Einstein A to Z by Karen C. Fox and Aries Keck

Recent Posts
Einstein is smart
Einstein's home was window on the universe
An Einstein theory still tantalizes
Lights around the world relay Einstein's genius
Einstein's desk gets spruced up for return visit to Berlin
Einstein's time of space and relative peace
Einstein led an eccentric, contradictory private life
Benchmark of genius: Einstein theories alive
Another Einstein? Perhaps not for a very long time
Stamp show to feature Einstein commemoration

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Blog: Einstein in the News

Einstein and the Quantum Theory
Monday, February 28, 2005

In 1905, Einstein shook the world three times. In a series of five papers and his Ph D thesis, he demonstrated the reality of molecules by measuring them and explained Brownian motion (which had bothered biologists for some time). He explained the photoelectric effect. His paper on special relativity is the classic for theoretical scientific reasoning.

In this article, I will explain Einstein’s work on the Quantum Theory ...
Full story from the Daily Times.

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Einstein: The Chemical View of the Miracle Year
Friday, February 25, 2005

Last month, a four-day conference in Paris called the World Year of Physics 2005 officially opened the International Year of Physics. As chemistry professionals, we all suffer some "physics envy" and no more so than on the centennial of the year Albert Einstein published three papers, each of which could have earned a Nobel prize and assured his place among the greatest scientists of all time. By publishing all of them in one year at the young age of 26 while working in a Swiss patent office, he is without question one of the greatest scientists ever.

Chemical engineering as a professional discipline need not share the frustration chemists feel when the "central science" of chemistry is shouldered aside in the public mind in favor those who explore the ends of the universe and time itself. After all, chemical engineering is concerned not only with reactions, but the scale of reactions. It is the intersection of chemistry and physics. So, allow to me to suggest a chemical view of that extraordinary year ...
Full story from RedNova News.

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EXPLORATIONS -- Albert Einstein
Wednesday, February 23, 2005

In the year 1905, Albert Einstein published some important papers in a German scientific magazine. They included one of the most important scientific documents in history. It was filled with mathematics. It explained what came to be called his "Special Theory of Relativity." Ten years later he expanded it to a "General Theory of Relativity."

Albert Einstein's theories of relativity are about the basic ideas we use to describe natural happenings. They are about time, space, mass, movement, and gravity.
Full story from Voice of America.

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'Einstein@home,' Revolutionary Astrophysics Project, Targets Ordinary Computer Users -- Lots of Them
Monday, February 21, 2005

What's your computer doing while you sleep or go to work this week? Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), the California Institute of Technology, and the Albert Einstein Institute want to use that extra computing power on a quest to make history in the field of astrophysics.

In a project called "Einstein@Home," anyone with a home computer can participate in an astrophysical treasure hunt. The project was officially announced at the American Association for the Feb. 19 Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

"Einstein@Home" borrows idle "cycles" (computer power available when no one is using it) to scan massive amounts of data collected by gravitational wave detectors originating from three observatories - two in the U.S. (called LIGO) and one in Germany.

The objective is to find the first physical evidence of one of Einstein's greatest predictions - the existence of gravitational waves, says Bruce Allen, UW-Milwaukee professor of physics who is principal investigator on the federally funded project.
Full story from AScribe.

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Einstein Reportedly Proud
Saturday, February 19, 2005

The genius blesses us with his words of wisdom and gives us pause to remember that it's ok to think - . . .

"He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice." -- Albert Einstein
From BenciaNews.com.

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Software sifts through gravity’s mysteries
Saturday, February 19, 2005

Physicists on Saturday kicked off a campaign to enlist Internet users to help solve one of the biggest unresolved questions surrounding Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity: Do gravitational waves really exist?

Eighty-nine years ago, Einstein predicted that such ripples in space-time should be set off by dramatic cosmic events, such as black hole collisions and stellar explosions. But to date, no one has ever detected the waves. Two sprawling observatories have been set up in the United States and Germany to look for them, but analyzing the data from those efforts requires an enormous amount of computing power.

