Archive for Einstein

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Light Speed Is Relatively Slow

We usually think of light as being extremely fast because it is the fastest thing we have been able to observe so far. The physics of relativity theory by Einstein suggests to us that the speed of light is an absolute limit built into the fabric of space and time as we observe it. This […]

1905 – photoelectric effect

Maxwell‘s equations showed that light, electricity and magnetism all had similar wave characteristics and suggested that light was a variation of the electro-magnetic wave form. If this was true, light and other electro-magnetic waves impacting metal would cause a flow of electric current in the metal. At the time, scientists were using electrified glass tubes […]

1826 – Riemann – bio

Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann was born in 1826 in Breselenz, Germany. He worked on analytic geometry, algebraic geometry, and both non-euclidean and n-dimensional geometries. Some of this work laid important foundations for Einstein’s theory of relativity. He composed the famous “Riemann Hypothesis” which deals with predicting prime numbers. He was a student under Gauss. PRECURSOR: […]

1900 – Pauli – bio

Wolfgang Pauli was born in Vienna, Austria in 1900 and was a physicist known as one of the creators of quantum mechanics. He particularly become known for the “Pauli Exclusion Principle” which states that no two electrons can be in the same quantum state at the same time. PRECURSOR: 1831 – Maxwell 1838 – Mach […]

1858 – Planck – bio

Max Planck was born in 1858 in Kiel, Germany and was the physicist responsible for creating the beginnings of quantum theory. Planck was working on a description of electromagnetic radiation when he discovered that energy is only radiated in discrete bundles, or quanta. A constant derived from the equation he produced is now known as […]

1864 – Minkowski – bio

Hermann Minkowski was born in Lithuania in 1864 and was a mathematician who also did work in mathematical physics and relativity. “Minkowski Space” is a manifold constructed with three space-like dimensions and one time-like dimension to create the four dimensional spacetime continuum associated with relativity theory. When he taught at a science and technology university […]

1838 – Mach – bio

Ernst Mach was born in 1838 in what was then part of Austria and now part of the Czech Republic. He was a physicist and philosopher and studied wave dynamics, fluid mechanics and shock waves. He was the first to study super-sonic motion. Multiples of the speed of sound are now designated by numbers named […]

1854 – Poincare – bio

Henri Poincare was born in Nancy, France in 1854 and was a mathematician, physicist and philosopher. He may be best known for posing a theoretical problem in topology called “the Poincare Conjecture” which is a problem in topology about how a sphere can be defined by dealing with the characteristics of a three dimensional manifold. […]

1885 – Kaluza – bio

Theodore Kaluza was born in Oppeln, Germany in 1885. He was a mathematician and physicist who is most noted for his contribution to “Kaluza-Klein” theory. This theory, named for the work done by both Kaluza and Oscar Klein, deals with field equations that attempted to unify Einstein’s theory of gravition and and Maxell’s electromagnetic theory […]

1885 – Weyl – bio

Born near Hamburg, Germany in 1885, Hermann Weyl was a mathematician whose work had a strong influence on both physics and number theory. He worked on combining general relativity and the laws of electromagnetism. He worked with Lie algebras, symmetry and created the first version of gauge theory which attempted to describe both electromagnetic and […]