Who Got Einstein's Office?: Eccentricity and Genius at the Institute for Advanced Study

Edward Regis, Jr., Author
Edward Regis, Jr., Author Addison Wesley Publishing Company $17.9 (316p) ISBN 978-0-201-12065-3
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
Regis, who teaches philosophy at Howard University, presents an absorbing, often amusing and scientifically demanding biography of the famed ""home'' for the world's foremost theoretical scientists located at the edge of the Princeton University campus in New Jersey. In 1933, when the institute opened, Einstein took up residenceand his celebrated presence was soon amplified by the arrival of other legendary scientists of this century. Keyed perhaps by the sockless, rumpled figure of the endearingly human Einstein, Regis enriches his history of the ``Platonic Heaven'' for pure scientists by profiling the institute's denizens (14 Nobel laureates, among them) in terms of their foibles as well as science. The great logician Kurt Godel, for instance, was a paranoid recluse who ended 36 years at the institute by starving himself to death. Here are unique portraits of scientists ranging from Wolfgang Paul, P.A.M. Dirac, J. Robert Oppenheimer and ``Johnny'' von Neumann to Ed Witten, who recently shook up cosmology with his ``superstring'' concept of the universe. This is a bravo biography of a fabulous home, sanctuary and study-hall for geniuses working at the extremes of thought. Illustrations.(September 15)
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