Considered the world’s most famous Scientist, Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm Southern Germany (Saw 35). His father was in the electronics industry. Despite being considered imprudent, he was naturally talented and curious and had an interest in contemporary scientific developments (Saw 35). He later on moved to Switzerland, securing a job in which he was expected to study the descriptions sent in by inventors and decide whether he inventions were new and deserved a patent. Since some of the patents were poorly written, he had to rewrite them thereby managing to acquire the knowledge and expertise of expressing himself clearly. As he developed into early adulthood, he acquired an incredible ability to think abstractly and tended to rely on thought rather than experimenting. He started working on the theory of special relativity at the age of 16, culminating to its publication in 1905. Despite not finishing his university course, Einstein was later on made a professor and was awarded a Nobel Prize in the year 1921 (Clark 126). Albert Einstein was an outstanding genius, his ideas and contributions to scientific courses were revolutionary and developed from a highly creative and independent-thinking mind. It is for this reason that he achieved the Nobel Prize in 1921.
Einstein made multiple revolutionary contributions to the scientific, technological and even the philosophical spheres. He estimated the molecular size based upon the changes in viscosity of a liquid when particles get suspended. Based upon the first theory of a stochastic process, he demonstrated that microscopic fluctuation phenomena are observable in Brownian motion (Stechel 198). He also developed new kinematics in special relativity, deducing from it, remarkable ideas such as the equivalence of mass and energy and the path dependence of proper time intervals (Stachel 198).
The theory of relativity was amongst Einstein’s contributions. This theory has remained the best gravitation theory in existence (Pais 26). He proposed the light quantum hypothesis which later developed into the theory of the photon. It is through him that the first elementary particle was given quantum treatment (Stachel 198). Einstein’s quantum theory of solids was also revolutionary and has provided the basis for explaining the anomalous low-temperature behavior of crystalline solids. Einstein also explained Plank’s law, basing his explanation on the introduction of A and B coefficients, thereby making the concept of transition probabilities a key feature of atomic physics (Stachel 198).
Einstein’s collaboration with other notable scientists also led to the emergence of revolutionary ideas. In Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox, he highlights the nature of quantum entanglement within two or more systems, and his work on Bose-Einstein statistics lead to his prediction that Bose-Einstein-condensates existed. This got confirmed only recently. Additionally, in the Einstein-Infeld-Hoffman he derived the equations of the motions of massive bodies from the pre-derived field equations of general relativity (Stachel 198).
According to Stachel (199), as of 2005, physicists agree that of the probably endless list, three key contributions made maximum effect to science. The light quantum hypothesis and the quantum theory of solid served to fulfill his early prediction that neither classical electrodynamics nor classical mechanics could survive the onslaught of quantum action (Stachel 199). Secondly, Special Relativity (SR) led to the realization that all physics including the theory of elementary particle were reformulated based upon the representation of the Poincaré group (Schraff 117). The third invaluable contribution was that of the General relativity which presents a theory of the inertia-gravitational field. Going beyond the special theory of relativity, all space time turns structures into dynamic fields. It has survived close to a century of theoretical challenges and experimental tests (Stachel 199).
Einstein also made a contribution to science in relation to Space and Time. Like all forms of scientific ideas considered revolutionary, Einstein’s theories have stood the test of time. Stachel notes that, the link between space and time in physics was known to scientists with Aristotle, for example, noting in 350 BCE that time does not exist without a motion or change (201). “it must be something belonging to the motion in its most general and primary change of place’ (Stachel 201). Nonetheless, Einstein’s formulation of space-time remains original although there were other scientists who contributed to its theoretical and diagrammatic representation. Some researchers argue that the concept of Space and Time was not Einstein’s original idea (Stechel 201).
Two dimensional spatial diagrams were used by Rene Descartes who represented three dimensional motions by projecting it onto several two-dimensional diagrams (Stechel 203). Pierre Varignon was also the first to represent one dimensional motion by plotting distance and time in orthogonal coordinates in the year 1698 (Stechel 203). Thereafter, Leonhard Euler in 1758 also realized that three orthogonal axes could be selected in multiple ways. This allows the transformation of different Cartesian coordinates to be worked out (Stechel 203).
