Albert Einstein | German-American physicist, Life Story & Biography

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Albert Einstein | Albert Einstein | German-American physicist, Life Story & Biography
Born:-March 14, 1879 | Albert Einstein

German-born physicist Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Württemberg, on March 14, 1879, and passed away in Princeton, New Jersey, on April 18, 1955. He is best known for developing the special and general theories of relativity and for explaining the photoelectric effect, which earned him the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. The majority of individuals concur that Einstein was the 20th century’s most important physicist.

Early life and school Life

The parents of Einstein were middle-class, secular Jews. Hermann Einstein, his father, was a somewhat successful manager of an electrochemical plant after beginning his career as a featherbed salesman. The family home was managed by his mother, the former Pauline Koch. Maria, sometimes known as Maja, was his only sister and was born two years after Albert.

Albert Einstein | German-American physicist, Life Story & Biography
Source: Albert Einstein | Childhood on Wikipedia

According to Einstein, two “wonders” had a significant impact on his early life. His first experience with a compass came when he was five years old. He could not understand how the needle could be deflected by unseen forces. This would spark a lifetime interest in unseen powers. The second marvel occurred when, at the age of twelve, he came onto a geometry book, which he gobbled up and referred to as his “holy little geometry book.”

At the age of twelve, Einstein had a strong religious conviction. He even wrote several songs praising God and began chanting religious melodies while traveling to school. But when he read science literature that went against his religious convictions, this started to shift. This defiance of authority made a profound and long-lasting impression. Einstein frequently felt alienated and mistreated at the Luitpold Gymnasium by a Prussian-style teaching structure that seemed to restrict innovation and inventiveness. He was even informed by one teacher that he would never amount to anything.

Albert Einstein | German-American physicist, Life Story & Biography
Image Credits : Wikipedia

Max Talmud, who would later become Max Talmey, was a young medical student who had many dinners at Einstein’s house and had yet another significant influence on the scientist. Einstein was first introduced to higher mathematics and philosophy by Talmud, who served as an informal tutor. At sixteen, Einstein had a significant turning point in his life. He had previously read about Aaron Bernstein’s children’s scientific books, Naturwissenschaftliche Volksbucher (1867–68; Popular Books on Physical scientific), from Talmud. In these books, the author envisioned riding beside electricity that was moving along a telegraph wire.

The question that dominated Einstein’s mind for the next ten years was what he asked himself next: “What would a light beam look like if you could run alongside it?” The light beam should appear stationary if light were a wave, similar to a frozen wave. He was aware of the dilemma even as a little child—stationary light waves had never been observed. At that same period, Einstein penned “The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields,” his first “scientific work.”

Albert Einstein Failures

The several economic failures of Einstein‘s father interfered with his education. In 1894, Hermann Einstein relocated to Milan to work with a relative after his company lost out on a significant contract to electrify Munich. After being sent to a boarding home in Munich, Einstein was supposed to complete his schooling. Six months later, Einstein found himself on his shocked parents’ doorstep, abandoned, miserable, and repulsed by the impending prospect of military duty when he turned sixteen. His parents became aware of the serious issues he was facing as a school dropout, draft evader, and unemployed person. His future did not appear bright.

Luckily, Einstein could apply directly, without the need for a high school diploma, to the rigorous entrance exams of the Zürich-based Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule (“Swiss Federal Polytechnic School”; renamed the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, or “Swiss Federal Institute of Technology”) in 1911 after expanding to full university status in 1909. His grades demonstrated that while he struggled in French, Chemistry, and Biology, he excelled in Mathematics and Physics. He was granted admission to the polytechnic on the condition that he complete his formal education because of his remarkable math test results. He graduated in 1896 from Jost Winteler’s special high school in Aarau, Switzerland.

At that point, he also gave up his German citizenship. (Until 1901, when he was awarded Swiss citizenship, he was a stateless person.) He had been boarding with the Winteler family, with whom he became lifelong friends. (Einstein’s first love was Marie, Winteler’s daughter; his sister Maja would later wed Paul, Winteler’s son; and his close friend Michele Besso would wed their eldest daughter, Anna.)

According to Einstein, he had some of his happiest memories from his time in Zürich. He made several lifelong friends among the students he encountered, including the mathematician Marcel Grossmann and the painter Besso, with whom he had long discussions on time and space. Along the way, he met Mileva Maric, a Serbian physics student who would later become his wife.

From graduation to Albert Einstein’s “miracle year” of scientific theories

One of the biggest problems Einstein had ever encountered occurred in 1900, right after graduation. He frequently skipped classes in order to study difficult subjects on his own, which infuriated several professors, including Heinrich Weber. Regretfully, Einstein requested a recommendation letter from Weber. After that, Einstein’s applications for academic positions were all denied. Later, he wrote,

If Weber had not played a deceptive game with me, I would have gotten [a job] long ago.

