Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Albert Einstein, born in Ulm, Germany in 1879, is universally regarded as one of the greatest physicists of all time. His astonishing scientific career began with the publication of three path-breaking papers in 1905. In the first paper, he introduced the notion of light quanta (now called photons) and used it to explain the features of photoelectric effect that the classical wave theory of radiation could not account for. In the second paper, he developed a theory of Brownian motion that was confirmed experimentally a few years later and provided a convincing evidence of the atomic picture of matter. The third paper gave birth to the special theory of relativity that made Einstein a legend in his own life time. In the next decade, he explored the consequences of his new theory which included, among other things, the mass-energy equivalence enshrined in his famous equation E = mc2 . He also created the general version of relativity (The General Theory of Relativity), which is the modern theory of gravitation. Some of Einsteinâ€™s most significant later contributions are: the notion of stimulated emission introduced in an alternative derivation of Planckâ€™s blackbody radiation law, static model of the universe which started modern cosmology, quantum statistics of a gas of massive bosons, and a critical analysis of the foundations of quantum mechanics. The year 2005 was declared as International Year of Physics, in recognition of Einsteinâ€™s monumental contribution to physics, in year 1905, describing revolutionary scientific ideas that have since influenced all of modern physics.

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