Albert Einstein (Альберт Ейнштейн)

In 1900, he was granted a teaching diploma by the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH Zurich) and was accepted as a Swiss citizen in 1901. He kept his Swiss passport for his whole life. During this time Einstein discussed his scientific interests with a group of close friends, including Mileva. He and Mileva had an illegitimate daughter Lieserl, born in January 1902.

Work and doctorate

Einstein in 1905, when he wrote the "Annus Mirabilis Papers"

Einstein in 1905, when he wrote the "Annus Mirabilis Papers"

Upon graduation, Einstein could not find a teaching post, mostly because his brashness as a young man had apparently irritated most of his professors. The father of a classmate helped him obtain employment as a technical assistant examiner at the Swiss Patent Office [4] in 1902. There, Einstein judged the worth of inventors' patent applications for devices that required a knowledge of physics to understand — in particular he was chiefly charged to evaluate patents relating to electromagnetic devices.[5] He also learned how to discern the essence of applications despite sometimes poor descriptions, and was taught by the director how "to express [him]self correctly". He occasionally rectified their design errors while evaluating the practicality of their work.

Einstein married Mileva Marić on January 6, 1903. Einstein's marriage to Marić, who was a mathematician, was both a personal and intellectual partnership: Einstein referred to Mileva as "a creature who is my equal and who is as strong and independent as I am". Ronald W. Clark, a biographer of Einstein, claimed that Einstein depended on the distance that existed in his and Mileva's marriage in order to have the solitude necessary to accomplish his work; he required intellectual isolation. Abram Joffe, a Soviet physicist who knew Einstein, in an obituary of Einstein, wrote, "The author of [the papers of 1905] was . a bureaucrat at the Patent Office in Bern, Einstein-Marić" and this has recently been taken as evidence of a collaborative relationship. However, according to Alberto A. Martínez of the Center for Einstein Studies at Boston University, Joffe only ascribed authorship to Einstein, as he believed that it was a Swiss custom at the time to append the spouse's last name to the husband's name.[6] Whatever the truth, the extent of her influence on Einstein's work is a highly controversial and debated question.

On May 14, 1904, the couple's first son, Hans Albert Einstein, was born. In 1903, Einstein's position at the Swiss Patent Office had been made permanent, though he was passed over for promotion until he had "fully mastered machine technology".[7] He obtained his doctorate after submitting his thesis "A new determination of molecular dimensions" ("Eine neue Bestimmung der Moleküldimensionen") in 1905.

That same year, he wrote four articles that provided the foundation of modern physics, without much scientific literature to which he could refer or many scientific colleagues with whom he could discuss the theories. Most physicists agree that three of those papers (on Brownian motion, the photoelectric effect, and special relativity) deserved Nobel Prizes. Only the paper on the photoelectric effect would be mentioned by the Nobel committee in the award. This is ironic, not only because Einstein is far better-known for relativity, but also because the photoelectric effect is a quantum phenomenon, and Einstein became somewhat disenchanted with the path quantum theory would take. What makes these papers remarkable is that, in each case, Einstein boldly took an idea from theoretical physics to its logical consequences and managed to explain experimental results that had baffled scientists for decades.

Max Planck and Einstein


Max Planck and Einstein

Annus Mirabilis Papers

For more details on this topic, see Annus Mirabilis Papers.

Einstein submitted the series of papers to the "Annalen der Physik". They are commonly referred to as the "Annus Mirabilis Papers" (from Annus mirabilis, Latin for 'year of wonders'). The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) is commemorating the 100th year of the publication of Einstein's extensive work in 1905 as the 'World Year of Physics 2005'.

The first paper, named "On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light", ("Über einen die Erzeugung und Verwandlung des Lichtes betreffenden heuristischen Gesichtspunkt") proposed that "energy quanta" (which are essentially what we now call photons) were real, and showed how they could be used to explain such phenomena as the photoelectric effect. This paper was specifically cited for his Nobel Prize. Max Planck had made the formal assumption that energy was quantized in deriving his black-body radiation law, published in 1901, but had considered this to be no more than a mathematical trick.

His second article in 1905, named "On the Motion—Required by the Molecular Kinetic Theory of Heat—of Small Particles Suspended in a Stationary Liquid", ("Über die von der molekularkinetischen Theorie der Wärme geforderte Bewegung von in ruhenden Flüssigkeiten suspendierten Teilchen") covered his study of Brownian motion, and provided empirical evidence for the existence of atoms. Before this paper, atoms were recognized as a useful concept, but physicists and chemists hotly debated whether atoms were real entities. Einstein's statistical discussion of atomic behavior gave experimentalists a way to count atoms by looking through an ordinary microscope. Wilhelm Ostwald, one of the leaders of the anti-atom school, later told Arnold Sommerfeld that he had been converted to a belief in atoms by Einstein's complete explanation of Brownian motion.

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