Einstein's Dreams | Study Guide

Alan Lightman

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Course Hero. "Einstein's Dreams Study Guide." Course Hero. 30 Mar. 2017. Web. 17 Jan. 2019. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Einsteins-Dreams/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, March 30). Einstein's Dreams Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved January 17, 2019, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Einsteins-Dreams/

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Course Hero. "Einstein's Dreams Study Guide." March 30, 2017. Accessed January 17, 2019. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Einsteins-Dreams/.


Course Hero, "Einstein's Dreams Study Guide," March 30, 2017, accessed January 17, 2019, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Einsteins-Dreams/.

Einstein's Dreams | 25 June 1905 | Summary



A man plays his violin in his room and gazes at the street below; he notices a couple and thinks about his own wife and son downstairs. Another man, identical to the first, does exactly the same, as do a third, fourth, fifth, and infinite other identical men. A passing hour is in fact many hours because time bounces back and forth among the men. This creates an infinite number of melodies and thoughts between them. The first man can feel the others; he can feel them repeating his melodies, thoughts, and motions. He begins to forget what he was thinking about; his thoughts become diluted and weak.


This dream world questions the nature of reality as it connects to people's perception of time. The narrator says time is "like the light between two mirrors," forever refracting and copying itself. This brings up the philosophical question of which copy is the original—even the first man begins to question which self is his true self. When time doesn't flow in a linear way it becomes diluted by itself, weakening its point of origin.

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