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Einstein's Big Idea homepage

About Einstein

Books

Albert Einstein
by Ibi Lepscky. Barron's Educational Series, 1992.
Looks at Albert, the playful child with an active imagination. Available in Spanish as Albert. (YC)

Albert Einstein: A Life of Genius
by Elizabeth MacLeod. Kids Can Press, 2003.
Uses photographs, cartoons, and quotations to tell Einstein's story. (C)

Albert Einstein: Genius Behind the Theory of Relativity
by Fiona Macdonald. Blackbirch Press, 2000.
Discusses Einstein's personal, professional, and political lives. (YA)

Einstein: His Life and Times
by Philipp Frank. Da Capo Press, 1947.
Paints an intimate portrait of Einstein and was reportedly his own favorite biography of himself. (A)

Genius: A Photobiography of Albert Einstein
by Marfé Ferguson Delano. National Geographic, 2005.
Simplifies Einstein's theories and illustrates his life and times with historical photographs and artifacts. (YA)

The New Quotable Einstein
by Alice Calaprice, ed. Princeton University Press, 2005.
Presents a comprehensive selection of Einstein's commentary on a variety of topics. (A)

Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein
by Don Brown.
Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
Focuses on Einstein's unique brilliance and misunderstood childhood in picture-book biography format. (C)


Web Sites

American Museum of Natural History Einstein Exhibit
www.amnh.org/exhibitions/einstein
Features a comprehensive overview of Einstein's life, work, philosophy, and legacy. (YA) (A)

Einstein Archives Online
www.alberteinstein.info
Serves as a digitized archive of Einstein's personal, professional, and biographical documents, including many of his handwritten papers. (A)

Jewish-American Hall of Fame Einstein Exhibit
www.amuseum.org/jahf/virtour/page20.html#alberteinstein
Features a collection of medals and coins from around the world with Einstein's image and an interactive quiz to test your knowledge of the scientist. (A)

NOVA—Einstein's Big Idea
www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein
Includes a time line of significant events in Einstein's life, interactive simulations of the speed of light and the effect of motion on time, and essays on Einstein's extraordinary contributions. (YA) (A)

Way to Go, Einstein!
www.ology.amnh.org/einstein
Offers interactive explorations of Einstein's scientific ideas along with simple, hands-on activities. (C)


Video

NOVA—Einstein Revealed
WGBH Boston Video, 1996.
Gives a biographical portrait of Einstein based on his letters and explains the fundamentals of his key discoveries. (YA) (A)

NOVA—Einstein's Big Idea
WGBH Boston Video, 2005.
Dramatizes the stories of the men and women whose innovative thinking across four centuries led to Einstein's bold breakthrough.

E = mc2: Scientists Connected to the Equation

Books

E = mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation
by David Bodanis. Berkley Books, 2000. 
Explores the innovative thinkers behind each piece of the equation, its synthesis by Einstein, and its impact on society. (A)

"Emilie du Châtelet: Genius, Gender and Intellectual Authority"
by Judith P. Zinsser in Women Writers and the Early Modern British Political Tradition by Hilda L. Smith, ed. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Details the challenges that du Châtelet faced in an intellectual environment that excluded the participation of women. (A)

A Life of Discovery: Michael Faraday, Giant of the Scientific Revolution
by James Hamilton. Random House, 2002.
Tells the story of the bookbinder who laid the groundwork for the modern scientific concept of energy. (A)

Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics
by Ruth Lewin Sime. University of California Press, 1996.
Investigates Meitner's life and work, including her discovery of nuclear fission. (A)

Lise Meitner: Discoverer of Nuclear Fission
by Rachel Stiffler Barron. Morgan Reynolds Publishing, 2000.
Describes the life and career of Lise Meitner. (C)

The Man Who Changed Everything: The Life of James Clerk Maxwell
by Basil Mahon. John Wiley & Sons, 2003.
Relates the story of the Scotsman whose brilliant mathematics helped to define the nature of light. (A)

Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries, 2nd ed.
by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne. Birch Lane Press, 1998.
Profiles 15 women who have won or contributed significantly to a Nobel Prize in Science. (YA) (A)

Two-Fisted Science: Stories about Scientists
by Jim Ottaviani. G.T. Labs: 2001.
Depicts, in graphic-novel format, episodes involving Einstein, Feynman, Oppenheimer, Bohr, and others. (YA)


Web Sites

American Institute of Physics History Exhibits
www.aip.org/history/exhibits.html
Offers online exhibits of Einstein, Curie, Heisenberg, and Lawrence, and includes an audio tour of the discovery of fission. (YA) (A)

