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Skip to comments.Henri Poincaré: the unlikely link between Einstein and Picasso
Posted on 07/17/2012 10:26:28 AM PDT by Borges
Today, 17 July 2012, is the centenary of the death of the great French polymath Henri Poincaré, once described as the "last of the universalists". His achievements span mathematics (he set the basis for chaos theory), physics (his mathematical methods are still used in studying elementary particles), philosophy (his framework for exploring scientific theories is still controversial) and the psychology of creativity (he studied the workings of the unconscious).
Poincaré also acted as a surprising link between Einstein and Picasso, who were both inspired by his best-selling Science and Hypothesis, published in 1902.
Working as a patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, Einstein was at the core of a study group, his "think tank", one of whom described how Poincaré's book had "held them spellbound". In it Poincaré moves from an analysis of scientific theories to analysing perceptions to probing thought itself, transporting the reader in crystal-clear prose to the very frontiers of knowledge. As Einstein wrote years later: "Poincaré realised the truth [of the relation of everyday experience to scientific concepts] in his book."
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...