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Einstein Albert

( German-Swiss-American physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1921)

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Biography Einstein Albert
photo Einstein Albert
March 14, 1879, Mr.. - April 18, 1955
German-Swiss-American physicist Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, a medieval city of the Kingdom of Wц+rttemberg (now the Land of Baden-Wц+rttemberg in Germany), the son of Hermann Einstein and Pauline Einstein, nee Koch. He grew up in Munich, where his father and uncle had a small electrochemical plant. E. was a quiet, absent-minded boy who fed the propensity for mathematics, but could not stand the school with its mechanical and rote barrack discipline. In the bleak years at Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich, e. independently read books on philosophy, mathematics, science and popular literature. Impressed upon him the idea of cosmic order. After his father's business in 1895. have declined, the family moved to Milan. E. stayed in Munich, but soon left school and did not earn a diploma and joined their mother.
Sixteen E. struck by the atmosphere of freedom and culture, which he found in Italy. Despite the profound knowledge in mathematics and physics, acquired mainly through self-education, and age independent thinking, E. did not choose a profession. My father insisted that his son chose an engineering field and in the future could improve the precarious financial situation of the family. E. tried to pass the entrance exam to the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, for admission to which is not required to certificates of completion of secondary school. Lacking sufficient preparation, he failed his exams, but the director of schools, assessing mathematical ability, E., sent him to Aarau, twenty miles west of Zurich, that he graduated from high school there. A year later, in summer 1896, E. successfully passed the entrance exams to the Federal Institute of Technology. Aarau E. flourished, enjoying close contact with teachers and liberal spirit that reigned in the gymnasium. Everything continues to cause him so deep opposition that he filed a formal petition for withdrawal from germanskogo citizenship, to which his father agreed reluctantly.

Zurich E. studied physics, greater reliance on independent reading than on mandatory courses. First, he wanted to teach physics, but after the end of the Federal Institute in 1901. and obtain Swiss nationality could not find permanent job. In 1902, Mr.. E. become an expert of the Swiss patent office in Bern, which served for seven years. To him they were happy and productive years. He has published one work of Capillarity (that can occur with the surface of the liquid, if its enclosed in a narrow tube). Although his salary was barely enough work at the patent office was not particularly onerous and left E. enough time and energy for theoretical studies. His first works were devoted to the forces of interaction between molecules and applications of statistical thermodynamics. One of them - 'The new definition of the size of the molecules' ( "A new Determination of Molecular Dimensions") - was adopted as a doctoral dissertation University of Zurich, and in 1905. E. He received his Doctor of Science. In the same year he published a small series of works, which not only showed his strength as a theoretical physicist, but also changed the face of all physics.

. One of these works was devoted to the explanation of Brownian motion - the random zigzag motion of particles suspended in liquid
. E. related motion of particles observed under the microscope, with the collisions of these particles with invisible molecules in addition, he predicted that the observation of Brownian motion allows us to calculate the mass and the number of molecules in a given volume. A few years later it was confirmed by Jean Perrin. This work E. was of particular importance because the existence of molecules that were considered no more than a convenient abstraction, while still in doubt.
. In another study suggested an explanation of the photoelectric effect - emission of electrons a metal surface under the action of electromagnetic radiation in the ultraviolet or any other range
. Philippe de Leonard suggested that the light knock electrons from the metal surface. Suppose it is that when covering the surface of a bright light, electrons have to fly with greater speed. But experiments have shown that the forecast is wrong Lenard. Meanwhile, in 1900. Max Planck able to describe the radiation emitted by hot bodies. It took a radical hypothesis that the energy emitted is not continuous and discrete portions, which are called quantum. The physical meaning of quantum remained unclear, but the magnitude of the quantum is equal to the product of a certain number (Planck's constant) and the frequency of radiation.

