On Game Theory, the Art of Literature, and the Stag Hunt
In 1915, Albert Einstein (1879–1955) published one of the greatest conceptual revolutions in science since Euclid’s Elements of Geometry (c. 300 bc): his theory of general relativity. Max Born, who had studied his compatriot’s working papers on the subject in 1913, thought Einstein’s breakthrough “the greatest feat of human thinking about Nature, the most amazing combination of philosophical penetration, physical intuition and mathematical skill” (Physics 109). Born’s only concern with the theory was its lack of experimental corroboration. Fortunately, confirmation of Einstein’s curved spacetime concept came four years later when, as Stephen Hawking chronicles, “a British expedition to West Africa observed a slight bending of light from a star passing near the sun during an eclipse” (19–21). Although this finding was of comfort to Einstein, a challenge to related principles, which would eventually seed the quantum theory posited by Max Planck in 1900 with ambiguity, was beginning to trouble him.
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