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Albert Einstein is one of the most influential figures in history of humanity. His works not only in physics but also in philosophy have been of great influence and have also stirred controversy to the world today as when they were written. Arguments have been put forward that he has been of greater influence than fellow historical figures as Michael Faraday, Copernicus, Isaac Newton and even Galileo. He was deeply critical of not only the issue of religion, but on the supernatural being (God) as well.
Albert Einstein was had a deep conviction of the natural that he could not reconcile himself with the possible existence of a super natural being whose existence cannot be proved.
As such he proclaimed that man would be limited if he was constrained by any thoughts of reward and punishment after this life and that natural events can only be influenced by natural laws rather than a super natural being ( Einstein 1930; Space and Motion para. 3. It is his contributions in physics however that Albert Einstein has managed to attain immeasurable influence not only to modern physicist but also to those scientists who lived during his time.
Other than philosophy, Albert Einstein was also attracted to world politics especially after the discovery that German scientists were planning to develop an atomic bomb. Albert Einstein wrote to the then US president Franklin D. Roosevelt asking him to invest in research into nuclear energy as a counter measure to the dangerous atomic energy (Kupper para. 4).
Einstein discovery in the field of physical reality have yielded more influence to the world of physics especially in the discipline of physical reality than any other person work. Over the years, scientists and researchers from every corner of the globe have hailed his theory of relativity as the only practical explanation of the physical world today. This contribution is what sets Albert Einstein apart from the other physicists (Bibliography shelf para. 5).
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany in March 14, 1879. Despite the fact that he had as slow start in life, nonetheless, he progressively moved towards scientific stardom and in his various works, such as the theory of relativity, the Brownian motion and the movement of light led him to win many accolades and a lot of recognition, including the 1921 Nobel peace prize for physics (Highfield and Carter 21).
Einstein dedicated his life to physics and all through his life he worked tirelessly to make many discoveries in the field. As a result, Albert Einstein may rightly be regarded as the father of physics. He is one of the most accomplished physicist as well as philosopher of modern times (The Nobel Foundation para. 2).
Albert Einstein is a scientist who lived before his time. His discoveries were so advanced that it took several years before the relevant technology was developed to physically prove his theories as valid. His theses were initially rejected and as he noted later, they needed an intelligent mind to conceptualize them by thinking beyond the ordinary natural experiences.
One of his greatest theories in physics was the theory of relative motion. I the theory he endeavored to explain the relationship between time and space. The theory lead him to create the world most famous equation E=MC2. This theory had several principles.
The special theory of relativity involved in the studying the travel of light. It claims, “Light always travels through empty space at ‘the speed of light’” and thus constant despite the time and space (Kupper para. 3). This means that time and space are not constant and depend on the relative motion of the observer and the object in motion.
As such when an observer is stationary, the object in motion seems to get smaller and takes a longer time to cover given space and that every thing seems normal when the observer is moving at the same speed as the object. Thus, the rest energy of an object is equal to the mass of the object and the velocity of light.
Thus mass can be termed as the measure of the amount of energy within an object. This concludes that even the smallest of object are made up of big amounts of stored energy. It is this theory that shed the light on nuclear technology.
Einstein moved to explain the composition of light and state that light was made up of particles as opposed to the claims by other scientist of the time that light is made up of waves. He experimented and proved that light was made up of photons and that each photon is responsible for pushing an electron provided that the photon has enough energy to do the work. His continued research on the project revealed the theory of radiation, which eventually leads to the development of laser light.
Other than these two principles, Einstein intended to generalize the theory of relative motion especially regarding the relationship between matter and space. He proved that matter influences the shape of space while space responds to matter by influencing its sense of direction. As such, this principle of relativity concludes that when light passes near a very huge object it can be bent. This theory was proved several years later by observation of the total eclipse in Australia.
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Einstein’s discoveries have not only been proved in the natural phenomena but also lead to technological advancement in the modern world. At the time he conceived them they seemed impossible, as there was no technology to prove their validity. This led to mass criticism from some of the renowned scientists of the time. However, later with the advent and growth of science and technology his ideas has held scientific truths as well as foundations for further research and discoveries.
What historians and/or biographers say about Einstein
Some of the earliest critics and opposers of his work included former friends and scientific research fellows who out of political convictions differed with him especially at the onset of the World War 1. Philip Lenard and Johannes stark are some of his earlier critics who claimed that his scientific views were too socialist as opposed to the communism that was spreading to Germany at that time.
They opposed classical physics especially Einstein theory on relative motion as too theoretical and statistical and lacking any practical dimension. In its place, the two anti-Semitic scientists proposed the German brand of physics as the true branch of physics as it was practical. These views were contained in Philip Lenard book titled “German Physics” that rejected Einstein’s relative motion as well as his other theories in physics as too Jewish and theoretical (Kupper para. 5).
