Regular price: $9.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $9.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

These 12 half-hour lectures are about what Einstein got wrong. He may have kindled a scientific revolution with his famous theory of relativity and his proof that atoms and light quanta exist, but he balked at accepting the most startling implications of these theories - such as the existence of black holes, the big bang, gravity waves, and mind-bendingly strange phenomena in the quantum realm. In a course that assumes no background in science and uses very little math, research physicist Dan Hooper of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Chicago focuses on Einstein's personal qualities that made him a heavy hitter with relativity but also a strikeout king in many of his other ideas.
You start with two lectures on Einstein's special and general theories of relativity, and in a later lecture you cover his founding role in quantum theory. All are titanic achievements. The balance of the course deals with his false starts, blind alleys, and outright blunders, which are fascinating for what they reveal about the give-and-take conduct of science. For example, the possibility of black holes, which are infinitely dense concentrations of matter, emerged from the equations of general relativity. However, the idea seemed so absurd to Einstein that he believed something in nature must prevent black holes from forming. He was wrong. Similar considerations led him to doubt the existence of gravity waves, insist that the universe must be static and eternal, and hold out for a deterministic theory that would solve the weird paradoxes of quantum mechanics. Again, he was wrong. Dr. Hooper closes with a lecture on the missteps of other great physicists - Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Isaac Newton - proving that Einstein is in good company. Even geniuses struggle to find the truth.
©2017 The Great Courses; 2017 The Teaching Company, LLC
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Timothy D. Sowell on 12-22-17

About More Than Just His Mistakes

While these lectures do indeed concern some mistakes Einstein made, there is a lot of background material on his work that is very interesting. Professor Hooper is a very engaging speaker and obviously well versed in the subject matter. If you have any interest in The General Theory of Relativity, Einstein's life and work, or the history of Physics in general, I think you will enjoy this work very much. I know I did!

Read More Hide me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc