Physics School

Albert Einstein and the Theory of General Relativity

Albert Einstein Biography

To the layman, Albert Einstein is a well known scientist. To the learned and educated especially in the area of physical science and the like, Albert Einstein is the one who formulated the famous formula that involves the speed of light and his general theory of relativity which is his greatest contribution in the world of physics. Here follows the Albert Einstein biography.

Albert Einstein Picture

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein's birth date and his family life

Albert Einstein was the son of Hermann and Pauline Einstein. The Einstein family was a line of non-observant Jews and he spent his elementary days in a Catholic school in Luitpold Gymnasium where he was a top student.

There was one moment in his life when he was around four or five years old when he saw a magnetic compass, and his curiosity about how something was seemingly forcing the needles of the compass to deflect was one of the incidents that led him to become a known and award winning scientist as he is today.

Albert Einstein at University and his work at the Swiss Patent office

When the family business failed around 1894, his family moved to Italy and he continued to study in Aarau, Switzerland where he had quality physics teachers and facilities. In 1896, he studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and graduated as a mathematics and physics secondary school teacher in 1900. And two years later, he was accepted as a technical assistant in the Swiss patent office which is in Bern. While being employed in the Swiss patent office, he spent his spare time and maybe some of his office hours producing his own writings about theoretical physics without any kind of aid from the experts and facilities around him in his office.

Albert Einstein's Education - PhD and Post doctoral work

And in 1905, he got his doctorate degree at the University of Zurich after submitting one of his scientific works that he made during his spare time.

Following the submission of another one of his scientific works to the University of Berne in 1908, he was appointed as a lecturer or Privatdozent there. By 1909 he was already appointed as an associate professor which is a regular appointment at the University of Zurich. And just as quickly, by 1911, he became a Theoretical Physics Professor at the German University of Prague. And then in 1914, he was appointed as the Director at the Kaiser Wilhelm Gesselschaft which is in Berlin. Albert Einstein indeed progressed a lot in just a short span of time. And while he proved his excellence in the area of physics through his own works and publications, he also had music as his past time and for relaxation. Albert Einstein is just as versatile as that.

Who was Albert Einstein Married to?

Albert Einstein married twice. In 1903, he was married to Mileva Marc and they had two sons and one daughter. In 1919, his marriage to Mileva Marc was dissolved and then he was married to his cousin Elsa Lowenthal.

When did Albert Einstein die?

Albert Einstein died on April 18, 1955 leaving a remnant of his great works about relativity which is still now a fundamental concept in theoretical physics. And although many concepts have been later elaborated by other scientists, his contribution and his work still remain useful in deriving and explaining different concepts in theoretical physics today.

Einstein's Theory of General Relativity

Albert Einstein developed the theory of general relativity in 1915. It is a gravitational theory that primarily involves a particle’s acceleration with respect to or relative to another. It describes the relationship of space, time, and matter. It is also a modified and improved alteration of Newton’s Law of Gravity.

Newton’s Law of Gravity, which states that the force experienced between two masses is directly proportional with the gravitational constant, is time independent and this just means that for any instant the force caused by gravity is the same for all distances. This makes Newton’s Law of Gravity flawed because it contradicts a fundamental principle in mechanics and Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity. Mechanics states that an object cannot accelerate on its own without any force acting on it. Einstein’s theory of special relativity states that no signal travels faster than the speed of light.

Einstein's Theory of General Relativity Implications

Einstein's theory of general relativity implies that matter distorts the space versus time continuum or what is commonly referred to as space-time. That is, the presence of matter with its energy and momentum causes the curvature of space-time. And this is because gravity makes the object that it acts upon to move in a path that it does not naturally follow. This is what Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity basically is all about.

Einsteinian Field Equations

There are even what are called as Einsteinian field equations which refer to the equations that Einstein formulated and these equations relate the space-time curvature to the matter’s mass, energy, and momentum that are associated with it. The theory of general relativity predicts a number of things, and some of these have already been proven and tested through long-time research that they are already referred to as its physical consequences.
The gravitational time dilation is one of the consequences of the theory of general relativity. Gravitational time dilation refers to time running more slowly when it is closer to a massive body or when it is in an area of higher gravitational field. That is, time goes faster when it is farther away from a massive body.

Deflection of Light

Light bending or light deflection is also one of its consequences. The theory of general relativity predicts that light passing through a massive object is being deflected or bent towards that body. This explains the bending of light around the sun.

Another consequence is the orbital precess. That is, the orbiting body will rotate in its orbit in such a way that its orbit points precess into an ellipse because the orbit points are being attracted to the center of mass of the system.

Discovering Black Holes

Einstein’s theory of general relativity indeed explains a lot of things and helps scientists predict a great deal of things. Through the theory of general relativity, black holes can be predicted and light deflection especially those made by the sun had helped scientists and astronomers discover and analyze new things.

A solar eclipse in 1919 was one of the recognized confirmations of the accuracy of this theory when the light that was passing through the sun was being deflected as it was on its way to the earth. It even gave Einstein the Nobel Prize in 1921 because his theory of general relativity has been one of the most confirmed theories in the world of physics.