(ORDO NEWS) — In 1905, 26-year-old patent bureau examiner Albert Einstein published four scientific papers that turned the world around.
Since then, people have begun to look differently at both the smallest particles of matter and huge galaxies. Some of his findings formed the basis of many inventions that have changed the life of mankind over the past hundred years.
“It is unlikely that there is at least one fundamental position in modern physics that would not be connected to some extent with the discoveries of Einstein,” said Isidor Isaac Rabi , Nobel Prize winner in physics.
What did Einstein do in 1905?
Revealing the secrets of the world
Einstein’s work, published in March 1905, revealed some of the secrets of the nature of light. By that time, scientists already knew that light, moving in space, behaves like ripples on the surface of water.
However, the wave theory was not able to explain why in some metals, when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, an electric current arises, but not when exposed to infrared radiation. Einstein’s work helped explain this phenomenon, which was called the photoelectric effect.
Einstein argued that light can sometimes be thought of as small amounts of energy, later called photons. When photons carry enough energy, that is, they have the appropriate vibration frequency (color), they can pull electrons out of the atoms of some metals (photons of infrared light do not have such energy).
This interaction leads to the fact that an electric current passes through the metal. Some modern instruments, such as television camera tubes, solar cells, and exposure meters, were created thanks to Albert’s explanation of the photoelectric effect .
Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for explaining the nature of light. His work helped create a new theory, which was called quantum. In turn, quantum theory formed the basis of nuclear physics, electronics and nanotechnology.
Why particles move
In 1905, Einstein also revealed his study of atoms and molecules. He found a theoretical explanation for the behavior of matter particles suspended in water.
The chaotic movement of these tiny particles in the water was described in 1827 by the biologist Robert Brown, when he saw them under a microscope. Brown called this motion Brownian motion, but he could not explain it.
In May 1905, Einstein explained why water molecules in continuous motion lead to Brownian motion. He not only calculated the size of water molecules, but also foresaw the properties of atoms.
Other scientists subsequently developed his conclusions, which in turn made it possible to eliminate doubts about the existence of atoms. So the basis of modern physics is the postulate that all matter consists of atoms.
Time is relative
The special theory of relativity was formulated by Einstein in June 1905. It contradicted the main ideas of scientists, such as Isaac Newton, that the passage of time is constant at any point in the universe . The conclusions of Einstein’s now generally accepted theory may seem rather strange.
Imagine that you and your friend have exactly synchronized their clocks. Then your friend went on a trip around the world, and you stayed at home. When he returned, his watch was a little behind yours. From your perspective, time has slowed down for your friend.
Of course, we do not notice such a difference in time. However, when approaching the speed of light, the flow of time slows down significantly, objects in space become smaller, and their mass increases. According to Einstein’s theory, the constant and majestic is not time, but the speed of light.
The formula that changed the world
In September 1905, Einstein published another of his papers, called a mathematical note to his special theory of relativity. It contained the formula that has now become the symbol of his work: E=mc^2.
According to this equation, the amount of energy released from an atom during its separation is equivalent to the loss of its mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light. Thanks to the efforts of scientists like Einstein, people have deepened their knowledge of the structure of the world.
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