That's where Einstein @ Home enters the picture.

The screensaver-type program was released to the public on Saturday in conjunction with the American Physical Society's World Year of Physics celebration, marking the centennial of Einstein's initial theories on relativity and quantum physics.
Full story from MSNBC.

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Einstein's response to fan unearthed
Saturday, February 19, 2005

A note containing a mathematical formula written by Albert Einstein given to a fan while the scientist was visiting Japan has been unearthed and will be on display at an event celebrating the centennial of the scientist's most well-known theory.

The note, which dates back to 1922, was written and signed by Einstein in response to a letter he received from Chuji Tsuboi, a 20-year-old physics student of Tokyo Imperial University.

Written on stationery from the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, where Einstein was staying, the note includes an equation from Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and a message of friendship.

The paper serves as a testament to the generous personality of the genius, who would not ignore even an unknown student.
Full story from The Daily Yomiuri.

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Revolutionary Grassroots Astrophysics Project "Einstein@Home" Goes Live
Friday, February 18, 2005

A new grassroots computing project dubbed Einstein@Home, which will let anyone with a personal computer contribute to cutting edge astrophysics research, will be officially announced at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC on Saturday, February 19.
Full story from PhysOrg.com.

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Einstein Centennial
Friday, February 18, 2005

One hundred years ago this year, patent clerk Albert Einstein published a series of scientific papers that would change the course of physics and brand him forever as a scientific and cultural icon.
Listen to the full story on National Public Radio.

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Colleges join worldwide Einstein fete
Sunday, February 13, 2005

Albert Einstein never taught at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, never walked the campus on the north shore of Seneca Lake.

But the works of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist turned pop culture icon touch discipline after discipline here, and not just in physics professor Donald Spector's class.

"His career impacted so many areas — the arts, philosophy, technology, civil rights," Spector said.

Hobart and William Smith will dedicate a day of events to Einstein later this month, including a daylong symposium on his legacy. It comes as part of International Einstein Year, with scientists and schools around the globe hosting events to mark the centennial of what was one of the most remarkable years in science.
Full story from Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

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Scots close in on Einstein’s missing link
Sunday, February 13, 2005

It is the holy grail of the world of science — the final link in Einstein’s theory of relativity that would provide definitive evidence of the birth of the universe.

Physicists at Glasgow University believe that they are on the verge of winning an international race to prove the existence of gravitational waves — the tremors caused by the Big Bang known as the “echo of creation”.

They are confident that within 12 months they can pull off one of the greatest coups in the history of science. In doing so they should make themselves uncontestable nominees for the Nobel prize for physics.
Full story from Times Online.

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Einstein’s wonderful year
Friday, February 11, 2005

In ancient times scientists understood the changes in the motion of objects with the help of Aristotle's teachings. They believed that if something moved, it was because something moved it. But they did not say what kind of force was needed for motion to begin in the first place.

Thinkers in the Middle Ages did not come up with a suitable formula to refute Aristotle's theories. It was not until the 17th century that Galileo opposed Aristotle's theories with the law of inertia.

In a matter of a few years Newton adopted Galileo's theories and took them a step further. By 1666 he had already come up with his most famous theories: the laws of motion and gravitation. And through his infinitesimal calculus he provided the means for proving them.

Newton's theories remained valid until the beginning of the 20th century when the theory of relativity was formulated. In his articles published in 1905 the young Albert Einstein showed that Newton's concepts are only acceptable in certain conditions. That year became known as the Annus Mirabilis. With these documents Einstein turned the view of the world upside down; its influence was felt starting from the smallest particles and going right up to the biggest ones: stars, galaxies and the universe itself.
Full story from berria.

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100 Years Later, Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity Still Fascinates, Perplexes Theoretical Space Travelers
Monday, February 07, 2005

Researchers have discovered the possibility of billions or trillions of stars and planets like our own in existence, but can you imagine what would happen if you could visit just one of them at near light-speed?