Farrell (2006) states that the criticism of eieteins relative motion started immediately the physicist published his paper on the subject in 1916. Critics argued according to Farrell (2006) that relativity objected the Newtonian ideal of absolutism in time and space. As s such Albert Michelson despite designing a failed experiment on the existence of aether was bold enough to differ with Einstein face to face. Michelson argued that aether was responsible for the travelling of light in paces as well as the relationship between matter and space.
He supported Newton’s theory that matter and time were absolute and could not change. Thus, Michelson concludes that Einstein relativity was a fallacy. One of the modern scientists Neil Ashby agrees with Michelson partly but nonetheless, he has also argued that the relationship between time space and matter can be attributed to gravity and varying speed of the object in motion.
To add to this debate, Farrell (2006) explains that anti-relativity scientist argue that Einstein had manipulated some statistical information in this experiment but as Carroll Alley, one of Einstein’s colleagues and students explained, it was inaccurate to claim that Einstein manipulated information.
On the other hand, Carroll Alley has also noted that Einstein knew that some of the data he was using in the experiments was different from Newton’s proven statistics but that Einstein was not following Newton’s theory. In this case, the data in question is the perihelion figure of mercury and many scientists agree that it would be impossible to conduct any experiment involving the figure without making special assumptions.
Separately, Kupper (2011) has credited Einstein with the research and development of the hypotheses of the theory of quatuam physics and that it was hi original thought at the time. However, Pais (18) explains that Einstein himself congratulated a group of young physicists who he called quantum physicist for their effort in research work in quantum mechanics.
Pais (19) further explains that the works of this young generation did not yield much result and as such he stated his solitary journey towards further studies and at some point criticized quantum physicist. Kupper (2011) continues to explain that Einstein had made great contribution to the theory of quantum mechanics but Pais (1982) states that Einstein failed in his attempts to advance the theory and so is all other physicist after him.
Thus Kupper (2011) explains “it the present physics would have presented Einstein with the synthesis of his general relativity and the quantum theory the discussion with him would have been easier (Pais 18) and that to date the sysnmtheseis is riddled with conceptual and technical difficulties.”
Thus, the efforts made by Einstein have been discredited a great deal. While Kupper (para. 5), credits Einstein with the experimenting and making the theory of relative motion, Pais (19) explains that this theory has failed in many cases because Einstein was interested in statistical and theoretical physics from an early age and thus any of works of physics was just theoretical and only provided statistical data, thus largely impractical.
The differences in the criticism leveled against Einstein from a historical perspective rise from the fact that technology has advanced so much and thus it is possible now to conduct further research into the subject. Modern scientists have the necessary tools that they require in order to conduct accurate studies on any subject. As a result, their criticism is founded on studies as opposed to their political views only.
At the time Einstein published his work there was a lot of political heat in Europe especially y in German which was under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Most of the physicist then such as Lenard started to overtly support Hitler and his political views. As such, there started emerging ideological difference in the scientific world as influenced by politics. In this particular case, Einstein found himself losing a friend whom he had grown close to over the years.
In fact, some of his friends such as Lenard termed his scientific brand as too Jewish, theoretical and thus impractical. This opposition to his work especially the theory of relative motion was not out of scientific research but mainly on grounds of the existing political differences. Suffice to say that Einstein had overtly held socialist views and refused to change his politics to accommodate communism. As such he renounced his citizenship of Germany and conveniently moved to America where he became a citizen.
While politics played a role in the criticism then, on the other hand, Farrell (para. 2) argues that most of then anti relativism critics have some knowledge of science and thus their criticism is not founded on political views. Farrell concludes that that the criticisms leveled against Albert Einstein by the anti relativism group is mainly based on academic discourse but more so on academics ignorance as they do not hold the same pedigree as Einstein.
Albert Einstein is a scientist who is regarded as having lived way ahead of his time. This is evident in the many theories that he developed, and which still remains relevant even today. His discoveries were so advanced that it took several years before the relevant technology was developed to physically prove his theories as valid.
Bibliography shelf. Short biography of Albert Einstein. 2010. Web.
Farrrell, John. Was Einstein a fake? Cosmos magazine. 2006. Web.
Highfield, Roger and Carter, Paul. The Private Lives of Albert Einstein. London: Faber and Faber, 1993. Print.
Kupper, Henry. Einstein. 2010. Web.
Nobelprize. Albert Einstein- Biography. Nobelprize. 2010. Web.
Pais, Andrew. The subtle is the lord: the science and the life of Albert Einstein. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. Print.
Space and Motion. Introduction: Pantheist Religion of Albert Einstein. Space and motion. 2006. Web.