Idea E. was to establish a correspondence between the photon (a quantum of electromagnetic energy) and energy of the knocked-out from the surface of the metal electron. Every photon knocks an electron. The kinetic energy of the electron (the energy associated with its velocity) is equal to the energy, the remainder of the photon energy minus the part that is spent on it to extract an electron from the metal. The brighter the light, the greater the greater the number of photons and ejected from the surface of the metal electrons, but not their speed. The faster the electrons can be obtained by directing radiation at the metal surface with greater frequency, since such radiation photons contain more energy. E. launched another bold hypothesis, suggesting that light has a dual nature. Show took place over the centuries optical experiments, the light can behave like a wave, but, as demonstrated by the photoelectric effect, and as a stream of particles. The correctness of the proposed E. interpretation of the photoelectric effect has been repeatedly confirmed experimentally, not only to visible light, but also for X-ray and gamma-radiation. In 1924, Mr.. Louis de Broglie has taken another step in the transformation of physics, assuming that the wave properties has not only light but also material objects such as electrons. The idea of de Broglie also found experimental evidence and laid the foundations of quantum mechanics. Portfolio E. allowed to explain the fluorescence, photoionization, and cryptic variation of the specific heat of solids at different temperatures.

Third, a truly remarkable work E., published in the same 1905. - The special theory of relativity which revolutionized all fields of physics. At that time, most physicists believed that light waves propagate in the air - the mysterious substance, which, as it was thought, fills the entire universe. However, to detect air experimentally nobody has been able. Placed in 1887, Mr.. Albert A. Michelson and Edward Morley experiment to detect differences in the speed of light propagating in a hypothetical air along and across the direction of motion of the Earth, gave a negative result. If the broadcast was the bearer of light, . which applies to him in the form of perturbation, . like the sound of air, . the speed of the ether would have to be added to the observed speed of light, or subtracted from it, . just as the river affects, . from the viewpoint of an observer standing on the shore, . speed boat, . going for a paddle on the downstream or upstream,
. There is no reason to assert that the special theory of relativity E. was established directly under the influence of the Michelson-Morley experiment, . but it was based on two assumptions of universal, . makes it unnecessary the hypothesis of the existence of the ether: all laws of physics are equally applicable for any two observers, . whether, . as they move relative to each other, . light is always propagated in free space with the same speed, . regardless of its source movement.,

. Conclusions, . made from these assumptions, . altered the concepts of space and time: no material object can not move faster than light, from the standpoint of a stationary observer, . the size of a moving object is reduced in the direction of, . and the mass of the object increases, . that the speed of light was the same for moving and a stationary observer, . moving clock must be slower,
. Even the notion of stationarity to be overhauled. Movement or rest, are always determined on a certain observer. The observer, riding horseback on a moving object is fixed relative to the object, but can move relative to any other observer. Since time is of the same relative variable, as well as the spatial coordinates x, y and z, the notion of simultaneity is also relative. Two events which do not appear simultaneous to one observer, may be separated in time from the perspective of another. Among other conclusions, which results in the special theory of relativity, deserves the attention of the equivalence of mass and energy. The mass m is a kind of 'frozen' energy E, which are related by E = mc2, where c - speed of light. Thus, the emission of photons of light occurs at the cost of reducing the mass of the source.

. Relativistic effects are usually negligible at normal speeds, become significant only at large, characteristic for the atomic and subatomic particles
. Mass loss associated with the emission of light is extremely low and usually can not be measured even by the most sensitive chemical balance. However, the special theory of relativity allowed to explain such features of the processes occurring in atomic and nuclear physics, which until then had remained unclear. Nearly forty years after the creation of the theory of relativity physics, who worked on the creation of the atomic bomb, were able to calculate the amount released during its explosion energy on the basis of the defect (decrease) in the mass splitting of uranium nuclei.

. After the publication of articles in 1905
. KAYE. academic recognition it. In 1909, Mr.. he became an associate professor at University of Zurich, in the following year professor of German University in Prague, and in 1912. - Zurich Federal Institute of Technology. In 1914, Mr.. E. was invited to Germany for the post of professor at Berlin University and also director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute (now the Max Planck Institute). Germanic nationality E. was restored, and he was elected to the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Adhering pacifist beliefs, E. not share the views of those who were on the side of Germany in the stormy debate about its role in the First World War.

