What is Einstein: Definition and 805 Discussions

Albert Einstein ( EYEN-styne; German: [ˈalbɛʁt ˈʔaɪnʃtaɪn] (listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest physicists of all time. Einstein is known for developing the theory of relativity, but he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics. Relativity and quantum mechanics are together the two pillars of modern physics. His mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which arises from relativity theory, has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory. His intellectual achievements and originality resulted in "Einstein" becoming synonymous with "genius".In 1905, a year sometimes described as his annus mirabilis ('miracle year'), Einstein published four groundbreaking papers. These outlined the theory of the photoelectric effect, explained Brownian motion, introduced special relativity, and demonstrated mass-energy equivalence. Einstein thought that the laws of classical mechanics could no longer be reconciled with those of the electromagnetic field, which led him to develop his special theory of relativity. He then extended the theory to gravitational fields; he published a paper on general relativity in 1916, introducing his theory of gravitation. In 1917, he applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light and the quantum theory of radiation, which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. However, for much of the later part of his career, he worked on two ultimately unsuccessful endeavors. First, despite his great contributions to quantum mechanics, he opposed what it evolved into, objecting that nature "does not play dice". Second, he attempted to devise a unified field theory by generalizing his geometric theory of gravitation to include electromagnetism. As a result, he became increasingly isolated from the mainstream of modern physics.
Einstein was born in the German Empire, but moved to Switzerland in 1895, forsaking his German citizenship (as a subject of the Kingdom of Württemberg) the following year. In 1897, at the age of 17, he enrolled in the mathematics and physics teaching diploma program at the Swiss Federal polytechnic school (later renamed as ETH Zurich) in Zürich, graduating in 1900. In 1901 he acquired Swiss citizenship, which he kept for the rest of his life, and in 1903 he secured a permanent position at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern. In 1905, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Zurich. In 1914, Einstein moved to Berlin in order to join the Prussian Academy of Sciences and the Humboldt University of Berlin. In 1917, Einstein became director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics; he also became a German citizen again – Prussian this time. In 1933, while Einstein was visiting the United States, Adolf Hitler came to power. Einstein did not return to Germany because he objected to the policies of the newly elected Nazi-led government. He settled in the United States and became an American citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting him to the potential German nuclear weapons program and recommending that the US begin similar research. Einstein supported the Allies, but generally denounced the idea of nuclear weapons.
Einstein bequeathed his personal archives, library and intellectual assets to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.

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  1. Frabjous

    Nobel Prize bravery?

    Einstein was awarded the Nobel prize "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect" which is a bit of a waffle. Does anyone know of any instances where the award could be considered “brave”?
  2. AndreasC

    A Greatest of Einstein's papers

    I'm wondering what are in people's opinions the "must read" papers of Einstein. I concentrate more on general relativity but also other stuff. Reviews by Einstein and maybe other important contemporary papers would also be welcome, as well as maybe modern commentary on them.
  3. D

    I Numerical Relativity -- Software to solve the Einstein field equations?

    Hello, Has anyone here used software to solve the Einstein field equations? If so, what software have you used, or what software do you recommend? Is it possible to use something like MATLAB to play around with the field equations?
  4. M

    A Electrodynamics of moving bodies - §2: On the relativity of... (again)

    Here is a screenshot from Einstein's 1905 ELECTRODYNAMICS OF MOVING BODIES:My understanding is that here Einstein says that the rod, the 2 observers and the 2 clocks are in the moving system, one observer & clock at each end of the rod. From their point of view they are not moving. They can very...
  5. Jaime Rudas

    I Einstein, Friedman and the cosmological constant

    In Appendix 4 of the book "Relativity, The Special and General Theory", Einstein describes the evolution of the cosmological implications of general relativity as follows: My original considerations on the subject were based on two hypotheses: (1)There exists an average density of matter in the...
  6. luro1964

    I Was Born rigidity key for Einstein's understanding that spacetime must be curved?

