Author: Walter E. Jacobson M.D.

ISBN: 9780615773810

If you love solving puzzles and enjoy reading about such brilliant twentieth-century minds as Albert Einstein, Carl Jung, and Wolfgang Pauli, you are in for a treat with Dr. Walter E. Jacobson's Einstein's Cosmic Journey: A Biographical fantasy of quantum proportions.

To briefly recap some history, Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who revolutionized physics with his general theory of relativity due in large part to his stubborn, independent and audacious spirit. He also introduced a concept known as the unified field theory (UFT) where he attempted to unify the general theory of relativity with electromagnetism. Another of his concepts was the cosmological constant which was to be a modification of his original theory of general relativity to achieve a static universe. Pauli, an Austrian theoretical physicist, was one of the pioneers of quantum physics. Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. He also believed that the unconscious existed and through dreams we are able to communicate with it as they are not attempts to hide our true feelings from the waking mind but rather they present us with a window to our unconscious.

Jacobson links the ideas and theories of these distinguished individuals into his yarn and moreover has Einstein interact with Pauli and Jung helping him come to terms with the choices he has made during his lifetime as well as solving a mathematical puzzle that has obsessed him for decades. In addition, Jacobson also has a seventy-six year old Einstein invent a dangerous machine that is able to fold time and space that brings him face to face with himself at the age of forty.

As the story unfolds, a frustrated and frail Einstein is discouraged at spending thirty-six years of his life at being unsuccessful in being able to take all the different parts of physics, which are very different and sometimes opposite, and making one theory that explains everything, which is known as the unified field theory (UFT) or as it is sometimes referred to as a uniform field theory. His belief was that the UFT would not only incorporate all the forces of nature into one unified law, but it would provide the basis for a new interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. As he informs his secretary: “I don't care what Quantum Mechanics says! I refuse to believe that reality is based on random, spontaneous chance events! There is order to the universe. There is precision! There is predictability. Based on nature, unalterable physical laws.” Was all of this a fruitless pipe dream?

On the other hand, as we are to discover, Einstein struggles with the thought that should he succeed, it would not take too long before Princeton's Chancellor would be on the phone with his Pentagon pals in Washington trying to figure out some way to turn his work into new weapons of destruction.

In passing, as Jacobson states in his Preface and something that should be kept in the back of our our minds, the book is an amalgam of fact and fantasy. Some events actually happened, while others are figments of the author's imagination. However, some of Einstein's spoken words are in fact his own.

This is a book that demonstrates Einstein's search for significance and meaning, which are often depicted as being confused yet at the same time brilliant, and are always painfully honest. Jacobson's objective, as he mentions in the Preface, is to provide his readers with a portrayal of a brilliant, ever-inquiring scientist who was a passionate truth seeker committed to the betterment of humanity. And he has succeeded admirably.

Furthermore, he has presented his readers with several challenging ideas, particularly Einstein's take on war, materialism, the evil spirit of man, the shortcomings as well as the dangers and risks of scientific discoveries, greed, and many others. No doubt, this book could make for an interesting discourse in a college philosophy course.

And although at times I did find some of the scientific commentaries way over my head, nonetheless, I was still able to get the main gist of the book which kept my mind and thoughts in perpetual motion throughout its reading.

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