After strenuous efforts E. succeeded in 1915. a general theory of relativity goes far beyond the special theory, in which the movement should be uniform, and the relative velocity constant. General Relativity cover all possible movements, including expedited (ie. occurring at a variable rate). Formerly dominant mechanics, stemming from the works of Isaac Newton (XVII century.), Is a special case, convenient to describe the motion at relatively low speeds. E. had to replace many of the concepts introduced by Newton. Such aspects of Newtonian mechanics, for example, the identification of gravitational and inertial mass, caused him concern. According to Newton, the bodies attract each other, even if they are separated by vast distances, and the force of gravity, or gravity, apply immediately. Gravitational mass is a measure of the force of attraction. As for the movement of the body under the action of this force, it is determined by the inertial mass of the body, which characterizes the body's ability to accelerate under the action of this force. E. asked why these two masses coincide.

He made a so-called 'thought experiment'. If a man in a free-falling box, for example in the elevator, dropped his keys, they would not have fallen on the floor: lift, the man and the keys fell to the one and the same speed and would retain their position relative to each other. This happened to some imaginary point in space away from all sources of gravity. One of the friends E. observed over such a situation that people in the elevator could not tell whether he is in a gravitational field, or moves with constant acceleration. Einstein Equivalence Principle, asserts that gravitational and inertial effects are indistinguishable, explained the coincidence of gravitational and inertial mass in Newtonian mechanics. Then E. now expanded by extending it to the light. If a beam of light crosses the cabin lift 'horizontal', . while the lift decreases, . then the outlet is located at a greater distance from the floor, . than the input, . as for the time, . want ray, . to go from wall to wall, . cage time to move for some distance,
. The observer in the elevator would have seen that the light beam curved. For E. This meant that in the real world light rays are bent, when held at a sufficiently small distance from a massive body.

General Theory of Relativity E. replaced the Newtonian theory of gravitational attraction of bodies spatiotemporal mathematical description of how the massive body influence on the characteristics of the space around them. According to this view, the body does not attract each other, and change the geometry of space-time, which determines the motion of bodies passing through it. As a colleague once remarked, E., American physicist J. A. Wheeler, 'said space matter how she move, and matter tells space how to bend it. "

But at the time E. worked not only on the theory of relativity. For example, in 1916. He introduced the concept of the quantum theory of radiation-induced. In 1913, Mr.. Niels Bohr developed a model of the atom in which electrons revolve around a central core (open a few years earlier Ernest Rutherford) in orbits that satisfy certain conditions quantum. According to the Bohr model, the atom emits radiation when electrons that have fallen as a result of excitation to a higher level, returned to the lower. The energy difference between levels equals the energy absorbed or emitted photons. The return of excited electrons to lower energy levels is a random process. E. suggested that under certain conditions, electrons from the excitation can move to a certain energy level, then, like an avalanche, to return to a lower, ie. is the process that underlies the operation of modern lasers.

Although the special and general theories of relativity were so revolutionary, in order to gain immediate recognition, they soon received a number of confirmations. One of the first was an explanation of the precession of the orbit of Mercury, which was not fully understood in the framework of Newtonian mechanics. During a total solar eclipse in 1919. astronomers were able to observe a star, hidden behind the edge of the Sun. This indicated that the light rays are bent by the gravitational field of the Sun. World fame came to ME, when reports of observation of the solar eclipse of 1919. circled the world.

Relativity has become a familiar word. In 1920, Mr.. E. became a visiting professor at Leiden University. But in Germany, he was attacked because of their anti-militarist attitudes and revolutionary physical theories that have not occurred to the court some of his colleagues, among whom were several anti-Semites. Portfolio E. they called the 'Jewish physics', arguing that his findings do not meet high standards 'Aryan science'. And in the 20-ies. E. remained a convinced pacifist and actively supported the peace efforts of the League of Nations. E. was a supporter of Zionism and made great efforts to the creation of the Jewish University in Jerusalem in 1925

In 1922, Mr.. E. was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1921. 'for services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect'. 'The Act E. became the basis of photochemistry as well as Faraday's law - the basis of electrochemistry ', - said at the presentation of the new laureate Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish Royal Academy. Conditions beforehand about the speech in Japan, E. unable to attend the ceremony and his Nobel lecture read only a year after awarding him the prize.

