Posted on 07/17/2013

Photo taken on November  1, 2011

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Einstein - His Life & Universe
Waler Issacson

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Einstein & Bohr

Einstein & Bohr

On his journey home from delivering his acceptance speech in Sweden the following summer, Einstein stopped in Copenhagen to see Bohr, who met him at the train station to take him home by streetcar. On the ride, they got into a debate. “We took the streetcar and talked so animatedly that we went much too far.” Neither seemed to mind, for the conversation was so engrossing. “We rode to and fro,” according to Bohr, “and I can well imagine what the people thought about us.”

More than just friendship, their relationship became in intellectual entanglement that began with divergent views about quantum mechanics then expanded into related issues of science, knowledge, and philosophy. “In all the history of human thought, there is no greater dialogue than that which took place over the years between greater dialogue than that which took place over the years between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein about the meaning of the quantum,” says the physicist John Wheeler, who studied under Bohr. The social philosopher C.P. Snow went further. “No more profound intellectual debate has ever been conducted,” he proclaimed.

Their dispute went to the fundamental heart of the design of the cosmos: Was there an objective reality that existed whether or not we could ever observe it? Were there laws that restored strict causality to phenomena that seemed inherently random? Was everything in the universe predetermined?

For the rest of their lives, Bohr would sputter and fret at his repeated failures to convert Einstein to quantum mechanics. ‘Einstein, Einstein, Einstein,’ he would mutter after such infuriating encounter. But it was a discussion that was conducted with deep affection and even great humor. On one of the many occasions when Einstein declared that God would not play dice, it was Bohr who countered with the famous rejoinder: Einstein, stop telling God what to do! ~ Pages 325 & 326 {Einstein - His Life & Universe by Walter Issacson}