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Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955) was a German-born Jewish theoretical physicist of profound genius, who is widely regarded as the greatest scientist of the 20-th century and one of the greatest scientists of all time. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect in 1905 and "for his services to Theoretical Physics".

After his general theory of relativity was formulated in November 1915, Einstein became world famous, an unusual achievement for a scientist.

Einstein himself was deeply concerned with the social impact of scientific discovery. His reverence for all creation, his belief in the grandeur, beauty, and sublimity of the universe (the primary source of inspiration in science), his awe for the scheme that is manifested in the material universe - all of these show through in his work and philosophy.

Einstein was born at Ulm in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, about 100 km east of Stuttgart. His parents were Hermann Einstein, a featherbed salesman who later ran an electrochemical works, and Pauline, whose maiden name was Koch. They were married in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. The family was Jewish (non-observant).

He is the author of four articles that provided the foundation of modern physics, without much scientific literature to which he could refer or many scientific colleagues with whom he could discuss the theories. Most physicists agree that three of those papers (on Brownian motion, the photoelectric effect, and special relativity) deserved Nobel Prizes. Only the paper on the photoelectric effect would win one. What makes these papers remarkable is that, in each case, Einstein boldly took an idea from theoretical physics to its logical consequences and managed to explain experimental results that had baffled scientists for decades.

In November 1915, Einstein presented a series of lectures before the Prussian Academy of Sciences in which he described his theory of general relativity. The final lecture climaxed with his introduction of an equation that replaced Newton's law of gravity. This theory considered all observers to be equivalent, not only those moving at a uniform speed. In general relativity, gravity is no longer a force but is a consequence of the curvature of space-time.

The theory provided the foundation for the study of cosmology and gave scientists the tools for understanding many features of the universe that were discovered well after Einstein's death. A truly revolutionary theory, general relativity has so far passed every test posed to it and has become a powerful tool used in the analysis of many subjects in physics.

Einstein's relationship with quantum physics was quite remarkable. He was the first to say that quantum theory was revolutionary. His postulation that light can be described not only as a wave with no kinetic energy, but also as massless discrete packets of energy called quanta with measurable kinetic energy (now known as photons) marked a landmark break with the classical physics. In 1909 Einstein presented his first paper on the quantification of light to a gathering of physicists and told them that they must find some way to understand waves and particles together.

Einstein also assisted Erwin Schrodinger in the development of the quantum Boltzmann distribution, a mixed classical and quantum mechanical gas model although he realized that this was less significant than the Bose-Einstein model and declined to have his name included on the paper.

His work at the Institute for Advanced Study focused on the unification of the laws of physics, which he referred to as the Unified Field Theory. He attempted to construct a model which would describe all of the fundamental forces as different manifestations of a single force. His attempt was hindered because the strong and weak nuclear forces were not understood independently until around 1970, fifteen years after Einstein's death.



Exercise 1. Answer the questions:

1. Who is Einstein?

2. What was Einstein awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for?

3. Where was Einstein born?

4. What were Einstein’s parents?

5. What can you say about Einstein’s 4 articles on the foundation of modern physics?

6. Speak about the theory of general relativity.

7. Was Einstein’s relationship with quantum physics remarkable?

8. What did Einstein dedicate his work at the Institute for Advanced Study to?

Exercise 2. Give the English equivalents to the following expressions:

Величайший учёный всех времён, фотоэлектрический эффект, общая теория относительности, необычное достижение, социальное влияние, научное открытие, вера в красоту, источник вдохновения, девичье имя, заслуживать, логическое последствие, десятилетие, квантовая физика, кинетическая энергия, волна, частица, значительный, пытаться, различные проявления.

Exercise 3. Give the Russian equivalents to the following expressions:

Рrofound genius, to be deeply concerned, reverence, sublimity of the universe, primary source, scheme, featherbed salesman, Brownian motion, introduction of an equation, at a uniform speed, the curvature of space-time, powerful tool, massless discrete packets of energy, measurable kinetic energy, quantification of light, unification of the laws of physics, to construct a model.





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