D’Alembert also became the first to formulate the concept of time as a fourth dimension in the year 1754. By the time Einstein came up with the theory of special relativity, most of the scientist had wrong conception of how space and time were related. Einstein, therefore, managed to formulate insights by ignoring the findings of other notable scientists during the time such as Lorenz and Poincaré and goes ahead to treat space and time separately rather than choosing to combine it into space-time (Stechel 203).
The Energy, Light, and Mass Challenge was also a work of Einstein. Prior to 1905, scientists had propagated the idea of light being electromagnetic in form, hence like other energy forms, could be harnessed and used for human purposes. They had been aware for at least two centuries since the year 1676 when Ole Romer, a Danish astronomer made a discovery by accident while observing eclipses that light travelled at approximately 300,000 kilometers per second. The massive velocity indicated that it had massive amounts of energy, besides scientists knew that mass was associated to energy. They could nonetheless not predict the relationships between light on one end and mass and energy on the other (Clark 126).
Einstein postulated that particles travelling at exceptionally high speeds like the electrons travelling in the case of light possessed lots of energy. This made him conclude that mass and energy were interchangeable, an astounding assumption since scientists had never thought of energy as having mass. Further research enabled Einstein to conclude that E=mc2, where ‘E’ represented energy, ‘m’ mass and ‘c’ the speed of light (Clark 126). The idea that energy and mass were interchangeable, although radical, had remarkably startling consequences. It has brought about the entire nuclear industry following the discovery of the atom by Earst Rutherford, the development of nuclear fission process and the development of the first successful nuclear reactor by Enrico Fermi.
Many experts argue that it does not make sense to compare great scientists since their contributions were often at different times and were beneficial to humanity in variant ways. For example, Galileo is known as the father of modern physics while Newton is credited with bringing the field of physics to a first culmination point by the publication of Principia Mathematica (Radcliff 65). Yet others are of the view that Einstein’s creativity was beyond the scope of other scientists with Paul Dirac, a Nobel laureate calling General Relativity ‘probably the greatest scientific discovery ever made’ and Max Born calling it ‘the greatest feat of human thinking about nature.’
Radcliff, for example, argues that although the view would probably be different in 2000 years to come, at present, Einstein’s achievements are considered recent, and his ideas had the last time to unfold their impact (64). Einstein was able to come up with renowned theories to explain the universe, although they had remarkably negligible impact on the daily life when they were discovered. Nonetheless, the fact that more complex and practical devices have been exposed and developed based upon Einstein’s insights with the trend still continuing and even accelerating, more than a century later makes him even greater. As more discoveries are made he continues to be grand hence his perceived importance is likely to increase (Macleod 18).
Winterberg (349) posits out that Albert Einstein can easily be graded as the most popular scientist. In his view, Albert Einstein remains the only truly famous scientist who ever lived. Similarly, his formula, E=mc2 is also, apparently, the most famous scientific formula even though it is not comprehended by many. On the concept of the scientist of the millennium, Einstein is perhaps the greatest, however, what of the greatest scientist of all time?
Scientist and scientific historians agree that Archimedes provided the basic tools of analysis which made it possible for the discoveries of other great scientists such as Newton, Galileo and Einstein (Klein 307). Therefore, he is considered to have started with much more limited basic knowledge. He boycotted classes and was believed to be dumb (Frisch 11). Nonetheless, He made tremendous progress and achieved significant heights. The years following his death were characterized by limited scientific progress. He remains way off ahead of his time and work. His achievements are unique and outstanding, and he is considered by many as the greatest scientist of all time.
In conclusion, Albert Einstein was undoubtedly among the most scholarly humans in the field of science. He was involved in developing theories that changed humanity and caused many contraptions. Several inventions today are based on the foundational rules that were laid by Einstein’s Principles. His life, just like his scientific theories was quite fascinating. He did a great service to humanity in terms of scientific advancements. He is viewed as a man who was able to work with numbers and thoughts in a truly magical way. He had a passion for Science and was consistent in his desire to solve unsolved scientific problems. The fact that Einstein lived a life of simplicity is also inspiring; besides he teaches humanity to utilize the creativity endowed to them naturally noting that, ‘The most prominent think is not to stop questioning.’
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