Some comments on "Inviting Women to Physics and Engineering", by M. C.
Sequeira and J. D. Baptista.   

Page 10: I shall slip quickly past the comment about Einstein and Mileva
discussing "in great detail the work of Lenard, Hertz, Drude, Boltmann,
Kirchhoff and Planck", as this evidently originates from Bjerknes, a
paragraph from which the authors quote. Bjerknes is clearly an eccentric
whose claims about the Einstein/Maric controversy don't bear examination.
(See my earlier posting).

p. 11. The claims by the Serbian scholar Dard Krstic cited here can
similarly be disregarded, despite the authors' referring to his
"insights". Apparently he credits Mileva "with having formulated the
Special Theory of Relativity as well as other ideas now commonly
attributed to Einstein." Now I know Mileva was a Serb, but this is
nationalist fervour taken to extremes. Presumably basing themselves on
Krstic, the authors write: "Einstein tells his friends that his wife did
his math for him." (Evidently they don't appreciate Einstein's little
jokes.) They continue: When one realises the highly mathematical aspects
of the 1905 Special Relativity paper, which relies heavily on derivations
of the Lorentz transformations, then one can see the importance of having
a first-rate mathematician's help."

I don't know whether to laugh or cry over that last wonderful sentence.
Doesn't it sound impressive – "derivations of the Lorentz
transformations"? I have in front of me Einstein's own book *Relativity:
The Special and General Theory*, first published in 1920. It confirms, as
I've already reported from my own experience of studying relativity theory
at university, that there is nothing in Special Relativity as derived by
Einstein that goes beyond high school algebra, and that includes the
Lorentz transformations. As for the mathematically talented Einstein
requiring "first rate mathematician's help" from the mediocre
mathematician Mileva, we really are back in fantasy land. There follows
the by-now inevitable (and manifestly false) assertion that Joffe is
quoted "as having seen the original 1905 manuscript", and the supposed
significance of Einstein's promising the Nobel Prize money to Mileva.

Give me a break. There follows some misleading stuff on Einstein's and
Mileva's respective exam results, but I really can't be bothered any more
with such 'scholarship'.  (The authors of the paper are at the Institute
of Education, University of Minho, Portugal.)

Allen Esterson

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