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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
A Genius, Relatively Speaking
15 March 1999 7:30 pm
is the birthday of legendary physicist Albert Einstein, born in Germany in 1879. Einstein took science by storm with his special and general theories of relativity, which dethroned Isaac Newton's laws of mechanics, merged space and time, and established the speed of light as a cosmic limit. The relativity theories, published in 1905 and 1916, ushered in new eras in science and science fiction, inspiring visions of traveling back in time or growing younger by moving at speeds approaching that of light.
Einstein is perhaps best known for his equation E = MC2, which describes the equivalence of mass and energy. He also showed that physical laws should hold true no matter how they are measured, explained the random movement of particles in fluids (called Brownian motion), and laid the foundations for the photon theory of light. Einstein predicted the bending of starlight near the sun or other massive bodies and became a celebrity when this effect was observed during a solar eclipse in 1919. Einstein won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921 for his work in theoretical physics and particularly for his discovery of the photoelectric effect, in which visible light and other radiation impinging on a substance dislodges electrons from it.
Last fall, Einstein's personal life made news after the auction of love letters to his first wife, Mileva Maric, whom he eventually divorced (see ScienceNOW, 25 November 1996). Einstein died 18 April 1955.