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Albert Einstein

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 01:10 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.6 
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Albert Einstein was one of the greatest scientists of all time. Best known as a physicist for developing his famous theory of relativity, Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. When he was five years old, his father showed him a pocket compass. Young Einstein was deeply impressed by the mysterious behavior of the compass needle, which kept pointing the same direction no matter which way the compass was turned. He later said he felt then that “something deeply hidden had to be behind such things.” Einstein attended public school in Munich and in Aarau, Switzerland. He then studied mathematics and physics at the Swiss Polytechnic Institute in Zurich, graduating in 1900. From 1902 until 1909 he worked as an examiner at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. While this job had little to do with physics or math, it gave him two things. First, he got to see some of the important inventions of the day; second, he had an abundance of free time, which he spent in scientific investigations. (Kevles) During this time Einstein made three of his greatest contributions to scientific knowledge. In 1905, Einstein contributed three separate papers to Annalen der Physik (Annals of Physics), a German scientific periodical. Each of the three became the basis for a new branch of physics. One, for example, suggested that light could be thought of as a stream of tiny particles. This idea would become an important part of the quantum theory. Another concerned Brownian motion, an irregular motion of microscopic particles suspended in liquid of gas, which confirmed the atomic theory of matter. The last paper, titled “The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies,” discussed one of Einstein’s most famous brainchildren: relativity, more specifically the special theory of relativity. The paper demonstrated the relativity of time, a previously unimaginable idea. Einstein once explained relativity very simply as, “When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When...

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