Wednesday, March 16, 2011

einstein's dreams

mike told me about alan lightman's novel einstein's dreams and picked up a copy for me to read.  it is a fictional account of einstein's dreams during the time that he was developing his theory of relativitity.  his dreams are centered around different concepts of time.  each chapter describes a theory of time; in one world people have no concept of future or past and are stuck in the present moment.  they cannot comprehend that there will be a future.  if someone is stuck in a time of misery or a period of joy they remain that way.  in another chapter people can slow down the aging process by living farther away from the centre of the earth and people migrate to the mountains.  one dream seperates people as "nows" and "laters" and in this world, people live forever.  the nows are highly productive (over-achievers) and the laters believe they do not need to accomplish anything until later (fairly self explanatory).  in another dream time does not exist at all.  for 30 consecutive nights (and 30 chapters in the novel) the young einstein appears to be tormented by these dreams.  he explains to his colleague and friend michele besso that he is convinced knowing about time will bring him closer to "the old one" (aka god).  i really enjoyed exploring theories through my imagination.  the chapters were short however, and it seemed that as soon as i wrapped my brain around one concept i was on to the next.  it was an interesting book that provided insight into einstein and his theories.  and it provided me with a lot of confusion in my brain, but in a good way.

1 comment:

Steph said...

I think I want to read this