# Essay/Term paper: Albert e

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Albert E

March 14 1879 - April 18 1955

Born Ulm, Germany. Died Princeton, USA.

Albert Einstein was a very famous Scientist, he was mostly famous for his theory of Relativity.

In 1894 Einstein's family moved to Milan and Einstein decided officially to relinquish his German citizenship in favor of Swiss. In 1895 Einstein failed an examination that would have allowed him to study for a diploma as an electrical engineer at Zurich. After attending secondary school at Aarau,Einstein returned (1896) to the Zurich Polytechnic, graduating (1900) as a secondary school teacher of mathematics and physics.

He worked at the patent office in Bern from 1902 to 1909 and while there he completed an

astonishing range of theoretical physics publications, written in his spare time without the benefit of

close contact with scientific literature or colleagues. Einstein earned a doctorate from the University

of Zurich in 1905. In 1908 he became a lecturer at the University of Bern, the following year

becoming professor of physics at the University of Zurich.

By 1909 Einstein was recognized as a leading scientific thinker. After holding chairs in Prague and Zurich he advanced (1914) to a prestigious post at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gesellschaft in Berlin. From

this time he never taught a university courses. Einstein remained on the staff at Berlin until 1933, from

which time until his death he held a research position at the Institute for Advanced Study in

Princeton.

In the first of three papers (1905) Einstein examined the phenomenon discovered by Max Planck,

according to which electromagnetic energy seemed to be emitted from radiating objects in discrete

quantities. The energy of these quanta was directly proportional to the frequency of the radiation.

This seemed at odds with the classical electromagnetic theory, based on Maxwell's equations and

the laws of thermodynamics which assumed that electromagnetic energy consisted of waves which

could contain any small amount of energy. Einstein used Planck's quantum hypothesis to describe the

electromagnetic radiation of light.

Einstein's second 1905 paper proposed what is today called the special theory of relativity. He

based his new theory on a reinterpretation of the classical principle of relativity, namely that the laws

of physics had to have the same form in any frame of reference. As a second fundamental

hypothesis, Einstein assumed that the speed of light remained constant in all frames of reference, as

required by Maxwell's theory.

Later in 1905 Einstein showed how mass and energy were equivalent. Einstein was not the first to propose all the components of special theory of relativity. His contribution is unifying important parts

of classical mechanics and Maxwell's electrodynamics.

The third of Einstein's papers of 1905 concerned statistical mechanics, a field of that had been

studied by Ludwig Boltzmann and Josiah Gibbs.

After 1905 Einstein continued working in the areas described above. He made important

contributions to quantum theory, but he sought to extend the special theory of relativity to

phenomena involving acceleration. The key appeared in 1907 with the principle of equivalence, in

which gravitational acceleration was held to be indistinguishable from acceleration caused by

mechanical forces. Gravitational mass was therefore identical with inertial mass.

By 1911 Einstein was able to make preliminary predictions about how a ray of light from a distant star, passing near the Sun, would appear to be bent slightly, in the direction of the Sun.

About 1912, Einstein began a new phase of his gravitational research, with the help of his

mathematician friend Marcel Grossmann, by expressing his work in terms of the tensor calculus of

Tullio Levi-Civita and Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro. Einstein called his new work the general theory of

relativity. After a number of false starts he published, late in 1915, the definitive version of general

theory.

When British eclipse expeditions in 1919 confirmed his predictions, Einstein was idolised by the

popular press. Einstein returned to Germany in 1914 but did not reapply for German citizenship.

Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921 but not for relativity rather for his 1905 work on the

photoelectric effect

.

He worked at Princeton on work which attempted to unify the laws of physics.

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