Albert Einstein He was born on Friday, March 14, 1879, in Ulm, a thriving city in southern Germany. He was the first and only son of Hermman Einstein and Pauline Koch. Already in the early years of his life, Einstein provoked comments.
Her mother was convinced that the shape of her head was out of the ordinary and feared she had a mental problem because she was too slow to learn to speak. He spent his youth in Munich, where his family owned a small workshop for the construction of electric machines. Einstein did not speak until he was 3 years old, but from a young age showed a brilliant curiosity about nature, and an ability to understand advanced mathematical concepts. At the age of 12, she learned Euclidean Geometry on her own.
Albert grew up strong and healthy, although he didn't like to play organized sports. He was a quiet and particularly lonely boy who preferred to read and listen to music. He did not like the monotonous regime and unimaginative spirit of the school in Munich. Had he considered the advice of one of his teachers, he would have dropped out of school.
He finished secondary school in Arrau, Switzerland, and with good grades only in mathematics, entered in 1896 at the Polytechnic Institute of Zurich, where he graduated in 1901 with difficulties. Einstein didn't like the instructional methods there. He often did not attend classes, taking the time to study physics or play his beloved violin. His teachers did not have him as a great student and would not recommend him for a position at the University. For two years Einstein worked as a tutor and substitute teacher. In 1902, he secured a position as an examiner at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. In 1903, he married Mileva Maric, who had been his colleague at the Polytechnic School.
In 1905, after finding a job with the federal patent office that left him with spare time to study the problems of contemporary physics, the world became aware of its existence by publishing five articles in the Annalen der Physik, the German scientific journal. In the same year, he received his Doctorate degree from the University of Zurich for a theoretical dissertation about the dimensions of molecules, and also published 3 theoretical works of great importance for the development of 20th century physics. In the first of these works, about the Brownian Movement , he made significant predictions about the motion of randomly distributed particles in a fluid. Such predictions would be confirmed later through experiments.
The second paper, on the Photoelectric Effect, contained a revolutionary hypothesis about the nature of light. Not only did Einstein propose that under certain circumstances one can consider light made of particles, but also the hypothesis that the energy charged by any light particle, called a photon, is proportional to the frequency of radiation. A decade later, American Physicist Robert Andrews Millikan experimentally confirmed Einstein's theory. Einstein, whose primary concern is to understand the nature of electromagnetic radiation, later developed a theory that would be a fusion of particle and wave models to light. Again, few scientists understood or accepted their ideas.
The Special Theory of Relativity
Einstein's third major work in 1905, "On the Electrodynamics of the Body in Motion," contained what became known as the Special Theory of Relativity. Since the time of English mathematician and physicist Isaac Newton, natural philosophers (as physicists and chemists were known) tried to understand the nature of matter and radiation and how they interacted. There was no consistent explanation for how radiation (light, for example) and matter interact when viewed from different inertial frames, that is, an interaction seen simultaneously by an observer at rest and an observer moving at constant speed. .
In the fall of 1905, after considering these problems for 10 years, Einstein realized that the problem was not in a theory of matter but in a theory of measurement. Einstein then developed a theory based on two postulates: the Principle of Relativity, that physical laws are the same in all inertial frames, and the Invariance Principle of the speed of light, where the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant. universal. Thus Einstein was able to give a correct and consistent description of physical events in different inertial frames without making special assumptions about the nature of matter and radiation, or how they interacted. Virtually no one understood their arguments. Einstein and General Theory of Relativity Even before leaving the Patent Office in 1907, he had begun the work of extending and generalizing the theory of relativity to all frameworks. He began by stating the Equivalence Principle, a postulate that gravitational fields are equivalent to reference accelerations. For example, a person in a moving elevator cannot in principle decide whether the force acting on him is caused by gravity or the constant acceleration of the elevator. The complete theory of general relativity was not published until 1916. In this theory, the interactions of bodies that had previously been attributed to gravitational forces are explained as the influence of bodies on the geometry of spacetime (four-dimensional space, a mathematical abstraction). , having the three dimensions of Euclidean space and time as the fourth dimension).
Based on his Theory of General Relativity, Einstein explained the previously inexplicable variations in the orbital motion of the planets, and predicted the tilting of starlight in the vicinity of a massive body, such as the sun. Confirmation of the latter phenomenon during an eclipse in 1919 made It was a big event, making Einstein famous worldwide. For the rest of his life, Einstein devoted considerable time to further generalizing this theory. His last effort, the Unified Field Theory, which was not entirely a success, was an attempt to understand all physical interactions - including electromagnetic interactions and strong and weak interactions - in terms of modifying the spacetime geometry between the two. interacting entities.
Between 1915 and 1930 the great concern of physics was the development of a new conception of the fundamental character of matter, known as Quantum Theory. This theory contained the characteristic of wave-particle duality (light exhibits particle as well as wave properties), as well as the Uncertainty Principle, which states that precision in measurement processes is limited. Einstein, however, would not accept such notions and criticized their development until the end of his life. Einstein once said, "God doesn't play dice with the world."
During World War I, with Swiss citizenship, he worked on the generalization of his theory to accelerated systems. He then elaborated a new theory of gravitation in which Newton's classical theory takes on a particular role. Einstein, over the years, still does not completely accept various theories. For example, Einstein did not accept Heisenberg's principle that the universe was abandoned at random.
"God may be insightful, but He is not malicious." he said of this principle that destroyed the determinism that had been anchored in science since ancient Greece.
The nobelEinstein, the Citizen of the World After 1919, Einstein became internationally recognized. He won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his study of the photoelectric field, not for the still controversial theory of relativity. His visit to any part of the world became a national event; photographers and reporters followed him everywhere.
The Political Man
Einstein accepted a chair at the Institute for Advance Study in Princeton, United States, and in 1940 acquired US citizenship after the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Einstein always took public positions on the great problems of his day, whether or not. the existence of the State of Israel, the Soviet Union, the fight against Nazism, or, after World War II, against the manufacture of nuclear weapons.
Einstein delivered a letter to the US president warning him that the Germans could make their own bomb, but the letter led the US to make their own. In a last appeal, Einstein wrote to President Theodore Roosevelt, who died without even reading the letter. Truman, his successor, ignored it and dropped the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and three days later in Nagasaki, Japan. In 1922, Einstein became a member of the League of Nations Intellectual Cooperation Committee.
In 1925, together with Indian civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi, he worked on a campaign for the abolition of compulsory military service. And in 1930, Einstein put his name back on another important international manifesto, this time organized by the International Women's League for Peace and Freedom. He called for international disarmament as the best way to ensure continued peace. He also became involved in various social causes.
In 1925, Albert Einstein came to Brazil. He was in Rio de Janeiro, visiting scientific and cultural institutions. He gave two lectures: at the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and at the Institute of Engineering of Rio de Janeiro. When Adolf Hitler began his rule in Germany, Einstein decided to leave Germany immediately. He went to the United States and held a position at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey.
When Einstein's death was announced in 1955, the news appeared on the front pages of newspapers around the world: "One of the greatest men of the 20th century died."<< Previous
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