Albert Einstein’s greatest Theories and Achievements
Einstein is very famous, even to those who know minimal about science.
Most people only know about the equation E=mc2, but what are the most important achievements of Einstein?
The one which you will all know is E=mc2, which is easiest the most popular equation in the world, you can see though why long equations like this didn’t take off though.
The mass-energy equivalence, which has the famous equation E = mc2 helped show that just a small amount of matter contains a gigantic amount of energy. Because you’re multiplying by the speed of light squared, just a small amount of weight, like say 60 kilograms would have 5.3925311×1018 Joules of energy. There is also enough energy in a class of water to power the whole of the United Kingdom for a day, which might seem surprising, but here’s the proof:
The problem though is how to get the energy out of the 300 grams worth of water. The first atomic bomb though had 0.6 grams of mass and ended up having enough energy to destroy a whole city.
Einstein also changed the way we think about gravity. At school you were taught that: “Any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force, directly proportional to the multiplication (product) of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.”
This is Newton’s theory of gravity but Albert Einstein had a theory which would change the way we think about gravity forever.
Einstein proposed general relativity. Both of the two theories both describe gravity as being a gravitational field on space, but Einstein’s theory, better identified as general relativity is the curvature of spacetime fabric due to matter telling spacetime how to curve. A common quote is that “matter tells spacetime how to curve, and curved spacetime tells matter how to move.”
Einstein also published a paperback in 1905 explaining the photoelectric effect which sees light energy being carried in discrete quantized packets.
The photoelectric effect at its most basic allows under the right circumstances (and light being at the right frequency), for light to cause matter to emit electrons when exposed to electromagnetic radiation.
This allows you to create a current around a circuit by shining a light on a metal and under the right circumstances those electrons will fly into the other end of the circuit causing a current.
Einstein created the equation hν = W + E where h equals plank’s constant, v is the frequency of the photo, w is the work function, and E is the maximum kinetic energy of the emitted electrons.
Einstein proposed that light is made out of separate packets of energy which can either be referred to as quanta or photons (you’ve probably heard the later more often. These have both the properties of particles and waves.
Einstein also helped contribute to providing that atoms and molecules actually exist.
In 1905 Einstein published a paper that describes the Brownian motion, which sees particles colliding with other molecules in a liquid or gas causing them to move around in a random motion.
Albert Einstein then got the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics. He got noble prize especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”
Even after he died on April 18, 1955, he is still regarded as one of the best scientists of all time and is still best known for E=mc2.