[Einstein, Albert] Lorentz, Hendrik

The Einstein Theory of Relativity: A Concise Statement

  • First edition, first impression. A lovely copy of this popular work on Einstein's relativity by one of his scientific heroes, Hendrik Lorentz.

    From the 1870s onward Lorentz made fundamental contributions to the study of light, matter, and moving bodies, laying the path for Einstein's theories of relativity. "Einstein had long idolized Lorentz from afar. Just before he went to visit, he wrote a friend, 'I admire this man like no other; I might say, I love him.' The feeling was reinforced when they finally met. They stayed up late on Saturday night discussing such issues as the relationship between temperature and electrical conductivity... Lorentz became, in the words of Abraham Pais, 'the one father figure in Einstein's life'". When Lorentz died in 1928 Einstein called him "the greatest and noblest man of our times" and later wrote that "He meant more to me personally than anybody else I have met in my lifetime" (Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe, p. 165).

    Lorentz was an active correspondent as Einstein developed his theories, and it was he who announced to Einstein and then to the Dutch Royal Academy the results of the 1919 eclipse observations that confirmed Einstein's predictions. This success vaulted Einstein into world-wide stardom overnight, and created a huge demand for books explaining the new theories. Though many physicists, including Einstein himself, wrote books on relativity for the general public, this one by his close friend and scientific confidant must be ranked among the most significant.

  • New York: Brentano's, 1920. Octavo. Original green boards, cream cloth backstrip, titles to upper board in black. Bookplate. Minor bumps to lower corner, mild rubbing at the ends of the spine, a few faint scuffs and scratches to the boards. An excellent copy.

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