Whereas the majority of physicists started to gravitate toward the adoption of quantum theory, E. increasingly failed to satisfy the investigation, to which it leads. In 1927, Mr.. He expressed his disagreement with the statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics, the Bohr and Max Born. According to this interpretation, the principle of causation does not apply to subatomic phenomena. E. was deeply convinced that statistics is nothing more than a tool and that a fundamental physical theory can not be statistical in nature. According to E., 'God does not play dice' with the universe. While supporters of the statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics rejected the physical models of unobservable phenomena, E. considered the theory of incomplete, if it can not give us the 'real state of the physical system, something that objectively exists and admits (at least in principle) a description in physical terms'. Until the end of his life he sought to construct a unified field theory, which could display quantum phenomena of relativistic description of nature. Implement these plans E. and failed. He has repeatedly entered into discussions with Bohr about quantum mechanics, but they only strengthen the position of Bohr.

When in 1933. Hitler came to power, E. outside of Germany, where he never returned. E. became professor of physics in the new Institute of Fundamental Research, which was established in Princeton (New Jersey). In 1940. He became an American citizen. In the years preceding the Second World War, E. revised its pacifist views, feeling that only military force capable of stopping Nazi Germany. He came to the conclusion that 'the protection of law and human dignity' must 'join the battle' with the fascists. In 1939, Mr.. the insistence of several physicists emigrants E. sent a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in which he wrote that in Germany, in all probability, work is underway to build an atomic bomb. He pointed to the need for support from the U.S. government research on the splitting of uranium. In the subsequent developments that led to an explosion July 16, 1945, Mr.. the world's first atomic bomb at Alamogordo (New Mexico), E. did not participate.
After World War II, shocked the dire consequences of the use of atomic bombs against Japan, and all of accelerating the arms race, E. became an ardent advocate of peace, believing that in today's war would pose a threat to the very existence of mankind. Shortly before his death, he put his signature to the appeal
Bertrand Russell, turned to the governments of all countries, warning them of the dangers of hydrogen bombs and calling for a ban on nuclear weapons. E. advocated the free exchange of ideas and responsible use of science for the benefit of mankind.

First wife E. was Mileva Maric, his classmate at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. They married in 1903, despite severe opposition to his parents. From this marriage with E. had two sons. After a five-year gap spouses in 1919. divorced. In the same year, E. entered into marriage with his cousin Elsa, a widow with two children. Elsa Einstein died in 1936. In his leisure hours E. like play music. He began violin lessons when he was six years old, and continued to play all my life, sometimes in an ensemble with other physicists, such as Max Planck, a former great pianist. Pleased him and walks on a yacht. E. believed that sailing unusually promotes reflection on the physical problems. At Princeton, he became a local landmark. He was known as a physicist of world renown, but for all he was kind, modest, friendly and somewhat eccentric man, with whom you might encounter on the street. E. died in Princeton on the aortic aneurysm.

The most famous scientists of the XX century. and is one of the greatest scientists of all time, E. enriched physics with a characteristic power of insight and unsurpassed game of imagination. From childhood, he perceived the world as a harmonious whole knowable, 'standing before us like the great and eternal riddle'. By his own admission, he believed in "Spinoza's God, presents itself in the harmony of all things'. It is this' cosmic religious feeling "prompted E. the search for explanations of nature through a system of equations, which would have a great beauty and simplicity.

Among numerous honors, rendered by E., it was an offer to become president of Israel, followed in 1952. E. refused. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he won many other awards, including the Copley medal of the Royal Society of London (1925) and medals Franklinovskogo Franklin Institute (1935). E. was an honorary doctor of many universities and a member of the leading scientific academies of the world

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