Albert Einstein and His Discoveries

Albert Einstein and His Discoveries

Most people think that Albert Einstein got Nobel Prize for his famous work on theory of relativity. But he actually got the award for his discovery of the law of photo electric effect.

Einstein’s discovery

Einstein got the Nobel for physics in 1921. Photo electric effect is a phenomenon where metals emit electrons from their surface when light shines upon them. Einstein explained this phenomenon as follows:

– Light consists of small particles called photons. They carry energy proportional to the frequency of light. – When light shines upon the metals, the electrons absorb the energy from the photons and they get rejected because of the energy difference. This causes the electron flow.

Einstein’s discovery led to the understanding that light behaves both as particle and wave.


The discovery of photo electric effect led to the development solar cells, now useful as the alternate source of energy for us. Similarly photo diodes are another application, which find wide usage in light detection in the areas of fiber optics, telecommunication and other areas.

World year of physics

1905 represented a very important year in physics with four groundbreaking publications by Albert Einstein during that year.

These four publications are:

1) about photo electric effect

2) Brownian motion

3) Special theory of relativity

4) The famous mass and energy equation E=mC2

These publications especially the special theory of relativity completely changed the course of physics during the later years. The mass and energy equation led to the development of atom bomb as well as constructive nuclear power. Highlighting the significance of 1905 as an important milestone in Physics, year 2005 was recognized as world year of physics on the occasion of 100th anniversary of Einstein’s publications.

Later years

In later years, Einstein also added another publication ‘general theory of relativity’ and worked on his unified field theory. The general theory of relativity was not accepted by many at the time he published in 1915. The concepts and the calculations behind the theory were quite complex and it was not understood by many. He suggested that his calculations can be verified during a solar eclipse. After a few years, during an eclipse, observations were recorded which proved his theory correct. This made him even more famous.

Einstein’s mass energy equation was utilized to develop the atom bomb. Einstein was not involved in making the bomb. He spoke against the war and continued on using technology for peace until his death in 1955.