Life and Work of Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany on Mar, 14, 1879. Einstein's
parents, who were non practicing Jews, moved from Ulm to Munich when
Einstein was a baby. When the family's business, the manufacture of
electrical parts, failed in 1894, the family moved to Milan, Italy. At
this time Einstein decided legitimately to relinquish his German
citizenship. Within a year, still without having completed secondary
school, Einstein sat an examination that would have allowed him to
pursue a course of study leading to a diploma as an electrical
engineer at the Swiss Polytechnic, a top technical university, but he
failed the arts component of the ...view middle of the document...
Einstein used the quantum hypothesis to describe visible
electromagnetic radiation, or light.
According to Einstein's viewpoint, light could be imagined to consist
of discrete bundles of radiation. Einstein used this interpretation to
explain the photoelectric effect, by which certain metals emit
electrons when illuminated by light with a given frequency. Einstein's
theory, and his subsequent elaboration of it, formed the basis for
much of quantum mechanics.
Three years after he started work at the patent-office, he sent his
second paper, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" to the
University of Bern, where he soon became a lecturer. This is when the
Theory of Relativity was born.
At the time Einstein knew that, according to Hendrik Antoon Lorentz's
theory of electrons, the mass of an electron increased as the velocity
of the electron approached the velocity of light. Einstein also knew
that the electron theory, based on Maxwell's equations, carried along
with it the assumption of a luminiferous ether, but that attempts to
detect the physical properties of the ether had not succeeded.
Einstein realised that the equations describing the motion of an
electron in fact could describe the nonaccelerated motion of any
particle or any suitably defined rigid body.
He based his new kinematics on a reinterpretation of the classical principle of
relativity, 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 the classical Maxwellian theory. Einstein
abandoned the hypothesis of the ether, for it played no role in his
kinematics or in his reinterpretation of Lorentz's theory of
electrons. As a consequence of his theory Einstein recovered the
phenomenon of time dilatation, wherein time, analogous to length and
mass, is a function of the velocity of a frame of reference. Later in
1905, Einstein applied his theory and elaborated how mass and energy
were the same, and therefore formulated the equation e=mc2. The next
year, Einstein received a regular appointment as associate professor
of physics at the University of Zurich.
The third of Einstein's seminal papers, "Motion of Suspended Particles
in the Kinetic Theory" of 1905 concerned statistical mechanics, a
field of study that had been elaborated by, among others, Ludwig
Boltzmann and Josiah Willard Gibbs. Unaware of Gibbs' contributions,
Einstein extended Boltzmann's work and calculated the average
trajectory of a microscopic particle buffeted by random collisions
with molecules in a fluid or in a gas. Einstein observed that his
calculations could account for brownian motion, the apparently erratic
movement of pollen in fluids, which had been noted by the British
botanist Robert Brown.
Einstein's paper provided convincing evidence