Albert Einstein was a German-born, Swiss-educated theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics, and one of the most prolific intellects in human history. 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”. The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory within physics.
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 to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe as a whole.
He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, and did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He settled in the U.S., becoming a citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he helped alert President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Germany might be developing an atomic weapon, and recommended that the U.S. begin similar research; this eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein was in support of defending the Allied forces, but largely denounced using the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon. Later, together with Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. Einstein taught physics at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.
Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His great intelligence and originality have made the word “Einstein” synonymous with genius
Throughout his life, Einstein published hundreds of books and articles. In addition to the work he did by himself he also collaborated with other scientists on additional projects including the Bose–Einstein statistics, the Einstein refrigerator and others.
The Annus Mirabilis papers are four articles pertaining to the photoelectric effect (which gave rise to quantum theory), Brownian motion, the special theory of relativity, and E = mc2 that Albert Einstein published in the Annalen der Physik scientific journal in 1905.
Thermodynamic fluctuations and statistical physics
Albert Einstein’s first paper submitted in 1900 to Annalen der Physik was on capillary attraction. It was published in 1901 titled Folgerungen aus den Capillaritätserscheinungen, which was translated as “Conclusions from the capillarity phenomena”. Two papers he published in 1902–1903 (thermodynamics) attempted to interpret atomic phenomena from a statistical point of view. These papers were the foundation for the 1905 paper on Brownian motion. These published calculations (1905) showed that Brownian movement can be construed as firm evidence that molecules exist. His research in 1903 and 1904 was mainly concerned with the effect of finite atomic size on diffusion phenomena.
General principles postulated by Einstein
He articulated the principle of relativity. This was understood by Hermann Minkowski to be a generalization of rotational invariance from space to space-time. Other principles postulated by Einstein and later vindicated are the principle of equivalence and the principle of adiabatic invariance of the quantum number.
Theory of relativity and E = mc2
Einstein’s “Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper” (“On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”) was received on 30 June 1905 and published 26 September of that same year. It reconciles Maxwell’s equations for electricity and magnetism with the laws of mechanics, by introducing major changes to mechanics close to the speed of light. This later became known as Einstein’s special theory of relativity.
Consequences of this include the time-space frame of a moving body slowing down and contracting (in the direction of motion) relative to the frame of the observer. This paper also argued that the idea of a luminiferous aether – one of the leading theoretical entities in physics at the time – was superfluous.
In his paper on mass–energy equivalence Einstein produced E = mc2 from his special relativity equations. Einstein’s 1905 work on relativity remained controversial for many years, but was accepted by leading physicists, starting with Max Planck.
Photons and energy quanta
Main articles: Photon and Quanta
In a 1905 paper, Einstein postulated that light itself consists of localized particles (quanta). Einstein’s light quanta were nearly universally rejected by all physicists, including Max Planck and Niels Bohr. This idea only became universally accepted in 1919, with Robert Millikan’s detailed experiments on the photoelectric effect, and with the measurement of Compton scattering.
Einstein concluded that each wave of frequency f is associated with a collection of photons with energy hf each, where h is Planck’s constant. He does not say much more, because he is not sure how the particles are related to the wave. But he does suggest that this idea would explain certain experimental results, notably the photoelectric effect.
Quantized atomic vibrations
Main article: Einstein solid
In 1907 Einstein proposed a model of matter where each atom in a lattice structure is an independent harmonic oscillator. In the Einstein model, each atom oscillates independently – a series of equally spaced quantized states for each oscillator. Einstein was aware that getting the frequency of the actual oscillations would be different, but he nevertheless proposed this theory because it was a particularly clear demonstration that quantum mechanics could solve the specific heat problem in classical mechanics. Peter Debye refined this model.
Adiabatic principle and action-angle variables
Main article: Old quantum theory
Throughout the 1910s, quantum mechanics expanded in scope to cover many different systems. After Ernest Rutherford discovered the nucleus and proposed that electrons orbit like planets, Niels Bohr was able to show that the same quantum mechanical postulates introduced by Planck and developed by Einstein would explain the discrete motion of electrons in atoms, and the periodic table of the elements.
Einstein contributed to these developments by linking them with the 1898 arguments Wilhelm Wien had made. Wien had shown that the hypothesis of adiabatic invariance of a thermal equilibrium state allows all the blackbody curves at different temperature to be derived from one another by a simple shifting process. Einstein noted in 1911 that the same adiabatic principle shows that the quantity which is quantized in any mechanical motion must be an adiabatic invariant. Arnold Sommerfeld identified this adiabatic invariant as the action variable of classical mechanics. The law that the action variable is quantized was a basic principle of the quantum theory as it was known between 1900 and 1925.
Albert Einstein Quotes
Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.
Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems, in my opinion, to characterize our age.
Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.
Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler.
Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
Force always attracts men of low morality.
God always takes the simplest way.
God does not play dice.
God may be subtle, but he isn’t plain mean.
Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them!
Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.
I am a deeply religious nonbeliever – this is a somewhat new kind of religion.
A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.
A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?
A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.
All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man’s actions.
An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.
Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
As far as I’m concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue.
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Before God we are all equally wise – and equally foolish.
Common sense invents and constructs no less than its own field than science does in its domain. It is, however, in the nature of common sense not to be aware of this situation.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
source : brainyquote, wikpedia
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