    I'll set out by saying that I have no real formal training in physics or maths. However, I have been keen to try to understand what exactly convinced Einstein that spacetime must be curved. As I understand it, the bending of star light was already explained by Newtonian physics, although of...
  7. J

    B History of Cosmology: 1915-1929 | Einstein, Hubble & GR

    Hi, I've recently developed an interest for the history of the development of cosmology and find it very interesting. The key events I have been reading up on are: 1915 - Einstein's theory of General Relativity was published. 1923 - Hubble discovered a Cepheid variable in the Andromeda...
  8. BadgerBadger92

    Preorder the Hyperspace Watch "Black Hole" Edition

    Just preordered a “Black Hole” version of the watch. It tries to mimic what it would look like to travel through a wormhole, in celebration of Einstein’s theory of relativity.
  9. Atabold

    Einstein relativity between 2 coordinates systems

    I calculated the speed using the information provided through the above equation and finding V' = 1.2 m/s. However, the first solution must be -1,2 m/s. I don't know how to reach it, any suggestion?
  10. jselms99

    Einstein's Electrodynamics of moving Bodies

    Okay I’m assuming I have to use √1- v^2/c^2 multiplied by some coefficient of length but I don’t understand any of this and could really use help understanding the process and/or reference material that might point me in the right direction
  11. N

    I Orbital Precession Calculation: Unit Explained

    Hi, I've just calculated the orbital precession for the earth using the sigma formula of general relativity. $$ \sigma=\frac{24 \pi^{3} R^{2}}{T^{2} c^{2}\left(1-e^{2}\right)}=\frac{24\pi^3×1.5×10^{11}}{3×10^7×3×10^8(1-0.0034^2)}=0.012 $$ What is the unit of the result? Degrees per century or...
  12. Vanilla Gorilla

    B Beginner Einstein Notation Question On Summation In Regards To Index

    So, I have recently been trying to learn how to work with tensors. In doing this, I have come across Einstein Notation. Below is my question. $$(a_i x_i)_{e}= (\sum_{i=1}^3 a_i x_i)_r=(a_1 x_1+a_2 x_2+a_3 x_3)_r$$; note that the following expression is in three dimensions, and I use the...
  13. Dario56

    Diffusion, Migration and Einstein Equation

    In the textbook: Electrochemical Systems by Newman and Alyea, 3rd edition, chapter 11.9: Moderately Dilute Solutions, equation for the mole flux of the component ##i## is given by: $$ N_i = - \frac {u_i c_i} {z_i F} \nabla \bar\mu_i\ + c_i v \tag {1}$$ where ##u_i## is the ionic mobility...
  14. E

    I From Einstein Summation to Matrix Notation: Why?

    I know that if ##\eta_{\alpha'\beta'}=\Lambda^\mu_{\alpha'} \Lambda^\nu_{\beta'} \eta_{\alpha\beta}## then the matrix equation is $$ (\eta) = (\Lambda)^T\eta\Lambda $$ I have painstakingly verified that this is indeed true, but I am not sure why, and what the rules are (e.g. the ##(\eta)## is in...
  15. besebenomo

    Einstein solid state model exercise

    I tried to solve it considering the canonical ensemble (since the system is at the equilibrium with temperature T) and started finding the partition function:The problem is I am not sure if I have done it correctly and need help because I don't really know where to check.
  16. redtree

    I Einstein Notation question

    I am wondering if I am using Einstein notation correctly in the following example. For a matrix ##R## diagonal in ##1##, except for one entry ##-1##, such as ##R = [1,-1,1]##, is it proper to write the following in Einstein notation: ##R_{\alpha} R_{\beta} = \mathbb{1}_{\alpha \beta} ##, such...
  17. D

    I Einstein summation convention in QM

    Hi For an operator A we have Aψn = anψn ; the matrix elements of the operator A are given by Amn= anδmn My question is : is this an abuse of Einstein summation convention or is that convention not used in QM ? Thanks
  18. cianfa72

    I Einstein Definition of Simultaneity for Langevin Observers

    Hi, reading this old thread Second postulate of SR quiz question I'd like to ask for a clarification on the following: Here the Einstein definition of simultaneity to a given event on the Langevin observer's worldline locally means take the events on the 3D spacelike orthogonal complement to...
  19. T

    Mathematica Einstein Hilbert Action syntax

    Hello , I was trying to vary Einstein Hilbert action in Mathematica , but the syntax failed me badly. I have derived the result by hand , but I want to present the topic with nb.file . Nevertheless, as I said, the syntax is my major concern now. any help will be appreciated! thank you
  20. E

    A Can Einstein Tensor be the Product of Two 4-Vectors?