In the 100th anniversary year of Albert Einstein's published theory of special relativity, the physics of reaching even the closest of star systems remain daunting, says Dr. Jerry Pournelle (best-selling author and Science Editor of Byte magazine). Assuming a near light-speed propulsion system were invented, getting to Proxima Centauri (the star nearest to the Sun) would take 4.2 years one way.

There are bigger problems, he adds. Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity says that if we could travel at or near the speed of light, time, as regulated by a stationary point such as Earth, would differ greatly from time as measured on the moving vessel. Meaning? "Space travelers returning to Earth would have experienced only a few years, while decades could have passed on Earth," says Dr. Pournelle.

"Popular science fiction fare basically leaps over the issue of aging while heroes and villains travel to and from solar systems," says Dr. Pournelle. "It would get very tricky if special relativity was addressed."
Full story from Market Wire.

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Einstein's insights live on
Sunday, February 06, 2005

If the name Albert Einstein is synonymous with genius, it is mostly because of the work he did in 1905 - the year, as he described it, when "a storm broke loose in my mind."

In just seven months, the scientific legend produced theories that still underpin modern physics, and that ultimately made possible such developments as the atomic bomb and global positioning technology.

To mark the 100th anniversary, the United Nations has declared 2005 the International Year of Physics. Over its course, historians will try to breathe life into an icon who is often reduced to caricature, while scientists struggle to explain his impact on the modern world.
Full story from The Ann Arbor News.

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Einstein's Miracle Year
Friday, February 04, 2005

This year, science lovers along with atoms, photons and neutrons throughout the universe have something to celebrate. It is the centenary of Einstein's 'miracle year'.

Einstein recalled 1905 as the year when he said "a storm broke loose in my mind'. That year, he proved the existence of atoms, devised the theory of relativity, showing that e equals mc2 and laid the foundations for quantum physics. Fifty years after his death, Einstein's reputation is only improving with age. His theories of the universe continue to be supported by new generations of scientists and the technological tools that Einstein could only imagine. This hour, that year in the life of Albert Einstein, the man who was as famous as a rock star but died still trying to 'read the mind of God'. 1905 - it very good year Uncle Albert.
Full story from The Connection.

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Mental Giant
Friday, February 04, 2005

A half-century after his death, Albert Einstein's face remains one of the most recognizable in the world.

Most of us couldn't identify a picture of other renowned physicists, such as Max Planck or Richard Feynman or even Isaac Newton, if our lives depended on it.

But we warm up to Einstein's kindly mug, with his twinkling eyes, knowing smile and crazy hair. His image has become a sort of visual shorthand for the concept "eccentric genius."

This year is not only the 50th anniversary of Einstein's death, but also the 100th anniversary of the year he unleashed his brilliance on the world.
Full story from the South Bend Tribune.

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A century after a pivotal year
Thursday, February 03, 2005

"What are you up to, you frozen whale, you smoked, dried, canned piece of soul?"

So did Albert Einstein, then a 26-year-old patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland, begin a letter to his pal Conrad Habicht in the spring of 1905.

Whatever Habicht, a math teacher in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, had been up to was not much, compared with the activities of his irreverent friend. During the few free hours left to a young father, husband and government worker, Einstein had been altering the foundations of physics. As he related to Habicht, he had just finished writing three major physics papers.
Full story from Kentucky.com.

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Home PCs to find Einstein's gravity waves
Thursday, February 03, 2005

The downtime of a million computers is to be harnessed in the biggest search for never-seen-before gravity waves as they ripple through the cosmos.

US scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), working with colleagues from the around the world including Australia, are inviting home computer users to take part in the Einstein@Home project.
Full story from ABC Online.

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Secrets of Einstein's molecular mosh pit
Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Lasers can help us fill in the gaps in one of Einstein's key theories on how particles move a century after he first published it, scientists say.

