Annus Mirabilis

October 9, 2005

History, Physical Sciences

The UN has called 2005 the World Year of Physics (WYP). And for scientists and scientific historians, this year has been the 100-year anniversary of Einstein’s annus mirabilis – the year he submitted four papers, three of which are hallmarks of modern physics. In 1905, Albert Einstein submitted his papers on Brownian motion, the photoelectric effect and special relativity. With these papers, Einstein established himself as one of the greatest minds of his (or any) century.

The PBS program Nova will broadcast its Einstein’s Big Idea episode this Tuesday. In his September 27, 1905 paper (“Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?“), Einstein first documented m=e/c**2. I can’t fully describe how important Einstein’s works were. I would need to be a physicist, mathematician and poet. But as an enthusiast, I can only recommend that you watch the PBS special. I will be recording it – and probably downloading a recording from the web (via BitTorrent).




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