Top positive review
“Einstein believed that Faraday stood shoulder to shoulder with Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton.’’
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 25, 2018
“Albert Einstein was a devoted admirer of Faraday. While still in Berlin, this famous man who developed the theory of relativity kept a large portrait of Faraday in his study. Later, having escaped the Nazis, Einstein again displayed a large portrait of Faraday—this time in his Princeton study. Einstein believed that Faraday stood shoulder to shoulder with Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton.’’
Why did Einstein admire Faraday? Well, Faraday’s experiments, and his dramatic new theory of matter (all matter is fields) was the source of Einstein’s life’s work. No wonder!
Ludwig covers Faraday’s Religion is same detail. For example . . .
“Michael was not interested in the war. But sometimes he had to read the stories to illiterate customers. About the only ones who didn’t discuss the war were the Quakers and Anabaptists.
“If your paper doesn’t stop printing so many things about the war, we’re going to stop taking it,” threatened an Anabaptist.
“Why do you say that?” inquired Michael, noticing the man’s unusually plain garments.
“Because we’re against all violence.”
This clearly describes Faraday’s interest in politics. None! The mind of God, however, is a different thing!
“What makes it do that?”
“I really don’t know,” replied Michael, speaking around a mouthful of egg.
“But someday I will find out!”
“And if you find out, what good will it do?” asked Riebau, his practicality surfacing. Michael waited until he had swallowed his food before answering.
“Oh, it will do a lot of good; for it will reveal one of the hidden laws of God.”
This drive to understand nature, came from his commitment to comprehend the mind of God.
This sounds odd, even weird to the modern ear. Can this really make that much difference? In considering that question, I recall that the scientific revolution, technology, only appeared in Christian Europe. Not China, not India, not Africa, etc., etc.. Are European’s just smarter? I don’t think so. The belief in a rational, lawful universe was essential for scientific effort.
Another requirement is the courage to reject old ideas and be rejected by old scientists. Faraday’s training as a ‘dissenter’ (rejecting the Anglican Church) was the perfect foundation for rejecting Newton’s Physics.
“Curious about the Royal Society, Faraday checked out a volume on its history from the R.I. library and took it to his attic apartment. The more he studied the musty book the more impressed he became. Speaking to Sarah across the supper table, he said,
“The R.S. is really old. It was founded in 1662 during the reign of Charles II. Those founders must have had a lot of courage, for their motto was Nullius in Verba—Don’t take anyone’s word for it.”
“That’s a good motto,” interrupted Sarah.
“Why would it take courage to use it?”
“Because anyone who disagreed with Aristotle in those days was accused of heresy and might be burned at the stake.”
Michael was silent as he buttered his bread and attacked his soup.’’
Many don’t realize that rejecting Aristotle’s doctrines was key problem. It wasn’t Bible texts that prevented science, in fact the Bible readers (among others) created science!
“L. Pearce Williams commented:
“His true humility lay in a profound consciousness of his debt to his Creator. That Michael Faraday, poor, uneducated son of a journeyman blacksmith and a country maid was permitted to glimpse the beauty of the eternal laws of nature was a never-ending source of wonder to him.’’
Every biography explains Faraday this same way. Humility before God and yet, courageously overturned the great Sir Issac Newton!
Although famous as experimentalist, Faraday also propounded a new theory of matter.
“For a long time he had believed “that the various forms under which the forces of matter are made manifest have one common origin. This strong persuasion,” he added, “extends to the powers of light.”
Of course this was not explained until the additional work of Maxwell and Einstein.
Other biographies comment that Faraday was hurt that this insight was rejected, even ridiculed. What a mistake! He now vindicated.
This work written more as a novel than dry pedantic textbook. Even youths can enjoy this presentation. Does not focus on science but on the man and his personality.
Enjoyable, touching, vivid