Einstein: A Radical, But Not A Rebel

(Forbes Science) – Chad Orzel:

Albert Einstein is easily one of the most recognizable people in history, and everybody thinks they know why. He’s the guy who, in 1905, completely revolutionized physics, overthrowing the prior order with a stroke of a pen and ushering in the modern era.

Only, he’s not. At least, not in the way you think. Einstein’s best known for the Theory of Relativity, the first part of which was published in 1905, but this was not, in fact, all that revolutionary. His actual revolutionary contribution to physics in that year was his paper on the photoelectric effect. This is somewhat overlooked, though it’s the one thing specifically mentioned in his Nobel Prize citation, and it played an essential role in launching quantum mechanics. …


Photoelectric effect


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