Friday, October 9, 2015

Scientist of the week

Scientist of the week
Born in Ulm, W├╝rttemberg, Germany in 1879, Albert Einstein had a passion for inquiry that eventually led him to develop the special and general theories of relativity. In 1921, he won the Nobel Prize for physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect and immigrated to the U.S. in the following decade after being targeted by the Nazis. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century, with his work also having a major impact on the development of atomic energy. With a focus on unified field theory during his later years, Einstein died on April 18, 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey.

Early Life
Einstein attended elementary school at the Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich. However, he felt alienated there and struggled with the institution's rigid pedagogical style. He also had what were considered to be speech challenges, though he developed a passion for classical music and playing the violin that would stay with him into his later years. Most significantly, Einstein's youth was marked by deep inquisitiveness and inquiry.

Towards the end of the 1880s, Max Talmud, a Polish medical student who sometimes dined with the Einstein family, became an informal tutor to young Albert. Talmud had introduced his pupil to a children’s science text that inspired Einstein to dream about the nature of light. Thus, during his teens, Einstein penned what would be seen as his first major paper, "The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields."

Faced with military duty when he turned of age, Albert allegedly withdrew from classes, using a doctor’s note to excuse himself and claim nervous exhaustion.

Einstein was eventually able to gain admission into the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich, specifically due to his superb mathematics and physics scores on the entrance exam.

Marriage
Einstein eventually found steady work in 1902 after receiving a referral for a clerk position in a Swiss patent office. Einstein’s father passed away shortly thereafter, and the young scientist married Milena Maric on Jan. 6, 1903. The couple went on to have two sons, Hans and Eduard.The marriage would not be a happy one, however, with the two divorcing in 1919 and Maric having an emotional breakdown in connection to the split. He had also begun an affair some time earlier with a cousin, Elsa L├Âwenthal, whom Einstein wed during the same year of his divorce. He would continue to see other women throughout his second marriage, which ended with L├Âwenthals death in 1936.

Discoveries
In 1905—seen by many as a "miracle year" for the theorist—Einstein had four papers published in the Annalen der Physik, one of the best known physics journals of the era. The four papers focused on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, the special theory of relativity (the most widely circulated of the write-ups) and the matter/energy relationship, thus taking physics in an electrifying new direction. In his fourth paper, Einstein came up with the equation E=mc2, suggesting that tiny particles of matter could be converted into huge amounts of energy, foreshadowing the development of atomic power.

In November, 1915, Einstein completed the general theory of relativity, which he considered the culmination of his life research. He was convinced of the merits of general relativity because it allowed for a more accurate prediction of planetary orbits around the sun, which fell short in Isaac Newton’s theory, and for a more expansive, nuanced explanation of how gravitational forces worked. Einstein's assertions were affirmed via observations and measurements by British astronomers Sir Frank Dyson and Sir Arthur Eddington during the 1919 solar eclipse, and thus a global science icon was born.
www.biography.com

There is much more about Albert Einstein to be told, but it won't fit in one article. So, here are the highlights, and I leave the rest for you to discover in your own research.
--Haley Goodebiddle

No comments:

Post a Comment