    In Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler (p.139), stress-energy tensor for a single type of particles with uniform mass m and uniform momentum p (and E = p2 +m2) ½ ) can be written as a product of two 4-vectors,T(E,p) = (E,p)×(E,p)/[V(E2 – p2 )½ ] Since Einstein equation is G = 8πGT, I am...
  21. only1god

    B The Mini Rocket Experiment: A Test of Einstein's Equivalence Principle?

    Alright, this is my idea of an experiment that could distinguish between the examples of the EP. Now, obviously I'm wrong (I don't say this because of your acceptance, i say this because I've tried with other ideas but they were wrong). The thing here is that i don't see where I'm wrong, and i...
  22. only1god

    I What if Einstein equivalence principle is proven wrong one day?

    What would be the consequences of such thing? How it will affect physics theories and the world?
  23. P

    A Einstein Field Equations: Spherical Symmetry Solution

    [Moderator's Note: Thread spin off due to topic and level change.] For a spherically symmetric solution, if SET components were written in terms a single one of 4 coordinates, in a way plausible for a radial coordinate, the I believe solving the EFE would require spherical symmetry of the...
  24. S

    A Einstein, Debye and Peierls approaches of the Heat Transfer

    What is the difference between the approaches of Einstein, Debye and Peierls regarding the heat transfer?!
  25. T

    I Is the sign of the Einstein equation right in Chandrasekhar's Black holes?

    In Chandrasekhar's book, The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes. The sign of Einstein equations is minus "-" , Eq. (1-236). However, the sign of Riemann and Ricci tensor are the same as MTW's book. The sign of Einstein equations in MTW's book are "+"! Is there a error?
  26. Sciencemaster

    I Piecewise Functions in the Einstein Field Equations

    Let's say I want to describe a massive box in spacetime as described by the Einstein Field Equations. If one were to construct a metric in cartesian coordinates from the Minkowski metric, would it be reasonable to use a piecewise Stress-Energy Tensor to find our metric? (For example, having...
  27. D

    I Cartan's Understanding of Einstein Field Equation

    About a week ago I was reading about Cartan's geometric interpretation of the Einstein Field Equation Gij + Λgij = κTij According to Cartan, this equation expresses the idea (sum of moments of rotation for the faces of a little 3-cube) = 8π * (amount of energy-momentum within that 3-cube) As...
  28. Dale

    I Distinguishing Einstein Cartan from GR: Experiments

    Are there any experiments either already performed or even simply proposed that could be used to distinguish Einstein Cartan gravity from GR? My current understanding is that they are the same in vacuum, and only differ in matter. In matter the Einstein Cartan metric can have torsion, unlike...
  29. U

    Help in understanding the derivation of Einstein equations

    There are two parts to my question. The first is concerns the variation of the Reimann tensor. I am trying to show $$\delta...
  30. D

    I Einstein summation convention confusion

    Hi If i have a vector r = ( x1 , x2 , x3) then i can write r2 as xixi where the i is summed over because it occurs twice. Now is xixi the same as xi2 ? I have come across an example where they are used as equivalent but i am confused because xi2 seems to be the square of just one component of r...
  31. E

    A Non-Linear Theory: Summation Meaningful in Einstein Gravitation?

    In the famous book, Gravitation, by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler, it talks about the stress-energy tensor of a swarm of particles (p.138). The total stress-energy is summed up from all categories of particles. Is summation meaningful in the non-linear theory of Einstein gravitation? Thanks.
  32. E

    I Left-right arrow in Einstein equation

    Short, probably stupid, question; what does this left-right arrow ##a \leftrightarrow b## at the bottom-right mean? [It's this paper for ref.] Does it just mean the last term repeated, except this time with ##a## and ##b## indices exchanged? Thanks.
  33. D

    I Einstein's 1935 Paper on Wormholes & Modern Physics

    Does anybody know why Einstein never pursued the idea of wormholes beyond his very short 1935 paper? If he did does anybody know of any of his papers that go into this idea in more detail. I know recently there was the proposal of EPR=ER mainly put forth by Susskind and Maldecena. The ER=EPR...
  34. M

    Please help me understand time dilation

    Good day. I have read many books, forums, and articles, and watched many youtube videos, all in an effort to understand special relativity and time dilation. Or rather, more precisely, trying to find a valid explanation that does not result in contradictions and paradoxes, and if it does, one...
  35. Buckethead

