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Albert Einstein Biography

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“Albert Einstein Biography”

By Cailan Ashcroft

Student Number: 250784016

Astronomy 2022A Section 1

        Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist, is considered one of the smartest men on earth, having his name considered to be almost synonymous with the word genius. Although his intelligence can be clearly observed through his revolutionary discoveries that changed the way people viewed the universe, perhaps his greatest influence was the way he changed the way people live and learn on our own planet. Being considered influential person of the century, by Time Magazine, does not even do justice to the man, considering his influence on our current understanding of the universe, the prevailing philosophy of certainty in one’s own theories and others, and pursuit of international peace, through his theories on relativity and other physical phenomenon, his scientific methods, and political actions.

        However he is considered one of the greatest minds in history, Mr. Einstein was, in fact, a slower developing child, having not learned to speak until four years after he was born, in 1879[1]. Similarly, he failed to reach the required standard in the general part of the Swiss Federal Polytechnic entrance exam, yet found his calling as he was discovered to perform exceptionally in both mathematics and physics, and thus, after graduating from Argovian Cantonal School in Switzerland, he moved to Olsberg, Switzerland, to fill a teaching post, where, with a close friend, he began capitalizing on his interest and talents in physics, by reading extensively in his spare time and beginning to form theories regarding the universe and physics.

        Five years later, in 1905, the young man, at an age of twenty-two, quickly became recognized as a leading theoretical physicist with his publications, in the Annan der Physik, which was one of the best known physics journals at the time, covering topics such as general relativity and special relativity. General relativity is one of the two pillars of modern physics, the other being quantum mechanics, and defines gravity as a geometric property of both space and time, through a system of partial differential equations. It was thus responsible for our understanding of massive bodies across our universe and how they interact with each other and other celestial objects[2]. Similarly, Einstein’s theory of special relativity describes how different spaces may experience different time based on them having different relative constant speeds, and thus completely changed our views of the universe in reference to one’s own speed[3].

        In addition to general and special relativity, that year Einstein’s papers also covered the topics of Brownian motion, the photoelectric effect and the equation E=mc^2[4]. The Brownian effect, which was named after Robert Brown, defines the phenomenon where particles suspended in fluids move randomly. Similarly, the photoelectric affect, which Einstein also discovered in 1905, is the observation that metals emit electrons when light shines upon them. Finally, also in 1905, in Einstein’s fourth paper that year, he revealed the most famous equation in the world, E=mc^2, which outlines the relationship between mass and energy, subject to the constraints of the speed of light, and thus in one year, Einstein revolutionized the entire field of physics and astronomy, through his findings, and justified himself as one of the greatest theoretical physicists ever to have lived.

        As a result of Einstein’s achievements in physics, the man received a gold medal from the Royal Astronomical Society, seven honorary doctorates from prestigious academic institutions, a Nobel Prize in physics, and many other awards. Similarly, till this day, the Albert Einstein Award in theoretical physics is one of the greatest honours in physics and has been awarded to many great physicists, such as Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking, who embody Einstein’s aptitude and influence[5].

        Not only did Einstein exemplify scientific aptitude, but also he also revolutionized our scientific method. From Einstein’s findings that year, his research originally concluded that the universe we live in must either be growing or shrinking, and only a little while later, Einstein confirmed that the universe must be expanding, thus greatly changing the way people viewed the universe, thus revising his own conclusions in search of greater truths. In contrast, however, Einstein did not believe in black holes, yet his research suggested their existence, and once again Einstein not only changed the way people perceived the universe but also how they perceive knowledge itself and how scientific knowledge cannot be taken for granted and scientists must be ready to challenge and build upon even their own theories[6].



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