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Academic Books

Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity: Emergence (1905) and Early Interpretation (1905-1911)

Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity by Arthur I.MillerIn this book I analyse one of the three great papers Einstein published in 1905, each of which would alter forever the field it dealt with. The third, “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies,” had an impact in a much broader field than electrodynamics: it established what Einstein liked to refer to as the “so-called Theory of Relativity.” The paper provides a window into the intense intellectual struggles of physicists in the first decade of the twentieth century: the interplay between physical theory and empirical data, the fiercely held notions that could not be articulated clearly or verified experimentally, the great intellectual investment in already existing theories, data, and interpretations – and the associated intellectual inertia – and the drive toward the long-sought-for unification of the sciences.

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‘Miller has written a superb, perhaps definitive, historical study of Einstein’s special theory of relativity….One comes away from the book with a respect for both the genius of the man and his nerve: he simply brushed aside much of the work that was going on around him.’ The New Yorker.

‘Dr. Miller presents the story in full scholarly regalia, with mathematical equations and lengthy (and often fascinating) footnotes. Yet the rigorous format cannot disguise the fact that the has written an artful, illuminating, and invigorating study of the thinking of the greatest mind of our time.’ The New York Times.

Imagery in Scientific Thought: Creating 20th-Century PhysicsImagery in Scientific Thought: Creating 20th-Century Physics

One of the great mysteries of the human mind is its power to create new forms of knowledge.

My own approach to the issue of how this occurs has been strongly influenced by developments in cognitive science.

In this book I explore how the fields of history of science and cognitive science might be fruitfully linked to yield new insights into the creative process.

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‘Miller moves us a long step towards a necessary synthesis of disciplines in trying to understand the interplay of intuition and imagination on one side with conceptual and logical thinking on the other.’ Howard E. Gruber, University of Geneva.

‘This fascinating excursion through the history of twentieth-century physics puts cognitive psychology in a new, broader perspective.’ Stephen M. Kosslyn, Harvard University.

‘Not since John Livingston Lowe’s famous Road to Xanadu has a book appeared richer than this new one of Arthur Miller’s in its allusion to the sources of creativity – this time in the realms of physics and mathematics.’ John A. Wheeler, University of Texas, Austin.

Early Quantum Electrodynamics: A Source BookEarly Quantum Electrodynamics: A Source Book

A panoramic view covering the years 1927 to 1938 of the development of a theory that has been on the sharp-edge of theoretical physics ever since it was developed – quantum electrodynamics. It is regarded as the epitome of what a theory should be that can probe the worlds of elementary particles and the cosmos.

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‘Professor Miller has produced yet another remarkable book in the history of modern physics.’ Centaurus.

‘This book offers a valuable and previously unavailable entrée into the history of an important and difficult part of theoretical physics.’ Isis.

Sixty-Two Years of Uncertainty by Arthur I. Miller Sixty-Two Years of Uncertainty: Historical, Philosophical and Physical Inquiries into the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics


The proceedings of one of the most important conferences in the history of modern physics.

I organised the conference and am the editor of the book. A feast of ideas.

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Frontiers of Physics: 1900-1911

Frontiers of Physics by Arthur I. MillerIn 1905 physicists were after bigger game than a theory of space and time. Much as today, the frontier of physics was the quest for a unified theory of the then known forces: electromagnetism and gravitation. There were rich traditions in physics, electrical engineering, and mathematics on which the physicists of 1905 based their beliefs and conceptions. But one physicist thought otherwise. Albert Einstein, working out of the academic mainstream as a patent clerk, thought audaciously that the great scientists were “theorising out of their depth.” He replied with his Theory of Relativity. I explore the background of Einstein’s achievement in 1905 to make it clear why it was so dazzling that if it was lauded, at all, it was mostly for the wrong reasons. After all, did he not remain in the patent office for four more years?

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