Albert Einstein with Mrs. Valentine Bargmann outside his home in Princeton, NJ, March 14, 1953. (Photo by Esther Bubley).
Albert Einstein, one of history’s best and most important physicists, is generally regarded as such. Einstein is most well-known for his work on the theory of relativity; however, he also made significant contributions to the growth of the theory of quantum mechanics. The theory of relativity and quantum mechanics are considered the core component of modern physics.
His mass–energy equivalence formula, E = mc2, derives from relativity theory and is called “the world’s most famous equation.” His work is also well-known for its impact on the philosophy of science during his lifetime.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 “for his services to theoretical physics, and particularly for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect,” which was an essential step in developing quantum theory.
Because of his extraordinary intellectual accomplishments and unique ideas, “Einstein” has virtually become associated with “genius.”
A seated portrait of Albert Einstein, Princeton, NJ, on his birthday, March 14, 1953. (Photo by Esther Bubley).
In 1905, the year sometimes referred to as Einstein’s annus mirabilis (“miracle year”), he published four papers considered groundbreaking.
The Brownian motion described the photoelectric effect theory, introduced the concept of special relativity, and demonstrated the equivalence of mass and energy.
Because Einstein believed that the rules of classical mechanics and those of the electromagnetic field could no longer be reconciled, he was inspired to develop his special theory of relativity.
He went on to apply the theory to gravitational fields. In 1916, he introduced his theory of gravitation in a paper published on general relativity. In 1917, he applied the general theory of relativity to construct a model of the universe’s underlying structure.
He continued to work on problems related to statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which eventually led to the development of his interpretations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. In addition to this, he investigated the thermal characteristics of light. He developed the quantum theory of radiation, which was essential in creating the photon theory of light.
However, he spent a significant portion of the latter part of his career working on two projects that eventually were not successful. First, despite his significant contributions to quantum mechanics, he was averse to the theory’s development into what it eventually became, arguing that nature “does not play dice.”
Second, he made an effort to develop a unified field theory by expanding the scope of his geometric theory of gravitation to encompass electromagnetism. This was his second major accomplishment. Consequently, he gradually became more cut off from the primary stream of contemporary physics.
Albert Einstein in his home with Valentine Bargmann, Princeton, NJ, March 14, 1953. (Photo by Esther Bubley).
Einstein was born in the German Empire but relocated to Switzerland in 1895, forsaking his German citizenship (as a subject of the Kingdom of Württemberg) the following year. Einstein is credited with revolutionizing the field of physics.
In 1897, when he was just 17 years old, he enlisted in the mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zürich. He completed the program and received his diploma in 1900.
In 1901, he became a citizen of Switzerland, which he kept doing for the rest of his life. Two years later, in 1903, he was offered a permanent position at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern.
The University of Zurich bestowed upon him the honor of a Ph.D. in 1905. In 1914, Albert Einstein relocated to Berlin to enroll at the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Prussian Academy of Sciences.
In 1917, Albert Einstein was appointed director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics and also became a citizen of Germany, this time Prussia. Both of these accomplishments occurred in the same year.
Blind terrier Chico, 14, is petted by the secretary and stepdaughter Margot, who comprise Einstein’s household. (Photo by Esther Bubley).
Adolph Hitler was elected president of Germany in 1933, while Einstein was in the United States. Einstein, who was of Jewish descent, opposed the policies of the recently elected Nazi government. As a result, he moved to the United States, where he eventually became a citizen in 1940.
On the eve of World War II, he agreed to sign a letter addressed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In it, he warned Roosevelt about the possibility that German had a nuclear weapons program and suggested that the United States begin conducting comparable research. While generally rejecting the concept of nuclear weapons, Einstein supported the Allies.
Famed scientist Albert Einstein in his study at home, 1948. ( Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt).
With Albert Einstein, Cord Meyer Jr. (president of United World Federalists, Inc.) discusses Russia’s attitude toward world government. Einstein thinks Russians would first oppose world government, then “once they see they cannot stop it… they will collaborate.” (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt).
Portrait of Albert Einstein, 1947. (Photo by Al Fenn).
Albert Einstein, the [Institute for Advanced Study’s] most famous member, gives his first lecture in its only classroom. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt).
Einstein tells Robert Oppenheimer about his newest attempts to explain the matter regarding space. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt).
Albert Einstein discussed with Robert Oppenheimer in an Institute for Advanced Study office in 1947. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt).
Albert Einstein sits alone at the Institute for Advanced Study, 1947. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt).
Albert Einstein played his beloved violin in 1941. (Photo by Hansel Mieth).
Albert Einstein’s violin recital, 1941. (Photo by Hansel Mieth).
A childhood portrait of Albert Einstein and his sister Maja.
Albert Einstein on his 75th birthday, March 15, 1954, in Princeton, New Jersey.
Einstein visited the observatory of Mount Wilson, which at that time operated the largest telescope.
Albert Einstein escorts his daughter, Margot, and Dimitri Marianoff’ to the civil registry office for their wedding.
Einstein walks through the campus of the Institute for Advanced Study.
Einstein gives a speech at the London Albert Hall.
Einstein, his secretary Helen Dukas, left, and his daughter Margaret Einstein took the oath of U.S. citizenship.
The only known photo of Albert Einstein with his energy-mass equation, 1934.
The newspaper publicity picture before the lecture. Unfortunately, Einstein is posed next to the left blackboard, which does not contain the famous energy-mass relation.
Newspaper clipping of a photograph taken during the lecture. This is probably the only extant picture of Einstein with his energy-mass equation in the lower left-hand corner of the right blackboard.
Albert Einstein wore a glorious pair of furry slippers at his home in Princeton, NJ., where he lived until he died in 1955.
(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons / Britannica / Library of Congress / Life Magazine Collection / Princeton University / Getty Images).
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