Subtle is the Lord

The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein

by Abraham Pais

Subtle is the Lord is widely recognized as the definitive scientific biography of Albert Einstein. The late Abraham Pais was a distinguished physicist turned historian who knew Einstein both professionally and personally in the last years of his life. His biography combines a profound understanding of Einstein's work with personal recollections from their years of acquaintance, illuminating the man through the development of his scientific thought.Pais examines the formulation of Einstein's theories of relativity, his work on Brownian motion, and his response to quantum theory with authority and precision. The profound transformation Einstein's ideas effected on the physics of the turn of the century is here laid out for the serious reader. Pais also fills many gaps in what we know of Einstein's life - his interest in philosophy, his concern with Jewish destiny, and his opinions of great figures from Newton to Freud. This remarkablevolume, written by a physicist who mingled in Einstein's scientific circle, forms a timeless and classic biography of the towering figure of twentieth-century science.

  • OUP Oxford; October 1982
  • ISBN: 9780191524028
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Subtle is the Lord
  • Author: Abraham Pais
  • Imprint: OUP Oxford

In The Press

"A Masterpiece... the single most comprehensive study of Einstein's scientific work."

About The Author

Abraham Pais (1918-2000) was an award-winning physicist and biographer. Gaining his PhD from Utrecht, he went on to work closely with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen before joining the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and leading the Theoretical Physics Group at Rockefeller University. His work brought him into close professional, and personal, contact with the 20th century's leading physicists - Dirac, Pauli, Gell-Man, and Einstein. He retired in 1978 to writewidely respected scientific biographies, and was awarded the Oppenheimer Prize in 1979.