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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