Danish researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute and Riso National Laboratory describe how lasers that act as "optical tweezers" can for the first time demonstrate an anomaly in Einstein's explanation of Brownian motion, 100 years after his landmark publication.

The researchers publish their proposed experiment this week in a special Einstein Year issue of the New Journal of Physics.

Brownian motion was named after Robert Brown, a biologist who in 1827 noticed that pollen grains in water viewed under a microscope jiggled around.

Einstein came up with an explanation in 1905, when he published one of a series of landmark papers that were to change the world of physics.

Einstein theorised that particles in a fluid jiggle because of they are constantly buffeted by fluid molecules, much like a molecular mosh pit or a soccer ball kicked from player to player during a football match.
Full story from ABC Online.

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Quote by Einstein hung from German chancellery
Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A quote by Albert Einstein was hung from the German chancellery to mark 100 years since he made the first of his scientific discoveries that would change the world.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder stood by as the quote "the state is for the people, and not the people for the state" was suspended from the northern face of his offices.

Another of Einstein's quotes was suspended on the nearby Swiss embassy. The scientist held Swiss citizenship and worked in the country from 1902 to 1914.

"Einstein is one of the most important physicists of all time, and one of the most famous natural scientists of the 20th century," Schroeder said last month at a launch ceremony for "Einstein Year" in Germany.

"It is to be hoped that in this centenary year, many intellectuals and scientists follow his example and play a greater role in political debate and involve themselves in the challenges facing our society," he said.
Full story from Entertainment News.

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100 years on, science celebrates a superstar
Tuesday, February 01, 2005

His face has adorned thousands of T-shirts, and the walls of uncountable student flats, and his name is synonymous with brilliance.

But if you thought Albert Einstein and his famous equation E=mc2 were everywhere, you ain't seen nothing yet.

This year has been declared World Year of Physics to mark the centenary of Einstein's outpouring of discovery in 1905, which did nothing less than revolutionise our understanding of the cosmos.
Full story from The New Zealand Herald.

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New chief for IoP during Einstein Year
Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A leading educationalist has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Institute of Physics as the UK begins to celebrate Einstein Year – the biggest ever celebration of physics in the UK and Ireland.

Today the Institute announced that it has appointed Dr. Robert Kirby-Harris as its new chief executive, replacing Dr Julia King who left last year to become the Principal of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College, London.

Dr. Kirby-Harris, who will take up his new post from 4th April 2005, joins the Institute at the beginning of Einstein Year. Einstein Year is the centenary of Einstein’s three ground-breaking discoveries and a celebration of physics – communicating the vital role physics plays in developing new technologies such as hospital imaging, mobile phones and computers, and addressing big questions like how the Universe was created and works.
Full story from the Institute of Physics.

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Physicist And Stunt Rider Create World's First 'Einstein Flip'
Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Einstein was a keen cyclist and although there is no evidence to suggest he ever attempted a "360-degree back-flip with table-top", or even a humble wheelie, it is claimed that inspiration for his theory of Special Relativity came to him while riding his bicycle.

One hundred years after the publication of his landmark papers on Special Relativity, Brownian Motion and the Photoelectric Effect, cycling and science will come together once more in another world first: a BMX bicycle stunt designed by a physicist.

The stunt was performed live and for the first time on 5th Jan 2005 at the official launch of Einstein Year at London's Science Museum. It was commissioned by the Institute of Physics to mark the beginning of a year-long celebration of physics. Einstein Year is the UK's contribution to the International Year of Physics in 2005.

Caitlin Watson, Einstein Year project manager, said: "Einstein Year is all about challenging people's perceptions of physics – especially young people’s perceptions."
Full story from ScienceDaily.

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Einstein A to Z * Karen C. Fox and Aries Keck
Wiley publishing * Publication date: August 2004 * ISBN: 0-471-46674-3 * $17.95 paperback * 300 pp