Prof. Einstein's Lectures at King's College, London, and the University of Manchester


    THE most noticeable circumstance in the lecture which Prof. Einstein delivered on June 13 at King's College on “The Development and Present Position of the Theory of Relativity” was the beauty and simplicity of his account of the theory. He made no attempt to enliven it by introducing any of the delightful illustrations which, however illuminating and attractive they may be to the popular mind, surround it with a halo of scientific romance. On the other hand, he found no occasion to have recourse to the blackboard, and he entirely omitted anything which required mathematical formulae for its expression. He seemed, too, with earnestness and obvious sincerity to disclaim for himself any originality, and he deprecated the idea that the new principle was revolutionary. It was, he told his audience, the direct outcome and, in a sense, the natural completion of the work of Faraday, Maxwell, and Lorentz. Moreover, there was nothing specially, certainly nothing intentionally, philosophical about it. The whole theory was experimental in its origin, and the satisfaction it brought was simply in the fact that it put us in possession of a method of scientific research which not only did not bring us into conflict with observed facts, but also positively accorded with them.

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    Prof. Einstein's Lectures at King's College, London, and the University of Manchester. Nature 107, 504 (1921).

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