is not so simple, but the fundamental principles are the same. We find the conclusions, at which we arrived by following our initial clues, realized in the motion o f a 33 thrown stone, in the motion o f the moon, the earth, and the planets. It is really our whole system o f guesses which is to be either proved or disproved by experiment.

28 A ll that we have said concerning motion can be summed up in a single sentence. Force and change o f velocity are vectors having the same direction. This is the initial clue to the problem o f motion, but it certainly does not suffice for a thorough explanation of all mo­ tions observed. The transition from Aristotle’s line o f thought to that o f Galileo formed a most important corner-stone in the foundation o f science. Once this break was made, the line o f further development was clear. O u r interest here lies in the first stages of develop­ ment, in following initial clues, in showing how new physical concepts are born in the painful struggle with old ideas.

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