Two Einstein Lectures
 
John S. Rigden

Honorary Professor of Physics at Washington University in St. Louis
Author of the book "Einstein 1905, The Standard of Greatness"
 

"The Questions Einstein Faced in 1905 and His Responses"
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2005 at 11:30 am in Science 304
Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois

The accomplishments of 19th century physicists stand shoulder to shoulder with the physicists of the 20th century.  Because of what his predecessors accomplished, Einstein stood in a different world than did his predecessors 100 years earlier.  So much was achieved in the years of the 19th century that it is not surprising that there were fundamental discrepancies festering in the basic theories of physics.  Einstein addressed such discrepancies and resolved them to the satisfaction of his contemporaries and Einstein's resolutions stand firm to the present day.

 

"Einstein: The Standard of Greatness"
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2005 at 7:00 pm
Bettendorf Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive at 18th Street, Bettendorf, Iowa

In the short duration of six months, one week, and two days, Einstein, in 1905, wrote five papers that stand today at the bedrock of physics.  Only one of these papers was revolutionary.  This paper, on the nature of light, made him the father of quantum physics.  In the other four papers, Einstein clearly eschewed trivialities as he demonstrated the reality of atoms, established the dimensions of atoms, put the laws of thermodynamics on a new footing, established the validity of the kinetic theory, enhanced the significance of the speed of light, and purged the basic concepts of space, time, mass, and energy of profound fallacies.  These accomplishments qualified him as one of the greatest physicist, but the Einstein mystique cannot be explained in terms of what he did.  Einstein is the standard of greatness for deeper reasons.