In the meantime, Einstein and Maric’s connection became closer, despite the strong opposition of Einstein’s parents. In particular, his mother disapproved of her Serbian heritage (Maric came from an Eastern Orthodox Christian household). But Einstein disobeyed his parents, and he and Maric even had a child, Lieserl, in January 1902; unfortunately, it is unknown what became of this kid. (It is widely believed that she was placed for adoption or that she passed away from scarlet fever.)

Albert Einstein | Albert Einstein | German-American physicist, Life Story & Biography
Image Credit : Pixabay | Albert Einstein

Einstein may have had his lowest point in life in 1902. Without a career, he was unable to wed Maric and have a family, and his father’s company failed. Einstein accepted menial jobs tutoring kids out of desperation and unemployment, yet he was fired from even these positions.

The pivotal moment arrived later that year when he was able to secure a job recommendation from Marcel Grossmann’s father, a lifetime acquaintance, for a clerkship in the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. At that time, Einstein’s father started to get very sick and, shortly before he passed away, approved of his son’s marriage to Maric. For many years, Einstein would be filled with deep sorrow upon recalling that his father had passed away, believing him to be a failure.

For the first time, Einstein had a modest but reliable income, which gave him the confidence to wed Maric on January 6, 1903. In 1904 and 1910, respectively, their children Hans Albert and Eduard were born in Bern. Einstein’s position at the patent office was actually a blessing in retrospect. His analysis of patent applications would be completed in short order, giving him time to ruminate on the image that had consumed his thoughts since he was sixteen years old: what would happen if you raced alongside a light beam?

He learned something about the nature of light when studying Maxwell’s equations at the polytechnic school: no matter how quickly one moves, the speed of light never changes. This was a revelation that James Clerk Maxwell was unaware of. However, since Isaac Newton’s theory does not include absolute velocity, this defies Newton’s equations of motion. After having this realization, Einstein developed the theory of relativity, which states that “the speed of light is a constant in any inertial frame (constantly moving frame).”

In 1905, Einstein published four papers in the Annalen der Physik that would change the direction of modern physics and are commonly referred to as his “miracle year”:

  1. The photoelectric effect was explained by Einstein’s application of the quantum theory to light in “Über eine die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt” (On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light). If light exists in minuscule packets (later referred to as photons), then it ought to precisely remove electrons from a metal.
  2. The first experimental demonstration of the existence of atoms was provided by Einstein in his paper “Über die von der molekularkinetischen Theorie der Wärme geforderte Bewegung von kleinpartikeln suspendiert in ruhenden Flüssigkeiten” (On the Movement of Small Particles Needed by the Molecular-Kinetic Theory of Heat in Stationary Liquids). He was able to determine Avogadro’s number and the size of the jostling atoms by utilizing Brownian motion, an analysis of the motion of microscopic particles suspended in still water.
  3. “Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper” (On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies) is the publication where Einstein first presented the special relativity mathematical theory.
  4. “Is the amount of energy in a body related to its strength?” Presented apparently as an afterthought, “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?” demonstrated how relativity theory produced the equation E = mc2. This offered the first explanation for the Sun’s and other stars’ energy source.

In 1905, Einstein also turned in a paper for his PhD.

The theory of special relativity was partially understood by other scientists, most notably Henri Poincaré and Hendrik Lorentz, but Einstein was the first to put the pieces of the theory together and recognize that it was a universal law of nature rather than just a strange figment of motion in the ether as Poincaré and Lorentz had believed. (Einstein mentioned “our theory” in a private correspondence with Mileva, which has prompted some to theorize that she was a co-founder of relativity theory.

But Mileva had given up on physics after failing her graduate examinations twice, and she is not known to have contributed to the development of relativity. In reality, Einstein exclusively gives credit for the development of relativity to his discussions with Besso in his 1905 work.)

The two foundational theories of physics in the 19th century were Maxwell’s theory of light and Newton’s laws of motion. When Einstein realized that they were incompatible and that one of them had to give way, he was by himself.

Albert Einstein Work Consclusion:-

Electrical sparks between metal electrodes are more likely to develop when they are exposed to light. Nevertheless, the light waves must be above a specific frequency in order for this photoelectric effect to happen. Physics theory states that the light’s intensity ought to be crucial. Albert Einstein revealed that light is made up of quanta, or packets with set energy that correspond to specific frequencies, in one of numerous groundbreaking research that started in 1905. A photon is one type of light quantum that needs to have a minimum frequency in order to release an electron.

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