NOVA—Einstein's Big Idea
www.pbs.org/nova/einstein
Examines the scientists before Einstein who helped pave the way to our modern understanding of energy, mass, and the speed of light ("Ancestors of E = mc2"). (YA) (A)


Video

NOVAEinstein's Big Idea
WGBH Boston Video, 2005.
Dramatizes the stories of the men and women whose innovative thinking across four centuries led to Einstein's bold breakthrough. (YA) (A)

The Legacy of E = mc2:
New Discoveries and Understandings

Books

Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity
by Robert Cwiklik. Barron's Educational Series, 1987.
Explains how Einstein's novel ideas changed the way we think about matter, time, space, gravity, and light. (YA)

E = mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation
by David Bodanis. Berkley Books, 2000.
Explores the innovative thinkers behind each piece of the equation, its synthesis by Einstein, and its impact on society. (A)

Einstein 1905: The Standard of Greatness
by John S. Rigden. Harvard University Press, 2005.
Focuses on the impact of Einstein's work during 1905—the "miraculous year" in which he published E = mc2 and four other universe-changing papers. (A)

Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time
by Michio Kaku. W. W. Norton, 2004.
Presents Einstein's complex theories as simple visual images, like speeding trains, falling elevators, and moving clocks. (A)


Web Sites

Nobel Prize Web Site
www.nobelprize.org/physics/educational/energy
Gives an illustrated, step-by-step walkthrough of the meaning and implications of E = mc2. (YA) (A)

NOVA—Einstein's Big Idea
www.pbs.org/nova/einstein
Presents the myriad inventions and discoveries that owe their existence to E = mc2 ("The Legacy of E = mc2") and tells how E = mc2 figures into the cutting-edge research of three young physicists ("The Equation Today"). (YA) (A)

TIME Person of the Century
www.time.com/time/time100/poc/magazine/albert_einstein5a.html
Summarizes Einstein's singular impact on science and history. (A)

The Legacy of E = mc2:
The Manhattan Project

Books

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.
Presents the story of Oppenheimer's life and work—before, during, and after the Manhattan Project. (A)

Fallout
by Jim Ottaviani, et al. G.T. Labs, 2001.
Explores, in graphic-novel format, the Manhattan Project and the personalities of some of the key scientists involved. (YA) (A)

Manhattan Project: America Makes the First Atomic Bomb
by Don E. Beyer. Franklin Watts, 1991.
Gives an overview of life at Los Alamos, and shows how these events still affect international relations today. (YA)

Now It Can Be Told: The Story of the Manhattan Project
by General Leslie R. Groves. Da Capo Press, 1962.
Tells of the political, logistical, and personal problems of the project's leader during the race to build the bomb. (A)


Web Sites

Atomic Museum, New Mexico
www.atomicmuseum.com/tour/manhattanproject.cfm
Presents information and photos concerning the Manhattan Project and other topics related to nuclear science. (YA) (A)

Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association www.childrenofthemanhattanproject.org
Offers detailed history, and first-person accounts, related to the Manhattan Project. (YA) (A)


Videos

The American Experience—Race for the Superbomb
WGBH Boston Video, 1999.
Traces the creation of the atomic bomb and the birth of the nuclear arms race. (YA) (A)

The Day after Trinity
Image Entertainment, 1980.
Documents the Manhattan Project and the subsequent nuclear arms race, compiled from Oppenheimer and other participants' own commentaries. (YA) (A)


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Einstein's Big Idea
Library Resource Kit







The following icons indicate recommended audience for resources:

YC = Young Children
C = Children
YA = Young Adult
A = Adult

















































Inspire Your Inner Scientist

Books

How to Think Like Einstein: Simple Ways to Break the Rules and Discover Your Hidden Genius
by Scott Thorpe. Sourcebooks, 2000.
Describes strategies and techniques to improve creative thinking and problem-solving. (A)

Turn It Loose: The Scientist in Absolutely Everybody
by Diane Swanson. Annick Press, 2004.
Encourages a child's inner scientist by showing that the scientific thought process is used everywhere—not just in science. (C)

Ultimate Girls' Guide to Science: From Backyard Experiments to Winning the Nobel Prize!
by Beth Caldwell Hoyt and Erica Ritter. Beyond Words Publishing, 2003.
Highlights various scientific fields and careers with "what would you do" self-quizzes, experiment ideas, and narrative. (YA)

What Is a Scientist?
by Barbara Lehn. The Millbrook Press, 1998.
Shows how children's natural curiosity is a form of scientific inquiry. (YC)


Web Site

World Year of Physics 2005—Einstein@Home
www.physics2005.org/
events/einsteinathome/index.html

Offers the opportunity, by running a screensaver on your home computer, to help scientists study waves in space. (YA) (A)



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