    Stargazing Einstein Cross common pattern

    This is probably just a coincidence, but I happened to notice while looking at Einstein crosses an unusual pattern common to these four images. I was looking for more but it turns out there may not be as many crosses as I originally thought. Must be rare. The pattern is that of the 4...
  36. J

    I Kaluza-Klein Theory and 5D Einstein Equations

    Others are telling me the Einstein Field Equations can work in other dimensions other than 4D (3D space + 1D time). How true is it? So I'd like to ask for clarifications. I googled about it and found one reference for example: Kaluza–Klein theory - Wikipedia I assume the Einstein equations is...
  37. T

    I Solving the Spherically Symmetric Einstein Equation

    Can be Einstein equation rewrited into some simpler form, when suppose only spherically symmetric (but not necessarily stationary) distribution of mass-energy ? If yes, is there some source to learn more about it ? Thank you. edit: by simpler form I mean something with rather expressed...
  38. W

    B Difference between an Einstein frame and a String frame?

    I have listening to talks come across the terms"Einstein frame" and "String frame" but am not at all clear what they mean. Can anyone give a layman's explanation as to what is theses phrases mean in the context of cosmology ?
  39. Isaac0427

    I Einstein solids and time

    When I learned about Einstein solids in thermal physics, we assumed the fundamental assumption of statistical mechanics. For two interacting Einstein solids, I completely understand why this is valid after a considerable amount of time has passed. But, how can we model these solids as they get...
  40. G

    Casimir Effect experiment and implications on motion theory

    Quantum mechanics has argued for years that space is not a vacuum. Arguments attempting to brush aside quantum mechanics vacuum theory claiming, it's 'just a quantum mathematical theory' can now put to rest. In this article, laboratory experimentation demonstrates that the Casimir Effect can...
  41. Quantum23

    A Energy condition respecting warp drives in Einstein Cartan theory

    I read this paper where if you take the alcubierre metric calaculations while including torsion in GR you get positive energy spin requirements instead of exotic matter. Here is the link: https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.09745 Could it be because a spinning quantum vacuum will be less stiff like a...
  42. bhobba

    How Was Einstein Really As a Student?

    Hi All To the general public there are all these myths that Einstein failed math, was a poor student, and all sorts of other misconceptions. Most people on this forum know it is poppycock and I, and I have no doubt other posters, have had to explain its just a myth a number of times. Well...
  43. B

    I "Time is an illusion" according to Einstein

    I keep reading things like the following (for me not correct) on different websites like researchgate (coming from supposedly phd.), so I wanted to make sure there is no flaw in my thinking. One example of a comment I've read was: "TIME is an ILLUSION according to EINSTEIN - (the space-time...
  44. greg_rack

    B Space is Relative: A 17 Yr Old's Exploration

    Hello everybody, my question may sound stupid, especially speaking of such a mind-blowing and important theory... but here I am! I'm 17 and I'm reading a fabulous book by Stephen Hawking, "A Brief History of Time", and it introduced me to relativity theories... I literally started looking the...
  45. T

    Exploring the Grand Partition Function for an Einstein Solid

    $$Q_{(\alpha, \beta)} = \sum_{N=0}^{\infty} e^{\alpha N} Z_{N}(\alpha, \beta) \hspace{1cm} (3.127)$$ Where ##Q## is the grand partition function, ##Z_N## is the canonical partition function and: $$\beta = \frac{1}{kT} \hspace{1cm} \alpha = \frac{\mu}{kT} \hspace{1cm} (3.128)$$ In the case of an...
  46. A

    I Einstein vs Newton: The concept of inertial vs non inertial frames

    Is concept of inertial vs non inertial frame inveted in Einsten theory of relativity or Newton knows that we can see on same object from different perspective? (Newton set 3 laws for inertial frame,so did he knew for realitivtiy when view object form different perspective/frame and did he...
  47. ShadownightPrograms

    I Many-Worlds Theory: Simulation Program in C#

    Here is the Code File in an txt. I can on request provied the whole Program, which includes the PSE, AtomFunctions and many useful but not all implemented Funtions to solve the Many Worlds Problem in C#. Please feel free to ask questions via here or email [e-mail address deleted by Mentors] I...