Albert Einstein: The Genius behind Modern Physics

Aashwasan Dahal

Born on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Germany, Albert Einstein would go on to become one of the most influential physicists in history. From his early years, Einstein exhibited an intense curiosity and a unique way of thinking that would eventually reshape our understanding of the universe.

As a child, Einstein showed remarkable abilities in mathematics and science, but he struggled with the traditional education system. His rebellious nature and nonconformist attitude led him to leave school at a young age. He gained admission to the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zurich, where he graduated in 1900 with a diploma in teaching mathematics and physics.

Einstein’s ground-breaking contributions began in 1905, often referred to as his “miracle year.” During this period, he published four ground-breaking papers that would revolutionize physics. One of these papers introduced the theory of special relativity, which shattered conventional notions of space, time, and the relationship between matter and energy. The famous equation E=mc² emerged from this theory, highlighting the profound interconnection between mass and energy.

In 1915, Einstein published his theory of general relativity, which extended the principles of special relativity to encompass gravity. This theory suggested that massive objects warp space-time, leading to the phenomenon of gravitational curvature. Its prediction of the bending of light around massive objects was spectacularly confirmed during a solar eclipse in 1919. His contribution made him to get Nobel Prize in 1921.

Einstein’s work not only had profound theoretical implications but also practical applications. His insights laid the foundation for technological advancements, including the development of nuclear energy and modern GPS systems.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Einstein, a Jewish pacifist, found himself caught up in the different events of World War II and the rise of Nazi Germany. Fleeing Europe, he settled in the United States and became a citizen in 1940. Fearing the destructive potential of nuclear weapons, Einstein advocated for peaceful uses of atomic energy and was a key figure in the formation of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, an organization dedicated to reducing the threat of nuclear conflict.

Despite his ground-breaking work and immense contributions to science and humanity, Einstein remained a humble and thoughtful individual. He often spoke about the importance of intellectual curiosity, imagination, and the interconnectedness of all things.

He was also highly influenced by eastern civilization. Salil Gewali in his book Great Miinds on India had mentioned about him. According to Albert, “We owe a lot to the Indians who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”

Albert Einstein passed away on April 18, 1955, but his legacy lives on. His work continues to inspire scientists, thinkers, and innovators around the world, reshaping our understanding of the universe and reminding us of the transformative power of human imagination and intellect.