EINSTEIN AS
PHYSICS
STUDENT
61
Einigen
Vorlesungen
folgte
ich
mit
gespanntem
Interesse. Sonst aber 'schwänzte' ich
viel
und
studierte
zu
Hause die Meister der theoretischen
Physik
mit
heiligem
Eifer."[7]
In addition
to
pursuing
his theoretical
interests,
Einstein
spent
much of
his
time
at
the ETH "im
physikalischen
Laboratorium,
fasziniert durch die direkte
Beziehung
mit der
Erfahrung."[8]
Einstein
prepared
an
experimental Diplomarbeit
on
heat
con-
duction
under
Weber's
supervision
(see
Doc.
63).
After
graduation
he
planned
to
use
Weber's
laboratory
for research
on
thermoelectricity
(see
Doc.
74),
which
he
perhaps
wanted
to
incorporate
in
a
doctoral
dissertation,
with Weber
as
his advisor
(see
Docs.
82,
85).
The ETH did
not
grant
doctoral
degrees
until
1911,
but ETH
graduates
could obtain
a
doctorate from the
University
of Zurich without further examination
by
merely submitting
a
dissertation.[9]
Friction with Weber
(see
Docs.
93,
94, 100)
may
have been
responsible
for
a
change
in
Einstein's
plans.
In
April 1901
he
stated that the
subject
of
his
planned
dissertation
would
be
molecular forces
(see
Doc.
100),
and from
mid-September
to
mid-November
he wrote
a
doctoral dissertation
focusing
on
molecular
forces in
gases (see
Docs.
125,
129).
In
November,
Einstein submitted this dissertation
to Alfred
Kleiner,
professor
at
the
University
of
Zurich,
but
early
the
following year
he
apparently
withdrew
it
(see
Docs.
128, 132).
II
Einstein
kept
notes
on
Weber's
physics
lectures for almost
two semesters.
Although
he
later noted that
he
lacked the
"Ordnungsliebe,
um
das in den
Vorlesungen
Dargebotene
schriftlich aufzuzeichnen und dann
gewissenhaft auszuarbeiten,"[10]
comparison
with
his
more
fragmentary contemporary
mathematics
notes[11]
suggests
that
at
least
some
parts
of
the notes
on
Weber's
course were
reworked. Einstein
prob-
ably
used his notes
later
to
prepare
for the intermediate and
final
examinations for
the
Diplom;
Maric
certainly
did
use
them
(see
Docs.
53,
116).
Weber
devoted the
first semester
of
his
course
and the
beginning
of the second
to
thermodynamics, including
an
introduction
to
the mechanical
theory
of heat. The
remainder
of
the
course
covered
topics
in
electricity
and
magnetism.
Most of
the
sub-
jects
Weber discussed
were
treated
at
a
similar
level in
standard
physics
textbooks
[7] Einstein
1955,
p.
146.
See
also
Doc. 78.
[8] Einstein
1979,
p.
14.
[9] See
Promotionsordnung
1899, p. 2.
[10]
Einstein
1955,
p.
146.
Other
qualities
that he felt
he
lacked
as
a
student
were
"Leichtigkeit
der
Auffassung"
and
"Willigkeit,
[meine]
Kräfte auf
all
das
zu
konzentrieren,
was
einem
vorgetragen
wird."
[11] Thirteen
pages
of
text in
the second
notebook
on
Weber's
lectures
appear to be
rough notes
for
part
of Minkowski's
course on
"Funktionentheorie,"
which Einstein took
at
the
same
time
(see
Doc.
28).
These
notes
(pri-
marily
on
complex power
series) are
written
in
a
careless hand and
are
quite fragmentary
in
style
and
content;
they
are
omitted from
this
edition.
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