"Einstein: The Standard of Greatness"
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2005 at
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.