爱因斯坦


Ask people what Einstein did and they’ll say “Relativity.” (Ask them what relativity is and you’ll get an awkward silence. All most people understand about it is that you’re supposed to know it’s important.)

问人们爱因斯坦做过什么他们会说是“相对论”(再问他们什么是相对论你会得到尴尬的沉默,你应该知道它很重要大多数人都能明白)


As Walter Isaacson said in his wonderful biography, Einstein “devised a revolutionary quantum theory of light, helped prove the existence of atoms, explained Brownian motion, upended the concept of space and time, and produced what would become science’s best known equation.”

沃尔特·艾萨克森在他精彩的传记里说道,爱因斯坦创立了一种革命性的量子光学理论,帮助证明了原子的存在,解释了布朗运动,颠覆了时间和空间的概念,并产生量科学中最著名的公式。


His work was so impactful that everyone knew he would one day win a Nobel Prize—but he had achieved so much that people weren’t sure for which breathtaking accomplishment he would get it.

每个人都知道他的成果如此有冲击力总有一天会得到诺贝尔浆,但他已经取得了那么多人们还没有证实的惊人成就。


When he finally did win the prize in 1921, ironically, he didn’t get it for relativity theory.

讽刺的是在1921年当他得到大奖的时候,他还没有提出相对论。


And the bulk of the work he was celebrated for he accomplished in one year, 1905, when he was twenty-six years old. (Not bad for a guy who was rejected for military service because he had sweaty feet.)

他大部分著名的成果是在1905年,他26岁那一年完成的。 (对于一个因为汗脚而被拒绝兵役的家伙来说这并不算坏事。)


Unlike Newton, Einstein was charming, committed to social justice, and had a family and children.

与牛顿不同,爱迪生很有魅力,致力于社会公正,并且他有家庭和孩子。


But similar to his reclusive predecessor, he lived in a world of ideas, in his own head.

但与他隐居的前任一样,他生活在他头脑中的思想世界里。


Obviously, he was a genius, but his real superpower was the incredible time and focus he put into his work. Though surrounded by fame, friends, and family, he still lived a life that was often cerebrally detached, the better to explore his ideas.

显然,他是一个天才,但他真正的超能力是他投入工作中的惊人时间和精力。虽然周围是名声、朋友、家庭,但他生活中仍然让他的大脑去探索他的想法。


This obviously paid off in terms of career success. It was a Faustian bargain, though. Einstein did not pay the price. His family did.

这显然在事业成功方面得到了回报。虽然这是一个浮士德式的交易,爱因斯坦没有买单,他的家人做买了。


Isaacson said, “One of his strengths as a thinker, if not as a parent, was that he had the ability, and the inclination, to tune out all distractions, a category that to him sometimes included his children and family.”

艾萨克森说:“作为一个思想家,如果不是作为一个父亲,他有一个优点,那就是他有才能和兴趣,不理会所有分心的事,对他来说这一类有时包括他的孩子和家庭。”


When they demanded his attention, he doubled down on his work. This strained his family to the breaking point. Einstein said, “I treat my wife as an employee whom I cannot fire.”

当他们要求他注意时,他加倍努力工作。这使得他的家庭陷入崩溃的边缘。爱因斯坦说:“我把我的妻子当作一个我不能解雇的员工。”


And this was not merely a barb thrown out in the heat of anger. When his marriage began to break down he presented his wife with a contract that detailed what he expected of her if the relationship was to continue.

这不仅仅是在愤怒的气氛中被抛出的倒刺。当他的婚姻开始破裂时,他给了妻子一份合同,详细说明了如果这段感情继续下去的条件。


CONDITIONS:

You will make sure

that my clothes and laundry are kept in good order;

that I will receive my three meals regularly in my room;

that my bedroom and study are kept neat, and especially that my desk is left for my use only.

You will renounce all personal relations with me insofar as they are not completely necessary for social reasons. Specifically, you will forego my sitting at home with you;

my going out or traveling with you.

You will obey the following points in your relations with me:

you will not expect any intimacy from me, nor will you reproach me in any way;

you will stop talking to me if I request it;

you will leave my bedroom or study immediately without protest if I request it.

You will undertake not to belittle me in front of our children, either through words or behavior. 


条件:

你要保证

我的衣服和衣物都保管得很好;

我会定期在房间里吃三顿饭;

我的卧室和书房都保持整洁,尤其是我的桌子只剩下我用了。

你将放弃所有与我的个人关系,因为它们并非完全出于社会原因。具体地说,我不会会和你坐在一起;

不会和你外出旅行。

在你和我的关系中,你要遵守以下几点:

你不会指望我有任何亲密关系,你也不会以任何方式责备我;

如果我请求的话,你就别跟我说话了;

如果我要求,你立刻离开我的卧室或书房。

你将承诺不在我们的孩子面前贬低我,无论是通过言语还是行为。


She reluctantly agreed, but unsurprisingly the marriage still fell apart due to his distance and the affairs he carried on with younger women, who did not make emotional demands of him.

她勉强同意了,但不意外的是,由于与他的距离和他与年轻女性的关系这段婚姻仍然破裂,谁又没有对他感情上的诉求呢。


While he was an attentive father when his boys were young, as the years passed Einstein would spend more and more time in his head. After his divorce, he saw his children rarely, focusing more on his work.

当他的孩子们还年轻的时候,他是一个细心的父亲,随着岁月的流逝,爱因斯坦将花费越来越多的时间在他的头脑里。离婚后,他很少见到自己的孩子,更专注于自己的工作。


His son Eduard struggled with mental illness and attempted suicide, eventually dying in a psychiatric hospital. Einstein had not visited him for more than three decades. His other son, Hans Albert, is quoted as saying, “Probably the only project he ever gave up on was me.”

他的儿子Eduard与精神疾病抗争并自杀未遂,最终死在精神病院。爱因斯坦三多年来都没有看过他。他的另一个儿子,Hans Albert,被引述说,“也许他唯一放弃的项目就是我。”


1. Source: Isaacson, Walter. "Einstein." New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007.

1、资料来源:沃尔特·艾萨克森。《爱因斯坦传》:“纽约:西蒙和舒斯特,2007。


(注:沃尔特·艾萨克森 (Walter Isaacson),历任美国有线电视新闻网(CNN)董事长和《时代周刊》总编,他的作品包括畅销书《爱因斯坦传》,《本杰明·富兰克林传》以及《基辛格传》)