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Albert Einsteins Impact on Society and the Modern World - Essay Example

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This essay examines the life and work of Albert Einstein, who was awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics for having provided a broad insight into the photoelectric effect, although his main contribution was the formulation of the special and general theories of relativity…
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Albert Einsteins Impact on Society and the Modern World
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of the of the of the Albert Einstein’s Impact on Society and the Modern World One of the physicists who had wrought a profound change in the manner in which we view the world, was undoubtedly the German born Albert Einstein. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for having provided a comprehensive insight into the photoelectric effect. His main contribution was the formulation of the special and general theories of relativity (Einstein, Albert ).
Initially Einstein faced substantial economic deprivation, however, after 1919; he was acclaimed all over the world. He was bestowed with a number of awards and honors, by the different international scientific societies. Like all other celebrities, he was beset upon by photographers and reporters, irrespective of the country that he visited. However, he utilized this opportunity to disseminate his political and social views (Glasstone).
The exactitude and attention to detail that was the hallmark of Einstein’s theories in science was extended to his endeavors to address the burning social issues of his time. However, the pride of place in his efforts was reserved for the study of science, because he was of the opinion that studies discoveries regarding the nature of the universe would never lose their relevance (Glasstone).
In the twilight of his life and in the aftermath of the horrendous atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US, Einstein expended a great deal of effort in making the people aware of the change brought about by nuclear weapons (Einstein, Albert ).
Einstein was one of the foremost theoretical physicists of all time. Nevertheless, he managed to set apart some time for dabbling in politics and cultural events. He was an avid correspondent and exchanged voluminous missives with a number of people. In this process, he indulged in important philosophical discussions with renowned scholars like Cassirer, Reichenbach and Schlick (Einstein, Albert (1879 - 1955)).
Notwithstanding the fact that he was not fully in concurrence with logical positivism, all the same he patronized that movement to a certain extent and used his good offices to procure academic positions for quite a few of its luminaries (Einstein, Albert (1879 - 1955)).
His fame and standing were extraordinary, as is revealed by the fact that in 1952, Ben Gurion offered him the presidency of Israel, which he refused to accept. At the time of his demise, he was actively involved in the formulation of the unified field theory and at the time of his active involvement in nuclear disarmament (Einstein, Albert (1879 - 1955)).
He gave the world the general theory of relativity or the GTR in 1915. He made important discoveries in quantum field theory and worked for long on unifying electromagnetism and gravitation, which would have served to bring about the unified theory. He did not succeed in formulating the unified field theory; however, his discoveries reduced the classical mechanics of Newton to a mere approximation of his theory of relativity (Einstein, Albert ).
One of his major contributions to the war effort was to convince Roosevelt to inaugurate the Manhattan Project, which brought about the invention of the fission bomb (Einstein, Albert ).
The energy released by such a bomb was governed by his famous equation:
E = mc2
where,
E represents the energy released in the conversion of matter to energy;
m represents the mass so converted; and
c represents the velocity of light (Lasky).
However, in his later years he advocated the eschewal of violence and the use of nuclear weapons. He was instrumental in developing popular notions regarding scientists and their works of eminence (Einstein, Albert ).
He was very active in promoting Zionism, especially in the early 1920’s , when he extensively toured the UK and the US in order to mobilize funds and support for the Jewish cause. The renewal of cultural and scientific relations between the countries of a war ravaged Europe owed a lot to his sincere and protracted efforts. In his opinion education was to be in a non – competitive and non – patriotic context, so as to prevent war and that the panacea for the ills of the world was socialism.
After World War II he made the all time famous observation, "The war is won, but the peace is not." He not only lectured but also wrote several pieces advocating the formation of a world government. He had become exceedingly famous by that time and used to receive several requests for advice, which he would diligently provide. He was an active scientist till the moment that he breathed his last in the year 1955. His lifelong quest to discover the true meaning of life remained unfulfilled (Biography: Historical Figures. Albert Einstein).
Subsequent, to World War II, Einstein became a vociferous opponent of nuclear weapons, racism, bigotry and McCarthyism. His ideas, which were morally exemplary, constituted the basis for a near utopian social model for the forthcoming 21st century (Golden).
Einstein did not encourage strong patriotism and this was due to the horrors he had witnessed in Nazi Germany that had resulted due to excessive pride in one’s country. He was loyal to the human race and not any one nation. Accordingly, he was at the forefront of the World Government Movement. He was a profound thinker and he has had significant effect on world peace.
Works Cited
"Biography: Historical Figures. Albert Einstein." Studyworld. 16 January 2007 .
Einstein, Albert . 2002. 16 January 2008 .
"Einstein, Albert ." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.
"Einstein, Albert ." 2006. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia . 16 January 2008 < http://www.credoreference.com/entry/6718731>.
"Einstein, Albert ." 2004. The Great American History Fact-Finder. 16 January 2008 < http://www.credoreference.com/entry/6600372Einstein, Albert>.
"Einstein, Albert (1879 - 1955)." 1999. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. 16 January 2007 .
Glasstone, Samuel. "Albert Einstein ." Microsoft® Student 2008 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2007.
Golden, Frederic. Albert Einstein: Person of the Century. 6 January 2000. 16 January 2008 .
Lasky, Ronald C. "Ask the Experts. What is the significance of E = mc2? And what does it mean?" 23 April 2007. Scientific American. 16 January 2008 . Read More
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