Special Relativity is Einstein's most famous theory. First published in a paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", during his 'annus mirabilis' in 1905, the theory and revolutionised Physics, and postulated a new relationship between space and time.
SR stipulates that the laws of physics are invariant and constant only for inertial (non-accelerating) frames of reference, and that the speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers, and the maximum speed possible.
Einstein's theory showed that Newton's Laws of Motion held only for relatively low velocities and scales, and used Maxwell's equation to explain motion, mass and energy at velocities nearing the speed of light. In was not until 1915, with his General Relativity Theorem, did Einstein extend the Relativity to gravity and the field equations.
Albert Einstein is generally considered the greatest physicist and scientist since Isaac Newton. His work revolutionised physics, and has an a lasting impact on all science, philosophy and human culture.
In 1905, the 26-year-old Einstein published four articles which are considered the founding papers of what became the 'New Physics'. They changed previous concepts of fixed space and time, based on Isaac Newton's classical physics, and introduced relativity as a better description of reality.
The papers were published in the German physics journal, Annalen der Physik, in 1905. They were:
Although he is most associated with his Relativity papers (Special Relativity (1905) and General Relativity (1915)), Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his Photoelectric Effect work. this alone testifies to the resistance and controversy his entirely new ideas was confronted with. To some degree, the controversy continues, as does the search to understand the full ramifications of the great man's achievements.
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1773 - 1858
Robert Brown was a pioneer of the use of the microscope for botanical and cell research. He discovered the phenomenon of Brownian Motion, the erratic movement of pollen grains in water, which inspired Albert Einstein to predict the discovery of atoms in a 1905 paper.
Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to speak French.
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