World’s Super Scientists – Einstein Albert

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A scientist difficult to understand – Einstein Albert

Scientist Einstein Albert (1879 to 1955) “Father of Modern Physics” was born in the German city of Ulm. He was born with such a large head that his mother thought he was a deformed boy.

Music was an attraction right from his childhood; he hated army parades wherein human beings moved like machines.

At the age of ten he entered a “secondary” school called a Gymnasium where Catholic preaching was dinned into the ears of this shrewd Jew.

After his graduation in the Gymnasium he came into his own fold of Jewish community, though harassed by the Hitler- Nazi regime.

At the age of twelve Scientist Einstein valued as a treasure two articles — a watch fitted with a magnetic compass presented by his father and Euclid’s geometry.

At Scientist Einstein age of fifteen his father moved to Italy but young Einstein continued in the Gymnasium wherein things were not to his liking.

Scientist Einstein left it and joined his father in Italy. He wanted to make a career in mathematical physics, moved to the famous Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich, Switzerland.

After completing education, Scientist Einstein joined as an examiner (post of clerk) in the Swiss Patent Office in Berne in 1900, though his ambition was to become a physics teacher.

The genius in Scientist Einstein was evident by the notes solving problems of mathematics, physics and problems of the universe.

At the age of 26 he got his Ph.D. degree from the University of Zurich. He published five papers, vide infra, the cream of his work, which venture made him world-famous.

1. The term ‘radiation’ implies energy transfer to celestial bodies and living matter which is witnessed, for example, in

  1. life processes, e.g., photosynthesis in plants,
  2. harmful effects of radiation to human tissues.

Radiation

type i) Radiation is the emission of a form of energy in motion; the speed of such motion either equals that of light, also called “electromagnetic rays” which in turn, includes radio waves, micro waves, infrared rays, visible light, ultraviolet rays, X-rays, and gamma rays. These are characterized by zero mass when (theoretically) at rest. Speed of light in free space is 3 x 1010 centimetres per second or 186,000 miles per second.

type ii) also called “matter rays” includes such particles as electrons, protons, and neutrons. In a state of rest, these particles have mass; they are the constituents of atoms and atomic nuclei. When they travel at high velocities, they are regarded as radiation.

Scientist Einstein showed that when light falls on metals like tungsten, they emit electrons. Photo electrons are electrons ejected from a solid, liquid or gas by the photoelectric effect. Photoelectric effect is the emission of electrons from a solid (or liquid) surface when it is irradiated with electromagnetic radiation.

2. Brownian movement observed under a microscope wherein the microscopic particles are continuously bombarded by the invisibly small molecules of the fluid in a container.

3. Relativity :  Einstein’s theory of the universe, which shows that all motion is relative and treats time as a fourth dimension related to space. “Special Theory of Relativity” in which Einstein postulated that the physical qualities like mass, length and time are not constant, but vary with the velocity of the body.
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A traveling clock runs slower than a clock that is at rest.

Scientist Einstein, in his speeches and remarks frequently invoked ‘God’ and ‘Lord’ – he was caricatured as a ‘religious scientist’. He was a great exponent of Gita’s philosophy.

Scientist Einstein remarks at the mathematical simplicity out of the laws governing the Universe. “God” he said, “does not play at dice.”
Yet, it is beyond the comprehension of the common scientist because of its complicated interpretation.

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4. Transformation of matter – into – energy, law : energy (E) is equal to the product of mass (m) times the speed of light squared (c2) written as E = mc2. This equation shows that matter, if entirely changed into energy produces an unbelievable amount of energy. Solid mass is a tremendous store/seat of energy. Masscan be converted into energy, energy can be transformed into mass – particles.

The process of converting mass into energy is nuclear fission.

Basing on the above equation, if one pound of matter is converted into energy, it would be equivalent to the energy generated by burning seven million tons of dynamite! Such a fantastic explanation lies behind the creation of the atom/ atomic bomb. So, mass (matter) could be changed into energy, and energy could be changed into matter (Einstein, 1905). Since the velocity of light is a huge number, 186,000 miles per second or 300,000,000 (three hundred million) metres per second, the energy obtained from even a very small amount of matter is very high, indeed.

Scientist Albert Einstein regretted very much the use of atom bomb when it was dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945; instead, he advocated peaceful uses of atomic energy for the benefit of mankind.

Hazard of radiation : ‘Hitherto man had to live with the idea of death as an individual; from now on mankind will have to live with the idea of its death as a species.’ —Arthur Koestler 5.   He proved that light travels in the form of particles called photons (also called “quanta”). Photons are pieces of light energy.

In 1921 he was awarded Nobel Prize for physics. In 1933 when the Nazis came to power, he was treated rudely. He proceeded to the United States and became the Director of the School of Mathematics in the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton; he became a U.S. citizen in 1940.

In 1950 he published the physical laws of gravitation and electromagnetism.

Scientist Einstein opined that Newton’s law was valid as long as one was dealing with weak gravitational forces, e.g., on earth. But when massive heavenly bodies are involved, e.g., quasars, black holes, etc, Newton’s law is not applicable (see Issac Newton).

In 1955 he died while he was in deep slumber. His brain was removed and preserved in Princeton hospital, to study more about the mystery of this genius.

Scientist Einstein devoted his life to the advancement of both knowledge and peace. To honour this apostle of peace, an element “einsteinium(Es)” of atomic number 99 has been named after this scientist. All einsteinium isotopes are radioactive.

Tailpiece

The famous equation of Einstein E = mc2 is a boon to mankind to produce energy using nuclear material; the application/result of the same equation in the hands of politicians wreaked havoc (great damage) in Hiroshima.

Serendipity in the ‘art of cooking’ – microwave oven

The idea of ‘microwave oven originated in the brain of an engineer after world war II, while working on a radar; when he walked in front of the antenna, chocolate bar in his pocket melted.

Cooking food with microwaves was discovered by Dr. Percy Spencer while building magnetrons for radar sets at Raytheon.

He was the leading expert in the field of ‘microwave energy’. During the above venture, while working on an active radar set he noticed that a peanut candy bar in his pocket began melting. The radar had melted his candy bar with microwaves.

General Studies Question Bank CDIn 1947 the first microwave oven, the Radarange was built. The first food to be cooked with microwaves was popcorn. An egg while being cooked exploded onto the face of one of the experimenters.

It was 6 feet tall and weighed 340 kg. It was water-cooled and consumed 3000 watts of power, and produced about three times the amount of radiation that today’s microwave ovens generate.

Sophisticated and safer models are now available in the market. _

Do you know?

  • The lifespan of a dragon fly is 24 hours whereas that of a human being is 100 years.
  • “When a man sits with a pretty girl and indulges in tete-a tete for one hour, it seems like a minute. But if he sits on a hot stove for a minute, he feels he’s sitting for longer than one hour.” That’s relativity.

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