Einstein's Dreams

Einstein's Dreams

eBook - 1994
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In this provocative national bestseller, first-time novelist Lightman takes us back to 1905 and into the dreams of a young patent clerk named Albert Einstein, just as he was completing his theory of relativity. "Lightman lets the reader in on the workings of a creative scientific mind"
Publisher: New York : Warner Books, 1994
Characteristics: 179 p. : ill. ; 16 cm


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Apr 04, 2019

I picked this up thinking such a little book I could whip through it in a couple of nights. Wrong!! Each little chapter presents another 'thought experiment' about how time does - or does not - march forward. Interesting and thought-provoking. Not a quick read!!

Oct 05, 2018

Hmm, maybe I didn’t “get it”, but this book did not engage me. Although Lightman’s remarkable imagination conjures dozens of possible scenarios about how time might behave, it is strung together with the thinnest of threads as Einstein creates his theory of relativity. No thread of characters or plot tying it together. It seemed more like a list with each item expanded to three or four pages, and my mind wandered.

laurendouglass May 18, 2018

One of my favorites. A unique way to think about different models for space/time by using short stories based in that world.

Feb 14, 2016

Although designated as a novel, this is actually a piece of sheer whimsy. Elegantly engaging prose, vivid imagery. A whole series of "what if time as we understand it doesn't really function that way at all" scenarios. Or what if time is just a conceit that humans have conjured up to explain the cosmos to ourselves, and does not really exist at all?
I find myself wondering what the author's motivation was in writing this. Perhaps, as a physics professor, he got tired of trying to explain abstruse concepts to his classes and this was his way of releasing his frustration. Or perhaps he has gotten a bit too closely involved with some of his students' recreational pursuits, aided by their favorite brand of weed ....
I doubt if he intended for the book to be taken seriously as other than a piece of recreational artistry.

MIT physics professor Alan Lightman could have written a purely science or philosophical first book with authority. Instead, he made his debut with this delightful series of short stories from the perspective of a dreaming young Einstein. Each vignette explores time, physics and existence. It's the perfect bedtime read. Recommended by Michele

Oct 07, 2014

Through the prism of Albert Einstein's fictionalized dreams the author tasks the reader to look at how we view time and how that affects our lives. A short book if you are interested in it.

JCLJoshN Mar 27, 2013

A delightful book of short daydreams that pose philosophical examinations of what life would be like if time worked differently than it does. Reminded me a lot of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges.

Jun 29, 2012

This book is a collection of short stories that describe fictional worlds, each with space-time relationships different from our own linear existence. It reads like a set of intellectual exercises that can help open minds to new possibilities. I often reread a couple of these stories when I can't sleep at night, and they always lull me into an active, dream-filled sleep where anything is possible. I highly recommend this book to anyone who strives to think "outside of the box".

May 07, 2012

I had to read this book for class, and although it really made me think about time, and the deeper meaning of things, I didn't like it. Every few pages is a new chapter, and also a new theme about time. I felt that there really wasn't much of a point/ plot to this book, and it wasn't a very satisfying read. If you are fascinated by deep subjects such as time, you may enjoy this book. Overall, I would not recommend it, though.

Dec 30, 2009

Author Alan Lightman is a physics professor at MIT, but you?d think he was a poet from reading the delightfully fable-like Einstein?s Dreams. Albert Einstein has dozed off at his desk in Berne, Switzerland, where he works as patent clerk in 1905. While he sleeps, the future greatest scientist of our time dreams about time. Time has been on his mind a lot lately, because in 1905 Einstein was putting the finishing touches on his theory of relativity, that whole E = MC2 thing. But in his daydreams, the nature of time is lyrical and magical as well as scientific. Each chapter in this little book presents one of Einstein?s visions of time. In one dreamy vignette, time is cyclical, forcing people to constantly relive all the tragic, triumphant, comic, and foolish moments of their lives. In another, time runs backwards; in others, time stands still, or is a sense, or a dimension, or people know the future, or they can stop time and stay in their favorite moments forever. Sometimes Einstein wakes up and goes home and eats dinner, but the young genius (and the reader) always returns to his desk to sit and doze and dream. Thought-provoking and pleasingly unusual, this elegant little tome is a captivating contemplation on the nature of science, fantasy, dreams, and time.


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May 07, 2012

KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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