These were the words Albert Einstein used to describe the events of 1905, the most productive year of his life. At age 26, he published five papers that had a lasting influence on physics and twentieth century thought.
Last week I read John Rigden’s Einstein 1905: The Standard of Greatness. It’s a history and explanation of Einstein’s 1905 papers. I found Rigden’s descriptions of the five papers to be just detailed enough for me to understand them intuitively as a technically trained non-physicist.
In this short and accessible book, Rigden gives us a great description of Einstein’s work and life. He makes a strong case that Einstein is one of the most brilliant scientists in history. But as a lifelong student and hopeful parent, I find the most interesting parts of the story to be the characteristics of Einstein’s life that enabled him to do so much.