Albert Einstein

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Person.png Albert Einstein  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Born14 March 1879
Died18 April 1955 (Age 76)
Alma materETH Zurich, University of Zurich.
Theoretical physicist best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2

Albert Einstein was a German--Jewish theoretical physicist[1] who developed the Theory of Relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science.[2][3]

Einstein is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation".[4] He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.

Early life

The son of a salesman who later operated an electrochemical factory, Einstein was born in the German Empire but moved to Switzerland in 1895 and renounced his German citizenship in 1896. Specialising in physics and mathematics, he received his academic teaching diploma from the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School (ETH) in Zürich in 1900. The following year, he acquired Swiss citizenship, which he kept for his entire life. After initially struggling to find work, from 1902 to 1909 he was employed as a patent examiner at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern.

Scientific career

Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led him to develop his special theory of relativity during his time at the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905, called his annus mirabilis (miracle year), he published four groundbreaking papers, which attracted the attention of the academic world; the first outlined the theory of the photoelectric effect, the second paper explained Brownian motion, the third paper introduced Special Relativity, and the fourth mass-energy equivalence. That year, at the age of 26, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Zurich.

Although initially treated with scepticism from many in the scientific community, Einstein's works gradually came to be recognised as significant advancements. He was invited to teach theoretical physics at the University of Bern in 1908 and the following year moved to the University of Zurich, then in 1911 to Charles University in Prague before returning to the Federal Polytechnic School in Zürich in 1912. In 1914, he was elected to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin, where he remained for 19 years. Soon after publishing his work on Special Relativity, Einstein began working to extend the theory to gravitational fields; he then published a paper on General Relativity in 1916, introducing his theory of gravitation. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the Brownian motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light and the quantum theory of radiation, the basis of laser, which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, he applied the general Theory of Relativity to model the structure of the universe.[5][6]

United States

Albert Einstein teaching Physics at Lincoln University, 1946

In 1933, while Einstein was visiting the United States, Adolf Hitler came to power. Because of his Jewish background, Einstein did not return to Germany.[7] He settled in the United States and became an American citizen in 1940.[8] On the eve of World War II, he endorsed the Einstein–Szilárd letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting FDR to the potential development of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type" and recommending that the US begin similar research. This eventually led to the Manhattan Project. Einstein supported the Allies, but he generally denounced the idea of using nuclear fission as a weapon. He signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto with British philosopher Bertrand Russell, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. He was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.

Albert Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers and more than 150 non-scientific works. His non-scientific works include: "About Zionism: Speeches and Lectures by Professor Albert Einstein" (1930), "Why War?" (1933, co-authored by Sigmund Freud), "The World As I See It" (1934), "Out of My Later Years" (1950), and a book on science for the general reader, "The Evolution of Physics" (1938, co-authored by Leopold Infeld).


A Quote by Albert Einstein

Pacifism“My pacifism is an instinctive feeling, a feeling that possesses me because the murder of men is disgusting. My attitude is not derived from any intellectual theory but is based on my deepest antipathy to every kind of cruelty and hatred.”
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


Wikipedia.png This page imported content from Wikipedia on 1 April 2020.
Wikipedia is not affiliated with Wikispooks.   Original page source here